WA8LMF Mirror of WB4APR Website - 21 July 2008 Starshine

Telemetry/Command and Communications Payload
US Naval Academy Satellite Lab
Bob Bruninga, WB4APR

Midn 1/C Patterson

STARSHINEs are just mirror balls of hundreds of mirrors to make them visible to students around the world for precise tracking experiments. STARSHINE has flown before as Starshine1, 2 and now Starshine 3. The Naval Academy has offered to build Telemetry and command communications payloads for Starshines similar to what it is flying on the PCsat mission as both a means to transmit spacecraft Telemetry to the ground and to augment the interest of students worldwide by letting them capture telemetry and communicate via the satellite.

The project is being investigated by Midshipman Patterson of the EE Department in conjunction with the USNA Small Satellite program under the guidance of LTCL Billy Smith and Satellite Lab Engineer, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. Nothing on this page is official. These are just ideas to get things rolling.

Click here to see the SWR resonance achieved at 145 MHz.

The Starshine Telemetry/Command/Communications Mission, will provide basic Telemetry Command and Control for Starshine. This includes:

  • Battery and Solar voltages
  • Battery and Solar array charge currents
  • Temperatures
  • ON/OFF command switches
  • RS-232 serial data telemetry channel for other Starshine Payloads
  • Digital Communications Relay support of the PCsat/APRS mission.

    The digital communications relay will operate within the ITU regulations for operations in the Amateur Satellite Service, to provide mobile and Handheld Satellite digital communications for amateur satellite operators and possible remote environmental sensors worldwide. This mission will augment the mobile vehicle tracking and communications mission of PCsat by adding a second and third satellite to the constellation for tracking GPS equipped remote travelers Naval Academy Boats at sea, cross country travelers, expeditions, or any other travelers which are far from any existing APRS terrestrial tracking infrastructure. The PCsat and Starshine downlink from such travelers is fed into the existing worldwide internet linked APRS system by a few permanent ground stations. Starshine will join ISS, MIR, PCsat and several other on-orbit experiments (ASTARS) that have been conducted over the years leading up to this exciting capability.


    Here are several additional PHOTOS, DRAWINGS and Documents reorganized by topic:

    Status and Launch info:

  • Telemetry format and equations
  • Starshine User Expectations
  • Starshine Frequencies (2m downlink)

    Photo Views:

  • The Prototype

    Mechanical details:

  • Preliminary Internal Structure Sketch
  • TNC mods for telemetry

    Module Details:

  • Initial Comm Power Budget
  • TNC/XMTR/RCVR diagram
  • Terminal Node Controller (photo)
  • VHF 3 Watt Transmitter (photo)
  • VHF receiver (photo)
  • UHF receiver (photo)
  • KPC-9612 Sixteen Channel Telemetry Circuit
  • Final Telemetry Board

    The Space segment of the Starshine communications mission has been demonstrated a number of times in space via PCsat, MIR School tests, the Shuttle SAREX, and the SPRE mission. . It is also a spin off of a previous launch opportunity that we had in 1998 called NATSweb that almost got launched on SEA-LAUNCH.. The STARSHINE Communications mission is a project to produce a viable payload in a very short time frame using off the shelf components where possible. Here are the background topics of design:

  • The Mission and Starshine Team
  • Frequency Request and Mission details
  • The Design
  • Link Budget

    APRS is the Automatic Position Reporting System that the Naval Academy uses for tracking its boats and a variety of other vehicles and networks using the APRS Automatic Position Reporting System . The Starshine Communications transponder would be operated under the rules of the Amateur Satellite Service and the rules of the FCC.

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    WA8LMF Mirror of WB4APR Website - 21 July 2008