- Beacon Software
Michael Mistaleski (Electrical Engineering)
The Communcations team is responsible for the fabrication of all
hardware necessary to transmit data from onboard M-Cubed to
the ground station. This includes anteannas as well as coax cables.
Using a 144 MHz uplink and a 430 MHz downlink, amateur radio
bands will be used to control and receive data from the satellite. A
basic beacon signal containing satellite health data will be
transmitted intermittently throughout operations. Data and
commands will be transmitted using the AstroDev Lithium 1 radio.
This protocol is often a failure point for other picosatellites,
therefore the system will utilize an existing software
implementation for reliability.
A dedicated receiver will operate at all times, while the dedicated transmitter will be operated only to send a beacon signal or transmit picture data. Both receiver and transmitter are the same component, AstroDev Lithium 1s, hardwired to their independent tasks to save development time and costs. From the transmitter, the signal will be amplified to 1 W, the calculated necessary transmit power. A 0.16-m monople and a 0.40-m monopole are the respective antennas for uplink and downlink. Significantly more analysis and design will be dedicated to this part of the subsystem.