This is an excerpt from the latest AMSAT News. I figured it is relavant to PSAS members to some degree.

Glenn LeBrasseur, KJ7SU
gle...@twaves.org

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SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-004.02
UNITEC-1

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 004.02
   From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January 4, 2009
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-004.02

JAMSAT Announces Amateur Satellite to Venus

AMSAT has received news from Japan that JARL/JAMSAT are collaborating
with the Japanese University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) to
send an amateur radio payload into a Venus transfer orbit with the pri-
mary JAXA Planet-C Venus Orbiter mission planned for May, 2010.

UNITEC-1, developed by the teams who have already launched cubesats
such as University of Tokyo's XI-IV, XI-V, and Tokyo Institute of Tech-
nology's CUTE-1, CUTE-1.7+APD has the following engineering missions:

1. Onboard computers developed by several universities will be tested
    in the harsh space environment in the form of a competition; i.e.,
    the computer which can survive to the last in the radiation-rich
    deep space environment will win the competition.

2. Technologies to receive and decode very weak and low bit rate
    signal coming from deep space will be developed and tested.

3. Technologies to estimate orbit and signal Doppler shift of the
    satellite based on the received RF signal will be developed and
    tested.  These technologies are essential for tracking and receiv-
    ing signals from a satellite in deep space.

The UNITEC-1 team invites the support of amateur radio amateurs all
around the world to participate in the receiving and data capture ex-
periments in objectives 2 and 3, above.  They note that amateur radio
operators working as individuals or in groups develop stations and
techniques to relay their received signal reports and data to the
UNITEC-1 control station. This is also a unique opportunity to pro-
pose amateur experiments or competitions to the satellite team.

UNITEC-1 will transmit a signal consisting of a CW beacon of about
1 bps speed. One experiment requiring the participation of several
amateur radio earth stations would include the development of infer-
eometric techniques to combine the received signals from several
antennae to improve the received S/N ratio from the spacecraft out-
bound from earth.

The UNITEC-1 website provides the latest mission information (such as
orbit parameters, data formats and current status). UNITEC-1 will be
the first university developed interplanetary satellite as well as the
first amateur interplanetary satellite. The team sincerely hopes that
UNITEC-1 will provide unique and exciting opportunity for the radio
amateurs all over the world to enjoy reception of signals from deep
space.

The UNITEC-1 website can be seen at:
http://unitec-1.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/en/news_en

[ANS thanks Graham Shirville, G3VZV for the above information]



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