M-Cubed beaconing reliably! But softly…

Tracking and communicating with CubeSats post launch is generally quite difficult, and this ELaNa3 launch is no exception.  All CubeSats have been regularly heard but reliable commanding has not been achieved.  This is expected, and as the satellite separate and position information grows, contacts will improve.

MCubed is beaconing reliably but transmissions are weak.  The figure below plots RF spectrum over time and beacons can be seen.  Thanks to Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN, for tracking the CubeSats and generating this data.

MCubed, AubieSat-1, and E1P transmissions seen in this spectrogram.

We are working to decode MCubed beacons and assess why the signal is weak.  Currently, we are considering weak beacons due to antennas not deployed, damaged output amplifier, or lack of power to the amplifier.  Our next step is to see if MCubed can receiver our commands by attempting to change the beacon interval from 20 s to 25 s.  MCubed has a second radio that operates on VHF that may be enabled soon as well.

We give a heartfelt thanks to all the HAMs who have tracked MCubed and provided us great insight into what is going on.