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73's de Andrej
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 193.06
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
July 12, 2009
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Castor and Pollox, two satellites in the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment(ANDE) program are ready to fly with the launch of STS-127 from Kennedy SpaceCenter. The ANDE mission consists of two spherical spacecraft fitted withretro-reflectors for satellite laser ranging (SLR). The constant andwell-determined cross section and surface properties of the ANDE spacecraftprovide an ideal set of objects for monitoring atmospheric drag and thecalibration of space surveillance network (SSN) assets both radar and optical.
Castor is a 19 inch diameter aluminum sphere with
a mass of 63 kg. It is as near
perfect sphere as possible given the constraints of cost and manufacturability.The sphere is split in half with e delrin disc. The hemispheres are also thesatellite antenna. For power, the satellite has 112 19AH lithium primary cells.This provides about 7000 watt-hours of power which has to last for the one
The satellite has several different types of sensors. There are two main
sensors, a Neutral particle wind and temperature spectrometer and an ion massspectrometer.
A group of college students designed and built a MEMS sensor payload to test
some commercial gyroscopes and a magnetometer. There are also six light sensorsand six temperature sensors mounted in the satellite hemispheres.
The Pollux satellite was originally to be a passive satellite with
retroreflectors for laser ranging. It has been
turned into a high school student
project involving several schools in the Fairfax County, Virginia area.
The satellite is powered by twenty-eight 19AH Lithium-ion cells configured
provide 14 volts. The battery configuration uses the spare ANDE satellite
The electronics is based on cubesat hardware developed at the Naval Research
Laboratory and Stensat Group LLC.
The communications board contains the transmitter and receiver. The transmitteroperates at 2 meters and can put out up to 1 watt of signal. Power level isadjustable. The transmitter can operate at 1200
baud AFSK and 9600 baud FSK. The
transmitter uses the AX.25 protocol. An experimental FX.25 protocol will be
tested that adds forward error correction capability to the AX.25 protocol
still allows typical TNCs to decode the packets.
Both satellites will transmit on 145.825 MHz. Additional details about the
telemetry format, as well as the FX.25 and GMSK experiments can be found athttps://goby.nrl.navy.mil/ANDE/Main.html