German Amateur Radio payload reaches orbit

Oliver Amend, DG6BCE, and the German Amateur Radio Association report that the RUBIN-2 scientific satellite carrying the SAFIR-M Amateur Radio payload was successfully launched December 20 (1700 UTC) from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.

As of December 22, he had not yet established contact with the satellite. The call sign, DP0AIS, stands for “Amateur Radio in Schools.” Designed as a store-and-forward system for APRS-based messages, SAFIR-M is a project of the Working Group for Amateur Radio and Telecommunications in Schools; (Editor’s note; German Language Site)
and developed in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Pforzheim, Germany. “The main purpose of the satellite is to give students easy access to space communications,” Amend says. He notes the satellite will be operational only when RUBIN-2 is in sunlight, so usable passes over Europe will be during the early morning hours and only for up to about five minutes with very low antenna elevations. Now in an approximately 650-km orbit at 65 degree inclination, SAFIR-M has a 1200-baud packet uplink at 437.275 MHz and a 9600-baud packet downlink on 145.825 MHz. There’s also an optional voice message beacon on 2 meters.

Amend welcomes reports with date and time (UTC) and position (WGS-84 or grid square) via e-mail . The correct NORAD identifier for two-line Keplerian elements appears to be 27607.
More information is available in German on the SAFIR-M Web site

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