Grant: Open Research Institute – Custom Amateur Radio Sensors for the AmbaSat Platform

Date of Grant: Sept. 10, 2020
Grant Amount: $4,200

Open Research Institute (ORI) is a non-profit research and development organization which provides all of its work to the general public under the principles of Open Source and Open Access to Research.

This project aims to build amateur radio equipment inspired by the custom sensor option in AmbaSat-1, a tiny space satellite kit that you assemble and code yourself. Even if the satellite never gets launched – which it may not, due to its size – circuits this small can be used for educating students about satellites, can be launched as lightweight balloon payloads, can be fired on model rockets, and can be incorporated into wearables, vehicles, and drones.

ARDC has granted funds to this project to purchase 10 AmbaSat Satellite Platforms and fund the development of the following:

  • Unmodulated Carrier with Doppler:  A stable oscillator for some frequency in an amateur satellite band. We would need the oscillator, a small amplifier, and an antenna. (From the proposal: “There’s good science we can do from an unmodulated carrier with Doppler, even if it is an inefficient antenna and a few milliwatts
    of radiated power.”)
  • Two Phase-Locked Beacons:  Design two phase-locked beacons on 144 and 430 so that differences in Doppler might be detected. This was an ionospheric/environmental experiment implemented in (the yet-to-fly) KiwiSAT .
  • Carrier and Beacon at 10 GHz:  Integrate CW ID to make a beacon. 2kHz/second doppler is expected at 10.4 GHz at LEO.

For more information about this project, take a look at the project proposal.