Hams Receive SpaceX Space-Junk Telemetry

This is a great story from over at the Silicon Graybeard blog:  https://thesilicongraybeard.blogspot.com/2021/03/a-couple-of-things-i-couldnt-resist.html

 

[A] Scott Manley story I came across during the week. When SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 mission, they recover the booster about 9 minutes into the mission. The upper stage that actually deploys the satellites is left in a higher orbit and is currently not considered recoverable. I believe they are put into a destructive de-orbit, using some onboard thrusters or perhaps some residual fuel, so that they reenter the atmosphere and are destroyed. During the couple of days this takes to have its affect, the second stage is still operating on battery power and transmitting telemetry, including video.

It seems a group of hams in Europe figured out how receive the Telemetry and decode the video.

Scott does an OK job of describing what the hams did. The “gizmo” he mentions at around 3:28 or 3:29 is called a downconverter. Fundamental, essential technology, and if you have a typical house, you’re probably surrounded by half a dozen of them. In my talk about superheterodyne receivers, every block diagram starts out with a downconverter.

All that aside, it’s a fun story. It comes down to SpaceX using open standards for their telemetry and a bunch of hams willing to try lots of stuff.

The data collection from telemetry is pretty awesome!

Sounds like a project for hams line-of-sight from the trajectory.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: