$50SAT (Eagle2) was successfully launched from Dombarovsky Air Base in Russia on 21/11/13 at 07:11 UTC and is still operational.
$50SAT (Eagle2) transmits at 100mW on 437.505Mhz, +/- 10khz to allow for Doppler shift.
We currently believe that $50SAT may be catalogue object 39436 2013-066W as identified by the NORAD tracking radar. The current location of that object can be seen here.
Details of the orbit parameters, communications, hardware designs and software are on the $50SAT Dropbox here.
The $50SAT team can be contacted by email at email@example.com
There is a discussion group for $50SAT here
Together with T-LogoQube (Eagle1), QubeScout-S1 and WREN, $50SAT was the first of the new PocketQube standard satellites to be launched.
The $50SAT satellite is powered by a PICAXE 40X2 processor and the radio transceiver is the low cost Hope RFM22B.
There is a sequence of transmissions that repeats approximately every 75 seconds, a FM slow Morse call sign beacon, data as fast FM Morse, FSK RTTY data and digital data telemetry.
The slow Morse call sign beacon can be picked up on a hand held UHF receiver when the distance to $50SAT is approximately 800km or less. The received signal can be improved significantly by using a simple gain antenna such as a BiQuad, Moxon or small Yagi.
The FSK RTTY data can be decoded at up to approximately 2400km using an omni directional antenna and low noise amplifier.
Digital data telemetry packets at 1kbps from $50SAT have been received with a ground based RFM22B receiver at 940km using a low noise amplifier and 7 element hand held yagi.
With the output of the RFM22B boosted to 20W and using only an omni directional antenna we have been able to send commands to the satellite when its 1400kM distant.
$50SAT may be the smallest operational satellite in Earth orbit and cost less than $250 in parts to build, most of this being the cost of the TASC triple junction solar cells. $50SAT was built with standard off the shelf commercial components, no special radiation hardened parts were used.
The primary purpose of $50SAT was to create a cost effective platform for engineering and science students to use for developing real world skills. The PocketQube form factor has no precision mechanical parts and can be built from locally obtained sheet metal.
$50SAT is comprised of two 40mm square circuit boards. The first is the processor/radio board with the PICAXE 40X2 processor, the Hope RFM22B transceiver module and devices for measuring temperature some protection devices.
The second board is the solar power control and monitor board. This board contains the maximum power point controllers as well as current monitors for the battery and summed solar power. The battery is a common 3.7V lithium ion camera battery.
$50SAT was n a collaborative education project between Professor Bob Twiggs, Morehead State University and 3 radio amateurs, Howie DeFelice, AB2S, Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA, and Stuart Robinson, GW7HPW.