Information for radio amateurs
Below you can find detailed instructions for communicating with the CroCube satellite. All you’re missing is the frequency, which we’ll post as soon as it’s confirmed. Until then, get your ham gear ready to try to be the first to catch CroCube’s messages right after launch.
You can download the preliminary data here:
How to establish contact with the CroCube satellite?
In order to be able to listen to the messages that CroCube satellite will send, all you need is an amateur radio (SDR or RIG) and an antenna, ideally a multidirectional or directional antenna with a rotator (an ideal rotator can follow the movement of the satellite in the sky). All radio amateurs and stations registered in the SatNOGS network will be able to receive data from satellites wherever they are located!
The satellite will be equipped with two radio devices – UHF and VHF. We will download data to Earth via UHF and send data to the satellite via VHF. The satellite itself will send two types of communication: Morse code and data packets.
There are two types of data packets that the satellite will transmit and/or receive:
- Beacon packets – telemetry data, measurement of temperature, voltage on satellite subsystems, etc. The data will be collected from 4 satellite subsystems – computer, 2 communication (radio) modules, and a power supply. The computer will also read the temperatures on the solar panels. Every radio amateur will be able to read and decode this data.
- The second type is ground station communication. This data is used to control the satellite and send commands to the satellite, it also includes the payload data – the photos that will be taken by the satellite’s cameras.
How to track the CroCube satellite?
Before launch, Space X will issue a TLE TLE (“two line element”) is data on the trajectory of the satellite, which contains a set of orbital elements that describe the position of the Earth’s satellite. This information tells us how and where the satellite will move, which is why we can easily track it using specialized software. Some of the most popular software that can read TLE are Orbitron and Gpredict, so feel free to use any of them.
Can I use the satellite for my own communication?
But of course! The satellite will be equipped with a digital repeater (the so-called digipeater) which will enable all licensed radio amateurs to communicate over long distances.
Live stream of the launch and satellite tracking
You will be able to follow the central event of the entire mission – the launch – live on various channels In order to receive timely information, do not forget to follow us on social networks, and after the launch, you will also be able to access all real- time data about the satellite via the link that we will publish soon.