AMSAT-NL is delighted to announce that an initial series of tests of the FUNcube transponder payload aboard the QB50p1 CubeSat have been successfully completed.
QB50p1 is one of two QB50 precursor spacecraft that were launched from Yasny in Russia in June 2014.
The primary science payloads are still being extensively tested but it has now been possible to undertake a short test of the transponder payload as well. The transponder is intended as a long term secondary mission following the initial technology demonstration and de-risking phase.
After spending ten months in space, the transponder was commanded on for short periods during each of the three morning passes over Europe on Monday 27th April 2015. A number of FUNcube team members in the Netherlands and in the UK were standing by to run through a predefined test plan.
The transponder appears to have a similar performance to that of FUNcube-1 but the passband is nominally 5 kHz wider by design.
It is not yet known when this transponder may be available for regular usage but AMSAT-NL is delighted to be able to report that the hardware is functioning and is very grateful to the QB50 project, the Von Karman Institute and ISIS B.V. for their ongoing support.