PRISM cubesat reception with Funcube Dongle and Arrow antenna

This is the sixth satellite reception of a series recorded on Monday, February 28, 2011 using the Funcube Dongle software defined radio receiver and the Arrow II hand-held satellite antenna. The satellite is the Japanese PRISM cubesat an the recording was made in JO45KG during orbit 11343.

The Funcube Dongle could receive and I could decode the signal coming from the spacecraft beginning at the time of AOS; however, because of the QRM I decided to cut the recording to begin at a time after the Doppler shift has moved the downlink signal beyond the QRM. According to the AMSAT info page about PRISM, the cubesat is transmitting with 80mW CW. Being able to receive such a weak signal from low Earth orbit using an Arrow II antenna confirms the usability of the Funcube Dongle as a low cost VHF/UHF receiver for space communications.

Author: Alexandru Csete

Embedded software engineer in the satcom industry during the day. Radio amateur and SDR hacker during the night.