Smaller dish for tracking UNITEC-1

As you probably already know the UNITEC-1 launch got scrubbed today (17th May). Fortunately, there is a launch window every day for the next few weeks.

During the last few days I learned that tracking UNITEC-1 will be very difficult because the available trajectory data can be very uncertain. Therefore, we decided to use a smaller antenna with wider beam width in the first few days after launch. One option was to mount the IKEA dish to piggyback the 7m dish, another option was to use a 90cm dish which is currently equipped with a 2.4 GHz feed. We decided to go for the second option.

Unfortunately, the Azimuth rotator of that dish was broken and we set to repair it this evening, about 24 hours before the first window.

The 90cm dish with the broken Azimuth rotator

Needless to say, it wasn’t easy to take the Azimuth rotator out without disassembling the whole construction but somehow we managed… Nonetheless, the repairs took a little longer than expected…

Repairs took a little longer than expected...

And even longer to finish…

And even longer to finish...

After finishing the repairs and mounting the rotator back we found out that we mounted it 180° off – we’ll have to change that tomorrow.

I also got a chance to take a better photo of the 7m dish

The 7m dish at OZ7SAT - AMSAT OZ headquarters

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Author: Alexandru Csete

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