Neutron-1 Mission Q&A

This page is dedicated to the Questions and Answers regarding the Neutron-1 mission. It will be updated as more questions are received and the mission evolves.

The following are the questions received at the AMSAT 2020 symposium on Oct. 17, 2020. 

[Bob N6RFM] Will some of the neutron flux data be included in the housekeeping telemetry frame sent down in the Ax.25 beacons?

  • We don’t have the neutron counts in the initial telemetry during the commission phase. Once the instrument is checked out we can switch to a more complete beacon format that will include this information and more.

[Burns WBB1F] Does the SatNOGS webpage interpret the contents of your AX.25 packets ?

[Randy WA0D] Describe the type of antennas being used for Neutron-1 V/U antennas?

  • The Neutron-1 Radio is connected to the ISISpace CubeSat Deployable Dipole UHF/VHF Antenna System. The antennas are currently stowed with the CubeSat and will be automatically deployed 30 minutes after the ISS release. Once the antenna deployment is confirmed the UHF beacon will start automatically.

[Paul N8HM] Is the transponder RSSI value configurable on orbit?

  • Yes, it is configurable in orbit. The transponder is activated once the signal is above a certain RSSI value. During commissioning phase this RSSI is set to its default value but once we have run the basic checks on the satellite and have gained control we are able to send a command to change the RSSI level and experiment with it.

[Melissa] Did ISIS complete the antenna testing? (also used on STMSAT-1)

  •  Yes, the antenna was tested electrically, mechanically, thermally. It was also tuned according to the certification report provided by ISIS.

Where to find information about the mission?

[Paul N8HM] What is the power value for the ground power to activate the transponder?

  • Preliminary estimate is ~20 dBW ground station EIRP to activate the transponder. The radio is currently set at a safe RSSI level above the noise floor (2500 count units / 5000) to prevent the transponder from activating inadvertently and prevent battery discharge. During/After commissioning the threshold will be tested and adjusted to provide a more reliable service to the amateur community while keeping the operational capability of the satellite and prevent battery depletion.

The presentation and Q&A session is recorded on the following YouTube video:

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