Tagged: SMOG-1

An RTL-SDR telemetry decoder for the soon to be launched MRC-100 PocketQube Satellite

Thank you to Zoltan Doczi (HA7DCD) for submitting news about the MRC-100 Hungarian PocketQube Satellite that is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 on June 12. A PocketQube is smaller than a standard CubeSat as it is sized at only 5x5x15cm. Zoltan notes that the MRC-100 is the successor to the SMOG-1 satellite which we posted about back in March 2021. The satellite is named to honoring the 100th year anniversary of the HA5MRC Ham Radio Club at the Budapest University of Technology.

To help with decoding the Telemetry on the satellite an RTL-SDR based telemetry receiver was created by Peter and Miklos, and Levente HA7WEN has created an installation script for Raspberry Pi's and Linux PC's which installs OpenWebRX along with the satellite receiver software.

The satellite should be receivable with a simple satellite antenna, such as a handheld Yagi, Turnstile, Dipole or quadrifilar-helix antenna. It will be transmitting telemetry at 436.720 MHz. If you have a dish and tracking equipment for it, there is also a high speed downlink at 2267.5 MHz. Like SMOG-1 the satellite carries a sensor that is designed to measure human caused electromagnetic pollution. It also carries a camera and an AIS receiver for tracking marine vessels.

The MRC-100 CubeSat

SMOG-1 PocketQube Satellite Successfully Launched and in Orbit

Thank you to Zoltan Doczi (HA7DCD) for submitting news about the successful launch and first reception of the SMOG-1 PocketQube Satellite (which is only 5x5x5cm in size). The pre-launch press release by Tech University of Budapest is available here, and the SMOG-1 Facebook page provided additional updates.

Back in April 2020 we first heard about the launch of SMOG-P which was the first functioning 1-PocketQube satellite, and was designed to measure electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog) from space. SMOG-1 is the successor to SMOG-P and it carries a similar mission to measure electromagnetic pollution generated by human activity in space around the Earth. Interestingly it also carries a magnetically lossy material under it's solar panels which is to act as a brake, reducing the 18-25 Orbital lifespan, thus reducing space trash after the primary mission is complete.

According to the receive and decoding instructions provided by Levente Dudas, SMOG-1 can be received with a simple satellite antennas, such as a handheld Yagi, Turnstile, Dipole or quadrifilar-helix antenna. The telemetry frequency is 437.345 MHz with callsign HA5BME. For the radio an RTL-SDR connected to a Raspberry Pi can be used, and the telemetry decoding software can be found on GitLab

SMOG-1 can be tracked here, although Zoltan mentions that the TLEs may not yet be accurate for several more days or weeks, as was seen with the launch of SMOG-P as well. The reason is that it is difficult for the NORAD radars to see these tiny PockQube satellites which is required for TLE generation.