This weekend, on Sunday the 15th of April, Project Horus will be partaking in the WIA National Field Day by launching Horus 23. We hope to be launching around 11AM, right after the WIA Sunday morning broadcast. This launch will be flying 3 payloads of interest to amateur radio operators:
- A FM voice repeater. This repeater will be operating with a 70cm uplink and a 2m downlink. Experience from flying this repeater in the past has shown that it can be accessed from up to 800km away at apogee with about 30-50W. Operators closer to the launch site should be able to access the repeater using a simple handheld, though a beam will help overcome the FM capture effect. The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group (AREG) will be running net control on the voice repeater as VK5ARG, from the launch site in the Adelaide Hills.
- APRS on 145.175MHz. We're expecting to be using VK5ARG-11 as the call-sign. This will be visible on aprs.fi and will showcase their new horizon ring service. We will also be broadcasting telemetry via APRS.
- The ever-reliable 300-baud RTTY downlink will also be flying. This will likely be operating on 434.075MHZ (+-5KHz due to thermal drift). Instructions on how to track this can, as always, be found here. This payload will be trackable on the SpaceNear.us tracker.
This flight will also be testing the new uplink & cutdown system. This is a new design allowing us to terminate flights in the case of floats, or other un-foreseen circumstances. This experiment is intended to give us an idea of RF noise floor levels while at high altitudes, and work out what power levels are required for a successful uplink. The status of the uplink system should be visible on the SpaceNear.us tracker during the flight.
As always, launch is very much subject to weather, and final confirmation of the launch won't be given until Sunday morning. We will continue to update this blog as new information becomes available.
UPDATE: The cross-band voice repeater will be running with a 144.650MHz downlink, a 438.9MHz uplink, with a 123Hz CTCSS access tone.