During the first days in orbit, the ground team has been very busy downloading telemetry data in order to learn as much as possible of the satellite while it is still in good health. Downloading data has proven a big challenge because there are only two useful windows per day to communicate with it and they last for only 10 minutes each.
After almost two weeks in space, UNISAT-6 is performing as expected, no particular event happened up there and the team is trying different configurations and different commands to test various modalities and the hardware onboard, like the new OBC ABACUS that uses a CubeSat form factor (PC104) and that has been developed at the School of Aerospace Engineering (“Sapienza” University of Rome) in collaboration with G.A.U.S.S. Srl.
This week the team decided to start using the communication windows to download pictures taken by the spacecraft. During the deployment of the cubesats four pictures were taken. For the high resolution pictures the ground team needs to use several windows to redownload lost packets. In the meanwhile they have downloaded some of the smallest resolution pictures.
UNISAT-6 took two pictures of Tigrisat while being deployed. In this picture Tigrisat was still half inside the satellite and exiting at a speed of 1.2m/s. The UHF antenna of Tigrisat is seen being deployed immediately after release (it used a mechanical system).
This picture, while being a very low resolution picture, has a lot of significance for us as well as it has a lot of useful information. This was the first picture completely received on ground and managed to get an unexpected celebration on the ground station, it is indeed the first picture ever taken by GAUSS Srl from space, while it also gave very useful information to the Tigrisat Team about the status of its satellite, the antenna was correctly deployed and no damage is appreciated on the satellite.
In the meanwhile we have been receiving data from radio amateurs all around the world, we want to thank you all because you are providing us telemetry with 10 seconds resolution from all latitudes, we want to encourage you to continue sending us data. We are gathering all the information and we will soon make public some of the data you sent us.