Help Needed for Satellite Tracking Station

Does your QTH have a good view of the sky? Mark Kanawati N4TPY of SpaceQuest (spacequest.com (off-site)) is looking for a place to locate a small satellite tracking station in Washington state.

About SpaceQuest

SpaceQuest is a private company that develops advanced satellite technology for government, university and commercial use. They design and build spacecraft and also build space and ground components for low-Earth orbiting satellites.

SpaceQuest has also built amateur satellites such as AO27, AO40, SO50, AO51 and others. The tracking station will be used to gather telemetry data from both amateur and commercial satellites.

Sites

Here’s what SpaceQuest is looking for in a satellite tracking site:

  • Low take-off angle in all directions and few trees
  • Reasonably low local noise on VHF/UHF
  • Year-round accessibility, infrequent snow
  • Reasonably reliable Internet connection and 110-volt power
  • Northwest corner of Washington State will provide the earliest satellite acquisition.
    However, Eastern Washington may be acceptable too.
  • A local contact to provide occasional support if needed, after installation
  • Hosted by a ham. A school may be acceptable if run by motivated and cooperative staff.
  • Site should be a convenient drive (a few hours at most) from a major airport.

Proposition

The SpaceQuest wants to install their ground tracking station:

  • Mounting modest VHF/UHF antennas on a 2” pipe above roof level
  • Installing a remotely operated transceiver and equipment indoors
  • Antennas are only a few feet across, lightweight, with an az-el rotator
  • The antennas are a set of VHF and UHF equipment by M2 with an az-el rotator:
    VHF and UHF antennas
  • The indoor equipment is the AN-2400 software-defined radio and computer in 19" width:
    AN-2400 equipment rack
  • Station will briefly transmit commands to passing satellites to initiate data dump

How to Contact

I think the project is pretty exciting and hope you will get in touch with Mark. Feel free to forward this information to anyone that may be interested.

If you can help SpaceQuest find a good location, please contact Mark directly at mark@spacequest.com (email).