FUNcube Project

AMSAT-UK, FUNcube Project Introduction
AMSAT-NL, FUNcube serie satellieten


In 2009, a team of volunteer experts from AMSAT-UK, in collaboration with their colleagues in
the Netherlands at AMSAT-NL started work on a new amateur satellite concept - The FUNcube Project

The initial plan was to design, build and launch a single spacecraft but further flight
opportunities became available and the project now comprises of the following missions:

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) is a complete educational 1U CubeSat with the goal of enthusing and educating
young people about radio, space, physics and electronics. FUNcube-1, now registered as a Dutch
spacecraft, was successfully launched from Russia on a DNEPR rocket on Nov 21st 2013 and, after
more than three years in orbit, continues to perform well. More than 900 stations, including
many at schools and colleges around the world, have received and decoded the telemetry.
Details of current operations and the telemetry available from FUNcube-1 can be seen at  We also have a dedicated educational outreach page here

FUNcube-1 is in a Sun-Synchronous Low Earth Orbit approx 630km above the earth. In such an orbit
a satellite passes over most locations approximately 3 times in the morning, and 3 in the evening,
every day. This schedule allows the morning passes to be used for educational purposes and the
evening passes for Amateur Radio communications. 

FUNcube-1 also carries a UHF to VHF linear transponder with approx 300mW PEP output
and which can be used by Radio Amateurs worldwide for SSB and CW communications.

Measuring just 10cm x 10cm x 10cm, and with a mass of less than 1kg, FUNcube-1 is the first
spacecraft to have a primary mission of educational outreach to schools and the smallest ever
satellite to carry a linear transponder for radio amateurs.

FUNcube-2 on UKube-1 is a follow-on project and comprises of a set of FUNcube boards that is
flying as part of the separate UKube-1 triple cubesat and it has identical goals. This spacecraft
was successfully launched on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur on July 8th 2014. Both the telemetry
downlink and transponder are presently operational on a 24/7 basis.

They are both intended to support the educational Science, Technology, Engineering
and Maths (STEM) initiatives presently underway in the UK and around the world.

The target audience consists of primary and secondary school pupils and the FUNcube-2 feature
a 145.915 MHz telemetry beacon that will provide a strong signal for the pupils to receive.

A simple receiver has also been developed. The FUNcube Dongle connects to the USB port of
a laptop to display telemetry and messages in a visually interesting and stimulating way.
A easy to use antenna is also available.

Details of all the support materials plus information about where to obtain the receivers,
antennas and software can be found at

The satellites also carry a materials science experiment, from which the school students
can receive telemetry data and which they can compare to the results they obtained from
similar reference experiments in the classroom. FUNcube is the first CubeSat project that
benefits this group.

The FUNcube team is also involved with:

FUNcube-3 (EO-79) - a fast-track mission to provide a "transponder only" payload on a 2U
CubeSat which is part of the precursor programme for the QB50 mission. This transponder is
expected to become operational after approximately 12 months of science activity.
This spacecraft was safely launched on a DNEPR on June 19th 2014.  The transponder has now
been succesfully tested in space and this mission has the OSCAR designation of European
OSCAR-79 or EO-79. After new flight code was uploaded by ISIS BV to the spacecraft during
October 2016 the transponder is now fully operational. It operates to a special schedule
which maintains a positive power budget on baord. Currently the transponder switches on
after the spacecraft has been in sunlight for 27 minutes and switches off 25 minutes later.

FUNcube-4 - a payload on the ESEO mission. ESEO is a 20kg class microsat which incorporates
experimental payloads from a number of universities around Europe. The FUNcube payload will
provide similar telemetry to its predecessors but will have a more powerful transmitter and
thus be even easier to hear. For amateurs, this payload will also provide a single channel
L/V transponder for FM.  These downlinks will be transmitted on 145.930 MHz and the uplink
will be on 1263.500 MHz. The ESEO project is being funded by the ESA Education Office.
The launch date for this mission has not yet been confirmed.

FUNcube-5 on Nayif-1 - Nayif-1 is a 1U Cubesat project being developed by the Emirates
Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in partnership with students at the
American University of Sharjah (AUS) This mission is intended to provide Emirati students
with a tool to design and test systems in space.  It will carry a complete, and enhanced,
FUNcube communications package to provide educational outreach telemetry and an amateur
transponder. The FUNcube team has worked closely with the Emirati students, in collaboration
with support partner, ISIS - Innovative Solutions In Space B.V. from the Netherlands, to
develop this new system in time for the launch which is now planned for Feb 15th 2017.
More details can be found on the news pages.

AMSAT-UK has more than 450 individual members and is one of more than 20 such groups worldwide.
AMSAT-UK teams have provided hardware for more than 10 satellites over the past 35+ years.

The FUNcube project has been partially funded by The Radio Communications Foundation.
This is a Registered Charity (Number 1100694) set up in 2003 to fund efforts to bring the
wonders of radio into the classrooms, universities and any other public place where hands
on demonstration can influence understanding. Visit

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