F-1 (satellite)

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File:F-1 CubeSat Flight Model.jpg
Flight Model of F-1
Mission type Education
Operator FPT/ASTC
Mission duration Failed to contact ground
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type 1U CubeSat
Launch mass 1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 21 July 2012, 02:06 (2012-07-21UTC02:06Z) UTC[1]
Rocket H-IIB
Launch site Tanegashima Y2
Deployed from ISS
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.65 degrees

F-1 is a 1U CubeSat built by FSpace laboratory at FPT University in Vietnam, in partnership with Angstrom Space Technology Center (ASTC), Uppsala University and NanoRacks LLC. Its mission is to train young engineers and students about aerospace engineering and evaluate an advanced 3-axis magnetometer (SDTM) designed in Sweden by ASTC.[2]

F-1 was launched on 21 July 2012 and delivered to International Space Station (ISS) aboard Kounotori 3 along with the Raiko, We Wish, Niwaka and TechEdSat cubesats. Then, on October 4, 2012, it was deployed into orbit from ISS using JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) which was attached to the Kibo module's robotic arm.[3][4] As of November 2, 2012, F-1 failed to confirm communication after the orbital deployment.[5]

File:CubeSats launched by ISS Expedition 33.jpg
CubeSats deployed to orbit from the International Space Station on 4 October 2012 (from left: TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1).


  • Structure: aluminum alloy T-6061
  • Power supply: body-mounted solar cells, rechargeable Li-Polymer battery
  • PIC16 and PIC18 micro-controllers
  • Yaesu VX-3R handheld transceivers
  • C328 low-resolution camera
  • Temperature sensors
  • 3-axis magnetometer (ASTC)
  • 2 meter band Dipole Antenna
  • 70cm band Dipole Antenna


F-1 and companion CubeSats at Tsukuba Space Center, June 2012
  • Size: 10x10x10cm (1U cubesat)
  • Mass: 1 kg
  • Communication: 02 independent radios using amateur radio VHF & UHF bands, transmission speed 1200bit/s; AFSK & PWM Morse code modulation, KISS protocol
  • Payload: low resolution C328 camera (640×480 maximum resolution, 8 bit color)
  • Sensors: temperature sensors and 3-axis magnetometer
  • Targeted orbit lifetime: at least 3 months on orbit (depend on release altitude from the ISS)

Communication Subsystem and Packet Format

File:Memorial pins on F-1 resize.JPG
Memorial pins on F-1 resize

1. Backup UHF channel (only operational in daylight):

  • Frequency: 437.485 MHz
  • Modulation: Narrow FM
  • Power: about 0.2W RF output
  • Antenna: half-wave dipole
  • Beacon interval: 20 seconds duration, repeated every 90 seconds

Pulse-Width-Modulation Morse code telemetry beacon

No1 Data Description Size (bits) Size (chars)
1 F-1’s callsign “XV1VN” 5
2 OBC1 reset count Number of OBC1’s reset since the beginning 8
3 Temperature 1 °C (temperature inside F-1, OBC board) 8 5
4 Temperature 2 °C (temperature outside F-1, Y- side) 8
5 Checksum bit 0 if summary of items #2 to #4 is even, 1 if it is odd 1
Total 10

2. Main VHF channel (operational during night time but may be turned on in daylight later)

  • Frequency: 145.980 MHz
  • Modulation scheme: AFSK/FM
  • Power: 1.0W RF output
  • Antenna: half-wave dipole
  • Baud rate: 1200bit/s
  • Telemetry and interval: one burst of 3 telemetry packets in KISS format every 30 seconds (interval configurable)

F-1’s KISS packet format

No Data Description Size (bit)
1 Date time Date: dd/mm/y: 5/4/3=12 bits
Time: hh/mm/ss: 5/6/6=17 bits
2 Battery voltage Battery voltage multiplied by 100 (divide by 100 to get actual value) 11
3 Solar cells voltage Solar cells voltage multiplied by 10 (divide by 10 to get actual value) 8
4 Temperature 1 °C (side 1, Y+) 8
5 Temperature 2 °C (side 2, Y-) 8
6 Temperature 3 °C (side 3, X-) 8
7 Temperature 4 °C (side 4, Z+) 8
8 Temperature 5 °C (side 5, Z-) 8
9 Temperature 6 °C (side 6, X+) 8
10 Temperature 7 °C (inside side 5, Z-) 8
11 Temperature 8 °C (inside, under VX-3R1) 8
Total 112 bits = 14 bytes


  • F-1 periodically sends a burst of 3 telemetry packets with the same content, to avoid loss of packet
  • Time in UTC, 24 hours format
  • Year count starting from 2012 (2012 equals 0, 2013 equals 1 and so on…)
  • Battery voltage reading is accurate to 0.01V, values are multiplied by 100. Divide by 100 to get actual value.
  • Solar cells voltage reading is accurate to 0.1V, values are multiplied by 10. Divide by 10 to get actual value.
  • Temperature readings from sensors, will be added with 100 before transmission to ensure a positive number so please subtract 100 to get actual value
  • 112 bits, divide to 14 chunks of 8 bits, each chunk becomes one byte


  1. Bergin, Chris (20 July 2012). "Japanese H-IIB launches HTV-3 to the International Space Station". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 21 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gunter Dirk Krebs (July 21, 2012). "F-1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved July 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 大塚実 (January 25, 2012). "JAXA、宇宙ステーションから超小型衛星を放出できる装置をプレス公開" (in Japanese). mynavi.jp. Retrieved February 1, 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 「きぼう」日本実験棟からの小型衛星放出ミッション (in Japanese). JAXA. October 5, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Attempt to recover the F-1 Amateur Radio CubeSat". November 3, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links