Monday, February 9, 2009

News from Vietnam

Inspired by our Open Source Communication Lab, our friends from Vietnam have started to play with software radios using the USRP and GNU Radio. After a few weeks of study they are now able to receive Automatic Picture Transmissions from the NOAA weather satellites as well as signals from current amateur radio satellites in low Earth orbit.

Inevitably, they have now formed a group of young engineers who are interested in ham radio, electronics, robots, astronomy and space exploration. At the moment, they work in the newly established FSpace lab of FPT Corp. where Thu (who is active on our forum) used to be a software engineer. He has now quit that job to pursuit his dream of space exploration.

Their current project is to design and manufacture a nanosatellite which will measure about 10x10x30cm and weight about 3kg. They expect to have it ready in 18 months (starting from 1/1/2009) and launch it to LEO (600-800km, sun-sync orbit) by the end of 2010. This is the first time they've ever worked in a real space mission. While they understand that there are many things to learn and many difficulties ahead, they are confident that they can do it if they try hard. Currently, they have 4 full-time people (Thu and the other 3 in the photo) and about 10 supporters/collaborators of the project.

From Communication Equipment

PS: Thu has recently passed his amateur radio exam and has now the callsign XV9AA.

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