Hello TAMSAT Friends. When we first founded (TAMSAT) Association of Amateur Satellite Technologies approximately two years ago, we have made a big commitment. Our commitment was to develop technology in Turkey, not any technology, but a complex one related to space systems. I am sure during this time period those of you, who have been following us up, were wondering about the progress that has been made to realize this mission. In this article, I want to share with you an amazing adventure that we experienced in these two years.
I don’t want to limit this with technological narration, but also tell you about how our members, who work simultaneously in different corners of the world, did what they do and why we waited all this time to submit our work to you. It was a long path filled with hard work, patience and long tests. The group of articles to be published after this introductory one, will be about the ‘Internal Housekeeping Unit – IHU’ of our satellite. I just want to mention that this unit may also be referred as OBC – On Board Computer in some articles, but we are going to stick with ‘IHU’ as it has been a standard within The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) world.
We want to share some very good news later in this first article . The IHU, which is the first module of the series has a very special place for us, the hardware was originally produced in May of 2011.
The circuit design was realized utilizing EAGLE s/w, by one of our members, Barbaros ASUROGLU, whom Turkish Radio Amateurs are familiar with, through his work on PIC. After the primary tests on the IHU and the prototype were done first on computer, then on the test platform, a printed circuit in the standard PC104 was designed by Osman DALAMAN, another TAMSAT member. The circuit was tested once before it was transferred on PCB by a local printed circuit manufacturer in Istanbul. After this process the SMD circuit components were mounted on card by Osman DALAMAN. After the completion of the first IHU prototype, a second IHU prototype was prepared with the same diligence.
These two IHU prototypes, traveled a long way by land and by air in their special little nests, without any complications and reached us in the USA for the software tests. After careful planning these two IHU prototypes and two VHF/UHF receiver cards, also original products of TAMSAT were lucky enough to participate annual Dayton Radio Amateurs Convention – 2011, as surprise guests.
The reception of these first products of TAMSAT in Dayton, honored us. These 4 prototype circuits, without any software on them, brought an unexpected prestige to TAMSAT in the USA, which we will share with you later.
The hardware was tested by TAMSAT continuously and under a variety of different circumstances, between May 2011 and December 2011.
Then it was time for the toughest trial of all. The IHU was uploaded by a special software after Mr. Asuroglu’s last test and controls and was sent to Istanbul Technical University – Space Systems Design and Test Laboratories (ITU – USTTL), which is one of the two centers in Turkey authorized to run these test in this field. With this hard testing period, TAMSAT also entered a period of nervous expectancy.
And now, the good news that we mentioned before; the TAMSAT – IHU, a complete product of Turkish Engineers and a first in its field, passed all the tests and became our first licensed product to work under real space conditions.
It is my honor and duty to thank to our members Barbaros ASUROGLU and Osman DALAMAN for their sacrifice and hard work for producing our first IHU.
TAMSAT started this hard journey with a very small group of dedicated people and the mission of realizing a first in Turkey, now it is getting bigger not only with the technology it is creating, but also with your support. Right now, our base covers a variety of professionals from electronic engineers to teachers, from astronomers to civil engineers, from students to faculty. If you want to be a contributor please contact with us immediately, our doors are always open to all our friends who shares our mission.
Looking forward to share new, more detailed and informative article with you.
Levent Sasmazel, TA0L
TAMSAT – Project Coordinator