1) Do the participants pay for something more than delivery fees?
Participation in the APRS (Automatic Position Report System) competition is free of cost. The additional cost would be the budget for their designed board.
2) As there are many APRS boards that will be implemented, will there be some form of RF shielding for each of them?
Yes, RF shielding for each board is one of the requirements.
3) What is the meaning of ‘Quality of application’ in Phase 1?
The quality of application means clarity, form, grammar, organization, etc.
4) How will the transmission license be managed? May APRS board transmit with the participants’ ID from their countries?
The call sign will be assigned by Japan since the application will be made in Japan.
5) How much is the gap between each board?
The gap between each board will be clearly defined on ICD before the beginning of the second phase.
6) Are participants allowed to transmit data over UHF? As UHF has a higher baud rate than VHF?
No, participants are not allowed to use it. UHF will be used for satellite telemetry uplink and downlink.
7) What is emergency data transmission? For example, SOS cannot be transmitted in real time. As the area may not be under satellite’s line of sight. What type of emergency data may be transmitted?
The scope of the mission is to make uplink of any kind of APRS message not specially for SOS data transmission, but we will use store and forward of the APRS message, so when there is a pass over the ground station the message can be repeated.
8) Is there any preference or standard guideline about Code Base? Is there any guidelines about microcontrollers that can be suggested to be used? Like, STM, Teensy etc
We are open to any type of microcontrollers, but we have a standard communication protocol between the Mission Boss and the MCU which usually will be UART. If the MCU can use this communication it must be fine, but more details will be presented in the ICD.
9) When is the initial iteration of the ICD expected to be released?
We will share it as soon as possible.
10) About the environmental test, the flight model PCB should be tested before sending it to Japan?
Environmental tests will be conducted in Kyutech, but other communication tests (functional tests) will be performed before sending the boards to Kyutech.
11) What is the meaning of the handled ground station term?
Handled means the antenna is not fixed, it is a portal connecting with the battery. Ex. the mobile
12) What is the support available from the Competition?
BIRDS-X ‘APRS Competitions will support all the participants technically, by continuous webinars within the whole time of competition for each phase. Answering any technical questions according to the mission requirements, supporting each team with technical documents as ICD, to complete their board according to mission requirements. There is no budget support from Kyutech side, each team needs to find their budget source by their own; that is why the budget plan is a term of evaluation points. And evaluating requirement for the budget plan will not be evaluated according to the amount of money, it will be evaluated according if the budget is realistic or not, and if the budget is fitting the purpose of the mission or not. The amount of budget depends on your APRS payload board requirements.
13) Is there any kind of ADCS in the satellite?
There is no ADCS subsystem in the satellite.
14) Is there any maximum power restriction for each APRS board?
This information will be detailed on the ICD
15) What is FM in the Board Model Example?
At APRS Payload block diagram, FM refers to Flash Memory. The APRS board DEPENDS ON the store and forward technique, during the competition we need to download the APRD Packet to evaluate some parameters as the data rate, speed of transition etc. For that the key role of the FM is storing the data for each board and downloading it through MCU.
16) According to the APRS Payload diagram, there is TNC, if it is possible to use software to design TNC?
The APRS Reference payload will be designed as hardware, but each team is free to choose how to design its own TNC, hardware or software, provided that the design fits the mission’s purpose.
17) Is it possible for the participants to add sensors for the APRS Payload, and receive specific data according to their needs?
During the evaluation period, we will use control data and each team will send the same data for evaluation at first. After the competition, the winning team will have permission to receive their own required data. According to the power budget limitations, the team can add sensors as it is not over-limited.
18)According to the competition, there are seven APRS payloads, two developed by Kyutech and the other five boards received from the winners. How could satellite be able to change the antenna for receiving data?
One of APRS Kyutech payloads will be connected with one directed antenna, the other 6 APRS Payloads will be controlled by RF switches from Kyutech side by Mission Boss.
19) For the APRS Payload power lines, will participants use 3.3 v or 5v power lines?
According to the APRS Payload diagram, there are two switches, one outside the APRS Payload controlled from Kyutech side, and the other with the APRS payload they can control the 3.3 V or 5v. SO EVERY TEAM BE ABLE TO USE 3.3.v OR 5V. OR BOTH OF THEM.
20) Is there a Template for Applications?
Yes. We have a Template for application for phase 1, it is already avalilable on our website, Please refer to this link :
21) When is the flight model required?
The flight model is required for December 2024