There was a lot of interest in the FUNcube satellite from the science teachers of Thanet, Kent, at an after school teacher training session run by the Hilderstone Radio Club. Pfizer Ltd have bought the necessary equipment to pick up the signals from the satellite, following advice from the club, as part of a â€˜Space Lab in a boxâ€™ which schools can borrow. John Hislop G7OHO and Matt Payne M0MLK explained how the science curriculum can be enhanced by real science data from the satellite.
There are many areas of physics covered by the satellite such as Newtonâ€™s laws of motion, the Doppler effect, heat radiation and absorption as well as radio communications. The dongle can be used with SDR software so that pupils can actually see the modulation of signals such as FM on the computer screen. The students of the University of Kentâ€™s Tinker Society were similarly excited by the possibilities of amateur radio when four members of the club went to their meeting. Ten students are keen to obtain their foundation licence so a start was made on their practical assessments with a VHF QSO. The club held its first buildathon on a Saturday morning with some short projects for members to complete. The photo shows Ian Lowe G0PDZ and his son Ben building a dummy load.