On board the tiny spacecraft is an experiment, part of the QB50 project, designed to “explore the lower thermosphere, for re-entry research and in-orbit demonstration of technologies and miniaturised sensors”, as reported in earlier editions of the WIA broadcast.
At the May 2017 CARP meeting Jason Boyer N6EY gave a great presentation on Space Communications. In the presentation he discussed types of amateur radio satellites and communications methods to utilize them.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) reports it has met a major milestone and now is “one giant step” closer to flying its new interoperable radio system to the International Space Station. Eventual plans call for installing a new JVC Kenwood TM-D710GA-based radio system on the station as part of an overall approach that will allow greater interoperability between the Columbus module and the Russian Service Module.
Several CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads were placed into orbit on January 16 from the International Space Station (ISS). Six CubeSats delivered to the ISS in December were deployed from the Kibo airlock using the new JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).
The amateur radio CubeSat Tomsk-TPU-120 may be deployed during a Russian spacewalk (EVA) in July 2017.
The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University to test new space materials technology and is the world’s first space vehicle with a 3D-printed structure. It was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel.
ARISS-International delegates met November 15-18 at the International Space Center Conference Facility in Houston, Texas, to celebrate 20 years of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) and to continue planning for the years ahead. More than 50 delegates and guests from Russia, Japan, Italy, German, the UK, and North America took part, and teleconferencing let individuals unable to attend in person to join the proceedings. Special guests at the conference included Astronauts Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, and Ken Cameron, KB5AWP, and Cosmonaut Aleksandr Poleshchuk, RV3DP. An international group interested in installing and operating an Amateur Radio station on the ISS first met in November 1996 at Johnson Space Center, and ARISS was born as a result of that gathering.
The AlSat-1N and Prathamsatellites, both carrying Amateur Radio payloads, have both been heard and identified following the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV-C35 mission launch on September 26. Reports are requested. Reports on AMSAT-BB indicate the Pratham CW beacon on 145.980 MHz is active.
The 3U AlSat-1N CubeSat was built in collaboration with the Algerian Space Agency, the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Surrey Space Centre (SSC) staff, and Algerian students as a technology transfer and demonstrator for Algeria.
Conventional lines of communication can be impacted after a disaster. This we know. Phone lines can go down, cell service can be overrun with calls, texts, and emails and it can be difficult for survivors as well as first responders to get in touch. This isn’t a far-fetched scenario or intellectual exercise. It’s a reality we’ve seen happen over and over during disasters small and large.
Enter Amateur Radio—or what those involved in the hobby refer to as “ham radio.”
Well-known AMSAT figure and Virginia Tech researcher Bob McGwier, N4HY, says the Amateur Radio payload planned to go into geosynchronous orbit in 2017 will be like “a new ham band” for the Americas, available every hour of every day. McGwier, a research professor in Virginia Tech’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of Research for the Hume Center for National Security and Technology, said the satellite’s geosynchronous orbit also makes it viable for emergency and disaster communication. AMSAT-NAannounced in April that Amateur Radio would be a “hosted payload” on the geosynchronous satellite that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of California is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government.