Category Archives: AMSAT

ARISS Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Plans for Future of Amateur Radio in Human Spaceflight

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.

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New Satellites with Amateur Radio Payloads Launched, Monitored

The AlSat-1N and Pratham satellites, 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.

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Supporting Disaster Communications from Space

FEMA.gov
by Rafael Lemaitre

Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech
Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech

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.”

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First Geosynchronous Orbit Amateur Radio Payload Could Aid Disaster Communication

ARRL.org
12/24/2015

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-NA announced 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.

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AO-85 Testing November 8 and 9

ARRL.org
11/08/2015

AMSAT has announced that it will be conducting some tests on the new Fox-1A (AO-85) satellite while it is over North America during orbits 444, 448, and 449, and is requesting that users not uplink to the satellite during these periods:

  • Sunday, November 8, 1715 through 1735 UTC
  • Monday, November 9, 0005 through 0025 UTC
  • Monday, November 9, 0145 through 0210 UTC

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USNA APRS/PSK31 CubeSats Offer Something Different

ARRL.org
May 28, 2015

The APRS/PSK31-equipped US Naval Academy satellites appear to be operating, with one exception, according to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. The CubeSats were launched on May 20 from Cape Canaveral. The launch included a pair of 1.5U CubeSats — the PSAT APRS/PSK31 satellite and BRICsat, a propulsion/PSK31 satellite — as well as a 3U CubeSat, USS Langley (Unix Space Server Langley). The launch also included The Planetary Society’s LightSail-1.

PSAT, a student satellite project named in honor of USNA alum Bradford Parkinson, of GPS fame, contains an APRS transponder for relaying remote telemetry, sensor, and user data from remote users and Amateur Radio environmental experiments or other data sources back to Amateur Radio experimenters via a global network of Internet-linked ground stations.

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AMSAT: Amateur Radio Payload Could Share Space on Geosynchronous Satellite

ARRL.org
April 26, 2015

[UPDATED 2015-04-27 1803 UTC] There is big news on the Amateur Radio satellite front. AMSAT-NA has announced that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. As opposed to the more typical low-Earth-orbit, a geosynchronous orbit would permit an earthbound ham at a given point within its footprint to access the satellite at approximately the same time each day. According to AMSAT Vice President-Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, the satellite’s potential footprint would extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT said it’s accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. Past AMSAT Director and former Vice President-Engineering Bob McGwier, N4HY, said the Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by the spring of 2016.

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AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geostationary Orbit

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 116.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE Month Day, 2015
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-116.01

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geostationary Orbit

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite planned for launch in 2017. An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

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Amateur Radio Payloads Share Ride into Space with Soil Moisture Monitoring Satellite

ARRL.org
February 2, 2015

Amateur Radio Payloads Share Ride into Space with Soil Moisture Monitoring Satellite

Four NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNA-X) CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads launched successfully January 31 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. The primary payload for the Delta II launcher was the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. SMAP’s onboard radar will share Amateur Radio spectrum at 1.26 GHz. Amateur Radio is secondary on the 23 centimeter band, which covers 1240 to 1300 MHz.

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