The CubeSat PicSat carrying an amateur radio FM transponder was launched on the same PSLV-C40 flight from India that delivered AO-92 to orbit.
PicSat is a nano-satellite aimed at observing the transit of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b in front of its bright and equally young star Beta Pictoris, and at demonstrating an innovative technological concept to use optical fibres for astronomical observations from Space.
The first Amateur Radio satellite to employ the D-Star digital voice and data format — D-Star One — was among about 20 secondary payloads lost on November 28 after an otherwise nominal launch of a three-stage Soyuz 2.1 booster from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far reaches of eastern Russia. The mission carried the Russian Meteor M2-1 satellite — the primary payload — as well as a Canadian Telestar experimental satellite, and 17 other secondary payloads, including D-Star One. According to reports, a fault occurred in the sophisticated and autonomous Fregat upper stage, which, after separating from the launch vehicle, inserts multiple spacecraft into their respective orbits. A so-called “space tug,” Fregat has been in service for nearly 2 decades and has suffered three previous failures. Russian space agency Roscosmos is investigating the Fregat failure.
The Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) onboard the Canadian CAScade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite will again support Amateur Radio citizen science by listening for signals during ARRL Field Day, June 24-25. The HamSCI citizen science initiative says that, from a radio science perspective, Field Day is an ideal time for e-POP to study the structure of Earth’s ionosphere using participants’ transmissions. HamSCI was started by ham-scientists who study upper atmospheric and space physics.
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.