[amsat-bb] Amateur communication satelliteshttps://mail.aol.com/webmail-std
n8hm at arrl.net
Wed Jun 29 15:30:51 UTC 2016
The amateur satellite fleet is mostly not aging. AO-7, FO-29, and
SO-50 are the exceptions and only comprise 25% of the active
satellites available for hams to work.
The other currently active satellites available for communication worldwide are:
AO-73 (launched 2013, available in eclipse and on weekends)
AO-85 (launched 2015, available 24/7)
ISS APRS digipeater (available most of the time, except during school
contacts. spacewalks, and docking/undocking)
LilacSat-2 (launched 2015, available sporadically when command station
is available to turn it on)
NO-84 (launched 2015, PSK31 transponder available 24/7 + APRS
digipeater available as power budget permits)
UKube-1 (launched 2014, seemingly available 24/7 for now)
XW-2A (launched 2015, available 24/7)
XW-2C (launched 2015, available 24/7)
XW-2F (launched 2015, available 24/7)
A summary of available satellites and selected satellites scheduled
for launch is available on the AMSAT website at
Several satellites have been launched (some quite recently) with the
promise of different forms of digital or analog communications
facilities. Some have failed to come to pass because of satellite
failure, which is natural. In several other cases, the satellite
operator has failed to provide any information about it to the amateur
community at large or seemingly ignored the promises of a secondary
There may also be several under development that we simply don't know
about yet. The XW-2 satellites only became known to the amateur
satellite community about four months prior to launch. AMSAT
Argentina's LUSEX transponder was discussed briefly last year, but the
details didn't become widely known until a few months ago.
I know there are quite a few projects that are at various stages of
development. I know of examples from Turkey, Japan, Thailand, and Cuba
all carrying transponders for amateur use. I have no idea how far
along those projects are of if they will ever come to fruition, but
they are out there.
I certainly agree that we need to convince anyone building an amateur
satellite to include transponder capability, even as a secondary
mission after the end of the primary mission. This capability is
already built into several satellites - nearly any satellite that uses
an ISIS full-duplex cubesat transceiver can be commanded into a
loopback mode that allows it to be used as an FM-to-DSB single channel
transponder (similar to AO-16). We just need to convince the operators
to command them into that mode when they are done with their
satellite! Triton-1 (launched on the same DNEPR launch as AO-73) was
supposed to be put into that mode at the conclusion of it's primary
mission, but that has not come to pass.
As far as US-built and launched amateur communications satellites,
Bob's regulatory challenges are unique to his particular situation,
but AMSAT-NA has already launched one 10 months ago, AO-85 (in orbit,
operational, and generally available 24/7), and has three more
scheduled to launch within the next seven months (Fox-1Cliff & Fox-1D
in Fall 2016, RadFxSat / Fox-1B in January 2017). A fifth, RadFxSat-2
/ Fox-1E has been selected for a NASA CSLI launch as well.
All of this discussion is ignoring the pending launch of Es'HailSat-2
with AMSAT-DL's geostationary P4A payload and the progress on AMSAT-NA
& Virginia Tech's P4B geosynchronous payload mission. There are lots
of exciting things in motion and we are definitely not in danger of
running out of things orbiting the earth for amateur radio operators
to communicate through any time soon.
On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 10:47 AM, RSoifer1--- via AMSAT-BB
<amsat-bb at amsat.org> wrote:
> Good thought, Edson. I hope someone follows through on it.
> Kevin and others, let's also bear in mind that most of the satellites being
> built today for operation in the amateur bands are coming from outside
> North America. There are hundreds of them; to get an idea, look at the IARU
> frequency coordination data base at _www.iaru.org/satellite_
> (http://www.iaru.org/satellite) . Very few of these are communication transponders.
> Wouter, AMSAT-UK, and a few others are doing a great job; we need more of them.
> Within the US, when someone like Bob, WB4APR, tries to build amateur
> communication sats, he runs into needless obstacles from FCC and NTIA.
> The purpose of this thread is to encourage more people, inside and outside
> the US, to consider building amateur comm sats. Especially outside North
> America, there are more launch opportunities than we might think.
> 73 Ray W2RS
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> to all interested persons worldwide without requiring membership. Opinions expressed
> are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the official views of AMSAT-NA.
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