ISS CubeSats deployed Monday, October 5

GomX-3 being built - Credit ESA

GomX-3 being built – Credit ESA

Two Danish CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were successfully deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, October 5 at 1405 UT.

AAUSat-5 and Deployer - Credit ESA

AAUSat-5 and Deployer – Credit ESA

Originally launched to the ISS on August 19, 2015, the two CubeSats, AAUSat-5 and GomX-3, were deployed from the ISS Japanese Kibo module airlock using the Kibo robotic arm.

After deployment the CubeSats stated transmitting signals to Earth that can be picked up by anyone with common amateur radio equipment. The frequencies to listen on are:

• AAUSat-5 – 437.425 MHz with 30 WPM CW beacon every 3 minutes and 9600 bps GMSK packet every 30 seconds

• GomX-3 – 437.250 MHz with 1200-9600 bps GMSK data using CSP protocol

AAUSat-5 received by Jan van Gills PE0SAT on October 5, 2015 at 1800 UT

AAUSat-5 received by Jan van Gills PE0SAT on October 5, 2015 at 1800 UT

AAUsat-5 is a 1-Unit CubeSat built by students at Aalborg University. The primary mission is to test an improved receiver for detecting Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals emitted by ships. Down on the ground, these signals are short-range, operating mainly on a ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship basis, leaving large spans of the world’s oceans uncovered. But signals also travel up to orbital altitude, opening up the prospect of worldwide monitoring.

GomX-3 is a 3-Unit CubeSat which aims to demonstrate new radio technology. A reconfigurable software-defined radio receiver will intercept L-band spot beams from telecom satellites in geostationary orbit, to provide independent measurements of their signal strength and quality. This receiver can also be repurposed to receive any other L-band signal, such as navigation satellite signals or radar beams.

A receiver will pick up Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) signals automatically broadcast by civilian aircraft, to build up an overview of regional air traffic.

GomX-3 received by Mineo Wakita JE9PEL October 5, 2015 from 1505-1515 UT

GomX-3 received by Mineo Wakita JE9PEL October 5, 2015 from 1505-1515 UT

Additionally there is a high data rate X-band transmitter developed by Syrlinks. The CNES X-band ground station in Kourou, South America, will be used to demonstrate the link.

The GomX-3 amateur radio payload uses a NanoCom AX100 UHF transceiver and ANT430 antenna.

Mineo Wakita JE9PEL in Japan reported receiving the GomX-3 beacon in Japan from 1505-1510 UT on October 5 and Luciano Fabricio PY5LF reported hearing GomX-3 in Brazil at 1605 UT. Jan van Gills PE0SAT in the Netherlands received AAUSat-5 at 1800 UT.

The two spacecraft may have a lifetime of around 7 months before they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

GomX-3 telemetry beacon

AAUSat-5 telemetry beacon

ESA article CubeSats set for Monday Release (with video)

ESA invites radio amateurs to listen for AAUSat-5 CubeSat

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

New OSCAR Satellite Status Page

OSCAR Satellite Status Page

OSCAR Satellite Status Page

Thanks to the efforts of Joe KM1P and Peter 2E0SQL, and with the permission of David KD5QGR, we have set up a copy of the OSCAR satellite status page.

This page will be maintained by multiple volunteers, including myself, and we will be able to add and delete satellites as required, as well as keep information links current. It will take a few days to populate the database, but please begin using this page as soon as possible. In the near future the old page will point to this one for a while, until people get used to the new address.

There are still some satellites to add and delete, so this will be a work in progress for a bit. First and foremost we will delete the reentered sats, and add Fox-1A for next Thursday [Oct 8]!

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations

OSCAR Satellite Status Page

Online satellite orbital predictions

AMSAT-NA VP-Engineering on NASA TV Wednesday

ELaNa XII LogoAMSAT-NA VP-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY will be on the panel at a NASA prelaunch briefing on Wednesday, October 7 at 1800 UT. The briefing will be shown live on NASA TV.

The amateur radio FM transponder CubeSat, AMSAT Fox-1A, will be among 13 CubeSats flying as secondary payloads on the NROL-55 mission which should launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Thursday, October 8, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NASA will be holding two briefings about the launch. The first on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 1700 UT (1pm EDT) will highlight the growing importance of CubeSats in exploration and technology development. The second at 1800 UT (2pm EDT) will discuss five of the CubeSats.

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Jerry Buxton, N0JY will on the panel in the 1800 UT briefing to talk about the Fox mission and science, and answer questions.

Fox-1A is a 1-Unit CubeSat carrying an FM repeater that will allow simple ground stations using an HT and an “Arrow” or “Elk” type antenna to make contacts using the satellite.

Data Under Voice (DUV) is used to send 200 bps FSK telemetry data at the same time as FM audio. This is achieved by making use of sub-audible frequencies below 200 Hz.

Information on the free Fox telemetry decoder software is at

Read the Fox Operating Guide at

BisonSat CubeSat

BisonSat CubeSat

Among the other CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads is BisonSat, the first satellite developed by Native American tribal college students. Using BisonSat’s 100-meter resolution camera the Salish Kootenai College students hope to acquire images of the Flathead Indian Reservation. Dr. Tom Olson will be on the panel to discuss BisonSat.

BisonSat (Nʷist Q́ʷiq́ʷay in the Salish language)
Beacon 437.375 MHz

Colleges run by Native American tribes are graduating more students in STEM fields

Watch NASA TV at

NASA Sets Coverage Schedule for CubeSat Launch Events

LQSat Launch Wednesday, October 7

A CZ-2D rocket launch

A CZ-2D rocket launch

Wednesday, October 7 should see the launch of LQSat which was developed by researchers and students at the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) and carries an amateur radio payload.

The launch should take place sometime between 0405 and 0430 UT from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in Inner Mongolia on a Chang Zheng 2D (CZ-2D) rocket.

LQSat is technology demonstrator 40x40x60 cm with a mass of 50 kg and carries a 2 m resolution camera as the main payload.

The IARU coordinated downlink frequencies are
• 437.650 MHz at 0.5 watts (27 dBm) with either 25 WPM CW or 4800 bps MSK CSP packet data
• 2404 MHz at 1 watt (30 dBm) using 1 Mbps QPSK

LAPAN-A2 FM and APRS satellite launched

LAPAN-A2 beacon - Iwan Nawi YC3BVG

LAPAN-A2 beacon – Iwan Nawi YC3BVG

The Indonesian amateur radio society ORARI report that on Monday, September 28, 2015 04:30 hours UT, the LAPAN-A2/ORARI satellite was launched from the Sriharikota Range (SHAR) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. Deployment took place  23 minutes later.



LAPAN-A2 is in a 650 km orbit with an inclination of 6 degrees. It takes about 110 minutes to orbit the Earth and should pass over Indonesia and other near equatorial locations 14 times a day.

The low inclination equatorial orbit means it will be receivable from about 30 degrees North to 30 degrees South. About a third of the world’s population, over 2.4 billion people, live within the coverage area of the satellite.

The ground station at the LAPAN Satellite Technology Centre in Rancabungur, Bogor has made contact with LAPAN-A2. There will now be a period of activation and testing of all the satellite systems and it is expected to be about a month before the amateur radio payload becomes available for general use.

The primary aims of the mission are Earth observation using an RGB camera and maritime traffic monitoring using AIS, both using frequencies outside the Amateur Satellite Service.

The IARU has coordinated these frequencies for LAPA-A2/ORARI:
• 437.425 MHz telemetry beacon
• 435.880 MHz FM uplink
• 145.880 MHz FM downlink (5 watts)
• 145.825 APRS digipeater (5 watts)

The archipelago of Indonesia is part of the global “ring of fire” experiencing frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, eruption of volcanoes, and floods. From past experience, the ground communication infrastructure is often damaged, limiting the ability to coordinate the aid effort in the stricken region. A satellite based telecommunication system is usually the only means of communication.

The LAPAN-A2 microsatellite carries the amateur radio short text message repeater (APRS) and a voice repeater. The APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System ) and the voice communication payload is developed by LAPAN using the LAPAN-TUBSAT UHF/VHF radio heritage along with a COTS APRS modem. The primary application of APRS is intended for communications in support of disaster mitigation and relief efforts.

LAPAN-A2 on the Earth Observation Portal

Listen to a recording of the 437.425 MHz telemetry signal at

Satellite tracking information

AMSAT-ID Facebook Group

Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia (ORARI) in Google English

LAPAN-A2 paper

The IARU Region 3 Conference takes place in Bali, Indonesia, October 12-16, 2015

Ofcom clarifies position on SES call signs

Ofcom-logo-col-tOfcom had said NO to Special Event Station (GB) callsigns being used in the bands above 440 MHz for Amateur Satellite or Terrestrial operation.

The RSGB intervened and Ofcom have now issued revised clarification – Operation above 440 MHz with SES (GB) calls is permitted, so is operation in the 5 MHz segments.

It appears the SES call sign application form OfW287 is rather old and doesn’t list all the available bands. Fortunately that doesn’t matter since the NoV issued for the SES call sign is not band specific.

Well done RSGB !

September 22 – Special Event Callsigns and Microwave Bands

UK Microwave Group Yahoo Reflector

The Radio Society of Great Britain is inviting all radio amateurs in the UK and Crown Dependencies to complete an online questionnaire. You can find the survey at

Essex Ham interviewed RSGB President John Gould G3WKL about the 2015 Amateur Radio Survey. Listen to the interview at

Beijing launches three more amateur radio satellites

Chang Zheng-11 (CZ-11) launch September 25, 2015

Chang Zheng-11 (CZ-11) launch September 25, 2015

On September 25, 2015 at 01:41 UT Beijing launched three satellites with amateur radio payloads from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in the Gobi desert, Inner Mongolia. They were carried on a new launcher, Beijing’s first solid-fuel rocket Chang Zheng 11 (CZ-11), and deployed in a 470 x 485 km, 97.3 degree inclination Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

This launch occurred just over 5 days after nine satellites carrying amateur radio payloads were launched by Beijing from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in Shanxi on September 19 at 23:01 UT.

The satellites were developed by students at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in collaboration with the Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites (SECM).

The main goal of the mission is to experiment with Software Defined Radio (SDR) in space. The amateur radio payloads will be used for exchanging Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) information with the amateur radio ground control station. Information about the telemetry will be made publicly available so that radio amateurs around the world may track and monitor the health of the satellites.

A Tianwang-1 2U CubeSat

A Tianwang-1 2U CubeSat

Other payloads include a video camera along with receivers for dual-band GPS/Beidou, Maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Aeronautical Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B).

Using MEMS based cold-gas micropropulsion it is planned to demonstrate formation flying by two of the CubeSats along with inter satellite communication using GAMALINK 2.4 GHz spread spectrum at 1 Mbps and the CubeSat Space Protocol (CSP).

The TW-1A and TW-1B CubeSats are 2U (20x10x10cm) in size while TW-1C is 3U (30x10x10cm).

Michael Chen BD5RV reports the satellites have these downlinks in the 435-438 MHz ITU Amateur Satellite Service allocation:
• Tianwang-1A (TW-1A / SECM): Camera, 435.645 MHz GMSK 4800/9600 CSP TX interval 10s
• Tianwang-1B (TW-1B / NJUST-2): AIS, 437.645 MHz GMSK 4800/9600 CSP TX interval 20s
• Tianwang-1C (TC-1C / NJFA-1): ADS-B, 435.645 MHz GMSK 4800/9600 CSP TX interval 10s
Note: TW-1A and 1C use the same frequency.

On the same launch was the technology demonstration satellite Pujian-1 which has WiFi for intra-satellite communications.

Object identification from information supplied by Nico Janssen PA0DLO and Zhang Xuan BH4DBE:
TW-1A object 40928, 2015-051B
TW-1B object 40927, 2015-051C, (other IDs: TianWang 1B, NJUST-2)
TW-1C object 40926, 2015-051D
Pujian 1 object 40925, 2015-051A
Chang Zheng 11 (CZ-11) fourth stage object 40929, 2015-051E

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ for new satellites launched in past 30 days

Shanghai Engineering Centre for Microsatellites


IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages

Satellite tracking information

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

LilacSat-2 FM Transponder Schedule

Receiving LilacSat-2, Sept 20, 2015 - Harbin Institute Of Technology Amateur Radio Club BY2HIT

Receiving LilacSat-2, Sept 20, 2015 Harbin Institute Of Technology Amateur Radio Club BY2HIT

Wei Mingchuan, BG2BHC, reports that the amateur radio FM voice transponder on the LilacSat-2 satellite should now be activated on a regular basis. LilacSat-2 is scheduled to switch on the FM transponder for 24 hours at about 2200 UT each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

First LilacSat-2 infrared image Sept 24, 2015

First LilacSat-2 infrared image Sept 24, 2015

The FM transponder (and APRS) downlink is 437.200 MHz, remember the Doppler shift on the downlink during a pass will be about +/- 10 kHz. If your radio has selectable FM filters use the wider filter designed for 5 kHz deviation FM, sometimes referred to as a 25 kHz channel spacing filter.

LilacSat-2 was deployed into a 528 km by 551 km 97.5 degree inclination orbit. The NASA Orbital Lifetime Software indicates the satellite might remain in orbit for 18 years before reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

On September 24, 2015 the student team at the Harbin Institute of Technology successfully downloaded the first infrared image from the satellite.

Frequency information is given on the LilacSat-2 Radio Info page

Harbin Institute Of Technology Amateur Radio Club BY2HIT
Web in Google English:

AMSAT-UK LilacSat-2 page with tracking links

LilacSat-2 and some of the team

LilacSat-2 and some of the team

ESA invites radio amateurs to listen for AAUSAT-5 CubeSat

AAUSat-5 and Deployer - Credit ESA

AAUSat-5 and Deployer – Credit ESA

The AAUSAT-5 amateur radio CubeSat built by students at the University of Aalborg, Denmark is planned to be released from the International Space Station sometime in the week of October 5.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is inviting radio amateurs to listen out for the signals from the satellite. The first to send in a recorded signal from AAUSAT-5 will receive a prize from ESA’s Education Office.

Launched on August 19, 2015 to the ISS, the Danish student CubeSat is now waiting for its deployment from the Japanese Kibo module’s airlock. An astronaut will manipulate the Kibo robotic arm to lift AAUSAT-5 from the airlock and place it in orbit.

Once deployed from the ISS the CubeSat will begin transmitting signals to Earth that can be picked up by anyone with common amateur radio equipment. ESA challenges anyone to record the signal and send it to ESA ( and Aalborg University (

The satellite will transmit on 437.425 MHz using CW and GMSK. The 30 WPM CW beacon will transmit every 3 minutes and the 9600 bps GMSK every 30 seconds.

The first correct email received will win the following prizes:
• ESA/AAUSAT5 poster with signatures of the team members
• ESA Education goodie bag
• Scale 1:1 3D printed model of the AAUSAT-5 satellite

Read the ESA article at

AAUSAT-5 amateur radio information

ESA AAUSAT-5 Twitter hashtag #AAUSAT5

Danish CubeSats head for ISS

Fox Telemetry Decoder Software Available

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Chris Thompson G0KLA reports on the AMSAT Bulletin Board that the telemetry decoder software for the Fox FM transponder CubeSats is now available for download. At the time of writing Fox-1A was scheduled to be launched on Ocober 8, 2015 with Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D slated for early 2016.

Version 1.0 of the FoxTelem software, the Fox Telemetry Decoder is being released to enable setup, testing, and debugging of your Fox-1A ground station prior to the launch of the satellite. FoxTelem is used to demodulate, store and analyze telemetry data from AMSAT’s Fox series of CubeSats.

Fox-1 satellites include two telemetry formats:

Fox1-Cliff-Logo+ Slow Speed, also called Data Under Voice (DUV) is 200 bps FSK data sent at the same time as the transponder audio. Whenever the transmitter is on, data is being sent. This happens during beacons and during live QSOs.

+ High Speed is 9600 bps FSK sent instead of the transponder. This is used for data intensive experiments such as the Virginia Tech Camera. This is only active when commanded from the ground. You can recognize High Speed because it sounds like an old school computer modem.

FoxTelem will receive and store both formats assuming you can feed it audio that does not have the frequencies below 200 Hz filtered.  For High Speed, the audio must also extend to include the full 9600bps bandwidth of the FM signal. For both modes this is best achieved from a Software Defined Radio or from the 9600 bps packet port of some radios. The FoxTelem User Guide provides more details.

Fox-1D-LogoFoxTelem is supplied as an archive file (.zip on windows, .dmg file on MacOs, .gzip on Linux). Links for downloading can be found at
You can unzip the contents and put it in the directory of your choice. Also, detailed in the User Guide, are instructions to select the sound source and set received audio levels on your computer.

Until Fox-1A is launched you can confirm everything is working by testing with test wav file which will be available from:
Access to the test file is accomplished by selecting “Load Wav File” from the FoxTelem File menu, then navigate to the directory where you saved the test wav file. Once you press the start button the file will play through the decoder.

The FoxTelem page can also be accessed from the main AMSAT web page: –> Fox Project –> FoxTelem Software for Windows, Mac, & Linux

The direct link to the page is:

Fox-Cam page