30th Anniversary of UoSAT-1 (OSCAR-9)



Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the launch of Surrey’s first satellite, UoSAT-1. Launched into orbit on October 6, 1981, UoSAT-1 was designed and built by a team from the University of Surrey led by SSTL founder Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO.

UoSAT-1 was also known as UoSAT-OSCAR 9. It was a scientific and educational low-Earth orbit satellite containing many experiments and beacons but no amateur transponders. UO-9 was fully operational until it re-entered October 13, 1989 from a decaying orbit after nine years of service.

UO-9’s mission scored several firsts for technology which would be incorporated into future amateur satellite missions including:

+ The first on-board computer (IHU – Integrated Housekeeping Unit)
+ Battery and attitude management
+ Remote control, and experiments
+ First S-band beacon
+ It carried a CCD camera, a Digitalker speech synthesizer, and transmitted telemetry data on a 145.826 MHz beacon at 1200 baud using asynchronous AFSK.

UoSAT-1 team at Vandenberg Air Force Base

UoSAT-1 team at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Amateur Satellite Operators are also familiar with later SSTL UoSAT developments:

+ UoSAT-2 was designated as UO-11 which can still be heard operating on 145.825 MHz with a beacon transmitting 1200 baud using asynchronous AFSK.

+ UoSAT-3 was designated as UO-14 (no longer operational) and featured an FM Voice Repeater with 145.9750 MHz uplink and 435.0700 MHz downlink.

More history can be found in an interesting article posted on the SpaceDaily.com website: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/SSTL_celebrates_30th_anniversary_of_groundbreaking_satellite_UoSAT_1_999.html

Read the SSTL Press Release http://www.sstl.co.uk/news-and-events?story=1899

The UoSAT-1 Technical Handbook lists these contributors to the project:
Telecommand System and Flight Configuration – Dr. Martin Sweeting G3YJO, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Power Systems – Jerzy Slowikowski, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Telemetry – Dr. Lui Mansi, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Data Beacons – Bob Haining, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Antenna Systems – Tony Brown, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Navigation Magnetometer – Christine Sweeting G6APF, UOS/AMSAT-UK
Spacecraft Microcomputers – Chris Haynes, UOS/AMSAT-UK
HF Beacons – Colin Smithers G4CWH, UOS/AMSAT-UK
CCD Camera Imaging – Dr Paul Taylor, UOS/AMSAT-UK

UoSAT-1 – OSCAR-9 story in Daily Mail Newspaper Archive

Thanks to ANS and SSTL for the above information