Australian CubeSat to use 76 GHz

The IARU Satellite Coordination Panel has announced the amateur radio frequencies for the Australian 76 GHz CubeSat CUAVA-1 that is expected to launch in July 2019.

CUAVA-1 is a 3U CubeSat and the first CubeSat project of the new ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and their Applications (CUAVA), whose primary aim is the education and training of people, mostly PhD students, for the space sector.

With significant heritage from the QB50 CubeSat INSPIRE-2, CUAVA-1 is a 3U CubeSat that will link with the international radio amateur community for outreach, training, and increased data downloads, observe the Earth with a novel multi-spectral imager, use a GPS instrument to explore radio occultation and the reception of GPS signals scattered off the Earth as well as provide a backup determination of the CubeSat location, investigate plasma environment and associated space weather with radiation detectors, and explore the performance of a new communications payload.

This mission addresses issues of radio technique interesting to the radio amateur community in the following ways:

1) Global Radio Amateur Participation in Mission and Data Downlinking We will work with radio amateurs and other groups to receive and decode the spacecraft beacon and downlinked data, with subsequent transfer to the internet database (ideally the SatNOGS database).

In detail, the CubeSat will transmit data, especially recent images over the terrestrial footprint, to participating radio amateurs across the globe. This will directly involve radio amateurs in the mission and its success, by greatly increasing the overall amount of downlinked data available and having the images be directly relevant to the receiving people. The receiving station and people would be identified in the database and then acknowledged in any publications resulting. The mission’s success will thus be directly tied to the involvement of the international radio amateur community.

In addition, the mission should provide multiple opportunities for enhanced outreach and training for both the global amateur radio satellite communities and CUAVA.

2) Student and Radio Amateur Participation in the Groundstation We will train students and desiring radio amateurs in the setup and use of a groundstation hosted by the University of Sydney and then have these people operate the groundstation (including control of the satellite and managing the uplink and downlink) and transfer downlinked data into an internet database (ideally the SatNOGS database).

This will involve existing radio clubs in the training, increasing their memberships and leading to new clubs and people familiar with the international radio amateur and satellite communities.

3) Radio Wave Propagation The ionosphere, thermosphere, and lower atmosphere have multiple effects on the propagation and absorption of radio waves and microwaves.

This mission will study the electron number density as a function of position, time of day, and space weather events using the “radio occultation’’ of GPS signals and their associated refraction and attenuation. These data will be published and made available for ionospheric research via a website, and provided to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and other space weather organisations worldwide. These data are used to predict maximum and minimum usable frequencies for radio amateurs (and both commercial and government users).

In addition, the GPS signal attenuation and electron number density profiles can be used to extract the amount of water as a function of height and used to predict ordinary weather. This work will also add to knowledge of the orbital environment via the drag forces and decay of satellites depending on the gas and plasma densities.

4) Communication Protocols Modulation techniques that will be investigated for the high-speed communications experiment include QPSK, 16-QAM and CPFM. If successful, this technology for wavelengths below 10 cm will increase the data transfer rates by at least 4 orders of magnitude while also decreasing the sizes of antennas and the associated spacecraft.

This experiment will be relevant to spacecraft-toground and inter-spacecraft communication links and is particularly relevant to radio amateurs, universities, and their students and staff, due to the dramatic increases in data rates and capabilities and associated dramatic reductions in costs.

In addition, the use of multiple frequencies is important for rain (and moisture content) attenuation mitigation techniques, as well as to provide another data stream for weather prediction.

5) Radiation Effects on Electronic Components The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) environment is protected from cosmic rays, solar particles, and particles trapped in the Van Allen Belts by Earth’s magnetic field.

Some portions of LEO do harbour regions of enhanced radiation, in the auroral zones and the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) for example. In addition, transient solar and magnetospheric particle energization events, a major component of space weather, can change the radiation level by orders of magnitude. This radiation can adversely affect spacecraft which pass through them.

This mission will directly measure the counts of energetic particles as a function of space weather activity, position, and time of day, thereby characterising the Earth’s radiation environment. It will also study the effects of the radiation on the computer and other onboard electronics. Examples of effects include single event upsets (SEUs), degraded solar cells, and non-functioning electronics such as radio receivers and transmitters.

6) Attitude and Position Determination Reception and analysis of GPS signals by the onboard GPS receiver will determine the spacecraft’s attitude and location as a function of time, thereby determining the satellite’s orbit.

Comparisons with NORAD radar-derived orbits will test the on-board GPS receiver and measure drag and other effects. These orbits are vital for radio amateurs interested in testing and characterising their radio equipment, as well as in downloading the satellite beacon and data signals for transmission via the web to the satellite project and the international community.

Proposing to downlink telemetry on 9k6 GMSK AX25 on UHF and high speed downlinks on 2.4 GHz, 5.6 GHz and 76 GHz. Planning a launch from Japan in July 2019 into a 400 km orbit.

These frequencies have been coordinated by the IARU:
Downlinks: 437.075 MHz, 2404.000 MHz, 5840 MHz and 76.800 GHz
Uplinks: 145.875 MHz, 2404.000 MHz and 5660.000 MHz

More information on CUAVA-1 can be found at

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages

ARISS SSTV transmissions April 11-14

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ARISS Russia is planning Slow Scan Television (SSTV) image transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station.

UPDATE April 12: Transmissions on Thursday and Friday, April 11/12 had very low audio. Dmitry R4UAB reports the ISS cosmonauts plan to try to fix the issue on Saturday, April 13.

The transmissions begin Thursday, April 11, 2019 around 18:00 UTC and run continuously until approximately 18:00 UTC on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

This event uses a computer in the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using the ARISS amateur radio station located in the Service Module which employs the Kenwood TM D710E transceiver.

Once the event begins the transmissions will be broadcast at 145.800 MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode.

Ham radio operators and other radio enthusiasts are invited to post the images they receive at

Moreover, on request, ARISS SSTV Award Manager Slawek SQ3OOK will provide an SSTV Award, details at

To submit a request, please follow this procedure:

1. Load your decoded images at

2. Fill in the application form on the website

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and is subject to change at any time.

Please check the following for news and the most current information

You can use online radios to receive signals from the International Space Station:
• SUWS WebSDR located Farnham near London
• R4UAB WebSDR located European Russia

ISS SSTV links

Spain: Authorization for 2.4 GHz operation

Es'hail-2 Qatar-OSCAR-100Spain’s national amateur radio society URE reports the regulator has agreed to allow amateur use of 2400.050 to 2409.500 MHz to access the E’hail-2 / QO-100 geostationary satellite.

A Google translation of the URE announcement reads:

Since the State of Qatar sent the geostationary satellite Es’hail-2, the first of its kind to be used by radio amateurs, to space on November 15 of 2018, the URE satellite (AMSAT) raised the possibility of requesting the Administration the free use of the entire segment granted for radio amateurs in Spain and not only segment 2316-2332 MHz.

The Administration, responding to the request submitted by the URE, has developed the present resolution, which authorizes until September 26, 2019, to the holders of radio amateur authorizations, the emission of the amateur radio satellite service from 2400.050 to 2409.500 MHz. For single-sideband telephone communications, with a maximum eirp of 1500 watts, from authorized amateur radio stations located anywhere in the national territory.

The resolution of the Secretary of State for Digital Progress

URE in Google English

Es’hail-2 QO-100

AMSAT Files Comments in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding

Amateur Radio Satellites - To inspire, engage and educate the next generation

Amateur Radio Satellites – To inspire, engage and educate the next generation

AMSAT believes several of FCC’s proposed rule changes concerning orbital debris would have an extremely detrimental affect on the amateur satellite service.

The AMSAT News Service Reports:

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed several rules changes related to the amateur satellite service as part of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the mitigation of orbital debris. AMSAT believes several of these rule changes would have an extremely detrimental affect on the amateur satellite service and AMSAT’s ability to launch and operate new satellites, including AMSAT’s upcoming GOLF satellites.

Today, AMSAT filed comments on the proposed rulemaking. In the comments, AMSAT argues that amateur satellites often have longer mission lifespans than other small satellite missions and that the Commission should take a mission duration of 5 to 10 years into account when determining whether or not an amateur satellite will meet the orbital debris regulations by transferring to a parking orbit or re-entering the atmosphere within 25 years of mission completion. The current practice is to assume a “zero year” mission and to require that amateur satellites either transfer to a parking orbit or re-enter within 25 years following launch.

AMSAT also urged the Commission to consider alternatives to a proposed rule that would restrict satellites in Low Earth Orbit that plan to meet the orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry to altitudes of 650 km or less. AMSAT noted that, had this rule been in place, AO-85 and AO-91 would not have been able to be deployed in their current ellipitcal orbits with apogees of approximately 800 km, despite the fact that both of these satellites will re-enter within 25 years due to their low perigees. Additionally, AMSAT noted that current plans for the GOLF-1 satellite are to meet orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry by deploying a drag device that will ensure re-entry within 25 years despite deployment at an altitude of above 1,000 km. This proposed rule would prohibit GOLF-1’s deployment at that altitude.

The Commission’s proposed rules would also require that amateur satellite licensees indemnify the government against any claims made against the United States due to the operation of the satellite. AMSAT believes this proposal would end the ability of AMSAT, or any other entity in the United States, to launch and operate amateur satellites and urges the Commission to consider alternatives, such as establishing a fund to pay any such claims, noting that the likelihood of such a claim is low.

For amateur satellites with propulsion, the Commission proposes a rule that would require any command links as well as satellite telemetry be encrypted. While AMSAT understands and agrees that a satellite carrying a propulsion system must have an encrypted command link, the proposal to require all satellite telemetry be encrypted is unnecessary and counter to the spirit of the amateur service. AMSAT notes that open access to telemetry is expected of amateur satellites and is critical to the educational component of amateur radio satellites.

Finally, AMSAT proposes that the Commission exempt amateur space stations co-located on other spacecraft from the orbital debris mitigation regulations, including any indemnification rule. Noting that AMSAT has pursued opportunities to fly a payload as a rideshare aboard government or commercial satellites, AMSAT argues that, as the satellite’s owner will need to meet orbital debris mitigation requirements to obtain the license in the primary mission’s service, requiring the amateur licensee to meet the orbital debris mitigation requirements as well is redundant. AMSAT proposes that Part 97 be amended to state that amateur space stations co-located on spacecraft with space stations authorized under Part 25 of the Commission’s regulations (for commercial spacecraft) or by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (for government spacecraft) are exempt from these regulations.

AMSAT’s comments as filed may be downloaded at

The NPRM is International Bureau Docket #18-313 and is available at

Interested parties may file reply comments by May 5th at

[ANS thanks AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, for
the above information]

Register for AMSAT News Service emails at

Ham radio APRS payload to launch April 1

PSLV-C45 orbital platform PS4

PSLV-C45 orbital platform PS4

An APRS payload from AMSAT INDIA will be flown on the PSLV-C45 mission expected to launch on April 1, 2019 at 03:57 GMT.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Nitin VU3TYG writes:

The payload will be powered on approximately over Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Moscow. We request stations at these locations to report the first signals on 145.825 MHz from the payload.

We also request the Amateur Radio fraternity worldwide to use the payload and Satgates to feed the traffic. More details about this unique project as well as the prelaunch TLE are available at

Nitin [VU3TYG] Secretary, AMSAT INDIA

It is understood the PSLV-C45 mission will deploy 29 satellites. The 4th stage of the rocket (PS4) will become an orbital platform in a 485 km orbit hosting three payloads:
• Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) digipeater from AMSAT INDIA
• Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO
• Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST).

ISS SSTV transmissions April 1-2

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

Dmitry R4UAB reports cosmonauts on the International Space Station will again be transmitting SSTV images, April 1-2, on 145.800 MHz FM as part of the Inter-MAI-75 experiment.

A Google translation reads:

“Inter-MAI-75” (Education and promotion of space research) – an experiment aimed at combining the efforts of educational universities and radio amateurs in Russia and the United States to develop technology and technical tools that enable students to communicate and collaborate with astronauts and astronauts in the study and development of the management process ISS, as well as to work out various methods of transmission and various types of transmitted information (text, voice and telemetry information, black and white and color photos and video from blasts, etc.), obtained as a result of scientific and educational experiments through the use of amateur radio communications onboard the ISS.

SSTV images will be transmitted at a frequency of 145.800 MHz using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. They are expected to use the PD-120 SSTV format.

• Monday, April 1, 2019 from about 1400 to about 1900 GMT
• Tuesday, April 2, 2019 from about 1400 to about 1900 GMT

Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR

Source R4UAB