AMSAT-NA announced in late April 2015 that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite planned for launch in 2017.
A geosynchronous orbit (GSO) is an orbit around the Earth with an orbital period of one sidereal day, intentionally matching the Earth’s sidereal rotation period (approximately 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds). The synchronization of rotation and orbital period means that, for an observer on the surface of the Earth, an object in geosynchronous orbit returns to exactly the same position in the sky after a period of one sidereal day. Examples of satellites in geosynchronous orbits are the Sirius constellation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-11, GOES-13, MSG-2, Meteosat-7 and MTSAT-2.
The ARRL report that AMSAT-NA has accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa.
The amateur radio payload will comprise a Software Defined Transponder capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB. The Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by spring 2016.
The proposed frequency plan for the spacecraft is:
Uplinks: 5655-5665 MHz
Downlinks: 10455-10465 MHz
AMSAT-NA Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, explained that the geosynchronous footprint will not be absolutely fixed; some variation may require some up/down movement of the user’s dish at certain times — although not continuously. He said AMSAT-NA is working on this issue in terms of what to recommend for ground stations, but that even in the worst case, a user with a fixed antenna would still be able to enjoy several hours of access each day.
NC5R Phase 4 Update for Palomar Amateur Radio Club November 4, 2015
What Is a Geosynchronous Orbit? http://www.space.com/29222-geosynchronous-orbit.html
NASA Three classes of orbit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OrbitsCatalog/page2.php
AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geosynchronous Orbit http://www.amsat.org/?p=4058