AlSat-1N and Pratham launch from India

AlSat-1N Mission PatchThe AlSat-1N and Pratham satellites, both with amateur radio payloads, launched on the Indian ISRO PSLV-C35 mission at 0342 GMT on Monday, September 26, 2016, reports are requested.

Update Sept 27: The AlSat-1N signal has been received but nothing heard from Pratham. A Dorset radio amateur reports receiving a signal from PISAT (2240 MHz) which was also on the PSLV-C35 launch

AMSAT-BB indicate the Pratham CW beacon on 145.980 MHz is active

The 3U CubeSat AlSat-1N was built in collaboration between the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), UK Space Agency (UKSA), Surrey Space Centre (SSC) staff and Algerian students as a technology transfer and demonstrator for Algeria.

AlSat-1N is also hosting three UK payloads from various institutions and aims to take images of the Earth and send back data from the UK payloads.

The IARU coordinated downlink is 437.650 MHz 9k6 FSK.

Any downlinked data will be gratefully received at
Both decoded hex files and recordings would be greatly appreciated. Richard Duke M0GSN is transmission authority in the UK under the SSC Club callsign M0GKK.

Further information on AlSat-1N can be downloaded from:

Information on the Pratham student satellite is at

Amateur Satellite 5.7 GHz LNA



The AMSAT-NA site carries a picture showing the mechanical prototype of the 5.7 GHz Low Noise Amplifier which will be used in the Phase 5 Lunar and Phase 4B Geosynchronous amateur radio satellite projects.

Unfortunately US Federal Government ITAR legislation prevents them disclosing any technical information about it.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) inexplicably applies to amateur radio satellites. It threatens US radio amateurs with jail terms or six figure fines if they cooperate with amateurs outside the USA on satellite projects. Cooperation includes talking about or publishing on the web certain information regarding amateur radio satellite systems.

The AMSAT-NA 5.7 GHz LNA page can be seen at

5 GHz / 10 GHz amateur radio transponders are planned for the Heimdallr spacecraft expected to launch in September 2018 into a Lunar orbit. Further information is at

ITAR – Section 1248 Report Released

AMSAT Wants Amateur Radio Satellites Off US Munitions List

5 GHz to 10 GHz Lunar Transponder Mission

View of Earth from the Moon AdobeStock_77398324AMSAT-NA plans 5 GHz to 10 GHz transponders on a spacecraft expected to launch in September 2018 into a Lunar orbit.

Heimdallr is a 3 axis stabilized 6U CubeSat with a mass of approximately 8 kg. It will have a Cold Gas Thruster for inertia dump and a star tracker for navigation. Deployable, gimbled solar panels will produce up to 100 watts of DC power, electric propulsion will be used to achieve lunar orbit.

There will be a combination of omni and directional patch antennas on one side of spacecraft.

The first part of mission is to provide Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) to obtain lunar orbit. The second part is to perform the data downlink experiment while the final part is to provide a two way regenerative repeater and analog repeater in lunar orbit for lifetime of satellite.

Proposing these downlinks:
• Omni transponder: 10.451 GHz +/- 0.5 MHz
• Directional transponder: 10.4575 GHz. +/- 3.5 MHz
• Analog transponder: 10.4665 GHz. +/- 2.0 MHz

For the first part of the mission (TT&C) using 300 bps BPSK 1/2 rate viterbi Ranging 1.5 Mbps BPSK DSSS. For the  second part of mission 4.5 Mbps QPSK ½ rate DVB-S2. For the final part of mission 25 kbps BPSK 1/5 rate DVB-S2.

Proposing these Uplinks
• Omni transponder: 5.651 GHz +/- 0.5 MHz
• Directional transponder: 5.6575 GHz. +/- 3.5 MHz
• Analog transponder: 5.665 GHz. +/- 2.0 MHz

A link budget is available at

It is anticipated that a 1 or 2 metre dish will be required using the AMSAT designed ground station equipment.

Source IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Status pages

Heimdallr satellite – 5 Teams Share First Round of NASA CubeSat Prizes


UK CubeSat Forum – Lunar opportunity

View of Earth from the Moon AdobeStock_77398324Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) are looking for CubeSat passenger payloads on a Lunar mission.

SSTL and GES are teaming up with ESA to create the world’s first commercial deep space mission. They plan to carry customer payload in the form of CubeSats into lunar orbit and provide the relay link back to Earth via Goonhilly. The launch is planned for 2019.

Orbital passengers e.g. nanosatellites and CubeSats will be deployed from the Mothership and will operate in lunar orbit.

The UK CubeSat Forum can help in creating new contacts for joint proposals, so do post on their site should you want to be involved!


Download the related documents from

First contact via ham radio satellite AO-85

getting-started-with-amateur-satellites-2016-front-coverOn Saturday, August 13, 2016, Christian Jacobs 2E0ICL made his first contact via the amateur radio FM CubeSat AO-85, it was with Peter Goodhall 2E0SQL.

On YouTube Christian writes:

First contact over AO-85 with Peter 2E0SQL using a new Elk antenna, a Comet CF-4160 diplexer, and two handheld transceivers. This video also features a portable SO-50 contact with Abdel M0NPT at Cow Drove Hill in Hampshire, UK.

Watch First contact via AO-85, and operating /P from Cow Drove Hill

AO-85 information

The book – Getting Started with Amateur Satellites – is now available from the AMSAT-UK shop at

A popular antenna for satellite working is the Elk 2m/70cms Log Periodic available in the AMSAT-UK shop at

Amateur Radio BIRDS CubeSat Constellation

BIRDS CubeSat Engineering Model integration test

BIRDS CubeSat Engineering Model integration test

The BIRDS constellation, planned to deploy from the ISS in 2017, will consist of four 1U CubeSats (BIRD-B, BIRD-J, BIRD-G and BIRD-M). They are made of the exactly same design including the radio frequencies to be used and will be deployed together.

BIRDS CubeSat Project LogoThe main mission of the constellation is to do experiments on radio communication with a CubeSat constellation via a network of UHF/VHF amateur radio ground stations all over the world.

The challenge is to distinguish each satellite from the four satellites transmitting with the same frequency, hand over operation of a satellite from one ground station to another and assemble the satellite data, such as housekeeping telemetry, music and the Earth images, obtained at different ground stations.

Amateur radio enthusiasts are asked to join the network to assist in the data downlink and reconstruction of the patchy satellite data into one meaningful data. Orbit information and operational plan of each satellite will be made available to the amateur radio community in the world. Software to decode the satellite data will be also made available.

The respective amateur ground stations that can successfully decode the telemetry data, music and the Earth images, shall receive a QSL card from the BIRDS team. The data reconstructed by the effort of the amateur ground station network will be made public to share the sense of satisfaction and achievement.

BIRDS CubeSat NationsA particularly interesting mission of BIRDS project is the SNG mission that exchanges music via a digi-singer. It is an outreach-oriented mission. First, music in MIDI format is uploaded from ground. Then the MIDI file is processed on-board using a vocal synthesizer. Finally, the processed music is sent back to Earth using UHF antenna as voice FM data.

During organized events on space utilization with schools or general public, music could be heard using a common hand-held receiver and hand-made Yagi antenna positioned to track the satellite at each given pass over the region. This has a tremendous effect on awareness of radio communication among school children and general public, especially in the countries participating in the BIRDS project, Japan, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Proposing to use CW, 1k2 AFSK FM, audio FM and 9k6 GMSK downlinks. Planning a JAXA sponsored deployment from the ISS during 2017.

BIRDS project information:

Download the Paper – IAA-CU-15-01-16 Five-nations CubeSat constellation; An inexpensive test case for learning and capacity building

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages are hosted by AMSAT-UK at