Geostationary / Geosynchronous ham radio satellite transponders

Possible coverage of Geosynchronous satellite 74 degrees West - Credit Bill Reed NX5R

Possible coverage of a Geosynchronous satellite at 74 degrees West – Credit NX5R

EngineerIT magazine reports on the quest by radio amateurs to get transponders on geostationary satellites.

Coverage area of Es'hail 2

Coverage area of Es’hail 2

The article quotes President of AMSAT DL, Peter Gülzow DB2OS, and describes the transponders planned for the Es’Hail-2 satellite, expected to be launched in the 3rd quarter of 2017 into a geostationary orbit at 26 degrees East.

Also mentioned is a project to build a transponder for a US satellite which could be in a geosynchronous orbit around 74 degrees West.

Read the EngineerIT article at
http://www.ee.co.za/article/radio-amateurs-quest-geostationary-satellites.html

What is a Geosynchronous orbit ? https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/

Es’Hail-2 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/eshail-2/

AMSAT Phase 4 Update for Palomar Amateur Radio Club November 4, 2015
http://www.ntms.org/files/Feb2016/PARC_4on4.pdf
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/11/08/geosynchronous-ham-radio-project-video/

Fox-1 launch 2015 and Geosynchronous Sat on 5 and 10 GHz 2017

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, reports on Amateur Satellite news from the Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT FOXThe ARRL website reports the launch of the Fox-1 CubeSat has been delayed until October 8, 2015. Fox-1 will carry a 435/145 MHz FM Voice Transponder, see http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1113

The ARRL story continues: AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said that a geosynchronous satellite, planned to launch in 2017, will offer uplinks on 5 GHz and downlinks on 10 GHz.

Buxton 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 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.

The transponder for the new satellite will be software defined and capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB.

AMSAT announced in late April that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT 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 Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by next spring.

Source http://www.arrl.org/news/dayton-hamvention-2015-day-1-big-crowd-some-rain-satellite-news

A graphic showing an example of a typical Geosynchronous orbit can be seen at
http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.rieck/docs/sirius.html

 The 2.325 GHz signals from the Sirius satellites in Geosynchronous orbit over North America have been received in the UK.

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geostationary Orbit

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite planned for launch in 2017.

An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

A meeting to discuss this potential rideshare took place on April 13 at Millennium Space Systems that included Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF, co-founder of Qualcomm; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and member of the board for AMSAT-NA; Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Director and President Emeritus of AMSAT-NA; Phil Karn, KA9Q; and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV.

Hosting the meeting for MSS were Stan Dubyn as founder and chairman of MSS, Vince Deno as president of MSS, Jeff Ward, K8KA, of MSS as VP for Product Development, formerly with SSTL and University of Surrey Space Center, and Ryan Lawrence of MSS as Project Manager on the spacecraft mission. Attending by telephone were Dr. Jonathan Black, Associate Research Director of Hume Center for Aerospace Systems and Associate Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, founder of RINCON Research Corp.

Following the meeting, Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY, Director of Research at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology of Virginia Tech, and former director and former VP Engineering of AMSAT, described this as an opportunity to go forward with “AMSAT-Eagle” which, in the 2006-2008 timeframe, evolved into a microwave payload to be flown to geostationary orbit as a hosted payload. It would have provided digital communications to small terminals on the ground and a linear bent pipe transponder had it flown. This failed to go forward in part due to lack of an affordable flight opportunity.

McGwier outlined the next steps toward developing this mission:

1) To organize an effort at Virginia Tech to make a firm proposal to MSS and its US government sponsor, and organize an effort to raise sufficient funds to pay for development of the mission.

2) Enable Dr. Jonathan Black to lead the construction project at Virginia Tech in the Space@VT Center. Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO, Project Manager at the Hume Center will be the project manager.

3) Work for development of a low-cost microwave ground station for amateur radio still needs to be determined.

4) Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, will  solicit the cooperation of the Rincon Research Corp. for development of the software radio
technology for this payload.

The AMSAT Board of Directors has accepted the invitation to participate in this potential rideshare payload opportunity. AMSAT expects to be involved in the development of the ground station and the payload RF development, and will serve as the amateur radio (hosted) payload operator once the satellite has been launched.

McGwier summarized, “The launch is currently scheduled for 2017 and the payload must be delivered for testing and integration by Spring of 2016. It is an ambitious schedule and all involved will have to gain and maintain a serious level of commitment to that which they agree to undertake.” AMSAT President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, “The AMSAT leadership is excited to fly a Phase-IV geostationary amateur satellite payload. This is an evolving development as we collaborate with the VT Hume Center with a project that provides technical challenges to create a new amateur radio capability in space that will provide a variety of benefits not only for amateurs but also for emergency communications and STEM educational outreach.”

The transponder is expected to support a wide range of voice, digital, and experimental advanced communications technologies. A decision is expected soon specifying the microwave uplink and downlink bands.

Additional information on the Aquila M8 Series Satellite can be viewed on-line:
http://www.millennium-space.com/
http://www.millennium-space.com/platforms#aquila

AMSAT has posted a photo of the GEO opportunity team with the Millennium Aquila satellite at http://www.amsat.org

[ANS thanks Bob McGwier, N4HY and AMSAT-NA for the above information]

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 1

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 1

 

The Qatar Amateur Radio Society released a leaflet about the geostationary amateur radio transponders at the IARU Region 1 Conference taking place September 20-27, 2014 in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria. The frequencies quoted are:

Amateur satellite service spectrum used by cell-phone masts in the UK

Amateur satellite service spectrum used by cell-phone masts in the UK

Linear transponder
2400.050-2400.300 MHz Uplink
10489.550-10489.800 MHz Downlink

Wideband digital transponder
2401.5-2409.5 MHz Uplink
10491.0-10499.0 MHz Downlink

In the UK the 10475-10500 MHz section of the Amateur Satellite Service allocation was auctioned by Ofcom for nationwide cell-phone backhaul links. The winner of the auction was T-Mobile(UK) now part of the phone company EE. The use of this segment of the band by cell-phone masts may cause problems to UK amateurs wishing to receive the transponders. See this spreadsheet of spectral masks for the 10 GHz links.

Gunter Krebs reports on his Space Pages that Es’hailSat has signed a contract with MELCO to build the Es’hail-2 Geostationary Comsat. Es’hail 2 is a planned communication satellite operated by Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company. It will also feature an radio amateur payload.

The new satellite will be positioned at the 26° East hotspot position for TV broadcasting and significantly adds to the company’s ability to provide high quality, premium DTH television content across the Middle East and North Africa. It will feature Ku-band and Ka-band transponders to provide TV distribution and government services to strategic stakeholders and commercial customers who value broadcasting and communications independence,interference resilience, quality of service and wide geographical coverage. Es’hail 2 is expected to be launched at the end of 2016.

In September 2014, a contract with MELCO was signed to build the satellite based on the DS-2000 bus.

Es’hail 2 will also provide the first Amateur Radio geostationary communication capability linking Brazil and India. It will carry two “Phase 4” Amateur Radio transponders. The payload will consist of a 250 kHz linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations in addition to another transponder which will have an 8 MHz bandwidth. The latter transponder is intended for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. The uplinks will be in the 2.400-2.450 GHz and the downlinks in the 10.450-10.500 GHz amateur satellite service allocations. Both transponders will have broad beam antennas to provide full coverage over about third of the earth’s surface. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating on the amateur radio project. AMSAT-DL is providing technical support to the project.

Gunters Space Page http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_chr/lau2014.htm

2006 Ofcom auction of upper segment of 10 GHz Amateur Satellite Service spectrum
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/10ghz/

10 GHz Cell-Phone Links Spectral Mask http://tinyurl.com/10GHz-Cell-Phone-Mask

IARU Region 1 Conference link http://iaru.lz-live.com/

RSGB WRC-15 page http://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-15/

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 2

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 2