CubeSats Feature in Sat Magazine

The January issue of the free publication Sat Magazine covers a number of amateur radio satellites.

On pages 54-65 is an article about Small Satellites. Among the many amateur radio satellites mentioned are FITSAT-1, WE WISH, the Vega CubeSats, QB50, AubieSat-1, Prime Explorer-1, FASTRAC.and ARISSat-1/KEDR. The AMSAT-India 435/145MHz Linear Transponder is also mentioned.

Download the January Sat Magazine from

Sat Magazine

ARISSat-1 altitude is rapidly decreasing

Sergey Samburov RV3DR with ARISSat-1

Sergey Samburov RV3DR with ARISSat-1

The altitude of the amateur radio satellite ARISSat-1 (145.950 MHz FM) continues to decline rapidly.

On Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011,  ARISSat-1 was losing about 4.1 km (~2.5 miles) a day in altitude, by Friday, Dec 30, 2011 the decay was 5.9 km (3.6 miles) per day. This rate will continue to increase over the next days and ultimately result in the satellite burning up in the atmosphere.

Telemetry reports haven’t shown a large increase in temperatures yet, please collect and report these values during each illumination period. There have been a number of people that continue to update their calculations on when the satellite will re-enter, now expected to be sometime this week.

The fall rate dh/dt is  increasing dramatically. Be sure to do daily updates of the ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-B Keps from The ARISSat-1 orbit changes daily while the satellite continues to lose altitude.

Roland, PY4ZBZ from Brazil has updated graphs of height and fall rate on his Web site

ARISSat-1 Getting Hotter

AMSAT News Service (ANS)

Smart Phone Satellite Presentation Video

In the United Kingdom volunteers from SSTL and SSC are using their own, free time to develop STRaND-1 a CubeSat that will carry a Smart Phone.

However Smart Phone satellites aren’t only being developed in the UK, the United States is developing one as well. Radio amateur Mike Safyan KJ6MVL gave a presentation on the US PhoneSat to the 2011 TAPR Digital Communications Conference and thanks to ARVN a video is now available.

A PhoneSat Really? Use an off the shelf smart phone as the guts of a satellite? Yep, that’s what radio amateur Mike Safyan KJ6MVL is doing over at NASA. He described the project in his talk at the 2011 ARRL/TAPR DCC in Baltimore.

Of course, todays phones have way more computer power than typical satellites, updated phones are released like every 5 minutes, and they’re dirt cheap (relatively). But can they hold up and do the job in the rigors of space? So far, Mike’s sent his phone up on a near space balloon and a small rocket, and yes, it works. A full CubeSat launch is next for Mike and crew.

Watch 2011 DCC – PhoneSat

Make: magazine – PhoneSat Aims to Send a Cellphone into Space (video)

A six page article on UK PhoneSat STRaND-1 appeared in the Spring issue of the AMSAT-UK publication OSCAR News available for download at

UK Smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1

Amateur Radio Video News (ARVN)

Hackers Plan Space Satellites

A CubeSat in Space

A CubeSat in Space

The BBC report that Hackers plan to put their own communication satellites into orbit. The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.

The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.

Used together in a global network, these stations would be able to pinpoint satellites at any given time, while also making it easier and more reliable for fast-moving satellites to send data back to earth. “It’s kind of a reverse GPS,” Armin Bauer, said.

“GPS uses satellites to calculate where we are, and this tells us where the satellites are. We would use GPS co-ordinates but also improve on them by using fixed sites in precisely-known locations.”

Armin Bauer, said the team would have three prototype ground stations in place in the first half of 2012, and hoped to give away some working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress in a year’s time.

Read the full BBC story at

Building a Distrubuted Satellite Ground Station Network – A Call To Arms

Hackerspace Global Grid

London Hackspace work on HackSat1

AMSAT-DL presentation to the Chaos Communication Camp in August

Hackers and Makers in AMSAT-UK are building the amateur radio satellite FUNcube.
AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information.
Free sample issue at
Join online at

AMSAT-India Linear Transponder

AMSAT-India 435-145 MHz Linear Transponder

AMSAT-India 435/145 MHz Linear Transponder

At Hamfest India (HFI) 2011, held in Kochi Dec 10-11, a presentation was given on a new Indian linear transponder and a CubeSat communications system.

This was the largest gathering of radio amateurs in India so far. Radio Amateurs and SWLs from all over the country and invited guests from other countries enjoyed the two-day event.

AMSAT-India gave several presentations at the event, among them was one by Ganesan Namachivayam KJ6LRR in which he described a satellite 435/145 MHz linear transponder with a bandwidth of 50 kHz and capable of 1-3 watts PEP output. AMSAT-India plan to develop a smaller linear transponder for CubeSats.

AMSAT-India CubeSat

AMSAT-India CubeSat

Ganesan also described a CubeSat communications system comprising a 435 MHz half-duplex narrow‐band FM transceiver supporting a data rate of 1200-9600 bps. The transmitter produces 1 watt output and can also operate as a Morse Code beacon.

Other presentations included:

  • Real Time Tracking by Mani VU2WMY
  • Working with LEO Sats by Dr. Raveendranath VU2RVJ
  • Telemetry Decoding by Nitin VU3TYG

The slides from the AMSAT-India presentations are at

Hamfest India (HFI) 2011


Amateur Radio Satellites Approach Launch

Amateur radio CubeSats and ALMASat-1 being prepared for launch

The integration of Vega’s first, second and third stages is now complete at ESA’s Spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean. ESA say the new rocket is moving full speed ahead towards its maiden flight at the end of January.

Vega will carry seven amateur radio satellites, ALMASat-1 and six Cubesats. The primary payload is LARES (Laser Relativity Satellite), a passive satellite with laser mirrors for the study of the Earth gravitational field and general relativity measurements (Lense-Thirring effect).

By the end of December, the six CubeSats, ALMASat-1 and LARES will be ready and enclosed in the fairing, well in time for the launch.

PW-Sat to launch in January

Vega to Launch Amateur Radio Satellites

Vega moves closer to its first liftoff 

OSCAR News is published quarterly by AMSAT-UK. Download a free sample issue here join here