PW-Sat to launch in January

PW-Sat, a 1U CubeSat to be launched on the first VEGA flight in January, will carry a 435 to 145 MHz Amateur Radio transponder.

The single channel transponder will operate in a similar way to the amateur satellite AO-16. The uplink on 435.020 MHz will be FM and the downlink on 145.900 MHz will use the BPSK telemetry beacon transmitter to produce Double Sideband (DSB) that can be received on an SSB radio.

PW-Sat should be launched into a 1450 by 300 km 71 degree orbit and may be expected to have a lifetime of about 4 years before re-entry. It was built by students of Warsaw University of Technology in cooperation with the Space Research Centre and will be Poland’s first satellite.

PW-Sat has five modes of operation:
1. Receive only mode – no downlink
2. Beacon CW mode – Downlink On-Off Keying (OOK) CW (1kHz) 12 WPM on 145.900 MHz
3. Beacon BPSK mode – Downlink BPSK (3 kHz) 1200 bps AX25 (1 frame on 20 sec) on 145.900 MHz
4. Control communication mode. Downlink BPSK (3 kHz) 1200 bps AX25 on 145.900 MHz
5. Voice Repeater mode (aka “AO-16” mode) – Uplink 435.020 MHz FM (15 kHz) Downlink 145.900 DSB (3 kHz)

For more information on PW-Sat in Google English see 

Vega to Launch Amateur Radio Satellites

IARU Amateur satellite frequency co-ordination panel pages hosted by AMSAT-UK

AO-16 FM-DSB transponder

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Vega to Launch Amateur Radio Satellites

Artists impression of Vega launch

Artists impression of Vega launch

The inaugural launch of the ESA Vega rocket will carry the amateur radio microsatellite ALMASat-1 and at least six CubeSats.

The satellites will be launched from the ESA spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean into an elliptical orbit of 1450 by 354 km at an inclination of 71 degrees. They are expected to have a lifetime before re-entry of 4 years.

ESA say the six CubeSats to be launched on Vega in late January 2012 comprise:

Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain): a mission to demonstrate software-defined radio and solar panel deployment;
Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France): a mission to test and evaluate radiation effects (low dose rate) on bipolar transistor electronic components;
e-st@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy): demonstration of an active 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control system including an inertial measurement unit;
Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania): imaging of the Earth surface using a digital camera and in-situ measurement of radiation dose and micrometeoroid flux;
PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland): a mission to test a deployable atmospheric drag augmentation device for de-orbiting CubeSats;
MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology and Economics): a mission to demonstrate various spacecraft avionics, including a power conditioning system, transceiver and on-board data handling.

ESA indicate that a 7th CubeSat may be delivered in time to be flown.

PW-Sat carries an FM to DSB amateur radio transponder with an FM input on 435.020 MHz and DSB output on 145.900 MHz.

The primary payload on the launch, LARES, will be deployed into an orbit of 1200 km × 1200 km with an inclination of 71 degrees.

Frequencies and links for the CubeSats can be found at

ESA CubeSats delivered for first Vega flight

ESA Education – CubeSats

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination pages hosted by AMAT-UK list the frequencies of the amateur radio satellites


STARS-II Amateur Radio Satellite

Impression of STARS-II in Orbit

Impression of STARS-II in Orbit

The amateur radio satellite STARS-II has been developed by students at Kagawa University and consists of a Mother satellite and Daughter satellite connected by tether.

STARS stands for Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite. The mission will include formation flight, tether deployment, attitude control and the mother and daughter satellites will take pictures of each other.

It is proposed to fly a 80mW CW beacon and a 800mW AX25 1200bps telemetry downlink. Total mass is 8 kg.

Coordinated frequencies for CW 437.245 MHz (mother) and 437.255 MHz (daughter). FM downlinks 437.405 MHz (mother) and 437.425 MHz (daughter).

Kagawa satellite development project STARS-II

The Google English translation of the Japanese language STARS-II page has additional information

STARS-II on the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages hosted by AMSAT-UK

AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. Free sample issue at Join online here

Catch the Last ARISSat-1 Telemetry

Now that the submissions are complete for the Chicken Little Contest, AMSAT is announcing a new contest: Catch the Last ARISSat-1 Telemetry. With luck, we will have real time data to go along with the final reentry. While telemetry sent by e-mail is valuable and requested, the contest will be judged solely on data sent through the official ARISSatTLM programs directly to the Internet telemetry server.

How do I enter? Simple. Just submit ARISSat-1 telemetry over the Internet using either ARISSatTLM telemetry program. You can use the PC version or the MAC version of ARISSatTLM. You are automatically eligible.

Are there separate categories for entrants? No.

How is the winner determined? The call, or name, in the last block of data received by telemetry server wins.

How will the winner be announced? Via the usual AMSAT News Service, and on the Chicken Little Contest site.

If ARISSat-1 fails sometime before reentry, does it count? Yes! Engineering data is essential input for future projects!

What do I get if I win? A certificate in PDF format suitable for framing, and the gratitude of the ARISSat-1 team.

In short, just keeps those telemetry blocks flowing!

Remember: you can see the latest ARISSat-1 telemetry at

Mark L. Hammond  [N8MH]



Online pass predictions (select ARISSat-1)

Download the Windows and Mac versions of the ARISSatTLM free ground station soundcard demodulator and display software from

ARISSat-1 Frequency Guide

OSCAR 1 Video

A prototype of the first Amateur Radio satellite OSCAR 1 has been on display at the AMSAT symposium in San Jose.  OSCAR-1 was launched nearly 50 years ago on December 12, 1961 and its beacon sent the letters HI on 144.9830 MHz CW.

Bob Allison, WB1GCM of ARRL’s Technical Lab led the effort to refurbish the OSCAR 1 prototype on display at ARRL headquarters. With the help of OSCAR 1 developer Lance Ginner, K6GSJ, Bob and his team got OSCAR 1 operational again.

The refurbished OSCAR-1 was on display at the ARRL exhibit area at the 2011 Dayton Hamvention. The OSCAR 1 prototype was again on display during the AMSAT Symposium where everyone was able to once again hear the CW transmissions (now managed by a PIC controller) in the 145 MHz band.

Additionally, the AMSAT News Service will re-run the weekly Project OSCAR Newsletters to commemorate the 50th anniversary of OSCAR 1. During the November/December 2011 time frame you will be able to share the excitement of the launch campaign that started it all 50 years ago.

Watch for the re-publication of the Project OSCAR Newsletters in the AMSAT Journal [AMSAT-NA] . The Newsletters were hand-typed back in 1961. Thanks to Don Ferguson, KD6IRE for scanning the original documents announcing OSCAR 1.

Watch OSCAR 1 – 1st Amateur Radio Sat at AMSAT space symposium 2011 – San Jose,CA

AMSAT News Servce

Android App to Fly on STRaND-1 Smartphone Satellite

When a competion was run to find Apps  to fly on the Smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1 one of the wining entries was an App which was a spin-off of the work done by the AMSAT-UK FUNcube team. See the story at:

A detailed article on STRaND-1 appeared in a recent edition of the newsletter OSCAR News published by AMSAT-UK. It can be downloaded from

The video of a presentation on STRaND-1 is at

Join AMSAT-UK online at