Presentation on theme: "Amateur Radio in Space By Steve Ford, WB8IMY. Overview Amateurs have been building satellites since the earliest days of space travel. These satellites."— Presentation transcript:
Amateur Radio in Space By Steve Ford, WB8IMY
Overview Amateurs have been building satellites since the earliest days of space travel. These satellites are known as “OSCARs”— Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. The first Amateur Radio satellite was OSCAR 1 and it reached orbit in 1961.
Satellites: Relays in the Sky Like commercial satellites, Amateur Radio satellites are primarily used to relay signals from one location to another. From their vantage points in orbit, satellites can “see” large portions of the Earth. This is known as a satellite’s “footprint.” Every station within the footprint can communicate through the satellite
The Footprint of OSCAR 50 In this illustration, everyone within the circular footprint of OSCAR 50, an FM repeater satelllite, can communicate with each other.
Satellite Orbits Most Amateur Radio satellites travel in low Earth orbits at altitudes of 800 to 1500 km. At this altitude, a satellite completes one orbit every 90 to 100 minutes. At the same time, the Earth is turning beneath the satellite. The result is that all stations on the ground will enjoy several 15-minute communication sessions with each satellite each day. You can predict pass times with web tools such as or software.
OSCARs 29 and 52 OSCARs 29 and 52 relay Single Sideband (SSB) voice and CW transmissions.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station There is also a fully equipped amateur facility aboard the International Space Station.
APRS on the ISS The International Space Station often functions as a digital relay for APRS packet data.
Station Equipment: FM For OSCAR 50, all you need is a dual-band FM rig and a directional antenna.
Station Equipment: SSB/CW For OSCARs 29 and 52, you will need a dual band SSB/CW rig. A full duplex model such as the Kenwood TS-2000 or Icom IC-9100 is best, but any will do for short contacts.
Active Satellite Frequencies Saudi-OSCAR 50 (FM Repeater, 67 Hz CTCSS) Time Transmit Receive (MHz) AOS (start) AOS+3 Minutes Zenith (maximum) Zenith+1 Minute LOS (end) Linear Transponders (SSB/CW) Uplink Passband Downlink Passband VUSat-OSCAR – MHz – MHz Fuji-OSCAR – MHz MHz AMSAT-OSCAR – MHz –
The Future More satellites on the way. Many are FM repeaters, but there are a few SSB/CW birds on the schedule as well.