Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by KC7NYR
Amateur Radio Satellites
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (as AMSAT is officially known) was first formed in the District of Columbia in 1969 as an educational organization. Its goal was to foster Amateur Radio’s participation in space research and communication. AMSAT was founded to continue the efforts, begun in 1961, by Project OSCAR, a west coast USA-based group which built and launched the very first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR, on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of Russia’s first Sputnik.
Today, the “home-brew” flavor of these early Amateur Radio satellites lives on, as most of the hardware and software now flying on even the most advanced AMSAT satellites is still largely the product of volunteer effort and donated resources. Though we are fond of traditions our designs and technology continue to push the outside of the envelope.
For over 48 years AMSAT groups in North America and elsewhere have played a key role in significantly advancing the state of the art in space science, space education, and space technology. Undoubtedly, the work now being done by AMSAT volunteers throughout the world will continue to have far-reaching, positive effects on the very future of both Amateur Radio, as well as other governmental, scientific and commercial activities in the final frontier.
How do I start with satellites?
Here a few few quick pointers which might help you. We are sometimes asked if a license is required to RECEIVE satellites in the Amateur Satellite service. The answer is ‘no’. You only need a license if you intend to TRANSMIT, e.g. use one of the transponders to make two-way communication with other radio amateurs. Further reading visit, https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-do-i-start/
Live Real Time Satellite tracking – https://www.n2yo.com/
ISS & Satellites on 2 Meters – by WA9ONY
Weather Satellites – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Weather Satellite Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) by WA9ONY
Source Credit: David Haworth WA9ONY
A number of low earth orbit (LEO) OSCAR satellites use frequency modulation (FM). These are also commonly referred to as “FM LEOs” or the “FM Birds”. Such satellites act as FM amateur radio repeaters that can be communicated through using omni-directional antennas and commonly available amateur radio equipment. Due to the relative ease of tuning FM as compared to SSB and the decreased distance of LEO satellites from earth stations communication can be achieved even with handheld transceivers and using manual doppler correction. The orbit of these satellites however causes the available time in which to communicate to be limited to only a few minutes per pass.
|Uplink (MHz)||Downlink (MHz)||CTCSS (Hz)||Status|
|Hope Oscar 68||HO-68||145.825 FM||435.675 FM||67.0||Beacon only|
|Sumbandila Oscar 671||SO-67||145.875 FM||435.345 FM||N/A||Lost|
|AMSAT-OSCAR 512||AO-51||145.880 FM||435.150 FM||N/A||Lost|
|145.920 FM||435.300 FM||67.0|
|145.880 FM||2401.200 FM||N/A|
|1268.700 FM||435.300 FM||67.0|
|1268.700 FM||2401.200 FM||67.0|
|Saudi-OSCAR 50||SO-50||145.850 FM||436.795 FM||67.0
(74.4 to activate)
|Saudi-OSCAR 41||SO-41||145.850 FM||436.775 FM||N/A||Lost|
|SUNSAT-OSCAR 35||SO-35||145.825 FM||436.250 FM||N/A||Lost|
|436.291 FM||145.825 FM|
|1265.000 FM||436.2500 FM|
|TechSat 1b-OSCAR 32||SO-32||145.850/145.890/145.930 FM
|ISS3||ARISS||437.800 FM||145.800 FM||N/A||Active|
|AMRAD-OSCAR 274||AO-27||145.850 FM||436.795 FM||N/A||Interference over USA|
|AMSAT-OSCAR 16||AO-16||145.920 FM||437.026 DSB-SC5||N/A||Lost|
|UoSAT-OSCAR 14||UO-14||145.975 FM||435.070 FM||N/A||Lost|
|LituanicaSAT-OSCAR 78 ||LO-78||145.950 FM||435.1755 FM||67.0||Lost|
|European-OSCAR 806||EO-80||435.080 FM||145.840 FM||210.7||Beacon only|
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