Monday, June 6, 2016

Amateur Satellite Roundup

OUFTI-1 Cubesat
(From OUFTI-1 website)
There's lots of news from the world of amateur radio satellites. Three student-built cubesats from Belgium, Italy and Denmark were launched in late April by the European Space Agency. One of them – OUFTI-1 from Belgium – carries the first dedicated amateur radio D-STAR transponder in orbit, according to the AMSAT News Service (ANS). 

The ARRL reports that an Argentine satellite carrying an amateur radio transponder was launched from China on May 30th. When activated, the LUSEX (LU Satellite Experiment) transponder will have a 435 MHz uplink and a 145 MHz downlink.

The next three satellites in AMSAT-NA's Fox series have received tentative launch dates, according to ANS. Fox-1C (also known as Fox-1Cliff) and Fox-1D will fly to space together, possibly as early as July 28th. Fox-1B now has a planned launch date of January 20, 2017. 

In addition, the first amateur radio geostationary satellite – Es'hail-2 – is now scheduled for launch this December, according to the ARRL Letter. The satellite will have transponders on the 2.4 and 10-GHz bands, and is planned for a southern hemisphere orbit that should provide 24/7 coverage in an area extending from Brazil to Thailand.