Monday, August 12, 2019

Three New Ham Satellites Launched, Operational

Three new ham radio satellites were successfully launched earlier this summer, although one will likely have re-entered by the time you read this. On June 25, two satellites built by students at the U.S. Naval Academy were launched together from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to the AMSAT News Service, one (PSAT2) carries a PSK31 transponder, digipeater, slow-scan TV image downlink transmitter and a DTMF to voice/APRS experiment. The second satellite (BRICSAT2) includes a thruster experiment and a digipeater.

The CAS-7B cubesat
(Photo from AMSAT-UK website)
A month later, China's CAS-7B satellite was launched successfully, carrying an FM transponder as well as a CW telemetry beacon. The AMSAT News Service reported that many contacts had been made on the FM transponder. However, the satellite was in a very low orbit and re-entry was expected by August 11.

The satellites were designated by AMSAT-NA as BIT Progress-OSCAR 102 (CAS-7B), Navy-OSCAR 103 (BRICSAT2) and Navy-OSCAR 104 (PSAT2), respectively.