Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Satellite Roundup…

Several news items from the world of amateur satellites:

AMSAT is looking to return to building and launching high-Earth-orbit (HEO) satellites as part of its strategic plan for the future. These provide extended windows of operation with significant coverage areas. According to a Twitter post by the organization, the plan also includes continued partnership with ARISS on human spaceflight as well as continuing to build and launch low-Earth-orbit satellites.

The AMSAT News Service reports that AMSAT-OSCAR 109 (AMSAT Fox-1E/RadfxSat-2) has now been opened for amateur use. The satellite features an inverting linear transponder with an uplink on 2 meters and downlink on 70 centimeters. Controllers advise using spectrum-efficient modes such as CW or FT4 rather than SSB voice due to technical issues with the satellite.

Finally, amateurs in Switzerland may have to get a special permit – and pay the government a fee - to use the QO-100 satellite. The ARRL Letter reports that the Swiss communications regulator is worried about hams causing interference to industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) users on 2.4 GHz (the satellite's uplink band) and is considering requiring a special permit for hams to use the first (and so far only) geostationary amateur satellite. The permit would cost roughly $75US if implemented.