Wednesday, November 10, 2021

40th Anniversary of UoSAT-1

UoSAT-1 prior to launch
(AMSAT-UK photo)
The APRS2Voice feature on NO-104 is not the first use of digital voice transmitted by an amateur satellite. In fact a "digitalker" was one of the features of the University of Surrey's first small satellite, UoSAT-1 (OSCAR-9), which was launched just over 40 years ago, on October 6, 1981. It was the first microsatellite with computers that could be reprogrammed from the ground while in orbit.

UoSAT-OSCAR-9 operated for eight years before re-entering Earth's atmosphere in 1989 and burning up over the Indian Ocean. Guided by a then-young Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, UoSAT-1 was built from off-the-shelf parts and launched the small-satellite industry, as well as Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd., which is now a part of Airbus.