Friday, October 11, 2019

Satellite Roundup

China's Taurus-1 amateur satellite,
shown here with a solar sail, features
an analog FM to digital voice trans-
ponder. (Photo via AMSAT-UK)

Taurus-1, a Chinese satellite built by the Aerospace System Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai, was launched in mid-September. According to AMSAT-UK, it carries a unique FM voice to digital voice (Codec2) transponder. Hams may transmit FM voice up to the satellite on 145.820 MHz. The digital voice downlink is on 436.760 MHz, with telemetry on 435.8387 MHz,

Japan's FO-29 satellite, in orbit since 1996, has returned to the air after being silent since this past July, according to the ARRL Letter. The satellite has a lower sideband and CW uplink on 2 meters, with an inverting upper sideband and CW downlink on 70 centimeters.

AMSAT-OSCAR-7, the longest-functioning amateur radio satellite (launched in 1974), is in full illumination until about December 2, according to the AMSAT News Service. Its batteries are long dead but the satellite's solar panels still power its transponder when in full sunlight. AO-7 has SSB and CW uplinks on 2 meters and 70 centimeters, and SSB/CW downlinks on 10 and 2 meters, as well as beacons on all three bands. See <> for more details.

Slow-scan TV image of Earth and space
from Navy-OSCAR 104. (Photo via
Ales Povolac)
On the topic of HF satellite frequencies, the AMSAT News Service reports that Region 3 of the International Amateur Radio Union, representing Asia and the Pacific, has added an amateur satellite segment to its 15-meter bandplan. More information is available at <>.

Finally, the U.S. Naval Academy's NO-104, or PSAT-2, satellite, was placed in photo mode for a week in September. It was to take a slow-scan TV photo every 10 minutes, store it in memory, and then transmit it back to Earth. Each photo was downloaded only once, but many have been collected online at <>. The most recent ones come up first.