Amateur Radio Satellites

N4UJW AMATEUR (Ham radio) SATELLITES AND SPACE COMMUNICATIONS

Interested in Using Amateur-Satellite Service Frequencies?

Frequently Asked Questions

BACKGROUND. Most information provided here applies world wide because all administrations work from the same basic text: the Radio Regulations. A few specifically labeled items relate only to the USA.

Q1: What do you mean when you talk about the amateur service; the amateur-satellite service?

A: Amateur service: A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized [licensed] persons [individuals] interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest." (Emphasis supplied.)-

Amateur-satellite service: A radiocommunication service using space stations on Earth satellites for the same purposes as those of the amateur service.

Q2: Graduate assistants are going to operate our satellite. Is that OK?

A: If they are compensated in any way to operate an amateur transmitter, the answer is no. If they are not licensed amateurs, the answer is also no.

Q3: Our satellite will carry cameras that will take pictures of the separation sequence for xyz corporation, builders of the multiple payload adaptor. We will give them the pictures. They require we don't make them public in case they show something embarrassing or something that didn't work right. Is that OK?

A: No. Every transmission from an amateur station must be in 'plain language' or, in other words, in the clear. In the clear means that (1) technical descriptions of all emissions, codes, and formats are made publicly and widely available; and (2) technical descriptions must be sufficient to enable any technically competent licensed amateur radio operator to use the system. As a consequence, of course, all transmissions will be open to reception by anyone. (Encryption for critical spacecraft telecommand functions is accepted.) -

Also, xyz Corporation has a financial interest in the communication resulting in commercial use of an amateur station, which is not permitted.

Q4: Our satellite will have no uplink. It's just going to send its GPS location every 2 minutes. Anyone will be able to listen to that and know where the satellite is. We want lots of people to be able to listen, so we picked amateur frequencies. Any problem with that?

A: Yes and no. You must be able to control the satellite transmitter in case it causes interference. So, you will have to have a telecommand uplink, no matter what service you license it in.

While your mission objective might be of interest to amateurs, transmitting information intended for reception by the general public is broadcasting, which is prohibited in the amateur service. However, transmissions directed to amateurs may be received by anyone without restriction.

Q5: We will control abcSat from our campus ground station. The satellite will only be turned on when over abcU and we will download the experiment data and give it to the principal investigator, Dr Smith. He and his grad students will write papers on the results and present them at the Small Sat conference following the launch. Afterwards, the data will be published on the web. Any problem with that?

A: Yes, there are several problems. First of all, transmissions from amateur stations must be in the clear and, therefore, open to reception by anyone.

Next, space stations in the amateur-satellite service must have sufficient Earth command stations established before launch to guarantee that the space station transmitter can be turned off in case of interference. -


For Dummies Ham Radio For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
Book (For Dummies)
2012-02-23 13:29:47 by undefinedundefined

GPS satellites...

Sputnik 1 travelled at 29,000 kilometers (18,000 mi) per hour, taking 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, and emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz which were easily monitored by amateur radio operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 22 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957.
The GPS receiver in your phone, or car, or camera, is a a very fancy stopwatch with look-up tables for various geo-synchonous orbiting satellites that are similar to sputnik 1.
They are solar powered transmitters with emit clock based identities and fixed timing so that your receiver can calculate the distance from the various satellites; they can be 'updated' so that old ones 'tweaked', and your receiver's library may be updated in instances of new...

2012-01-15 07:00:39 by AZ_Dude

Not a sattelite, probably a weather balloon or

Amateur radio balloon package.
These balloons take an electronics package way up (80,000+ feet) and when the balloon bursts the package parachutes back to earth.
Sattelite4s move to fast and usually burn up on re-entry. The military used to use some spy satellites that would eject a film package that parachuted down over the ocean where a special plane snatched them out of the air, but we haven't used those in decades (digital cameras with radio transmitters are much better)

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