Region served North America
Main organ Board of directors
President Barry Baines WD4ASW
Type Nonprofit organization
|Purpose Designing, building, and operating experimental satellites; promoting space education|
Headquarters Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Amsat status report by barry wd4asw 2013 dayton hamvention
AMSAT is a name for amateur radio satellite organizations worldwide, but in particular the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT-NA) with headquarters at Kensington, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. AMSAT organizations design, build, arrange launches for, and then operate (command) satellites carrying amateur radio payloads, including the OSCAR series of satellites. Other informally affiliated national organizations exist, such as AMSAT Germany (AMSAT-DL) and AMSAT Japan (JAMSAT).
- Amsat status report by barry wd4asw 2013 dayton hamvention
- Amsat ariss program status by frank ka3hdo 2013 dayton hamvention
- AMSAT organizations worldwide
- Phase system
- Satellite names
- Satellites previously launched by AMSAT NA
- Current projects
- Currently operating missions
Amsat ariss program status by frank ka3hdo 2013 dayton hamvention
AMSAT-NA was founded in 1969 in Washington, D.C. to continue the efforts begun by Project OSCAR. Its first project was to coordinate the launch of OSCAR 5, constructed by students at the University of Melbourne. Some design modifications were needed and were made by AMSAT members, and the satellite was successfully launched on January 30, 1970 on a NASA Thor Delta launch vehicle.
AMSAT's next launch was AMSAT-OSCAR 6 (AO-6) on October 15, 1972. AO-6 was AMSAT's first long-life satellite, and was built with participants from Australia and West Germany. Command stations in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hungary, Morocco, New Zealand, the United States and West Germany controlled the satellite, contributing greatly to its 4½ years of service. Further launches continued to emphasize international cooperation, with AMSAT-OSCAR 7 (AO-7) launching with a new transponder developed and built by Karl Meinzer and AMSAT Germany (AMSAT-DL). AMSAT Japan (JAMSAT) contributed a transponder to AMSAT-OSCAR 8 (AO-8).
In order to launch its satellites, AMSAT has worked with space agencies and commercial launch contractors to develop new ways to take advantage of unused areas of launch vehicles. In return, AMSAT sometimes can negotiate a reduction or waiver of launch costs. One of the most significant is the Ariane Structure for Auxiliary Payloads (ASAP), developed and manufactured in partnership with the European Space Agency in 1990 for use on its Ariane 4 launch vehicle. AMSAT was again able to take advantage of unused space with the launch of AMSAT-OSCAR 40 (AO-40), occupying unused space on an Ariane 5.
The IPS (Interpreter for Process Structures) programming language was specifically written for the RCA 1802 AMSAT Phase III satellite.
AMSAT organizations worldwide
From its first launch, AMSAT projects have had international scope. As of 2006, 21 countries have launched an amateur satellite. Many of these countries have their own AMSAT affiliate, some of which are noted below:
The AMSAT Phase system describes an amateur satellite based upon its capabilities or mode of operation and roughly parallel the development of amateur satellites.
Most amateur satellites do not receive their sequential OSCAR designation until after they are successfully in orbit, and then only at the request of the launching organization. Regardless, amateur satellites will have been named by the organization that constructed it, and that name is frequently prepended to its OSCAR designation, resulting a name such as CubeSat-OSCAR 57. In conversation, names are usually abbreviated as CO-57 or similar.
A unique amateur satellite was SuitSat, an obsolete Russian space suit with a transmitter in it, which was launched in 2006 from the International Space Station. In a twist of fate, "Oscar" was the name given to an obsolete space suit by its young owner in the book Have Space Suit, Will Travel, by Robert A Heinlein. This book was originally published a year after the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik.
Satellites previously launched by AMSAT-NA
The names of the satellites below are sorted in chronological order by launch date, ascending. The status column denotes the current operational status of the satellite. Green signifies that the satellite is currently operational, orange indicates that the satellite is partially operational or failing. Red indicates that the satellite is non operational and black indicates that the satellite has re-entered the earth's atmosphere. The country listing denotes the country that constructed the satellite and not the launching country.
AMSAT-NA is currently building a series of 1U CubeSats to carry university experiments, including a camera, and mode U/V FM repeaters. The first of these satellites, Fox-1A, was launched on 8 October 2015 and is currently operational and available for use It has an FM transponder with uplink on the 70 cm band and downlink on the 2 metre band.
The second and third of these satellites, Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D will launch no earlier than July 28, 2016. RadFXSat/Fox-1B is currently scheduled for launch on January 20, 2017.
RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E, a variation of the Fox-1 series, carrying a mode V/U linear transponder has been accepted for a launch by the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative.
AMSAT is also working on a Phase 4 mission to geosynchronous orbit and actively pursuing High Earth Orbit (HEO) opportunities.
Currently operating missions
AMSAT-NA operates the AO-7 and AO-85 satellites, which are open for general amateur use.