Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!

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At the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton announced the plan for the next generation of AMSAT satellites. “The door is open for everyone, to submit their ideas. AMSAT Engineering has a long term strategy and this is the first step.”

The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals

  • Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications skills
  • Enhance international goodwill
  • Grow and sustain a skilled pool of amateur radio satellite engineers
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with educational institutions
  • Develop a means to use hardware common to all opportunities

With respect to the last goal Jerry said “Within the bounds of the type of satellite it takes to achieve any of the various orbit opportunities, let’s consider in those plans the possibility of developing a platform that can suit any and all orbits.  Perhaps a modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we did in Fox-1, which gives great flexibility in building and flying different sizes and configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware changes.”

Submissions should be thorough and contain the following information.  The purpose of the proposal is not just in suggesting an idea; being an all-volunteer team AMSAT needs your help in carrying out the idea.

  • Design
  • Implementation – CubeSat platform
  • Estimated timeline
  • Cost – volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units
  • Launch – how does it get to orbit
  • Strategy – how it fits into AMSAT’s Engineering long term strategy

As mentioned above the idea should be based on the CubeSat platform. This is the standard through which we will look for launches in the foreseeable future.

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AMSAT videos from Dayton 2014

Tom, K3IO, was the speaker at the AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at the Dayton Hamvention. In his talk, he remembers the many Elmers that helped him with his hobby and career.

Barry, WD4ASW and AMSAT President, gives an update on AMSAT, including changes to the BoD roster, regulatory issues, membership and finances.

As AMSAT’s new VP of Engineering and Fox satellite team leader, Jerry gives an update on the Fox-1 satellite, its design, milestones, and launch opportunities. He also looks ahead to Fox-1B, Fox-1C, Fox-1D, and Fox-2.

Howard, G6LVB, gives a fascinating look into the launch and operation of the FUNcube-1 satellite, and a tentative calendar of the next three FUNcube satellites.

Drew, KO4MA, reviews six operational amateur satellites, then previews another dozen amateur satellites that will be launched soon, or should be turned over to amateur use when their primary mission is completed.

Frank, KA3HDO, gives an update on Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, including the radios and antennas on board, the impact of funding changes at NASA, and the new Ham TV system.

EMike, KC8YLD, explains how K-16 education is key to the launches of future amateur radio satellites, and discusses the joint work of AMSAT, ARRL, and NASA.

In this brief video, Spence, WA8SME, shows the next version of the WRAPS rotor with circularly polarized antennas and discusses an updated broadband preamp that now includes an antenna polarity switch.

Older AMSAT videos can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATNA/videos

Special Thanks to Steve Belter, N9IP for recording and editing the videos from the Dayton Hamvention, making them available for those who couldn’t attend in person!