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This is a collection of articles introducing amateur satellites and related topics that are hosted here on AMSAT.ORG. There are other articles you will find in the Links section of this page that may or may not be available as they are hosted on other sites. Many authors have contributed such articles, and all the articles have their strengths and weaknesses. While we offer as many as are offered AMSAT does not endorse or recommend any one article over another. You should find some good info in each of these articles. Documents are generally listed with the most recently updated first.

Documents for New Satellite Users

Title Description Last Updated
The Amateur Satellite Resource Guide The Guide is a 9-page document concentrating on pointers to sources of detailed information about the amateur satellite program. It's intended to be useful as a handout at a satellite talk or hamfest booth. Provided by Mike Seguin, N1JEZ. (PDF) December 2004
Introduction to Amateur Satellites
(Updated for Echo!)
A presentation by Emily Clarke W0EEC, AMSAT Area Coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area, also a member of Project OSCAR .  Updated to include information on working AO-51. (PDF) July 2004
Una Introducción a los satélites
Una introducción corta a funcionar los satélites aficionados escritos por Ramón Santoyo V., XE1KK (en español) Julio 2004
O que são Satélites
Este documento contém um conjunto de questões e respostas, susceptíveis de elucidarem qualquer um acerca da forma como deverá proceder para se equipar e explorar as comunicações através de satélites. Mariano Gonçalves, CT1XI (em português) Julho 2004
The AMSAT Story Keith Baker and Dick Jansson wrote "Space Satellites from the World's Garage -- The Story of AMSAT," as a paper presented at the National Aerospace and Electronics Conference, Dayton, Ohio, 23-27 May 1994. It is a good first introduction to AMSAT as an organization. June 2004
AO-27 and SO-50 FAQ By Ray Soifer, W2RS.  This answers many frequently-asked questions about operating with FM on AMRAD-OSCAR 27 and Saudi-Oscar 50. January 2004
Working your first Amateur Satellite An article by Tony Langdon, VK3JED, describes working SUNSAT (SO-35) using simple equipment. (pending further update by Tony) May 2004
Working the Easy Sats Written by Gary Rogers, WA4YMZ and updated by Mike N1JEZ. This is an informal introduction to the amateur satellite program, combined with hints on getting started using the more easily accessed satellites. It is 36 pages long, and chock full of specific, useful information aimed at the new satellite enthusiast. Updated in April 2002 by N1JEZ. (PDF) April 2002
An Introduction to APRS Written by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR who is the technical guru on APRS and PCSats. This is an introduction for users who may have not previously used APRS and contains links to APRS resources. June 2004
A Simple Satellite Mobile QRP Station by Douglas Quagliana, KA2UPW, describes working AO-27 with simple equipment. September 1997
Cheap and Easy Satellite Antenna(s) Three articles by Richard Crow N2SPI that originally ran in the AMSAT Journal May 2007

More Advanced Topics

Title Description Last Updated
Houston AMSAT Net A collection of scripts from the KK5DO Houston AMSAT Nets. These contain lots of good information for beginners to amateur satellites. Various
Keplerian Elements Tutorial Taken from the InstantTrack documentation by Franklin Antonio, N6NKF. March 2004
Keplerian Elements Formats Collected from various sources by Paul Williamson, KB5MU. March 2004
The Case for Polarization Switching Jim White, WD0E, explaining why you might want circularly polarized antennas that can switch between left-hand and right-hand polarization. Unknown
Learn DSP By Code Library Richard Crow, N2SPI explains, step by step, in the simplest possible terms, how to write, run, and experiment with your own DSP software so you can learn the new science of DSP for yourself. The articles ran in the Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct, and Nov/Dec 2007 issues of the AMSAT Journal. At the request of the author you will need to read the articles there. Here is a ZIP compressed library of all the files referenced in the articles. December 2007

For Builders of Amateur Satellites

If you're thinking of using amateur radio on your satellite project please refer to the International Amateur Radio Union satellite frequency coordination page. Also refer to this FAQ on Using Amateur-Satellite Service Frequencies for your satellite project.

If you want your satellite to be known by an OSCAR number, see the AMSAT-OSCAR Numbers Policy.

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