How to Write for the AMSAT Journal

AMSAT Journal
AMSAT Journal sample issue

The AMSAT Journal is the membership magazine of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), published six times per year in PDF format on AMSAT’s Member Portal website.

The Journal is looking for engaging and interesting articles, news, photos and other content related to all aspects of amateur radio in space. This includes satellite development, satellite history, ground stations, portable/mobile stations, antennas, DIY projects, hardware and software development, events/hamfests, new products, emerging technologies, developments in “new space,” member profiles, and notable grid activations. Items related to SDR, VHF, UHF, and microwave operating or roving also may be directly applicable to satellite operations.

AMSAT often collaborates with academic institutions to support STEM education, both on the ground and in orbit. The Journal welcomes news, photos, and articles of ARISS contacts, as well as amateur radio satellite-related university research and development, and STEM programs.

Amateur radio satellite operators have the equipment, knowledge and expertise to receive interesting and useful transmissions from non-amateur spacecraft and EME. Articles discussing how this is done are useful to our readers who wish to broaden their station capabilities and activities.

Deadlines for each AMSAT Journal issue are as follows:

Issue Author Submission Editing Complete
Jan/Feb 1/15 2/1
Mar/Apr 3/15 4/1
May/Jun 5/15 6/1
July/Aug 7/15 8/1
Sept/Oct 9/15 10/1
Nov/Dec 11/15 12/1

Our editors work with authors to finalize articles and other content for publication. Anyone wishing to write for the Journal should send the following:

  1. Electronic copy of your article in any of the popular word processing formats (MS-Word [preferred], OpenOffice, plain-text Notepad, etc.). PDF files containing a custom layout with embedded graphics cannot be used.
  2. Your text must be single column wide. Please do not format your manuscript layout to emulate the finished magazine. We must remove all pre-formatting before publication, so save yourself the time and energy.
  3. While we encourage graphics as part of your article, the text and graphics must be sent as separate files. Embedded photos will not publish during the layout process. We strongly prefer that you include a reference in the text to the related photo, figure or diagram associated with that point in your article. While you may indicate where you think that a particular graphic should appear in relation to the text, please note that magazine space, design, layout and other factors will determine actual placement of graphics. Example:

… text … text … text … text … text … text …
… text … text … text … text … text … text …

(Insert Graphic 1234 here)
Figure 2.  Sample Lorem Ipsum Text.

… text … text … text … text … text … text …
… text … text … text … text … text … text …

  1. Graphics should be numbered. Send a separate text file with the captions for each of the numbered graphics.
  2. The preferred graphic format for the Journal is JPG, but acceptable graphic formats include GIF, BMP, and PNG. Use as high-resolution pixel format as you can. Note that a photo that appears nicely on a web page does not display well on a high- resolution finished magazine product. Photos from digital cameras in mega-pixels work well. You do not need to compress or shrink the file for us.
  3. If you use printed circuit board software or schematic drawing programs, we usually can import a PDF copy of the diagram into the publishing software. This only applies to graphics; please do not send PDF formatted copies of the article or other text.
  4. We can freely republish papers you have submitted for publication in AMSAT symposia materials. If you have published an interesting and helpful paper in the Symposium Proceedings that you would like to share with the entire AMSAT membership, The AMSAT Journal is the best way to do that. While typically 200-300 copies of the Symposium Proceedings are distributed, The AMSAT Journal reaches approximately 4000 satellite operators.
  5. If your article was previously published in another AMSAT organization’s journal or another magazine (QST, CQ, QEX, etc.), we will work with you to secure the permission to republish your work.

Our editors will be happy to work with you to assist getting your article published. We can help you develop an idea into a finished article as well as a ready-to-print submission. Ask us via e-mail and we can get rolling with your article.

During the article development process, it is quite likely that an editor working on the article might personally contact you with questions and suggestions. Those suggestions might include extra graphics, more context or additional references, keeping in mind that some readers might not have an extensive background on the topic being discussed.

Send your articles and photo/graphics files as attachments to e-mail to the AMSAT Journal Editor.