Encyclopedia Astronautica
AMSAT


Citizen of the World agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Amateur Satellite Corp - Branches in various countries, International.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • STENSAT American technology satellite. One launch, 2000.01.27. Picosat built by built by the AMSAT-NA (Amateur Satellite, North America) group, and carried an amateur radio transponder. More...
  • Amsat Echo American military communications satellite. One launch, 2004.06.29. More...

See also
  • Agency Agencies or institutions overseeing design, development, construction, or operation of space-related systems. More...

Associated Programs
  • Oscar Amateur radio satellite network. For over a third of a century a series of OSCAR satellites have been launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...

AMSAT Chronology


1972 October 15 - . 17:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 0300. LV Configuration: Delta 0300 575/D91.
  • Oscar 6 - . Payload: Amsat-Oscar-6. Mass: 16 kg (35 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 6236 . COSPAR: 1972-082B. Apogee: 1,455 km (904 mi). Perigee: 1,449 km (900 mi). Inclination: 101.7000 deg. Period: 114.90 min. AMSAT-OSCAR 6 was launched piggyback with ITOS-D (NOAA 2). AO-6 was the first phase 2 satellite (Phase II-A). Weight 16 kg. Box shaped 430 x 300 x 150 mm. Quarter-wave monopole antennas (144 and 435 MHz) and half-wave dipole antenna (29 MHz). Firsts: complex control system using discrete logic; satellite-to-satellite relay communication via AO-7; demonstrated doppler-location of ground station for search and rescue; demonstrated low-cost medical data relay from remote locations. Equipped with solar panels powering NiCd batteries, AO-6 provided 24 V at 3.5 W power to three transponders. It carried a Mode A transponder (100 kHz wide at 1 W) and provided store-and-forward morse and teletype messages (named Codestore) for later transmission. AO-6 lasted 4.5 years until a battery failure ceased operation on June 21, 1977. Subsystems were built in the United States, Australia, and Germany.

1974 November 15 - . 17:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2310. LV Configuration: Delta 2310 592/D104.
  • Oscar 7 - . Payload: Amsat-Oscar-7. Mass: 29 kg (63 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 7530 . COSPAR: 1974-089B. Apogee: 1,459 km (906 mi). Perigee: 1,440 km (890 mi). Inclination: 101.8000 deg. Period: 114.90 min. AMSAT-OSCAR 7 was launched piggyback with ITOS-G (NOAA 4) and the Spanish INTASAT. The second phase 2 satellite (Phase II-B). Weight 28.6 kg. Octahedrally shaped 360 mm high and 424 mm in diameter. Circularly polarized canted turnstile VHF/UHF antenna system and HF dipole. Firsts: Satellite-to-satellite relay communication via AO-6; Early demonstrations of low-budget medical data relay and doppler location of ground transmitters for search-and-rescue operations were done using this satellite. AO-7 was fully operational for 6.5 years until a battery failed in mid 1981. However the satellite was still functional in day-side passes when its ever-degrading solar cells could function, and was still responding to amateurs as of August 2006. Additional Details: here....

1978 March 5 - . 17:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2910. LV Configuration: Delta 2910 621/D139.
  • Oscar 8 - . Payload: Amsat-Oscar-8. Mass: 27 kg (59 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 10703 . COSPAR: 1978-026B. Apogee: 903 km (561 mi). Perigee: 894 km (555 mi). Inclination: 99.2000 deg. Period: 103.00 min. AMSAT-OSCAR 8 was launched piggyback with LandSat 3 (ERTS 3) and PIX. The third phase 2 satellite (Phase II-D). Weight 27.2 kg. Box shaped, 33 cm high, 38 x 38 cm. Circularly polarized VHF canted turnstile, UHF quarter wave monopole, and HF half-wave dipole antenna system. Another cooperative international effort (United States, Canada, Germany and Japan). AO-8 had a similar store-and-forward service as AO-7 and carried Mode A (145.850-900 MHz uplink and 29.400-500 MHz downlink) and Mode J (145.900-146.000 MHz uplink and 435.100 MHz downlink (inverted)) linear transponders and telemetry beacons on 435.095 MHz and 29.402 MHz. AO-8's primary mission was for educational applications and amateur communications. It was in operation for six years until the battery failed on June 24, 1983.

1983 June 16 - . 11:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L6.
  • Oscar 10 - . Payload: Phase 3B. Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 14129 . COSPAR: 1983-058B. Apogee: 35,442 km (22,022 mi). Perigee: 4,007 km (2,489 mi). Inclination: 27.2000 deg. Period: 699.50 min. AMSAT Oscar 10, registration no D-R 001. Scientific and communication satellite for the amateur radio service. Frequency plan: Transponder U: 435.1 MHz (uplink), 145.9 MHz (downlink), Bandwidth +/- 75 kHz. Transponder L: 1269.45 MHz (uplink), 436.55 MHz ( downlink), bandwidth +/- 400 kHz. Two beacons adjacent to passband. Launch vehicle Ariane L6. First amateur satellite with onboard propulsion (which did not function entirely correctly, due to collision with launch vehicle after separation - hence the not-quite-Molniya-orbit). Computer control failed December 1986 due to radiation damage to memory. As a result, ground control stations have no control over the spacecraft. However, when the orientation is favourable (with respect to the Earth and Sun), OSCAR 10 continues to provide good Mode B service. If users coorperate, OSCAR 10 may provide many more years of service. Project Management: AMSAT-NA (Jan King, W3GEY) and AMSAT-DL (Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC). Spacecraft sub-systems: Contributed by groups in Canada, Hungary, Japan, United States and West Germany. Spacecraft: Spin Stabilised with Magnetorquers: Power: 50 W solar array, 2 NiCd batteries. Payload: Transponders/Beacons: Mode B: Type: Linear, inverting, 50W; General Beacon: 145.809 MHz (Carrier); Engineering Beacon: 145.987 MHz; Uplink: 435.030-435.180 MHz; Downlink: 145.975-145.825 MHz. Mode L (no longer operational): Type: Linear, inverting, 50W: Beacons: 436.020, 436.040 MHz; Uplink 1269.450 MHz (800 kHz); Downlink 436.550 MHz.

1988 June 15 - . 11:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V22.
  • Oscar 13 - . Payload: Phase 3C. Mass: 150 kg (330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. Decay Date: 1996-12-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 19216 . COSPAR: 1988-051B. Apogee: 37,995 km (23,608 mi). Perigee: 809 km (502 mi). Inclination: 57.9000 deg. Period: 686.60 min. AMSAT-OSCAR 13 was launched by the first test flight of the Ariane 4 launcher. Size 600 x 40 x 200 mm. AO-13 was the third in a series of Phase-3 type high-altitude, elliptical orbit amateur communications satellites. It was built by an international team of radio amateurs led by Dr. Karl Meinzer of AMSAT-Germany. It carried four beacon transmitters and four linear transponders. AO-13 also contained a digital communications transponder called RUDAK-1. However attempts to get the experiment operating failed. Operational life span was 8 years. Careful analysis of AO-13's orbit in early 1990 by Victor Kudelka, OE2VKW revealed that resonant perturbations exist which lead the satellite into a negative perigee altitude. The perigee was down to 150 km by August 1996 which drastically increased atmospheric drag on the satellite until it reentered the Earth's atmosphere December 5, 1996.

1993 September 26 - . 01:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V59.
  • ITAMsat - . Payload: Oscar 26. Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: Italy. Agency: AmSat. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 22828 . COSPAR: 1993-061F. Apogee: 802 km (498 mi). Perigee: 789 km (490 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: ITAMsat was built by AMSAT-ITALY. Its mission was to store and forward amateur radio messages..

1999 April 2 - . 11:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Sputnik-99 - . Nation: France. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: OSCAR. Decay Date: 1999-07-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 25685 . COSPAR: 1999-015C. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi). Perigee: 400 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Summary: Subscale amateur radio model of Sputnik 1. Reentered July 29..

2000 January 27 - . 03:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1OSP / SLV-1.
  • STENSAT - . Mass: 0 kg ( lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Manufacturer: STENSAT. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STENSAT. USAF Sat Cat: 26094 . COSPAR: 2000-004M. Apogee: 783 km (486 mi). Perigee: 734 km (456 mi). Inclination: 100.2000 deg. Period: 100.00 min. Summary: Picosat. Built by built by the AMSAT-NA (Amateur Satellite, North America) group, and carried an amateur radio transponder. Ejected from OPAL on February 11; unfortunately no data was received thereafter..

2000 November 16 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V135 507.
  • AMSAT-Oscar-40 - . Mass: 4,758 kg (10,489 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: AMSAT. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 26609 . COSPAR: 2000-072B. Apogee: 58,650 km (36,440 mi). Perigee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Inclination: 7.5000 deg. Period: 1,146.50 min. The long-delayed Phase 3D amateur radio satellite, built by AMSAT-DL (Germany), was renamed AMSAT-Oscar-40 (AO-40) once launched. It carried an MBB S400 liquid engine (the backup engine for the Galileo Jupiter probe) and a variety of amateur radio payloads in L, S, C, X, V, U and K bands, as well as an ammonia arcjet thruster and a laser communications experiment. The satellite was the largest amateur satellite orbited to date and the first to feature deployable solar panels. Mass was 397 kg dry. The PAS 1R, STRV 1c/1d, and AMSAT Phase 3D satellites were placed in orbit on a single Ariane launch. At 0149 GMT the SBS cylindrical adapter which connected PAS-1R to AMSAT was jettisoned; 50 seconds later AMSAT separated from the EPS upper stage. Thereafter the spacecraft could not be contacted. Finally telemetry was received from after two weeks of silence, confirming that the satellite was still functioning.

2004 June 29 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC109. Launch Pad: LC109/95. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: Dnepr.
  • Amsat Echo - . Mass: 12 kg (26 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AmSat. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Amsat Echo. USAF Sat Cat: 28375 . COSPAR: 2004-025K. Apogee: 818 km (508 mi). Perigee: 697 km (433 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 100.00 min.

2005 May 5 - . 04:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV. LV Configuration: PSLV-C6.
  • VUSat - . Payload: IHamsat. Mass: 42 kg (92 lb). Nation: India. Agency: AmSat. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 28650 . COSPAR: 2005-017B. Apogee: 646 km (401 mi). Perigee: 607 km (377 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Period: 97.20 min. Microsatellite providing satellite-based Amateur Radio services to the international community of Amateur Radio Operators (HAMs). Primarily intended for HAM operators in South Asia. One of the transponders was developed by Indian amateurs with the assistance of ISRO, and the second by a student at the Higher Technical Institute, Venlo, Netherlands. Hamsat was a 630 mm x 630 mm x 550 mm cube of aluminium-honeycomb structure. Power was provided by body-mounted gallium arsenide solar panels and a lithium ion battery. The satellite was spin-stabilised at 4 rpm. Uplink/downlink frequencies were 435.25 MHz / 145.9 MHz.

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