Future Amateur Satellites

A Brief History of Amateur Satellites

Satellite Summary

Arbeitskreis Amateurfunk und Telekommunikation in der Schule

AMSAT-DL (Germany)

In July 2002 the AMSAT-DL (Germany) board of directors gave its official green light to develop and build the two spacecrafts AMSAT-Phase 3-E (P3E) and AMSAT-Phase 5-A (P5A). Both satellites will be created in a common development process by an international team under the leadership of AMSAT-DL. 

The P3E satellite is to be launched as communication and scientific platform into a highly elliptical orbit around Earth. 

The second project with the working name "AMSAT- Phase 5-A" is destined to enter an orbit around the planet Mars. This spacecraft will then transmit scientific data to Earth - data from experiments on-board P5A as well as - via its repeater function - from experiments on the Martian surface or the planet's atmosphere.

BLUEsat - University of New South Wales

BlueSat is a student project managed and run entirely by students at The University of New South Wales. It is part of the UNSW Laboratory for Students Space Development program, a student-led umbrella body whose purpose is to foster the development of space related projects at UNSW.

The program aims to create an awareness for space science developments within the UNSW community, to get students involved in space related projects using real-world with hands on experience.

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The first satellite project of AMSAT-CE is CESAR-1 for CE Chile, SatÚlite de, Aficionados a las Radiocomunicaciones.


The CubeSat Project is in development at Stanford University's Space Systems Development Laboratory (SSDL) in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University. The goal of CubeSat is to provide an effective framework for the design, construction and launch of picosatellites by students at Stanford, CalPoly and affiliated institutions. Once completed, the CubeSats will deliver small payloads into Earth orbit.

Project Eagle

AMSAT-North America is planning a new satellite to be placed into an elliptical (GTO) orbit similar to AMSAT-OSCAR 40.  Plans call for transponders in U, V, L and S bands thus meeting the much requested "high altitude Mode V/U" communications. Eagle will also carry yet to be decided experimental equipment.


AMSAT-North America has started construction of a new low-earth-orbit (LEO) communications satellite. The satellite will be similar in mass and size to the original AMSAT MICROSAT design and will incorporate all new leading edge electronics and RF technology.  Plans call for the satellite to contain analog and digital VHF/UHF FM transponders similar to those carried on the UOSAT-OSCAR 14 and AMRAD-OSCAR 27 satellites currently in orbit. In addition, the new satellite will have the capability to host one or two other experimental payloads. The spacecraft is slated to be ready for launch in late 2003.

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EMERALD - Stanford University and Santa Clara University, California

EMERALD - The EMERALD Nanosatellite is a project to demonstrate distributed space systems technology and applications. It is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is directed to explore creative thinking in space systems design. Planned launch: space shuttle in 2003.

The HAND Project
Human Activated Nano-Satellite Demonstration

Researchers at Bristol University in England are asking the worldwide Amateur Radio satellite community to assist with data collection from a soon-to-be-launched nano-satellite project.

The small satellite will be hand launched from a future shuttle flight.

The satellite will downlink data using software that will be available on the satellite's web site at http://www.handsat.co.uk. The software has yet to be written. The Bristol University researchers are asking for hams to participate in designing the software, with input into the format chosen for the data stream. The web site features an on-line survey form.

KiwiSAT - AMSAT-New Zealand (AMSAT-ZL)

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SATEDU Project - AMSAT France (AMSAT-F)

A 20 kg class microsatellite designed and managed by AMSAT-France, partially developed and built by students.

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United States Naval Academy

The PCSAT2comm system will operate in the ITU Amateur Satellite Service in cooperation with ARISS and provide a PSK-31 multi-user transponder, an FM voice repeater for possible use with ISS Crew communications and an AX.25 packet system for use as a UI digipeater and for telemetry, command, control.

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News of other small satellite projects can be found at:

The University of Surrey Space Centre

HobbySpace - Satellite Building


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Last update December 30, 2003 - N7HPR