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ARISSat-1 Tops Agenda at AMSAT-NA’s Annual Meeting


The development and next year’s scheduled launch of ARISSat-1 were the main topics of discussion at the 2010 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and Annual Meeting, held October 8-10, 2010, in Elk Grove, Illinois. ARISSat-1 has been delivered to NASA to undergo final preparations for delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). ARISSat-1 is scheduled to be manually released into orbit during an ISS spacewalk early next year.

The ARISSat-1 project began when plans for SuitSat-2 had to be shelved for lack of a space suit. The development team undertook the task of housing the payload planned for SuitSat-2 in a more traditional housing adapted for manual deployment. A few units were developed to have on standby for future launch opportunities; one of these units was on display at the Symposium.

ARISSat-1 Project Manager Gould Smith, WA4SXM, provided a project overview and assembly details, while AMSAT-NA Vice President of Engineering Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, discussed the satellite’s power system and the SDR technology incorporated into ARISSat-1. Other presenters included Phil Karn, KA9Q, developer of the BPSK1000 telemetry modulation and coding scheme (designed to counter fading problems often found with low Earth orbit satellites without attitude control), Douglas Quagliana, KA2UPW, author of a program to display ARISSat-1 telemetry and Robert Davis, KF4KSS, who discussed power budgeting and vibration testing.

ARISSat-1 will feature an inverting linear transponder with uplink at 435.742-435.758 MHz and downlink at 145.922-145.938 MHz. FM voice announcements, SSTV and telemetry will be downlinked at 145.95 MHz; BPSK1000 data will be sent at 145.920 MHz. A CW beacon -- identifying as RS01S -- will transmit at 145.921 MHz. The satellite’s lifespan before reentry is uncertain, but likely to be around nine months, lasting through most of 2011, assuming it is released as scheduled.

Symposium proceedings also included a discussion of the ongoing development of the AMSAT-FOX FM CubeSat by Monteiro and a discussion of AMSAT’s adaptation to restrictions on international cooperation imposed by the export control rules of the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). A Sunday tour of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory concluded the Symposium.

ARRL Central Division Vice Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA, served as Master of Ceremonies for the host committee. Symposium proceedings are available at the AMSAT-NA store.



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