Brazil Forms an AMSAT Organization


An AMSAT organization has been formed in Brazil (AMSAT-BR), as a special-interest group under the Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão (LABRE), the national International Amateur Radio Union member society. AMSAT-BR was established “to better organize Brazilian Amateur Satellite activities, to better represent the Amateur Radio community to organizations developing CubeSat projects, and to attract more amateurs in different regions of the country to join our cause,” LABRE Executive Director Orlando Perez Filho, PT2OP, told AMSAT-NA.

The primary missions of AMSAT-BR will be to foster activities related to development, building, operating, and monitoring Amateur Radio satellites and high-altitude balloons, as well as activities using these in STEM education.

Filho noted that collaboration with CubeSat projects in Brazil has given LABRE an opportunity to learn more about their missions and made them aware of the need to better align activities with Amateur Radio service objectives while demonstrating to project participants the benefits of getting involved with the Amateur Radio community. LABRE volunteered to assist some projects with IARU frequency coordination applications, leading to CubeSats with significant Amateur Radio involvement, including the AESP-14 1U educational CubeSat recently deployed from the International Space Station.

AESP-14’s primary mission was to test a CubeSat form factor, power system, and onboard computer, developed by space systems engineering students in Brazil. The project includes an Amateur Radio experiment in the form of a reception experiment contest, developed by the Americana Amateur Radio Club, where pre-defined text strings will be stored onboard the spacecraft and randomly transmitted. The experiment was conceptualized by several Brazilian radio amateurs.

AESP-14 was deployed from the ISS on February 5, but, so far, no signals have been heard. The CubeSat’s telemetry beacon has a power output of 500 mW and uses AX.25 on 437.600 MHz with 9600 bps GMSK modulation (G3RUH standard).

Other projects include NCBR1, a 1U scientific CubeSat project in which radio amateurs assisted with reception and monitoring. AMSAT-BR is hoping for a closer collaboration with the Amateur Radio community for NCBR2, which may include an Amateur Radio experiment. In addition, ITASAT-1 is a 6U educational CubeSat being developed by engineering students at the Aeronautics Technology Institute (ITA). It will include a short-text messaging store-and-forward transponder. Amateurs are also working with some high schools to use the satellite in STEM education.

A 2U educational CubeSat 14BISat is under development by engineering students at  Fluminense Federal Technology Institute in Rio de Janeiro. AESP-16 is a 1U educational CubeSat being considered for 2016 that also may incorporate an Amateur Radio payload.

Some students already have obtained Amateur Radio licenses as a result of their collaboration of the Amateur Radio community in their educational satellite projects. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service