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China Plans Lunar-Orbiting Amateur Radio Satellites


China’s Harbin Institute of Technology is developing a pair of lunar-orbiting satellites — DSLWP-A1 and A2. According to Mingchuan Wei, BG2BHC, DSLWP is “a lunar formation-flying mission for low-frequency radio astronomy, Amateur Radio, and education,” consisting of two microsatellites. Launch is planned in June 2018, to place the pair into a 200 × 9,000 kilometer (approximately 124 × 5,580 mile) lunar orbit.

The Amateur Radio payload on DSLWP-A1 will provide telecommand uplink and telemetry and a digital image downlink. Open telecommand is also designed to allow radio amateurs to send commands to take and download images.

The satellites are 50 × 50 × 40 centimeters, with a mass of about 45 kilograms and are 3-axis stabilized, with two linear polarization antennas. The team has proposed downlinks for DSLWP-A1 on 435.425 MHz and 436.425 MHz; downlinks for DSLWP-A2 would be 435.400 MHz and 436.400 MHz, using GMSK with concatenated codes or JT65B. Harbin Institute of Technology also developed the Lilac series of CubeSats. 




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