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US Naval Academy CubeSats Get OSCAR Numbers


AMSAT has announced that two US Naval Academy-sponsored CubeSats have been assigned OSCAR numbers. BRICsat now will be known as NO-83, and PSAT has been designated as NO-84. OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, made the assignments in response to a request from Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, at the Naval Academy.

“From everything I can determine, these satellites meet all of the requirements for OSCAR designations,” Tynan told Bruninga. “Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I hereby confer the designation Naval Academy OSCAR 83 on BRICsat and Naval Academy OSCAR 84 on PSAT. I, and the entire amateur satellite community, hope for successful missions for both NO-83 and NO-84 and congratulate you and the rest of the Naval Academy team who designed, built and tested these two OSCAR spacecraft.”

Both satellites were among several that were launched on May 20 from Cape Canaveral.

PSAT (NO-84) is a student satellite project, named in honor of USNA alumnus Bradford Parkinson of GPS fame. Its payloads include an APRS transponder for relaying remote telemetry, sensor, and user data from remote users and Amateur Radio environmental experiments or other data sources back to Amateur Radio experimenters via a global network of Internet-linked ground stations.

PSAT’s digipeating capabilities are essentially the same as PCSat (NO-44) and the Amateur Radio packet system on the International Space Station. PSAT is on 145.825 MHz (1200 baud APRS), and BRICsat is on 437.975 (1200/9600 baud AX.25).

BRICsat-P (NO-83) — the Ballistic Reinforced Communication Satellite — is a low-cost 1.5 U CubeSat built in the US Naval Academy Satellite Lab in collaboration with George Washington University. It was designed to demonstrate on-orbit operation of a micro-cathode arc thruster (µCAT) electric propulsion system and carries an Amateur communication payload.

PSAT and BRICsat also carry 300 mW Brno University PSK31 transponders — 28.120 MHz up/435.350 MHz (FM) down. The PSK31 transponder, PSAT’s primary mission, permits dozens of simultaneous users to operate full duplex and maintain a continuous group dialogue throughout a pass. -- Thanks to AMSAT News Service