Chinese Amateur Radio Satellite Launch Now Scheduled for September 18


Nine Amateur Radio satellites will be among 20 satellites set to launch on September 18 from China. China Amateur Satellite Group CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, told ARRL that the satellites will head into space at 2300 UTC and separate from the rocket 15:14 after launch. Four of the microsatellites and two of the CubeSats included in the launch have been designated as XW-2A through XW-2F. The other three satellites — a CubeSat, a nanosatellite, and a picosatellite, carry the designations CAS-3G through CAS-3I, respectively. The nine satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads were delivered to the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Central China in August. The launch has been postponed twice. Initially CAMSAT had planned to launch the satellites in mid-July. Then the launch was put off until “September 7 or 8.”

 XW-2 Keplerian Elements Provided by CAMSAT

1 99999U       15261.96885740  .00004980  00000-0  28369-3 0 00000

2 99999 097.4712 269.8396 0010382 266.0521 270.6645 15.12847582000010

The XW-2 series satellites are equipped with substantially identical Amateur Radio payloads (see XW-2(CAS-3) Sats) — a U/V mode linear transponder, a CW telemetry beacon and an AX.25 19.2k/9.6k baud GMSK telemetry downlink, CAMSAT has said. Each Amateur Radio complement has the same technical characteristics, but will operate on different 70 centimeter uplink and 2 meter downlink frequencies. XW-2A through XW-2F have identical quarter-wavelength deployable monopole whip antennas made of steel tape.

In August the IARU informed CAMSAT that it was only able to coordinate uplink and downlink frequencies for two of the nine spacecraft (XW-2D and XW-2E). In a public statement released on August 20 by IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, the IARU reiterated that coordinated frequencies must comply with band plans common to all three IARU regions. “Satellites coordinated outside these plans could cause interference to terrestrial amateur operations in other regions,” the IARU said.

CAMSAT worked with three entities to complete the other three satellites: CAS-3G (DCBB), a 2U CubeSat being built by Shenzhen HIT Satellite Ltd of China for educational purposes; CAS-3H (LilacSat-2), a Harbin Institute of Technology of China microsatellite for science experiments and Amateur Radio, and CAS-3I (NDT-Phone Sat), a National University of Defense Technology of China picosatellite for carrying out technical experiments. CAS-3G and CAS-3I will downlink digital telemetry on amateur frequencies, while CAS-3H will carry a U/V FM transponder and APRS.

Kung said a Long March-6 rocket will carry the XW-2 and CAS-3 satellites as well as the other spacecraft into orbit. — Thanks to CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU




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