Hams Radio Operators Can Listen to New Satellites

NanoSail-D (Credit: NASA)

Hams Invited to Listen for New Satellites ARRL Press Release

Five research satellites were carried to orbit Friday evening aboard a Minotaur V rocket from Kodiak Island, Alaska. All the satellites use Amateur Radio frequencies and hams have been invited to participate in their missions by monitoring and collecting data.

The FASTRACs are two relatively small “nanosatellites” built by students at the University of Texas-Austin. They enter orbit as a single spacecraft, but then separate into FASTRAC 1, known as “Sara Lily,” and FASTRAC 2, referred to as “Emma.” Both satellites use 1200 or 9600 baud AX.25 digital communication and transmit at 1 W output, so they should be receivable with omnidirectional VHF or UHF antennas and decodable by ordinary packet radio hardware and software.

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