23 Apr 2017

Geosynchronous amateur satellite next year?

At the moment, 2018 seems the likely launch date of a Middle East satellite that includes a 250kHz wide linear amateur transponder. Now, it has to get into the right orbit and work. If successful, the 2.4GHz uplink and 10GHz downlink would enable very wide coverage around the world with small, fixed antennas. If it works, it could change amateur radio for ever. There are a lot of uncertainties.

See https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/eshail-2/

1 comment:

Todd Dugdale said...

Yes, it's a very exciting development. North and South America are going to be covered by a second satellite on 5/10 GHz. The two satellites won't be linked, however, AFAICT.
24/7 continent-wide coverage is a huge game-changer, as you point out. No more worries about ionospheric propagation. No more towers and long dipoles. No more kilowatt QRO stations running the table. We can actually have conversations on satellites, instead of brief exchanges of grid squares.

OTOH, mobile operation could be difficult. And there won't be nice, quiet FM on the satellite; it will be more like HF in that regard. Conventions and etiquette will need to be established: calling frequencies, mode sub-bands, LSB/USB, etc. Perhaps the "band" will be "channelised". Overall, it's a combination of 'HF' simplex and repeater operation that will be unfamiliar to everyone.

Have you started designing any transverters yet? Or a simple digimode transceiver? There's your next million pounds right there, Roger. The demand for gear will be huge and immediate.