Amateur Radio Satellite Data

This page provides tables of information for amateur radio satellites. Also known as Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio (OSCAR) satellites, the spacecraft and/or the amateur radio transceivers are designed and built by Ham radio operators. OSCAR designators (numbers) are assigned sequentially by AMSAT. Amateur satellites that are not built by AMSAT are assigned OSCAR designators only if a request is made by the satellite's owner.

The tables below contain the following quick reference information for amateur radio satellites: General Catalog Data , and Frequency Information for Analog satellites, Digital satellites, and Manned Satellites. Complete information for the amateur radio satellites is available on the AMSAT Web page and the AMSAT Satellite Summary page.

Frequency information is also available for the AMSAT Phase 3D Spacecraft.

Analog satellites contain transponders or repeaters that can relay voice communications. Digital satellites are capable of transmitting, receiving, or relaying digital information. Satellites with both analog and digital transponders are listed in both tables. Many manned satellites carry amateur radio transceivers for scheduled contacts with schools and random contacts with amateur radio operators.

Catalog Data

The Catalog data provides general information about the satellite. This information is very useful when finding Keplerian elements for the satellite. The three common ways of identifying a satellite are by its: (1) Name or ID, (2) 5-digit Catalog Number, or (3) International Designator. The satellite ID is listed below in the table in both abbreviated and full form since it is identified by both somewhat interchangeably. The 5-digit catalog is assigned by NORAD/Space Command sequentially; each satellite has a unique number. The International Designator provides the launch year, followed by the sequential launch number for that year, and a piece identification. The primary piece from a launch (first spacecraft) is traditionally piece "A" and so forth. All payloads are assigned piece identifiers before spent upper stages and other launch debris are assigned identifiers. The piece identifier may be as long as three letters.

Satellite IDFull NameCatalog #Int. Des. LaunchedOrbit Type
AO-10AMSAT OSCAR 101412983-058B 16-JUN-83Highly Elliptical
AO-16AMSAT OSCAR 162043990-005D 22-JAN-90LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
AO-27AMRAD OSCAR 272282593-061C 26-SEP-93LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
DO-17DOVE OSCAR 172044090-005E 22-JAN-90LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
FO-20Fuji OSCAR 202048090-013C 07-FEB-90LEO
FO-29Fuji OSCAR 292427896-046B 17-AUG-96LEO
IO-26ITAMSAT OSCAR 262282693-061D 26-SEP-93LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
KO-23KITSAT OSCAR 232207792-052B 10-AUG-92LEO, Circular
KO-25KITSAT OSCAR 252283093-061H 26-SEP-93LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
LO-19LUSAT OSCAR 192044290-005G 22-JAN-90LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
MIRMir Space Station1660986-017A 18-FEB-86LEO, Circular
PO-28POSAT OSCAR 282282993-061G 26-SEP-93LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
RS-12/13Radio Sputnik 122108991-007A 05-FEB-91LEO, Circular (Polar)
RS-15Radio Sputnik 152343994-085A 26-DEC-94LEO
RS-16Radio Sputnik 162474497-010A 04-MAR-97LEO, Circular
RS-17Radio Sputnik 172495897-058C 03-NOV-97LEO, Circular
UO-11UoSAT OSCAR 111478184-021B 01-MAR-84LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
UO-22UoSAT OSCAR 222157591-050B 17-JUL-91LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)
WO-18WEBERSAT OSCAR 112044190-005F 22-JAN-90LEO, Circular (Sun-Synchronous)

Most amateur satellites are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that are circular or nearly circular. To date, all high-altitude amateur satellites have been in highly elliptical orbits, with a portion of the orbit at low altitude.


Analog Satellites

Satellites with analog transponders are listed below. The Mode is an AMSAT convention used to describe the frequency band combination of the transponder's uplink and downlink. For instance, Mode A is a 2 meter uplink and a 10 meter downlink. Most analog satellites have linear transponders. Linear transponders cover a discrete passband of frequencies for the uplink and downlink. Inverting transponders will invert both the sideband and track frequency in opposing directions (an increase in uplink frequency results in a corresponding decrease in downlink frequency. (Since CW is just a carrier, there is no sideband to invert, but frequency does track in the opposite direction.) Non-inverting transponders maintain the same sideband for uplink and downlink and track frequency in the same direction.

The convention for using an inverting transponder is to transmit on Lower Sideband (LSB) and receive on Upper Sideband (USB); for non-inverting transponders, use USB for both the uplink and the downlink.

Satellite IDModeUplink Freq.Uplink Mode Downlink Freq.Downlink ModeTransponder
AO-10B--145.810, 145.897 USB/CWBeacons
AO-10B435.030 - 435.180LSB/CW 145.975 - 145.825USB/CWInverting, Linear
AO-27J145.850FM 436.792FMPart-Time Repeater
FO-20JA--435.795 USB/CWBeacon
FO-20JA145.900 - 146.000LSB/CW 435.800 - 435.900USB/CWInverting, Linear
FO-29JA--435.795 USB/CWBeacon
FO-29 JA 145.900 - 146.000LSB/CW 435.800 - 435.900USB/CWInverting, Linear
RS-12KT--29.357, 145.830 USB/CWBeacons
RS-12A145.910 - 145.950USB/CW 29.410 - 29.450USB/CWNon-inverting, Linear
RS-15A--29.352 USB/CWBeacon
RS-15A145.858 - 145.898USB/CW 29.354 - 29.394USB/CWNon-inverting, Linear
RS-16A--29.408, 29.451 USB/CWBeacons
RS-16U--435.504, 435.548 USB/CWBeacons
RS-16A145.915 - 145.948USB/CW 29.415 - 29.448USB/CWNon-inverting, Linear
RS-17AN/AN/A 145.825FM MCWBeacon


Digital Satellites

Digital satellites receive and transmit computer-generated messages over the radio similar to modem communication over a telephone line. The amateur digital satellites have store and forward messaging capability and/or digital repeaters (called digipeaters). Most amateur digital satellites require a specialized Terminal Node Controller (TNC) to correctly modulate the digital signal. An excellent source of information on satellite TNCs (and digital communications in general) is the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) Web page.

Note that the digital satellites each have their own unique call sign required to establish communications.

Satellite IDCallsignUplink Freq.Uplink Mode Downlink Freq.Downlink ModeType
AO-16PACSAT145.900, .920, .940, .960FM 437.0513SSB1200 Baud PSK
DO-17DOVE-- 145.825FM1200 Baud AFSK
F0-298J1JCS145.850, .870, .890, .910FM 435.910FM 1200 Baud PSK, 9600 Baud FSK
IO-26ITMSAT145.875, .900, .925, .950FM 435.822SSB1200 Baud PSK
KO-23HL01145.850, .900FM 435.175FM9600 Baud FSK
KO-25HL02145.870FM 436.500FM9600 Baud FSK
LO-19LUSAT145.840, .860, .880, .900FM 437.1528SSB1200 Baud PSK AX.25
PO-28POSAT145.975FM 435.2777FM9600 Baud FSK
UO-11---145.825FM 1200 Baud PSK
UO-22UOSAT5145.900, .975FM 435.120FM9600 Baud FSK
WO-18WEBERSAT-- 437.104SSB1200 Baud PSK AX.25


Manned Satellites

Manned spacecraft carry amateur satellite equipment for several purposes including: education, recreation, and backup communications. Scheduled contacts are made with schools for educational purposes. Astronauts and Cosmonauts use the equipment to relieve the boredom of a long spaceflight. The U.S. Space Shuttle and the Russian Mir Space Station often communicate using the amateur radio equipment during the approach phase of a docking.

The Russian Mir Space Station has 2 meter and 70 centimeter FM equipment for both voice and packet radio communications. Communication may be with one of the crew or to another ground-based amateur radio operator the through the 70 centimeter SAFEX repeater. (The crew has also been known to use the SAFEX equipment.) The U.S. Space Shuttle has 2 meter FM equipment for both voice and packet radio communications

Satellite IDCallsignUplink Freq.Uplink Mode Downlink Freq.Downlink ModeType
MirDP0MIR435.850FM 145.800FMVoice
ShuttleW5RRR144.490FM 145.550FM1200 Baud Packet
ShuttleVarious144.91, .93, .95, .97, .99FM 145.550FMVoice (Except Europe)
ShuttleVarious144.700, .750, .800FM 145.550FMVoice (Europe Only)
ShuttleVarious144.450, 144.470FM 145.840FMVoice (Mir Docking Missions Only)


Back To Home