By IAED Staff
The amateur radio-hosted payload going into orbit with the Millennium Space System (MSS) geosynchronous satellite in 2017 is set to enhance emergency and disaster communication extending over the U.S. from the Mid-Pacific to Africa.
Transmitting emergency communications via the geosynchronous satellite lets amateur radio volunteers provide more reliable communication support since, with a geosynchronous, the satellite will always be within a band of longitudes over the Americas, continually accessible to amateur radio operators.
MSS will operate the satellite on behalf of the U.S. Air Force, while the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) will manage the ham radio payload, being designed and built by researchers at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. The payload must be delivered for testing and integration by spring 2016.
The Hume Center team is also designing a ground terminal that emergency personnel could use to relay communication channels through the satellite.
Amateur radio operators relying on mobile and easily transported equipment have long assisted with emergency communications in the event traditional communications networks collapse. AMSAT was organized in 1969 to foster amateur radio’s participation in space research and communication. The very first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR, was launched on Dec. 12, 1961.
The Virginia Tech News story at http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2015/12/122215-ictas-humegeoradio.html gives you the full story.