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Two New Digitpeating Amateur Radio Satellites Approved

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has coordinated two European digipeating satellites that are scheduled to launch in fall 2023. At the Technical University of Košice in Slovakia, satellite Veronika, a 1U CubeSat, is scheduled for launch on a Falcon 9 launcher on the Transporter 9 mission in October 2023.

The satellite will be equipped with a 24/7 digipeater on two different bands, as well as experimental slow-scan digital video (SSDV) transmissions. There is an education and outreach mission planned to involve Slovak grammar and high schools, and to transmit special CW and AX.25 messages on several special occasions. The satellite will be equipped with a novel Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) subsystem, including electromagnetic actuators and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver. This will also help to identify the satellite during the first days and weeks of orbit.

The satellite will communicate using Spacemanic's well-known Murgas transceivers (BDSat-1, BDSat-2, Planetum-1). Altogether, Veronika will provide: AX.25 telemetry, a CW beacon, a digipeater, AX.25 and CW messages on special occasions for community engagement, experimental SSDV transmissions, SatNOGS integration, a decoder, and a dashboard. A downlink on 436.680 MHz has been coordinated, and it will use 9k6 G3RUH AX.25 and a CW beacon. A SpaceX launch on the Transporter 9 mission will send the satellite to a 500/600-kilometer polar orbit.

The Romanian Federation of Amateur Radio (FRR) is preparing the ROM-3 for launch in October or November 2023. ROM-3 is a 50 x 50 x 100-millimeter picoSAT with three missions and objectives. Its primary mission is to act as a digital amateur radio repeater. Its secondary mission is to transmit low-resolution SSDV images in a Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK) mode. The tertiary mission is to transmit a CW beacon that will help amateur radio operators detect the presence of the satellite and measure basic properties of the signals, such as its strength, fading due to spinning, and Doppler to measure speed. A downlink on 436.235 MHz has been coordinated for 20 WPM on CW, 500 (bps) GFSK telemetry, and 5 (kBps) GFSK SSDV. A SpaceX launch will send ROM-3 into a 500-kilometer polar orbit.


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