Amateur Radio Geostationary Satellite

Key program aspects

"Hands on, Minds on" research in RF and Security:

  • On-orbit learning laboratory to develop new capabilities in satellite communications and amateur radio
  • Digital protocols to enable push-to-talk, wifi, and streaming video
  • Onboard processing - geolocation, co-channel, machine learning
  • App development and real time experimentation
  • Beam steering and coordinated collection
  • User authentication and prioritization
  • Open cryptography

AMSAT Phase4B Project Specficiations:

  • SDR-based 5 & 10 GHz amateur satellite payload being designed to take advantage of geosynchronous launch opportunities
  • Rideshare established on the US Air Force Remote Sensing Program Office Wide Field of View (WFOV) geosynchronous satellite being designed by Millennium Space Systems
  • Software-defined radio (SDR) payload from Rincon Research Corporation

Program Reach:

  • Free and open access to the repeater to amateur radio operators worldwide
  • Deployable Ground Stations to provide coverage (wifi hotspots and push-to-talk) through the GEO asset
  • Students from across Virginia Tech engaged in payload design and development, and amateur radio operations through the Virginia Tech Ground Station

First Responder Applications:

  • Resilient assets allow for 24/7 coverage for amateur radio communications
  • Trained operators mobilize to disaster areas to provide emergency communications support
  • Support from FEMA and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)


  • A reconfigurable digital transponder that allows for new waveforms and protocols to be used
  • Will carry up to 100 uplink digital channels on FDMA based protocol not unlike trunk mobile radio
  • Payload will be designed and built by students and faculty of Virginia Tech, utilizing the "Hands On, Minds On" mission to educate the next generation of amateur radio operators and engineers