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AMSAT SA Annual Space Symposium Goes Virtual

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AMSAT SA, the association of space communication enthusiasts, has turned its annual Space Symposium into a virtual online event. It will be held on Saturday 22 August from 10:00 – 15:00.

The association will share the recent developments of its CubeSat, designated AfriCUBE 1. Earlier this year an enthusiastic group of engineers and amateur radio hobbyists converted plans for an analogue satellite to a digital version and set out to develop a software defined transponder

and a Raspberry PI based CPU. The group had earlier worked on an analogue transponder and as part of the process, had developed a modular space frame featuring foldout solar panels which will now be used for AfriCUBE.

One of the oldest amateur radio satellites, AO7, which died and then came back to life, will be featured in one of the papers. A guest speaker from the USA will share the latest plans for new amateur radio satellites to be launched into a mid-orbit, and will discuss how to construct a satellite telemetry receiving station for interesting science experiments. Another interesting discussion will be about the SatNOGS system which is completely opensource and allows people to develop and build on. With only an antenna, SDR receiver and a Raspberry PI you can build your own DIY satellite ground station that can be used to track and decode various telemetry/data transmissions from different satellites that pass over South Africa.

Another paper of interest is about Qatar Oscar 100, amateur radio’s first geostationary satellite. It includes a demonstration of amateur radio digital television.To participate and get the full programme visit www.amsatsa.org.za

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