via the ARRL: BIRDS CubeSat Constellation to Launch in 2017

AMSAT-UK reports that four CubeSats will comprise the BIRDS (Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds) constellation, which is set to deploy from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017. The 1U CubeSats — BIRD-B, BIRD-J, BIRD-G, and BIRD-M — have identical designs, will use the same Amateur Radio frequencies, and will be deployed as a group. The main mission of the 2-year project is to use the constellation to carry out radio communication experiments via a network of UHF/VHF Amateur Radio ground stations around the world.

Four faculty members — including Yasuhiro Tokunaga, JG6YBW — and 15 students at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) are coordinating the experiment, with participation from student engineering teams at universities in Bangladesh, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, Thailand, and Taiwan. Project literature and news releases describe the BIRDS project as a five-satellite constellation, but the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) reports frequency coordination requests for only four.

via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources