March 4, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

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Via Southgate: WIA supporting Binar satellites

In 2020 the Board of the WIA supported the Binar-1 small satellite/CubeSat mission which was launched from the ISS by Curtin University.

Binar-1 is a 1U CubeSat currently in low-Earth orbit (LEO) and was a technical demonstrator of in-house developed hardware that aimed to become a repeatable platform for research and educational purposes.

This year the Board of the WIA agreed to support the upcoming mission 2 that will see satellites: Binar-2, Binar-3 and Binar-4 be deployed from the ISS in the same way as Binar-1 into LEO. A subsequent mission 3 will follow about a year later with three more CubeSats (Binar-5,6 and 7) to also be delivered into Low Earth Orbit.

Part of the Binar mission is to try to make it easier for young, enthusiastic students to learn more about and how to use amateur radio in a way which directly relates to STEM. We believe that this specific use of amateur radio is a fantastic crossover opportunity for education and encouragement of STEM. Previously young students were constrained by resources, and current program wants to provide a platform where students – both high-school and university – can learn about amateur radio, spacecraft, their operations, and science experiments flying onboard the spacecraft.

The satellites in Launch 2 will be Binar-2, 3, 4 will have a multiband radio, capable of operating in the amateur band. The radio frequencies are allocated in the 70cm Amateur Satellite Radio band and, as required by local and international regulatory bodies (ACMA, ITU, IARU), will be coordinated through the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) with the support of the Wireless Institute of Australia as the national association for Amateur Radio in Australia .

The main purpose of the usage of the amateur-satellite band allocation onboard the Satellites in Launches 2 and 3 is to provide a platform to educate high school and university students on satellite technology.

Peter VK8ZZ
WIA Secretary

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