December 1, 2022

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Via the ARRL: Launch of a Wooden Satellite Still Pending

Two spacecraft comprised of wood or using wooden framing are hoping to launch this year and next. One will carry an amateur radio payload.

WISA Woodsat, a Finnish spacecraft that planned to include an amateur radio payload, was forced to postpone its announced launch target from 2021 to 2022 after the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination system turned away its request to use amateur radio frequencies.

“I regret to inform you that IARU is not in a position to support the WISA Woodsat Coordination request,” the coordinator said. “The main reason is that the primary mission doesn’t seem to be an amateur mission.”

As announced last year, WISA Woodsat was designed to accommodate multiple missions — from materials science, space education, and awareness to promoting and facilitating amateur radio communication with and via satellites. No transponder was on board, but the satellite’s sponsors said they had the support of Finland’s IARU member-society, SRAL, to use amateur radio frequencies. They are now reworking the spacecraft to use commercial radio frequencies.

“To our great disappointment, we can’t serve the radio amateur community with the LoRa-repeater mission as we had hoped and planned. We will continue to share the pictures and data online, but the technical aspect has been diminished due to this decision,” said WISA Woodsat’s Chief Engineer Samuli Nyman of Arctic Astronautics.

Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources