There are three primary Amateur Satellite (AMSAT) organizations in the world. AMSAT-NA (North America), AMSAT-UK (United Kingdom) and AMSAT-DL (Germany). All deal with all aspects of amateur satellites and the International space station.
Founded in 1969, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT-NA) is an all-volunteer organization that has been instrumental in “keeping amateur radio in space” over the past 50 years.
There are currently several operational amateur radio satellites in orbit, providing a variety of services such as FM voice, SSB and CW communications. For example several use two meters and 435 MHz FM. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has both voice and digital capabilities on two meters and 435 MHz. Numerous satellites carry linear transponders for CW and SSB and act as space repeaters. There are also a number of university satellites with scientific payloads that transmit in the amateur radio bands that can be monitored.
AMSAT has developed a number of publications and software items designed to help you become active in the satellite program. If you are new to amateur satellite operations, AMSAT’s “Getting Started With Amateur Satellites” is a wealth of information for a nominal donation. A complete listing of our resource offerings is available on our website and you may purchase them throughAMSAT’s secure web store. When available, you may also find the latest in AMSAT-NA fashion for out of this world clothing for your next ham club meeting.
AMSATis a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources.
The links below are to the three agencies and will provide a wealth of satellite info:
Satellite Tracking Software
SatPC32 is a amateur radio satellite tracking software. More preisely, it is a sattellite pass prediction software program. It calculates the precise point a satellite will be in space at a given time using the satellites orbital elements that you download from NASA. By downloading the free program, your computer can “track” any satellite, the space station or any orbital space object tracked by NASA.
There are several other satellite tracking programs available but this is the one that several of us around Springhill use and are most familiar with. This free software will allow you to watch the satellite movements on your computer screen in real time. The program draws a “footprint” on a global map on your computer screen that indicats that any point inside the “footprint: is visible by the satellite. Conversly, any station within the footprint can “see” the satellite and thus can access the satellite.
Once you can “track” satellites with the free download, it is time to start thinking about hooking our antennas to the computer. Then, when the satellite gets in range of your station, the program will point your antenna at the satellite and track the satellite across the sky.
SatPC32 is compatible with the Yaesu 5500 series of rotors which is the defacto standard in azmith/elevation rotors for amateur satellite work. A low cost Fox Delta ST2 interface is needed to conntect the computer to the rotor for total automatic tracking. You can always move the rotors by hand to the azmith and elevation coordinates shown on your computer screen and not need a rotor or interface to aim your antenna.
For now, download the free English demo program and just start tracking satellites. The coordinates you will need to enter for Springhill, LA are Latitude 33 and Longitude -93 (minus 93). Contact David Smith K5ST or Robert Smith KJ5SO for more information and help in geting set up.
The link to free SatPC32 download is: http://www.dk1tb.de/downloadeng.htm