OSCAR-11 / UOSAT-2 celebrates 30 years in orbit

UOSAT-OSCAR-11 has now been in orbit for 30 years and remarkably its signal on 145.826 MHz FM (AFSK 1200 bps ASCII) is still being received.

OSCAR-11, also known as UOSAT-2, was designed and built by a team of engineers at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, UK as the successor to OSCAR-9 / UOSAT-1.

It was launched from the Western Test Range at Vandenberg Air Base, in Lompoc, California along with LANDSAT-5 on a Delta 3920 rocket on March 1, 1984.

OSCAR-11 was the most rapidly designed OSCAR, going from inception to launch in only five months. It was also the first amateur satellite to carry a digital communications package into Earth orbit, and the first to be controlled by a CPU running software written in the high-level programming language “Forth”.

OSCAR-11 carries beacons in three amateur radio bands.

The 145.826 MHz beacon transmits FM Audio Frequency Shift Keying (AFSK) 1200 bps ASCII data. It the early years it also transmitted a voice message from the digitalker experiment.

The 435.025 MHz beacon transmitted either 1200 bps FM AFSK or 4800 bps PSK data. This beacon was used to downlink information from the Digital Store and Readout (DSR) Experiment, which includes CCD Earth image data, results from the Particle Wave Experiment, and engineering data from the RCA COSMAC 1802 CPU.

The 2401.5 MHz beacon transmitted FM and PSK signals. Antenna polarization for all three beacon transmitters is left-hand circular (LHCP). Only the 145.826 MHz beacon is now operational.

Addition OSCAR-11 information - http://www.g3cwv.co.uk/oscar11.htm

OSCAR-11 page on the DK3WN satellite blog - http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?cat=47

SSTL Blog – Happy 30th Birthday to UOSAT-2 - http://www.sstl.co.uk/Blog/March-2014/Happy-30th-Birthday-to-UoSAT-2-

OSCAR-9 and OSCAR-11 TV News Reports - http://amsat-uk.org/2011/10/30/oscar-9-and-oscar-11-tv-news-reports/

BBC Micro ASTRID UoSAT receiver and AMSAT-UK Software Library - http://amsat-uk.org/2011/12/11/bbc-micro-and-amsat-uk-software-library/