Ham Satellite news

GreenCube IO-117 Continues Operations Beyond Expected February 5th Passivation

This is a re-post from ANS-042

GreenCube IO-117 satellite continues to function beyond the initially scheduled shutdown of the amateur radio digipeater on February 5, 2024, at 0000 UTC. There have been no recent developments regarding the fate of this widely-used satellite since AMSAT Italia’s announcement on February 2nd that the Italian Space Agency is considering revisiting the decision to decommission it. Originally designed for scientific purposes and placed in MEO orbit, GreenCube satellite has successfully completed its primary mission. The “Save the GreenCube Satellite Digipeater” petition initiated by Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, has gained significant traction, garnering over 2,000 signatures to date. The petition, accessible at , remains open for further support.

The support from the amateur radio satellite community for the GreenCube IO-117 digipeater has been exceptionally robust. Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR, has introduced significant enhancements to his GreenCube Terminal in the latest Version, which can be accessed at Notable improvements encompass SatNOGS Integration, GPS Integration, “AMSAT Sheriff” Wyatt, and Live World View. The Oscarwatch GreenCube Reporter map, developed by Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, is available at, serving as a valuable resource for monitoring real-time activity on GreenCube. The recent success of the TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition, which made numerous GreenCube digipeater contacts, can be attributed to these enhancements and the collaboration of operators adhering to the recently released IO-117 Code Of Conduct recommendations.

To get a comprehensive view of the considerable amateur radio activity on the GreenCube digipeater, you can explore the GreenCube IO-117 Users Map curated by Doug Papay, K8DP, accessible at According to the latest update, GreenCube has facilitated digipeating for 1,576 unique callsigns and 999 unique grids. This encompasses digipeats from 121 DXCC entities, all 50 US states, all 47 JA prefectures, and 36 out of 40 CQ Zones. Since its launch in July 2022, 846 ground stations have contributed over 3.4 million telemetry and 6.2 million digipeater frames to the SatNOGS database. The top five contributors to the database, in terms of total submissions, are Doug Papay, K8DP, with 1.1M submissions; Dave Webb, KB1PVH, with 734k submissions; Dave Fisher, KGØD, with 576k submissions; Shige Nasu, JH8FIH, with 507k submissions; and Jacob Mol III, N8JCM, with 498k submissions.

GreenCube IO-117 exemplifies the strong backing the amateur radio satellite community extends to satellite missions incorporating telemetry data alongside communication opportunities for radio amateurs. The forthcoming challenge for satellite missions lies in soliciting input from the amateur radio satellite community and ensuring tools are available prior to launch. Leveraging its unique orbit and capabilities, GreenCube has enabled many to attain challenging awards on satellites, such as ARRL DXCC, ARRL Worked All States (WAS), and the JARL Worked All Japan Prefectures Award (WAJA). AMSAT, alongside thousands of amateur radio operators, remains steadfast in their support for the GreenCube mission, with hopes for its sustained success in the future.

[ANS thanks Doug Papay, K8DP, Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, and Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR for the above information]

Ham Satellite news

Last QSOs via IO-117 Greencube?

Maybe this was my last QSOs via IO-177 Greencube? Almost impossible to get any packet digipeated – as allways on daytime weekday passes over EU and NA.

Ham Satellite news

The First Amateur Radio Station on the Moon

Re-published from ANS-035

A rendering of the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) on the lunar surface. [Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, image]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully landed their Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) on January 19, 2024. Just before touchdown, SLIM released two small lunar surface probes, LEV-1 and LEV-2.

LEV-2 collects data while moving on the lunar surface, and LEV-1 receives the data.

The JAXA Ham Radio Club (JHRC), JQ1ZVI, secured amateur radio license JS1YMG for LEV-1, which has been transmitting Morse code on 437.41 MHz since January 19. The probe uses a 1 W UHF antenna with circular polarization and is transmitting “matters related to amateur business.”

Radio amateurs have been busy analyzing JS1YMG’s signal, with Daniel Estévez’s, EA4GPZ, blog introducing the method and extraction results for demodulating Morse code from the signal, as well as extracting the code string.

It’s unclear how long signals will be heard. JAXA has said that SLIM was not designed to survive a lunar night, which lasts about 14 days, and is due to return in a few days.

SLIM was launched on September 6, 2023, and landed on January 19, 2024, with the mission of analyzing the composition of rocks to aid research about the origin of the moon. SLIM’s landing made Japan the fifth country to achieve a soft touchdown on the moon. The landing was achieved with exceptional precision — within 180 feet of its targeted touchdown location.

[ANS thanks ARRL News for the above information]

Lunar Excursion Vehicle (LEV-1) Amateur Telemetry Received

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed on January 20, 2024, that the Lunar Excursion Vehicle (LEV-1), a small robot deployed from the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), successfully conducted activities on the lunar surface. The telemetry data were sent directly from the small robot.

According to telemetry data, after deployment from SLIM, LEV-1 executed planned leaping movements and direct communication with ground stations, including inter-robot test radio wave data transmission from the Transformable Lunar Robot (LEV-2, nicknamed “SORA-Q”). On the other hand, image acquisition on the lunar surface has not been confirmed as of now.

Currently, LEV-1 has completed its planned operational period on the lunar surface, depleted its designated power, and is in a standby state on the lunar surface. While the capability to resume activity exists contingent on solar power generation from changes in the direction of the sun, efforts will be maintained to continue receiving signals from LEV-1.

Both LEV-1 and LEV-2 have become Japan’s first lunar exploration robots. Additionally, the small LEV-1 with a mass of 2.1 kg (including a 90g communication device), achieved successful direct communication with Earth from the moon. This is considered as the world’s smallest and lightest case of direct data transmission from approximately 380,000 kilometers away.

Furthermore, the accomplishment of LEV-1’s leaping movements on the lunar surface, inter-robot communication between LEV-1 and LEV-2, and fully autonomous operations represent groundbreaking achievement. It would be regarded as a valuable technology demonstration for future lunar explorations, and the acquired knowledge and experience will be applied in upcoming missions.

Moreover, the transmission of UHF band radio waves from LEV-1 as part of outreach efforts has encouraged participation from amateur radio operators globally, and we have been receiving reports of successful signal receptions. This initiative provided an opportunity for the public to be directly engaged in lunar exploration missions. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the LEV-1 mission.

LEV-1 has an International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) coordinated downlink frequency of 437.410 MHz. A detailed report on receiving and decoding LEV-1 telemetry has been prepared by Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ/M0HXM. It can be found at  An earlier summary of LEV-1 design and specifications is at

[ANS thanks the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ/M0HXM, for the above information]

Ham Satellite news

AO-92 Reenters

Re-published from ANS-035

After just over six years in orbit, Fox-1D, designated as AMSAT-OSCAR 92 (AO-92), likely re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on February 3, 2024 (Space-Track had not issued the final decay message as of the time of this writing.)

AO-92 was a 1U CubeSat developed and built by AMSAT. It carried a single-channel transponder for mode U/v in FM and also had an L-band converter (the AMSAT L-band downshifter experiment), which allowed the FM transponder to be switched to an uplink in the 23 cm band.

In addition to the transponders, the satellite carried the following scientific and technical payloads:

  • High Energy Radiation CubeSat (HERCI) built by the University of Iowa
  • Camera Experiment built by Virginia Tech
  • MEMS GYRO Experiment built by Penn State-Erie

The satellite had a single whip antenna for the 70 cm and 23 cm bands (uplink), as well as an antenna for the 2m band (downlink).

AO-92 was launched on January 12, 2018 at 03:59 UTC on an Indian PSLV XL rocket, along with the main payloads Cartosat-2F, NovaSAR-S, and 31 other small satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, India. At 05:17 UTC, the antennas were deployed over the North Pole and the satellite began to operate. At 05:28 UTC the first telemetry was received.

On the 03:25 UTC pass on January 26, 2018, AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, announced that AO-92 had been commissioned and formally turned the satellite over to AMSAT Operations. AMSAT Vice President – Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, then declared that AO-92 was open for amateur use.

Rick Behma, VE4AMU, working AO-92 in Mode L/v with a Kenwood TM-941 mobile transceiver and Comet CYA-1216E yagi crossed with 2 meter Arrow II elements.

In addition to a very popular U/v transponder, the satellite provided a couple of unique capabilities. First was the L-band downshifter experiment, which was generally activated for 24 hours each Sunday while the satellite was able to support it. Pre-launch estimates suggested that approximately 100 watts ERP would be required to access the satellite, but much lower power outputs proved to be usable. Many stations operated through the satellite with radios such as the Alinco DJ-G7T at 1 watt of output into handheld antennas of between between 10 and 16 elements. At least one station reported accessing the satellite with just a simple whip antenna on 23 cm.

The camera, developed by students at Virginia Tech, also proved to be popular and delivered many good pictures, with the last photos received on September 19, 2020. An archive of all of the photos captured by ground stations can be found at

The distance record on AO-92’s U/v mode was 5,011 km – a transatlantic QSO between F4DXV and VE1VOX that took place on August 10, 2020. The record via the L/v mode was 4,202 km between OA4/XQ3SA and XE1MEX on June 3, 2020.

By early 2021, the aging NiCd cells – having been purchased in the early 2010s along with the rest of the Fox-1 battery cells – had degraded to the point where the satellite was entering safe mode on every eclipse. It was rarely operational in recent months. The transponder was occasionally turned on, but usually defaulted into “Safe Mode” at the next eclipse. The last telemetry frame was received from the satellite on October 27, 2023 at 01:36 UTC.

By every measure, AO-92 was a tremendously successful amateur radio satellite, providing educational and research benefits to AMSAT’s university partners, as well as providing several years of reliable FM communication for amateurs. Its useful life far exceeded the average operational lifespan for commercial or educational CubeSats.

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, and Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President, for the above information]

Ham Satellite news

AMSAT Responds to Planned Decommissioning of IO-117

Update 2024-02-02

Request to Reconsider Decommissioning of IO-117 Under Evaluation by Italian Space Agency

Moments ago, the AMSAT News Service received the following announcement from AMSAT Italia regarding IO-117 (GreenCube):

AMSAT Italia would like to inform the amateur community that its request to the Italian Space Agency, the owner of the GREENCUBE satellite, to reconsider its decision of decommissioning the satellite is under evaluation.

Waiting for its decision, IO-117 is still operational.

The GreenCube satellite was born as a scientific experiment placed in MEO orbit which successfully concluded its mission.

IO-117 is the HAM Radio part of the satellite consisting of a digipeter which was promoted by AMSAT Italia and coordinated by IARU-R1.

At the moment AMSAT Italia is committed to promoting the continuation of the mission for the HAM Radio part of Greencube.

AMSAT Italia BoD

[ANS thanks AMSAT Italia for the above information]

Re-published from ANS-025:

We were saddened to learn this morning that S5Lab plans to decommission IO-117 (GreenCube) and execute a passivation operation on February 5, 2024. AMSAT stands ready to leverage our decades of experience and work with S5Lab, AMSAT Italia, other AMSAT organizations, and the amateur satellite community at large to overcome any obstacles, regulatory or otherwise, to keeping IO-117 in service for as long as possible. This afternoon, AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, sent the following letter to S5Lab expressing our desire to provide any support we can to keep the satellite in operation.

January 25, 2024

Sapienza Space Systems and Space Surveillance Laboratory (S5Lab)
Sapienza University of Rome
Via Email

To The GreenCube Team:

Over the past 13+ months, amateur satellite operators around the world have enjoyed the use of the digipeater on GreenCube (IO-117). As amateur radio’s first satellite in a medium earth orbit (MEO), it has opened worldwide long-distance contacts via amateur radio satellite that had not been possible since the loss of AMSAT-OSCAR 40 in 2004. As this letter is being written, a DXpedition to Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean has made contact with several hundred amateur operators around the world – the first activation of this rare location on amateur satellite in over 30 years. AMSAT and the amateur satellite community greatly appreciate your team making this wonderful resource available.

Not only has this satellite been a great resource to the amateur community, but the amateur community has also assisted GreenCube’s mission by uploading millions of frames of data received – including much data from when the satellite is not within the primary ground station’s footprint.

Launches above low earth orbit are rarely available for amateur satellite missions. Since the first amateur radio satellite launched in 1962, fewer than ten have gone to orbits beyond LEO and only QO-100 (available to only part of the world) and IO-117 remain in service.

Due to the unique orbit and capabilities, we request that S5Lab postpone the scheduled passivation operation and keep the satellite’s digipeater in service. Amateur satellites have a long tradition of extended lifetimes. Amateur radio operators still utilize AMSAT-OSCAR 7 – launched nearly fifty years ago in 1974 – for communications on a daily basis. Many other amateur radio satellites have been actively used for ten to twenty years. AMSAT stands ready to leverage our 55 years of experience in managing amateur radio satellites and work with S5Lab, AMSAT Italia, other AMSAT organizations, and the amateur satellite community at large to overcome any obstacles, regulatory or otherwise, to keeping GreenCube in service for as long as possible.


Robert Bankston, KE4AL
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)

A PDF copy of this letter can be found at

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, for the above information]

Ham Satellite news Members news

Medlemsstatus och aktiviteter 2023

For english summary please scroll down:
Här kommer en sammanfattning över medlemsstatus och AMSAT-SMs internet- och informationsaktivitet från 2023.

2023 var ett mycket lugnt år från AMSAT-SM, vi har inte genomfört några aktiviteter utöver löpande verksamhet. Under hösten gjorde vi ett försök att locka till oss fler intresserade genom en artikel i QTC och en banner på SSAs förstasida. Det gav dock inte något märkbart resultat. Inga förfrågningar om föredrag inkom under 2023.

AMSAT-SM hade vid årets slut​ 310​ medlemmar att jämföra med 301 medlemmar för 2022.

X (Twitter) och Youtube
Via X (f.d. Twitter) har vi en fortsatt en mycket kraftig ökning av följare – just nu (31 dec 2023) 1977 ​följare jämfört med ​1687 ​följare i slutet av 2022. Vi kommer snart gå över 2000 följare på X!
Youtube-kontot var även 2023 ganska inaktivt med få nya inlägg pga. tidsbrist.

Den enda större förändringen under året var att vi lyfte fram några av de mest lästa artiklarna till framsidan. Nästan allt skrivs på engelska då vi har ett stort antal följare utanför Sverige. Kostnaden för hemsidan fortsätter att sponsras av Lars SM0TGU.

Vi ser igen ett stigande besöksantal jämfört med året innan. Nedan är de tre senaste åren.


På HF nätet har vi träffats varje söndag klockan 10 med antingen SK7TX eller SK4TX vid rodret. Brukar vara ett litet antal personer incheckade samt ett flertal lyssnare. Vi kör dagsaktuell information och möjlighet till frågeställning om det är något man funderar på.

English summary

2023 was a year of low activity from the AMSAT-SM group with no major updates or activities.

The current number of members of AMSAT-SM are 310. Note that we have no members fee as our activity is mostly information.

Followers on X (Twitter) was at the end of 2023 1977 ​compared with 1687 ​at the end of 2021. We are very happy for all new followers – thank you! Soon we will have 2000 followers!

We also see some increase in the web traffic for 2023. See the statistic image above.