European Digipeating Satellites Set for Fall 2023 Launch
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has coordinated the launch of two European satellites that will serve as digipeaters. The first satellite, Veronika, is a 1U CubeSat scheduled to be launched on a Falcon 9 mission in October 2023. It will be equipped with a 24/7 digipeater on two different bands and will also transmit experimental slow-scan digital video (SSDV). The satellite aims to engage Slovak grammar and high schools through an education and outreach mission, transmitting special CW and AX.25 messages on various occasions. Veronika will feature a novel Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) subsystem, aiding in its identification during the initial days and weeks in orbit.
Veronika will utilize Spacemanic’s Murgas transceivers and will provide AX.25 telemetry, a CW beacon, a digipeater, special occasion messages for community engagement, experimental SSDV transmissions, SatNOGS integration, a decoder, and a dashboard. Its downlink frequency has been coordinated at 436.680 MHz, using 9k6 G3RUH AX.25 and a CW beacon. The satellite will be launched by SpaceX into a 500/600-kilometer polar orbit.
The Romanian Federation of Amateur Radio (FRR) is also preparing for a satellite launch. Their satellite, ROM-3, is a picoSAT measuring 50 x 50 x 100 millimeters, set to launch in October or November 2023. ROM-3 has three main missions: acting as a digital amateur radio repeater, transmitting low-resolution SSDV images in Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK) mode, and sending a CW beacon for signal detection and measurement. The downlink frequency for ROM-3 is 436.235 MHz, transmitting at 20 WPM on CW, 500 bps GFSK telemetry, and 5 kBps GFSK SSDV. The satellite will be launched by SpaceX into a 500-kilometer polar orbit.