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AMSAT® Academy

Friday, Sept. 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a 7 a.m. breakfast

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Since the days of Sputnik, amateur radio has expanded its presence in the "final frontier."  With a new generation of satellites on the way, the opportunities for fresh adventures in communication are destined to grow. Even with modest equipment -- a handheld or two and a simple, home-built antenna -- you can join the growing ranks of ham-radio operators using the orbiters to contact other hams around the world or astronauts on the International Space Station.

Beyond personal enjoyment, a working knowledge of and experience with amateur-radio satellites can help position you or your club to support local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education efforts via projects that can truly inspire students. 

Join us this year for AMSAT® Academy 2.0, which builds on last year's day-long course to include: guidance on how to set up a portable satellite ground station; guidance on how to join a growing network of stations that capture, record, and submit amateur-radio satellite telemetry to a central repository; and practical tips for breaking the ice with local schools in order to fold amateur-radio satellite and Amateur Radio in the International Space Station (ARISS) activities into STEM education efforts. Last year's course material formed part of the foundation for AMSAT's own version of AMSAT® Academy, held in conjunction with this year's Dayton Hamvention. Likewise, AMSAT's modifications for Dayton will be incorporated into our convention's AMSAT® Academy 2.0

​This year's AMSAT® Academy instructors include Robert Bankston, KE4AL, vice-president, User Services, Amateur Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), Ron Bondy, AD0DX, an AMSAT® Ambassador, and long-time satellite enthusiasts Dan Eggert, AC9E, and Bill Ripley, KY5Q, an embedded-systems architect. The course fee is $30, and includes breakfast and a copy of the organization's "Getting Started with Amateur Satellites."

Here are the topics they'll cover:

1. AMSAT® - Where we've been, What we're doing now, and what's coming up next
2. Getting Started on Amateur Radio Satellites
3. Working FM Satellites
4. Working Linear Satellites
5. Working Digital Satellites
6. Capturing Satellite Telemetry - Satellite telemetry is a powerful research tool that helps scientists understand the environment in which a satellite operates.
7. The Secret to Uploading Satellite QSOs to LoTW
8. Portable Satellite Operations and the VUCC Rules

If you are interested in joining AMSAT®, you can download a brochure and application here. For information on the organization's 50th Anniversary Symposium and General Meeting Oct. 18-20, visit the event's website at

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