Wednesday August 3, 2011 at 18.43 UTC, while performing an EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity), ISS Expedition 28 Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov and Alexander Samokutyaev manually released into space the amateur radio satellite ARISSat-1/Kedr.


This is the prototype test flight of a proposed series of educational satellites being developed in a partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), the NASA Office of Education ISS National Lab Project, the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) working group and RSC-Energia.


The satellite is also called “KEDR”, which means “Cedar” in Russian. This was

the call sign used by Youry Gagarine during his historic space flight in 1961.  Kedr commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first man in space.


ARISSat-1 was designed, developed and tested by AMSAT-NA and ARISS volunteers. The primary mission for the satellite is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education around the world. The satellite also carries an experiment developed by the University of Kursk, Russia for the study of the atmospheric pressure in the space layer close to Earth.


Students are expected to be able to easily receive the 2m FM transmissions and use the information in classroom exercises. There are 24 greeting in 15 languages, most with a Secret Word at the end. Students or classes can email their Secret Word reception and receive a certificate.


Certificates will also be issued for SSTV image reception, voice telemetry reception, CW reception, full SSB telemetry packet reception and Kursk experiment reception. The satellite has four cameras on board that are constantly taking pictures and sending them to earth using SSTV Robot-36 format in the 2m FM transmission. The official Web site for the ARISSat-1 project is


Free software is available for the PC and Mac that will take audio from a 2m SSB receiver connected to a computer sound card and display the BPSK-1000 telemetry signal.


Students and interested observers will be able to get the experiment data and plot it as well as watch the temperature and battery voltage changes as the satellite gets closer to the earth.


A 16 kHz wide 70cm/2m (U/V) SSB/CW transponder is aboard, which can be used by Amateur Radio operators to operate through. An issue with the UHF receiving antenna is limiting the use of this transponder, but early reports are encouraging.


The 40 kHz wide signal containing FM, CW, BPSK and transponder is all being transmitted simultaneously using new SDX (Software Defined Transponder) technology.


Details are available on the following webpages :


ARISSat-1/Kedr is expected to operate for nearly 6 month before de-orbiting.



Gaston Bertels – ON4WF

ARISS Chairman