The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation

Come by to find out what we do, and talk about what we can do together!

Low-cost “LTM-1” CubeSat radio module

STEM education opportunities including hosted experiments

Communications satellite missions providing worldwide access

Open source development of CubeSat systems

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Jerry Buxton

Vice president engineering

Jerry leads AMSAT’s all-volunteer Engineering Team of amateur radio satellite enthusiasts and professionals based in the U.S.

Following AMSAT’s first-ever CubeSats, a series of five 1U satellites known as “Fox-1”, AMSAT’S “GOLF” series of 3U CubeSats will reach for much higher orbits and wider radio coverage footprints, also hosting STEM education payloads.

AMSAT’S ASCENT program provides opportunities for independent open source development of new amateur radio satellite communications to be part of future GOLF, Fox Plus, and subsequent satellites.

Jonathan Brandenburg

Jonathan Brandenburg

Assistant Vice President, Engineering

Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, is AMSAT’s new Assistant Vice President — Engineering. Jonathan oversees a new program tentatively named “Fox Plus.”

The popular Fox-1 series of 1U LEO CubeSats host student STEM experiments from Vanderbilt University, Penn State Erie, Virginia Tech, and the University of Iowa.

Fox Plus provides a refresh of the presence of LEO ‘Easy-Sat’ type communications, carrying student STEM experiments and adding AMSAT radio experiments as well.

Jonathan intends to target frequent deliveries of Fox Plus CubeSats into orbit, and wide use of open-source in the program.

Introductory Engineering Video



Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint:
The AMSAT GOLF Program

The goal of the GOLF program is to work in steps through a series of increasingly capable spacecraft, developing skills and systems for higher orbits that provide wider coverage and longer access times to the entire Amateur Radio satellite community worldwide.

Common design elements for the GOLF series will include:

    • 3U CubeSats
    • Deployable solar panels
    • 3-Axis attitude control
    • SDR (Software Designed Radio)
    • RT IHU (Radiation Tolerant IHU Design)
    • C band (5.6 GHz) uplink and X band (10 GHz) downlink (nicknamed “Five & Dime”)

Fox Plus

AMSAT’s Fox Plus intends to provide a continuous Low Earth Orbit satellite presence through a refresh of AMSAT’s Fox-1 FM Satellite.

Initially using the basic Fox-1 bus design, Fox Plus provides an opportunity to refresh the presence of LEO “Easy-Sat” communications.

Fox Plus also continues our practice of hosting student science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiments that provide students access to space, while sharing their experiment results with the worldwide network of amateur radio operators capturing the satellite and experiment data telemetry. This open sharing of telemetry data transmitted in the clear essentially extends the classroom across the globe for all to observe and learn, accessing the same results that the student creators will have.

We will also have the ability to fly our own radio experiments, bringing in new volunteer engineers to develop the new transceiver and power systems needed due end-of-life for many of the original Fox-1 components. 

ARDC Support of GOLF:
3U Spaceframe Development

AMSAT received a generous grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) for the development of a 3U spaceframe with deployable solar panel arrays. This standardized 3U CubeSat space frame will be used in AMSAT’s GOLF series of satellites as well as a new generation of low earth orbit FM satellites. The spaceframe design will be available to the public under an open access agreement.

Central to the development of the 3U spaceframe, AMSAT will build three flight-ready spaceframes for an upcoming series of satellites with potentially enhanced flight control, payload and communication capabilities.

The need for a 3U spaceframe with deployable solar panels goes back to the original design requirements for the Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint (GOLF) satellites that would return AMSAT to Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO).



The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, or AMSAT, is a worldwide group of Amateur Radio Operators (Hams). It was formed in the District of Columbia in 1969 as an educational organization.

For over 50 years, AMSAT groups in North America and elsewhere have played a key role in significantly advancing the state of the art in space science, space education, and space technology. The work now being done by AMSAT volunteers throughout the world will continue to have far-reaching, positive effects on the future of both Amateur Radio, as well as other governmental, scientific and commercial activities in the final frontier.

AMSAT’s goal is to foster Amateur Radio’s participation in space research and communication. The Organization was founded to continue the efforts, begun in 1961, by Project OSCAR, a west coast USA-based group which built and launched the very first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR, on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of Russia’s first Sputnik.

Today, the “home-brew” flavor of these early Amateur Radio satellites lives on, as most of the hardware and software now flying on even the most advanced AMSAT satellites is still largely the product of volunteer effort and donated resources. Though we are fond of traditions our designs and technology continue to push the outside of the envelope.

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