Launch of a new satellite: MESAT-1 (with AMSAT transponder)

Launch of a new satellite: MESAT-1 (with AMSAT transponder)

MESAT-1 (Maine’s 1st small satellite) is a 3U cubesat hosting three different projects previously selected by the NASA CSLI program (CubeSat Launch Initiative).


Launch Vehicle

The launch will be carried out by a Firefly Alpha. The ElaNa 43 mission is scheduled for November 2022 from launch complex SLC-2W on Vandenberg Space Force Base.

This will be the second demo mission of an Firefly Aplha rocket (VCLS Demo 2-FB), while the last one has been marked a success, it did not go unnoticed that all payload was lost only days after deployment in orbit, mainly because the altitude reached was not sufficient.


Three different projects has been selected as payload for the mission (Source: AMSAT Newsletter)

  • ALBEDO: Saco Middle School will study reflected light (albedo) and local temperature in urban and rural areas, with the idea that urban heat islands could be mitigated through architectural designs that reflect more light.
  • IMAGER: Fryeburg Academy will photograph shallow coastal waters as part of an effort to distinguish turbidity and phytoplankton concentration from space. The academy is collaborating with the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.
  • HAB: Falmouth High School will work on early detection of harmful algal blooms by measuring atmospheric temperature and water vapor levels around bloom areas. They will watch blooms develop, move, and disperse.

Ham Radio details

The main radio communication provided will be the LTM-1 (linear transponder module) which has been build by AMSAT. LTM-1 is one of the AMSAT projects targeted to make the use of radio connections easier on satellites.

The LTM-1 will provide telemetry of the satellite as well as a V/U transmitter.

According to the news article, the latest FoxTelem will be needed in order to decode the telemetry data.

Telemetry beacon downlink: 435.800 MHz 1200 baud BPSK
Transponder uplink: 145.910–145.940 MHz
Transponder downlink: 435.810–435.840 MHz

There is also a secondary radio onboard. The EyStar transmitter was planed to be used for accurate GPS signals, but has been reduced in functionality during the building process.

This post is always free for Patreon supporters, consider becoming a supporter