The world’s first satellite was the Russian Sputnik One which was launched on October 5 1957 with a downlink frequency of 20.005 MHz, which was heard and monitored worldwide and it was this event that launched many countries into satellite building.
Amateur Radio operators were not far behind in wanting to send up their own satellites Oscar 1 was the first official amateur radio satellite and this has been followed by many more, both Low Orbital and High Orbital satellites.
The LEO gives a window for a few minutes several times each day, while the HEO stay visible for several hours and the footprint spans several countries.
“HAMSAT” or VO52 as it was officially known in satellite numbering terms was a LEO satellite.
India’s first amateur satellite which ISRO assisted in making and launching had been in use for long by amateurs worldwide.
The inverting transponder on board functioned flawlessly and was a source of great enjoyment to hams in many countries.
In most countries where all-mode rigs for VHF and UHF are more easily available, the use of this satellite has been mostly on SSB and CW. However in India FM rigs are more common and so most of the use has been on FM.
More details of the frequencies, modes of operation, tips on how to make and use simple antennas for satellites are available on sites like AMSAT India and we recommend you give working satellites a try- it is much easier than you may think.
The good news is that ISRO has indicated that they will assist in launching any other satellites that Indian Hams may make in the future-so it is hoped that VU hams will undertake more ambitious projects.