AMSAT-DL turns 50: “We’ve been putting satellites into space since 1973”.September 9, 2023
Anniversary Satellite Meeting with Symposium in the Radome of the Bochum Observatory
From September 15-17, 2023, the radome of the observatory will be dedicated to satellite and space research: AMSAT Deutschland e.V. (AMSAT-DL for short) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the organizers are taking this as an opportunity to put the annual symposium in a special setting this year: “Under the motto “From OSCAR 10 to OSCAR 100: 50 years of AMSAT-DL in the service of science, research and education”, the speakers will also look back on what has been achieved, but will devote themselves to the present and future perspectives of their space projects,” explains Thilo Elsner, director of the Bochum Observatory, who is not only the host of the conference, but also the deputy chairman of AMSAT-DL.
AMSAT-DL, was founded in April 1973 in Marburg/Lahn and was for a long time located in the Central Development Laboratory for Electronics (ZEL) of the University of Marburg. It is an association of dedicated engineers, technicians, scientists, students, radio amateurs and space enthusiasts. They plan, develop, build, operate and use non-commercial satellites. Special attention continues to be paid to promoting young people’s understanding of technology.
The Bochum Observatory and AMSAT-DL have been cooperating for a longer period of time since 1997, with the goal of carrying out interplanetary missions and scientific experiments. “The recommissioning of the 20m antenna under the radome of the Bochum Observatory, together with the modernization of the control computers, took place between 2002 and 2004 in a joint project. A special highlight was the first reception of the VOYAGER-1 spacecraft in 2006” recalls AMSAT-DL President Peter Gülzow. “At this point, we should also mention the reception of NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft, which has been taking place continuously from Bochum since 2008 and provides important data on solar activity to NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).”
In 2017, AMSAT-DL moved its association headquarters from Marburg to Bochum-Sundern. Since then, a very large number of interplanetary missions, including to Mars and the Moon, have been regularly observed scientifically. Since 2018, the first geostationary amateur radio satellite QATAR-OSCAR 100 (QO-100) with two AMSAT transponders for narrowband (voice) and wideband (DVB-S2) operation has been commanded from the observatory.
The most current project is the design and construction of its own miniature satellite, a so-called PocketQube called ERMINAZ. Successful participation in a DLR microlauncher competition in the fall of 2022 secured a timely launch option for this particular satellite project.
Even though AMSAT-DL looks back on 50 successful and eventful years, the focus is on the future!
AMSAT Germany e.V.
Bochum Observatory, Educational Center for Space and Environmental Research
Tel. Office: 0234/ 57989-0
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