The club station W8UM has a highly capable VHF/UHF/microwave system to communicate with low earth orbit (LEO) amateur radio satellites, the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle, and other spacecraft orbiting Earth. The station is based on an ICOM IC-910H transceiver and an automated antenna tracking system using an Alfa Spid elevation-azimuth rotator and circularly polarized high gain Yagi-Uda antennas mounted on a dedicated tower atop the EECS building.
Richard KD8APA and his EECS 430 team successfully completed the station’s first phase at the end of April 2006. The station is active on the 2m (144 MHz) and 70cm (430 MHz) bands on SSB/FM modes using AO-51 “Echo” with full auto-tracking capability. In the planning stages are L-band, S-band and higher frequency receive and transmit capabilities. There are a lot of opportunities here to design and build some exciting microwave equipment that can extend the station’s capabilities.