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Satellite Radio Frequencies


Tyneside, UK
2020 Apr 2
Thursday, Day 93

Maintained by:




















Coherent Transmission Frequencies

The two frequencies are coherent in the ratio 8:3. Both the Soviet Union and the USA chose these frequency pairings for their navigation satellites, driven partly by space available in the worldwide radio spectrum. Both nations (the Soviet programmes having been taken over by Russia) and others now have satellites that transmit in this fashion.

US Satellites

The USA's Transit navigation satellites and their derivatives found their way here. The Transit system no longer operates but some of the later, Transit-O (OSCAR) vehicles still transmit, though their function has changed to ionospheric monitoring under the US Navy's Ionospheric Monitoring System (NIMS).

A coherent pair also exists for use by the US military for Doppler tracking and orbit measurement.

Soviet and Russian Satellites

The Soviet Union's 'Tsikada' navigation satellites, later 'Nadezhda', also operated here also but the system was switched off when GPS-style navigation satellites took over.

Another former Soviet system currently operated by Russia also transmits here. The 'Parus' transmissions are Tsikada-like in content but they hide another purpose. They may have included a navigation function originally but they carry a second, clandestine, payload for communications. The 'navigation' transmissions are probably more about allowing the user to calculate where to point the transmitting aerial rather than working out their location on the Earth's surface.

Occasional launches of 'Cometa' recoverable spacecraft can be found using coherent frequencies at 150/400 MHz.

Chinese Satellites

Many of the PRC's early launches used coherent frequency pairs at 180 and 480 MHz for orbit determination, still in the ratio 8:3. Currently, only CBERS and Fengyun satellites can be detected at these frequencies.

Other Satellites

In 2006, the Cosmic/Formosat satellites arrived on orbit, using coherent frequencies in the 150/400 MHz bands but adding another one near 1066 MHz. This higher frequency is, as before an 8:3 relationship but with 400 MHz as the lower frequency. These satellites, like the Oscar/NIMS are used for ionospheric measurements.


Freq (MHz) Satellite Transmission Notes
149.910
Cosmos
2341
1997-017A
24772
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.920 MHz
149.910
Cosmos
2398
2003-023A
27818
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.760 MHz
149.940
Cosmos
2378
2001-023A
26818
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.840 MHz
149.940
Cosmos
2454
2009-039A
35635
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.840 MHz
149.940
Cosmos
2463
2010-017A
36519
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.840 plus duplicated transmissions at other frequencies around 150 and 400 MHz . The transmitter is faulty.
149.970
Cosmos
2336
1996-071A
24677
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.840 MHz
149.970
Cosmos
2389
2002-026A
27436
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Transmission contains an almanac for all active satellites in the constellation - coherent transmission at 399.920 MHz
149.979
Oscar 29
1987-080B
18362
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Maintenance frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.944 MHz (has been heard to transmit tones similar to the other OSCAR satellite but 2003 December 28 - this frequency was occupied by a modulated 'buzzing' signal - No longer transmitting as of 2008 Feb 1
149.979
Oscar 31
1988-074B
19420
FM telemetry (tones) +/- 2.4 kHz from carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Maintenance frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.944 MHz - Occasionally changes between this frequency and the operational one - Sometime between 2007 Dec 21 and 2008 Feb 7, the normal transmissions at both frequencies were replaced with a highly unstable CW carrier (wandering frequency + variations in strength)
149.988
Oscar 27
1987-080A
18361
FM telemetry (tones) +/- 2.4 kHz from carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.968 MHz - Occasionally changes between this frequency and the maintenance one) - No longer transmitting as of 2008 Jan 1
149.988
Oscar 23
1988-033A
19070
FM telemetry (tones) +/- 2.4 kHz from carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.968 MHz - Occasionally changes between this frequency and the maintenance one)
149.988
Oscar 32
1988-033B
19071
FM telemetry (tones) +/- 2.4 kHz from carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.968 MHz - Occasionally changes between this frequency and the maintenance one)
149.988
Oscar 25
1988-074A
19419
FM telemetry (tones) +/- 2.4 kHz from carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 399.968 MHz - Occasionally changes between this frequency and the maintenance one)
150.000
Nadezhda

FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Navigation - plus Search and Rescue monitoring: Several satellites - the system is no longer operational, has been silent since 2003 November 26 - Coherent transmission at 400.000 MHz
150.000
Tsikada

FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Navigation - plus Search and Rescue monitoring: Several satellites - the system is no longer operational, has been silent since 2003 November 26 - Coherent transmission at 400.000 MHz
150.012
Unknown

'Wandering' CW Unidentified satellite: Satellite in GEO, possibly graveyard orbit, also transmits 400.032 MHz
150.012
Geosat
1985-021A
15595
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Oceanography - wave height measurement: Detected being switched on and off over Europe, not continuously active. Sometime around 2007, transmissions ceased to be detected but Geosat was subsequently determined to be transmitting continuously while in sunlight. Coherent transmission at 400.032 MHz
150.012
RADCAL
1993-041A
22698
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Radar calibration: Radar Calibration satellite - Coherent transmission at 400.032 MHz, operation is intermittent
150.012
GFO
1998-007A
25157
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Oceanography - wave height measurement: Geosat Follow On satellite - Coherent transmission at 400.032 MHz and also transmitted at 2207.5 MHz. Ceased to transmit 2008 November.
150.012
ARGOS
1999-008A
25634
CW - Doppler tracking beacon USAF space experiments: Coherent transmission at 400.032 MHz - Ceased to transmit 2003
150.012
USA 147
1999-067A
25991
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Military meteorological satellite: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Also transmits at 2207.535 MHz, 2237.5 MHz and 2252.5 MHz, and 400.032 MHz - Post-launch testing revealed interference with other equipment from the 150/400 MHz transmitters so they remained inactive (apart from further testing) until 2006 Aug 14
150.012
Picosat 9
2001-043B
26930
CW - Doppler tracking beacon USAF Space Test Program (STEP): Coherent transmission at 400.032 MHz - Ceased to transmit late-2004
150.012
Formosat
3A
2006-011A
29047
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.012
Formosat
3B
2006-011B
29048
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.012
Formosat
3C
2006-011C
29049
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.012
Formosat
3D
2006-011D
29050
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.012
Formosat
3E
2006-011E
29051
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.012
Formosat
3F
2006
29052
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 400.032 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
150.030
Cosmos
2361
1998-076A
25590
FM time and position information - sidebands at 3 kHz, 5 kHz and 7 kHz Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 400.080 MHz
150.300
Cosmos
2373
2000-058A
26552
AM telemetry - wide bandwidth Photographic mapping: Coherent transmission at 400.800 MHz - Cameras and film recovered after mission running between 2000 September 29 and 2000 November 14 - no longer in orbit
150.300
Cosmos
2415
2005-034A
28841
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Photographic reconnaissance: Coherent transmission at 400.800 MHz - Cameras and film recovered after mission mission running between 2005 September 2 and 2005 October 14 - transmissions heard over the USA - no longer in orbit
179.951
Ziyuan
2-01
2000-050A
26481
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 20 kHz- and further carriers at +/- 40 kHz Remote Sensing: Coherent transmission at 479.865 MHz. No longer transmitting.
180.006
Fengyun 1C
1999-025A
25730
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 5 kHz- and further carriers at +/- 10 kHz Meteorological imaging: Active transmitter until 2007 February when attacked in ground-based interceptor test - Coherent transmission at 480.017 MHz
180.007
Fengyun 1D
2002-024B
27431
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 5 kHz- and further carriers at +/- 10 kHz Meteorological imaging: Coherent transmission at 480.017 MHz, also transmits 2201.050 MHz
180.011
CBERS 1
1999-057A
25940
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 20 kHz - and further carriers at +/- 40 kHz Remote sensing: China Brasil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 480.025 MHz - Silent since mid 2003, the last public report being 2003 Jun 6 by Maik Hermenau of www.satellitenwelt.de
180.013
CBERS 2B
2007-042A
32062
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 20 kHz- and further carriers at +/- 40 kHz Remote sensing: China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 480.033 MHz, also transmits 2204.400 MHz and 2267.500 MHz. No longer transmitting - switched off 2010 May 10 after an operating anomaly was detected 2010 March.
180.014
CBERS 2
2003-049A
28057
CW carrier on centre frequency plus telemetry sidebands at +/- 20 kHz- and further carriers at +/- 40 kHz Remote sensing: China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 480.037 MHz, also transmits 2204.400 MHz and 2267.500 MHz, ceased to transmit 2007
399.760
Cosmos
2341
1997-017A
24772
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.910 MHz
399.760
Cosmos
2398
2003-023A
27818
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.910 MHz
399.840
Cosmos
2378
2001-023A
26818
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.940 MHz
399.840
Cosmos
2389
2002-026A
27436
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.940 MHz
399.840
Cosmos
2454
2009-039A
35635
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.940 MHz
399.840
Cosmos
2463
2010-017A
36519
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.940 MHz plus plus duplicated transmissions at other frequencies around 150 and 400 MHz due. The transmitter is faulty.
399.920
Cosmos
2336
1996-071A
24677
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Coherent transmission at 149.970 MHz
399.944
Oscar 29
1987-080B
18362
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Maintenance frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.979 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the operational one) - No longer transmitting as of 2008 Jan 1
399.944
Oscar 31
1988-074B
19420
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Maintenance frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.979 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the operational one) - Sometime between 2007 Dec 21 and 2008 Feb 7, the normal transmissions at both frequencies were replaced with a highly unstable CW carrier (wandering frequency + variations in strength)
399.968
Oscar 27
1987-080A
18361
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.988 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the maintenance one) - No longer transmitting as of 2008 Feb 1
399.968
Oscar 23
1988-033A
19070
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.988 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the maintenance one)
399.968
Oscar 32
1988-033B
19071
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.988 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the maintenance one)
399.968
Oscar 25
1988-074A
19419
Modulated CW carrier Ionospheric modelling for US military (NIMS): Operational frequency - Coherent transmission at 149.988 MHz (known to change between this frequency and the maintenance one)
400.000
Nadezhda

CW - Doppler tracking beacon Navigation - plus Search and Rescue monitoring: Coherent transmission at 150.000 MHz - no longer active (see 150 MHz note)
400.000
Tsikada

CW - Doppler tracking beacon Navigation - plus Search and Rescue monitoring: Coherent transmission at 150.000 MHz - no longer active (see 150 MHz note)
400.032
Unknown

'Wandering' CW Unidentified satellite: Satellite in GEO, possibly graveyard orbit, also transmits 150.012 MHz
400.032
Geosat
1985-021A
15595
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Oceanography - wave height measurement: Detected being switched on and off over Europe, not continuously active. Sometime around 2007, transmissions ceased to be detected but Geosat was subsequently determined to be transmitting continuously while in sunlight. Coherent transmission at 150.012 MHz
400.032
RADCAL
1993-041A
22698
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Radar calibration: Radar Calibration satellite - Coherent transmission at 150.012 MHz, operation is intermittent
400.032
GFO
1998-007A
25157
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Oceanography - wave height measurement: Geosat Follow On - Coherent transmission at 150.012 MHz and also transmittedat 2207.5 MHz. Ceased to transmit 2008 November.
400.032
ARGOS
1999-008A
25634
CW - Doppler tracking beacon USAF space experiments: Coherent transmission at 150.012 MHz - Ceased to transmit 2003
400.032
USA 147
1999-067A
25991
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Military meteorological satellite: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - also transmits at 2207.535 MHz, 2237.5 MHz, and 150.012 MHz - Post-launch testing revealed interference with other equipment from the 150/400 MHz transmitters so they remained inactive (apart from further testing) until 2006 Aug 14 .
400.032
Picosat 9
2001-043B
26930
CW - Doppler tracking beacon USAF Space Test Program (STEP): Detected being switched on and off over Europe, not continuously active - Coherent transmission at 150.012 MHz - Ceased to transmit late-2004
400.032
Formosat
3A
2006-011A
29047
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
400.032
Formosat
3B
2006-011B
29048
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
400.032
Formosat
3C
2006-011C
29049
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz, during 2007 December, Formosat 3C appeared to be about 5 kHz lower than the nominal frequency - the other frequencies may be shifted pro-rata
400.032
Formosat
3D
2006-011D
29050
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
400.032
Formosat
3E
2006-011E
29051
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
400.032
Formosat
3F
2006
29052
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 1066.752 MHz
400.080
Cosmos
2361
1998-076A
25590
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Positional signal transmissions and store/forward comms: Non operational but still transmitting 2000 December 13 - Coherent transmission at 150.030 MHz
400.800
Cosmos
2373
2000-058A
26552
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Photographic mapping: Coherent transmission at 150.300 MHz - Cameras and film recovered after mission running between 2000 September 29 and 2000 November 14 - no longer active
400.800
Cosmos
2415
2005-034A
28841
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Photographic reconnaissance: Coherent transmission at 150.300 MHz - Cameras and film recovered after mission running between 2005 September 2 and 2005 October 14? - no longer active
479.865
Ziyuan
2-01
2000-050A
26481
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Remote Sensing: Coherent transmission at at 179.951 MHz. No longer transmitting.
480.017
Fengyun 1D
2002-024B
27431
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Meteorological imaging: Coherent transmission at 180.007 MHz, also transmits 2201.050 MHz
480.019
Fengyun 1C
1999-025A
25730
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Meteorological imaging: Active transmitter until 2007 February when attacked in ground-based interceptor test - Coherent transmission at 180.007 MHz
480.025
CBERS 1
1999-057A
25940
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Remote sensing: China Brasil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 180.011 MHz - silent since mid-2003
480.033
CBERS 2B
2007-042A
32062
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Remote sensing: China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 180.013 MHz, also transmits at 2204.400 MHz and 2267.500 MHz. No longer transmitting - switched off 2010 May 10 after an operating anomaly was detected 2010 March
480.037
CBERS 2
2003-049A
28057
CW - Doppler tracking beacon Remote sensing: China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite - Coherent transmission at 180.014 MHz, also transmits 2204.400 MHz and 2267.500 MHz, ceased to transmit 2007
1066.752
Formosat
3A
2006-011A
29047
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
1066.752
Formosat
3B
2006-011B
29048
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
1066.752
Formosat
3C
2006-011C
29049
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
1066.752
Formosat
3D
2006-011D
29050
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
1066.752
Formosat
3E
2006-011E
29051
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
1066.752
Formosat
3F
2006
29052
CW Atmospheric studies: Switched on when observation required, European observations usually 08:00-17:00 UTC Mon-Fri, also transmits 150.012 MHz and 400.032 MHz
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