A collaboration between the Qatar Amateur Radio Society, the Qatar Satellite Company, and AMSAT-DL has resulted in the announcement of a geostationary amateur radio payload aboard the proposed Es’HailSat-2 commercial satellite.
Due to be launched in 2016, the satellite will provide communications services to the Middle East and North Africa region from a position at 26 degrees East. Additionally, the satellite will include two 2.4 GHz to 10.45 GHz transponders dedicated for amateur use. One transponder will be approximately 250 kHz wide, and will be for traditional narrowband modes such as SSB and CW. The second will be 8MHz wide and designed for experimental DVB and data modes. Coverage is expected over the entire footprint.
While this payload will not service North America, the project is an important step into high orbit, and may open the door for additional opportunities in other orbital positions.