Satellite Tracking 2012-13

Program Description

student at micThis group learns the needed skills to pass the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Technician Class Radio License afterFCC license example 10 weeks of license preparation lectures and hands-on time in the VCS ground station. 

The preparation for the FCC Technician Class Radio exams require 1-1.5 hours of reading and study time outside of the students’ time on the school campus. Upon completion of the radio-licensing exam (taken on a Saturday morning in Saratoga), students will gain experience on campus with hands-on building and operation with radio communications equipment for point-to-point radio signals, repeaters, satellites and the International Space Station.

VCH-UHF antennasThe primary outcome of this program is for the Satellite Ground Station Program Team to work closely with the Satellite Development Program Team that is planning a satellite launch from the International Space Station’s Japanese Science Module during the 2012-13 school year. This is expected to be the first in the world by a group of high school students.

Expected student outcomes:   

  1. Work very closely with VCS’ Satellite Development Program Team to track and command our own satellite. This is the primary objective & outcome for this program.
  2. Pass the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Technician Class radio License Exam. This is a required pre-requisite to achieve item-1 above
  3. Learn basic electronics and telecommunications theory
  4. Learn radio propagation fundamentals
  5. Learn FCC operating rules and regulations
  6. Learn satellite orbit physics & mathematics
  7. Application of math, physics and technology course
  8. Learn how to work as a team
  9. Developing a program schedule and meeting deliverables within given timelines
  10. Promote STEM (Science Technology, Engineering & Math) and our own AMSE program
Program Cost:

   $450 (includes learning material and hardware used during this course and tracking of satellites and ISS)

Meeting Times and Place:

 Room G144
 Thursdays 2:45-4:45 PM


   Must be a U.S. citizen. This is a requirement to obtain a U.S. FCC Radio License

Program Advisor:

Mr. Vavken
Director of AMSE Students and AMSE Advisory Board Chair
Office: Room E400
Mr. Vavken