It was announced in January that two CHESS CubeSats set for launch in 2022 would carry amateur radio linear transponders. The project sponsors announced on June 10, however, that neither CHESS satellite would include an amateur radio payload.
CHESS project management, citing funding constraints, had to move the project toward a purely scientific program using a commercial CubeSat platform, which has less space for the planned ham radio transponders. CHESS project management also will not use frequencies allocated to the Amateur Satellite Service, but will use Earth exploration or experimental UHF and X-band frequencies.
“The ham community, which assured the funding of the transponder, is very disappointed by this decision but must accept it,” the project team said in a news release. “Such projects always carry risks of one partner changing its mind. That is what happened here. Many thanks to all who have actively supported the transponder project, especially the AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL team.”