AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase-3E Opportunity

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AMSAT-DL depiction of the Phase 3-Express (P3E) satellite in 2005-2006. Changes in the antenna configuration are planned in 2015. The rocket motor and propellant tank will not be needed on the proposed launch opportunity.

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The P3E spaceframe will have room for scientific and amateur radio payload. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, is shown with the spaceframe at AMSAT-DL in 2005.

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite.  During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on 4 JUL 15, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.

Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.

Stay tuned to the AMSAT-DL Journal, the AMSAT-NA Journal, and the AMSAT-NA News Service for further developments and details as they become known.

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geosynchronous Orbit

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(L-R) Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO; Jerry Buxton, N0JY; Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF; Tom Clark, K3IO; Michelle Thompson, W5NYV; and Phil Karn, KA9Q standing next to the Aquila M8 Bus flight article. (Click photo for larger image.)

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare  as a hosted payload on a geosynchronous satellite planned for launch in 2017. An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

A meeting to discuss this potential rideshare took place on April 13 at Millennium Space Systems that included Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY; Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF, co-founder of Qualcomm; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and member of the board for AMSAT-NA; Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Director and President Emeritus of AMSAT-NA; Phil Karn, KA9Q; and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV.

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AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Election Ballots in the Mail

Ballots have been mailed to AMSAT-NA members in good standing, and must be received at the AMSAT-NA office by 15 SEP 2015 in order to be counted. Those sent outside North America were sent by air mail. If you have not received your ballot package in a reasonable time for your QTH, please contact the AMSAT-NA office. Your completed ballot should be returned as promptly as possible, and those from outside North American preferably by air mail or other expedited means.

This year there are eight Board candidates:

Barry Baines, WD4ASW
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
Steve Coy, K8UD
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
Mark Hammond, N8MH
EMike McCardel, KC8YLD
Bob McGwier, N4HY
Bruce Paige, KK5DO

The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be seated as voting Board Members with two year terms. The two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will serve as non-voting Alternate Board Members with terms of one year. Please vote for no more than four candidates.

Election of Board members is both a responsibility as well as an opportunity by our membership to help shape the future direction of AMSAT-NA. Please take the time to review the candidate statements that accompany the ballot and determine who you wish to see on the Board.

W5KUB.com webcast with AMSAT; New Perk for Fox-1C donations

Check out the AMSAT VPs of Engineering and Operations on the W5KUB.com webcast at 8PM CDT tonight July 14th, talking all about Fox and AMSAT.

Also, we have a new perk available for donations of $1,000 or more. Eighteen donors will receive engraved, mounted solar panel protective covers actually used on Fox-1C. Don’t miss this limited availability perk for supporting your amateur satellite program! Donations may be made via the AMSAT website, via the FundRazr crowdsourcing app at http://fnd.us/c/6pz92/sh/561Zd, or via the AMSAT office at (888) 322-6728.

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CAMSAT announces mid-July launch with six U/V transponders

Alan Kung, BA1DU (CAMSAT CEO) recently sent AMSAT-NA a stunning press release, copied in full below:

CAMSAT orchestrated CAS-3 amateur satellite system is now nearing completion, six Chinese amateur satellites will be launched in mid-July,it includes different weight category satellites, consists of a 20 kg, three 10 kg and two 1 kg satellites. All six satellites are equipped with substantially the same amateur radio payloads, a U/V mode linear transponder, a CW telemetry beacon and an AX.25 19.2k/9.6k baud GMSK telemetry downlink are attached in each of the six satellites, each set of amateur radio equipments has the same technical characteristics, but operates on different frequencies of 70cm band uplink and 2m band downlink.

During the years, CAMSAT works closely with DFH Satellite Co. Ltd to complete the project, which is Chinese government aerospace contractor and provided most of the support for this project. All the satellites are currently conducting final testing and inspection, here are the technical details:

● CAS-3A:CAS3A
– Micro-satellite architecture
– Dimensions: 400Lx400Wx400H mm
– Mass: 20kg
– Stabilization: three-axis stabilization system with its +Y surface facing the earth
– Antenna: Deployable antenna, one 1/4λ monopole VHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at +Z side and one 1/4λ monopole UHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at –Z side, close to the each edge of satellite body
– Uplink: 70cm band
– Downlink: 2m band
– Amateur radio payloads:
Callsign: BJ1SB
CW Telemetry Beacon: 50mW, 22wpm
U/V Mode Linear Transponder: 100mW, 20kHz bandwidth, spectrum Inverting
AX.25 telemetry: 100mW, 19.2k/9.6k baud GMSK

● CAS-3B, CAS-3C and CAS-3D:CAS3B
– Micro-satellite architecture
– Dimensions: 250Lx250Wx250H mm
– Mass: 9kg
– Stabilization: three-axis stabilization system with its +Y surface facing the earth
– Antenna: Deployable antenna, one 1/4λ monopole VHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at +Z side and one 1/4λ monopole UHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at –Z side, close to the each edge of satellite body
– Uplink: 70cm band
– Downlink: 2m band
– Amateur radio payloads:
Callsign: BJ1SC ( for CAS-3B), BJ1SD ( for CAS-3C), BJ1SE ( for CAS-3D)
CW Telemetry Beacon: 50mW, 22wpm
U/V Mode Linear Transponder: 100mW, 20kHz bandwidth, spectrum Inverting
AX.25 telemetry: 100mW, 19.2k/9.6k baud GMSK

● CAS-3E and CAS-3F:CAS3E
– Cube-satellite architecture
– Dimensions: 110Lx110Wx110H mm
– Mass: 1.5kg
– Stabilization: Spinning stabilization using permanent magnet torquer
– Antenna: Deployable antenna, one 1/4λ monopole VHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at +Z side and one 1/4λ monopole UHF antenna with max.0dBi gain is located at –Z side, close to the each edge of satellite body
– Uplink: 70cm band
– Downlink: 2m band
– Amateur radio payloads:
Callsign: BJ1SF ( for CAS-3E), BJ1SG ( for CAS-3F)
CW Telemetry Beacon: 50mW, 22wpm
U/V Mode Linear Transponder: 100mW, 20kHz bandwidth, spectrum Inverting
AX.25 telemetry: 100mW, 9.6k baud GMSK

This launch will use an brand new Chinese launch vehicle named as Long March – 6 (LM-6 or CZ-6) at Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center of China, CAS-3A will operate at about 450 km height sun-synchronous orbit, the other satellites will operate at about 530 km height sun-synchronous orbit.

The launch will carry total of 20 satellites, there are other three satellites named as CAS-3G, CAS-3H and CAS-3I involved in amateur radio from other agencies of China will share the same launch, CAMSAT was assisting Chinese government administration to coordinate and allocate their frequencies, more details will be announced later.