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ANS-124 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins



AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-124

ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the
activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an
active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor@amsat.org


In this edition:

* Seven! Count 'Em Seven! CubeSats Delivered to Orbit
* AO-16 Down and Recovered
* AMSAT Awards
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* NA1SS Contacts The National Air and Space Museum
* ARISS Status Report For The Week of April 28, 2008

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.01
Seven! Count 'Em Seven! CubeSats Delivered to Orbit

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.01

The April 28, 2008 launch of 10 satellites aboard the Indian Space 
Research Organization's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-9
(PSLV-9) rocket included 7 amateur radio cubesat, and 3 commercial/
scientific satellites.  Watch for late breaking operational messages 
via the amsat-bb and detailed information on each of the satellite's
respective web pages.

The payload included:
Cute-1.7     Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
SEEDS        Nihon University, Japan
Delfi-C3     Technical University of Delft, Netherlands
AAUSat-II    Aalborg University Cubesat, Denmark
COMPASS-1    Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany
CanX-2       University of Toronto, Canada
CanX-6       University of Toronto, Canada
Cartosat 2A  Indian Space Research Organization (non-amateur radio)
IMS 1        Indian Space Research Organization (non-amateur radio)
Rubin 8-AIS  OHB-System, Germany (non-amateur radio)

An excellent source of information for each of these satellites can
be found at: http://space.skyrocket.de/index_frame.htm (scroll down
to the April 28 data).  Also see Ralph W0RPK Cubesat Webpage at:
http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/CubeSat.htm.

Wouter, PE4WJ provided the following status of Delfi-C3: 

+ Telemetry indicates that all solar panels and antennas have deployed
  properly and indicates nominal values for all housekeeping values.

+ Payload data has started to stream in, enabling the team to generate 
  IV curves of the Thin Film Solar Cell experiment. (RASCAL users can 
  view the IV curves by clicking Options-->show IV curves.) 

+ The spacecraft is operating in science mode, we have had one orbit in
  emergency mode, which was most probably due to a databus issue.

+ Amateur radio operators have sent over 40000 frames of data using 
  RASCAL, the Delfi-C3 telemetry capture software.

+ The spacecraft has decided to consistently use the backup radio on
  145.930 MHz for its telemetry downlink.  The primary radio on 
  145.870 MHz may be switched on by the groundstation so monitor both 
  frequencies. 

+ We have successfully switched the spacecraft to its primary radio on 
  145.870MHz temporarily, after this switch, the satellite came back on 
  the 145.930MHz downlink. Telemetry indicated that the primary radio on 
  145.870MHz is healthy and working fine so that is good news. Note that 
  the satellite will normally transmit on 145.930MHz for the time being, 
  unless we command her to go to 145.870MHz.
  
+ The team is working on the issue with the downlink TX switching off
  later into the sunlit side of the orbit, which is the reason why 
  Delfi-C3 has not been heard on some passes.  It may switch off when
  the computer does not receive data but the transmitter itself is OK.

Hiroki Ashida at the Tokyo Institute of Technology reported on the 
status of their Cute-1.7 + APD II satellite.  The team is monitoring
an anomaly where the telemetry received via FM packet shows very low
battery voltage while the CW telemetry reports a nominal reading.  If
this low voltage condition exists the satellite may be in danger.
Further testing in the lab has duplicated this anomaly and the team
has confirmed that the batteries are in good shape at this time.

The Cute-1.7 team requests telemetry information from radio amateurs
around the world.  The satellite transmits its beacon at 437.275 MHz 
using CW Morse Code. The telemetry data in the beacon includes the
battery voltage. Details are explained on their web-page:
http://lss.mes.titech.ac.jp/ssp/cute1.7/cwtelemetry_e.html.
The packet telemetry is only enabled when the satellite is over
Japan.

Masahiko Yamazaki,JQ1YGV at Nihon University reported that the
SEEDS satellite is currently overcharging so the team has enabled
the FM mode to transmit the DigiTalker and SSTV pictures on 
437.485 MHz.  See: http://cubesat.aero.cst.nihon-u.ac.jp/index.html

The CanX team reported their spacecraft were doing well, "So 
far healthy telemetry from both. At some point CanX-2 was 
generating some 1.8 A and CanX-6 was at 1.4 A. Good temperature 
on both. CanX-2 propulsion system is holding pressure. We are 
continuing with commissioning.  Both satellites are currently
transmitting on the Space Research 2.2 GHz downlink.  The UHF 
transmitter on CanX-2 would only be active over the ground station 
in Toronto, Canada.

Signal reports of the cubesats have been received from around
the world.  Here is a brief example captured from the amsat-bb ...

Just heard great signals of Delfic3 on 145.930. - Rob PE1ITR

Received good signals from DelfiC3 tonight in IO91TK  15km west of 
London. Nice to hear another satellite on 2m. Just love that low path 
loss! Well done Delft University of Technology. - David G0MRF

Very strong signal from Delfi telemetry transmitter. Good work and 
congratulations to the Delfi team! - Jean-Pierre VE2AHD

Delfi-C3 received in Belgium during the third pass. 194 packets 
received, decoded with RASCAL and sent to the command station.
Signals were loud and decodable during 90 % of the pass.
Congratulations to the team. Long life to Delfi-C3. - Claude ON5QI

Just had my one shot for the morning and got an excellent signal, 
with AOS and LOS within seconds of predicted.  The RASCAL program is 
slick, and nicely accessed the servers to upload the data.  
- Alan WA4SCA

Both the CUTE1.7 (437.275) and the SEEDS (437.485) CW signals were 
monitored in Brno JN85HF. - Mirek OK2AQK

Using the latest kepler sets, automatic doppler correction, TS2000X, 
2x8 elements beam with no pre-amp picked up the CUTE-1.7 signal 
beautifully all the way from AOS to LOS ... less than one degree 
elevation from a 100mW transmitter in space. Fantastic satellite!
- Henk, PA3GUO

I copied SEEDS this evening at 44 degrees el. in Honolulu. 73 to all
and congratulations to the Nihon University Cubesat Team!
- Robert NH7WN

I have updated my web site to include SEEDS SSTV. 
See http://www.turlington.supanet.com - Robert G8ATE

Heard SEEDS digi-talker and SSTV on 2008-05-03. - Edward BX1AD

I have just copied Cute-1.7 over here in the UK (Wales - IO81EM)
using a Kenwood THD-7 and just its helical antenna. - Ken GW1FKY

The members of AMSAT-India and the Indian Ham fraternity congratulate 
ISRO for the successful 10 pack satellite launch via the PSLV C9  his 
morning. We would also congratulate the DELFI team, CUTE team and 
the SEEDS team for their amateur radio satellites which are now placed 
in orbit. VU2POP Secy AMSAT-India 

[ANS thanks all of the Cubesat Teams for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.02
AO-16 Down and Recovered

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.02
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.02

The AO-16 Command Team investigated reports this week that the
satellite had gone silent.  The team is aware of the anomaly and
there is no cause for alarm.  Control Operator, Mark, N8MH said, 
"Over the last month AO-16 has gone from full illumination (0 
minutes of eclipse) to over 250 minutes of eclipse.  Since the 
bird has no fancy housekeeping code running, a reasonable explan-
ation is that the battery voltage dropped low enough to put the 
bird into a protected (and silent) mode."

Mark was able to command AO-16 ON during a pass over the USA.  The 
satellite resumed operating in its 1200 BPSK digital MBL telemetry 
mode on the 437.026 MHz transmitter.  After further testing, Mark
reported, "A quick look at the telemetry suggests that AO-16 is 
doing fine.  The current transmitter output power is about 1.5 Watts.
AO-16 is again configured for voice mode and is open for normal 
operation."

AO-16 has occasionally turned off on subsequent long eclipse periods.
Mark explained, "At about 2043 utc on 2 May 2008 I commanded AO-16 back 
ON again.  Apparently the increasing eclipse periods require another 
reduction in the transmitter output power.  AO-16 is now back and 
operational in voice repeater mode, with a slightly reduced output. 
It is reporting around 1.2 watts output, so it was still quite loud."

The increasing eclipse periods are too long to sustain operations at 
the previous transmitter output setting.  The sustainable power budget 
is being managed empirically by Mark, with "best guess" settings using
the satellite's telemetry for feedback on its performance.   

When AO-16 is silent the batteries continue to charge with minimal 
current being drawn to sustain the vital functions of the satellite 
(CPU).  Thus, it is in a safe resting state at the moment, and the 
batteries continue to charge when in sunlight. Thanks to a brilliance 
in design, construction, and coding, the bird is hardy and excellent 
at self-preservation. 

AO-16 Uplink:    145.920 MHz FM
AO-16 Downlink:  437.0260 MHz DSB (LSB and USB).

After recovery of AO-16 on May 3, the current plans are to leave the 
satellite in the digital MBL mode for a few days so as to collect 
telemetry for review. You can hear the satellite "humming" in its 
1200 BPSK mode.

Interested listeners of AO-16 can help by copying any telemetry 
captured via the Warbler sound card demodulator. This software is 
from the same folks that brought you the RASCAL software for Delfi-C3. 
A file called "warbler.kss" is produced when packets are decoded. 
These "warbler.kss" files can be sent to N8MH for analysis. Please 
include your QTH (gridsquare) and the time the telemetry was captured.

Telemetry from AO-16 in the MBL mode is random and infrequent. It's 
possible to hear no telemetry during an entire pass. Please do not 
transmit to AO-16 until further notice.

Users of AO-16 are encouraged to report any aberrant operations by
either posting to the AMSAT-BB or by emailing the command team at 
n8mh AT amsat.org  "Aberrant operations" might include the following: 
complete loss of signal from the spacecraft or significant change 
in the transmitter frequency.

[ANS thanks Mark, N8MH for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.03
AMSAT Awards

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.03
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.03

Bruce, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards wrote this week, 
"We would like to welcome the following to the satellite community.
They have made their first satellite contact and are now members of 
the AMSAT Satellite Communicators Club:"

University of Florida, Gator Amateur Radio Club, W4DFU

The following have earned the AMSAT Sattelite Communications 
Achievement Award:
Clyde de Rossett, KI4CKT #462
University of Florida, Gator Amateur Radio Club, W4DFU #463

The following have earned the AMSAT South Africa Satellite 
Communications Achievement Award
Dimitrios Pallis, SW1JGW #US120
University of Florida, Gator Amateur Radio Club, W4DFU #US121

To see all the awards visit http://www.amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Bruce, KK5DO for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.04
Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.04
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.04

+ Martha at AMSAT HQ reminds you that you MUST pay for your banquet 
  ticket before May 12th.   Giving her your name only will not hold a 
  ticket.  You need to call the AMSAT office at 301-589-6062.

+ Allen, N5AFV operated two passes of AO-51 and one pass of SO-50 
  from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday 
  (April 22 & 23). Allen says he has a special QSL card made up for 
  the operation.  QSL via home address.

+ EW/G0SFJ successfully contacted G7HIA on 20th April via AO-51, but 
  under difficult conditions when operating from Minsk. Any SWL cards 
  or reports gratefully received by email or QTHR, and will be 
  acknowledged!

+ The AO-27 Satellite Scheduler program which has been available from
  http://www.cs.rit.edu/~cjh9783/programs/satsched.php is now also
  available from http://home.earthlink.net/~ka3hsw/ao27/ as well.

+ The W3HZU Beacons located on Grid FM19qv on 2.4GHZ and 1.2GHZ have 
  been temporarily taken off the air in preparation to add a third 
  beacon on 5.76GHZ.  A message on the amsat-bb will advise when the 
  beacons are back on the air. (via Charlie, K3VDB)

+ The Houston AMSAT Net Podcast has now been picked up by iTunes. 
  You can do a search on iTunes for "Houston AMSAT Net", "KK5DO", or 
  "Bruce Paige" and will be offered the opportunity to subscribe to 
  the Podcast.

+ Google Earth now offers tools to Visualize the Ionosphere in 4D. See:
  http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30apr_4dionosphere.htm?list958901
  http://terra1.spacenvironment.net/%7eionops/es4dintro.html
  You will be able to use Google Earth © applications such as:
          o Radio Availability
          o Total Electron Content
          o Maximum Useable Frequency
          o foF2
          o Past 24 hours TEC movie
          o Past 24 hours MUF movie

+ This past weekend, K3IO, W2GPS, WA4SXM attended the premier of
  AMSAT.ORG in Grand-Am Racing at the Virginia International Raceway.  
  Jim Jaeger (K8RQ) arranged for the AMSAT logo to appear prominently 
  on the yellow Doran Racing Kodak #77 Dallara/Ford car driven by Brad 
  Jaeger (Jim's son) and Memo Gidley. The Doran Racing web site has a 
  gallery of photos featuring their #77 Kodak & #47 BSi cars available 
  for viewing at http://www.doranracing.com/08_vir/photo.htm.  Look for
  the AMSAT.ORG logo on the yellow car!

+ Satellite DX opportunity ... Hans, VA7HAS plans to attempt operating
  via AO-51 from Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, FQ12AQ, between May 12-16. 
  The radio will be an TH-F6A with a whip antenna.

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.05
NA1SS Contacts The National Air and Space Museum

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.05
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.05

An International Space Station Expedition 17 ARISS school contact was
held with participants at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), 
Washington, DC, USA on 03 May. 

NN1SS in Maryland performed earth station duties and provided the
telebridge between NA1SS and the National Air and Space Museum. The
contact was audible over most of the Eastern USA on the 145.80 MHz 
downlink.

This ARISS contact is part of the space day events celebrating NASA's 
50th anniversary.  This event is made possible by the generous support 
of Lockheed Martin.

The ARISS/AMSAT exhibit wass in the new "America by Air" gallery, 
Gallery 102 on the first floor, just past the Museum Store before 
you reach the Flight Simulators.  The display featured ARISS and 
AMSAT hardware. Mr. Kemp and students from his Systems Engineering 
Class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology 
explained their progress on their Cubesat project.

[ANS thanks Kenneth, N5VHO and Perry, W3PK for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-124.06
ARISS Status Report For The Week of April 28, 2008

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 124.06
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
May 4, 2008
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-124.06

1. Upcoming School Contacts

An ARISS contact has been scheduled for Armada Area Schools in 
Armada, Michigan on Friday, May 9 at 13:38 UTC.  Students will 
research space exploration, the effects of space on the human body, 
and technology used for space travel. Middle school students will 
write essays and high school students will create Power Point pre-
sentations. The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Armada Times and 
Macomb Daily newspapers will provide newspaper coverage.  The local 
cable channel will tape and place the contact on the local channels 
and Channels 2, 4, 7 will also be contacted to provide local Metro-
politan Detroit News coverage.  

2. Arnold Palmer Hospital Contact Successful

On Monday, April 21, patients at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for 
Children in Orlando, Florida participated in an ARISS contact with 
Garrett Reisman, KE5HAE, via the telebridge station W6SRJ in Cali-
fornia.  Reisman answered the 20 questions which had been planned 
for him and continued answering another three posed by the seven 
children. Approximately 30 people were in attendance. Orlando tele-
vision stations Central Florida News 13 and WESH Channel 2 both 
reported on the event. 
 
3. ARISS - Russian School Contact

The Peter Klimuk School ARISS contact planned for Wednesday, April 23 
was unsuccessful due to technical difficulties. The ARISS team is 
looking into the problem. 

4. ESA Astronaut Visits ARISS Schools

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZØJPA, gave two presentations to 
Italian schools which had participated in ARISS contacts in October 
2007. On Wednesday, April 23, Nespoli spoke to 565 students from 
Galileo Galilei High School of Civitavecchia, Guglielmo Marconi 
High School of Civitavecchia and Giosuè Carducci Secondary School 
in Santa Marinella. On April 24, he spoke with 400 students from 
Aula Magna of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of L'Aquila. 
ARISS member Francesco De Paolis, IKØWGF, gave a talk on the ARISS 
program and Nespoli gave a presentation on the Esperia mission which 
also highlighted the ARISS contacts. Television stations and news-
papers covered the events and photographs have been posted to the 
ARISS-Europe Web site. See: http://www.ariss-eu.org/2008_04_27.htm

5. Astronaut Training Status

An ARISS training session is planned for astronaut Bob Thirsk, VA3CSA, 
with Cedarview Middle School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The training 
session, which is a terrestrial-based amateur radio contact using 
ARISS-equivalent equipment, is planned for Thursday, May 1 at 
approximately 19:30 UTC. 

Expedition 19 back-up crew member Chris Hadfield, KC5RNJ/VA3OOG, will 
attend an ARISS operations training session on Friday, May 2. 

[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI for the above information]

/EX


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining donors
to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.


73,
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org


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