AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

July 27, 1997

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Phase 3-D Launch Update

On Wednesday July 16 a meeting was held in Marburg, Germany between Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, the Phase 3-D Project Leader and AMSAT-DL President, and Werner Haas, DJ5KQ, AMSAT-DL Vice President; and officials of the European Space Agency (ESA). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the launch schedule for Ariane 502, on which the Phase 3-D spacecraft is to fly. At this meeting, the ESA officials re-iterated their intent to launch A-502 at the end of September and said that the launch campaign for this flight has already begun. They stated that, as part of this launch campaign the Phase 3-D spacecraft must arrive in Kourou by August 10th.

Earlier, ESA had informed AMSAT that, following analysis of data from the Ariane 501 flight, they had significantly increased their estimates for the acceleration and vibration environments which spacecraft riding on Ariane 502 are expected to encounter. As a result of this new information, AMSAT has been re-evaluating the structural capabilities of the Phase 3-D spaceframe. As a part of this effort, an independent structural engineer was brought in to review the spacecraft's design and construction. His conclusions were recently presented to Dr. Meinzer and AMSAT-NA people. His report stated that, in order to be confident of surviving these increased launch environments, a number of modifications must be made to the spacecraft. Since that report was presented, substantial effort has been taking place at the Phase 3-D Integration Laboratory in Orlando, Florida to manufacture and install the recommended structural parts necessary to increase the spacecraft's vibration and acceleration capability.

At the Marburg meeting, Dr. Meinzer made it clear to the ESA officials, that this work, made necessary by ESA's new environmental information, would prevent AMSAT from delivering the spacecraft to Kourou by the specified August 10th date. Thus, it was the conclusion of the meeting that, as a result of these ESA specification changes, the Phase 3-D schedule and that of ESA for Ariane 502 are not compatible. Thus, unless, something changes, which ESA does not presently contemplate, Phase 3-D will not be able to be launched on Ariane 502. Furthermore, in order to maintain the planned mass characteristics of the Ariane 502 vehicle, AMSAT must supply a mass simulator representing the Phase 3-D spacecraft to be sent aloft on the flight. This must be in Kourou by September 5th.

Despite, this very bad news, Dr. Meinzer and other AMSAT officials expressed some degree of confidence the Phase 3D may yet fly on Ariane 502. They based this on a number of activities taking place in the preparation of the launch vehicle that, they believe, could cause a slip in the currently published ESA schedule. The ESA officials attending the Marburg meeting said that, if a slip should occur, which they do not currently contemplate, which results in the two schedules again becoming compatible, efforts would be made to substitute the Phase 3-D spacecraft for the mass simulator. Therefore AMSAT is continuing in the work of completing the necessary structural modifications to the spacecraft, and conducting environmental testing.

Keep tuned to ANS for developments as they become available.

[ANS thanks Phase 3-D Project Leader Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, and AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, for this information.]

Mir TNC Problem

This message was sent to ALL by Mike Foale onboard Space Station Mir:

Posted : 07/25/97 09:53
To : ALL
From : R0MIR :
Subject: MIR status
Lost power to tnc again - lost all messages. Possibly will get new tnc, with memory protection, in August, with next crew. We are doing experiments, especially Vassily and Sasha, even though they now have very little time leiroda and Krisctal still without power, but a little drier now, though still dark. I planted the first ever space produced seeds, two days ago, in Greenhouse. No sprouts yet.
Mike. kb5uac.

Other MIR messages can be found at http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirmsg_frame.htm

[ANS thanks Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD , for this news.]

MIREX Update

A serious problem with de-sensing of the 2-meter receiver exists on the Mir space station, and this has caused frustration on the part of the cosmonauts, groundstations, and the MIREX team. Mir is using multiple commercial VHF channels to send voice and data down to earth-based tracking stations around the world. One of the commercial VHF transmitters operating on 143 MHz is de-sensing the 2-meter Amateur Radio Station. Because of the de-sensing problem, the 2-meter station is off the air or unable to copy groundstation signals most of the time.

The MIREX team has constructed a special filter for the 2-meter Mir radio station to help eliminate the de-sensing problem. However, because of higher priorities on onboard the Mir complex at the present time, the MIREX team has not been able to acquire all of the required permissions to deliver the filter to the cosmonauts on Mir. MIREX is still actively working on the situation. Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, reports that an effort is underway to send the filter with the Mir24/NASA5 crew. This task is being led by Will Marchant, Dave Larsen, and Miles Mann.

One of the options to get around the de-sensing problem is to temporarily move Mir Amateur radio operations to 70 cm. However, this would open up a whole new set of problems. Most 70cm transceivers cannot work Mir for the following reasons:

  1. Most transceivers sold in the USA do not transmit in the satellite subband between 435.000 MHz and 438.000 MHz.
  2. Most transceivers cannot make the channel steps smaller than 5 kHz. A 1 kHz channel step works best when compensating with Doppler shift.
  3. The Doppler shift on 70cm during a 10 minute pass is +/- 10 kHz. This means groundstations need to adjust their transmitters and receivers in opposite directions at the same time, and the adjustments need to be made every 10 to 30 seconds for the duration for the pass. This is much too complicated for beginners.
  4. MIREX has always felt that 2-meter 1200 baud simplex packet operations are the best for all that are new to satellite operations and is the most cost effective.

Note 1: Any comments about the 145.800/200 frequency should be directed to SAFEX.

Note 2: The reason Mir is sometimes heard on 145.985 MHz simplex is because the crew is using the 2-meter station as a backup source of family message traffic. The sysops N6CO and WF1F are uploading family message traffic daily. When Mir is in range of Europe, the crews (if they are not busy) will switch back to 800/200.

Remember the name of the 2-meter project on Mir is called the PMS Personal Message System. It is not a Public Bulletin Board System.

[ANS thanks John Magliacane, KB2BD, and SpaceNews for this update.]

STS-85 TLE's

Below is the nominal OMS-2 State Vector and Keplerian Elements for STS-85. The vector data comes from NASA; the Keplerian Elements were computed from the vector.

This file may be read by VEC2TLE version 9648 to update your Keplerian Elements text file.

Vector format = 10117
Satellite Name: STS-85
Catalog Number: 99985
Epoch MET: 0.02694288194
0/00:38:47.865 MET
EFG E: 9312888.2997 ft
F: 19528753.2625 ft
G: 3386153.5174 ft
Edot: -9779.3058815773 ft/s
Fdot: 8295.0387295085 ft/s
Gdot: -20910.457822872 ft/s
ndot/2 (drag): 0.00029652672 rev/day^2
nddt/6: 3.68109E-09 rev/day^3
Bstar: 8.58271E-05 1/Earth Radii
Elset #: 1
Rev @ Epoch: 1.47042961084

Scheduled Launch: 07-AUG-97 / 14:41 UTC

Note that 99985 is a temporary Catalog Number. A permanent Catalog Number and International Designator will be assigned following the Launch of STS-85.

The following Keplerian elements were computed by VEC2TLE from this vector, using a 1.0 drag multiplier:

STS-85
1 99985U          97219.63874844  .00029653  36811-8  85827-4 0    12
2 99985  57.0000  76.4760 0008548 266.7495 262.6168 15.92299149    11
Satellite: STS-85
Catalog number: 99985
Epoch time: 97219.63874844
Element set: 1
Inclination: 57.0000 deg
RA of node: 76.4760 deg
Eccentricity: 0.0008548
Arg of perigee: 266.7495 deg
Mean anomaly: 262.6168 deg
Mean motion: 15.92299149 rev/day
Decay rate: 2.96527e-04 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 1
Checksum: 354

VEC2TLE may be downloaded from:

http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sarex/orbit.html

[ANS thanks Ken Ernandes, N2WWD, for this information.]

P3D DXpedition Planned

LARC Dxpedition organizers have chosen St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands as the site of next year's fourth LARC-sponsored Dxpedition. The date has tentatively been set for the week of March 6-13, 1998. This date is dependent upon the successful launch of AMSAT's Phase 3-D satellite, which according to the latest word, is still set for the end of September, 1997. There will be about a three month period between the date of the launch and the expected availability of the satellite for use by amateurs, so the timing of the launch is critical to Dxpedition planning. If the launch is delayed beyond the end of November, 1997, then the date of the Dxpedition will most likely have to be moved as well. Airline and hotel reservations will not be made until after the launch and until some preliminary data becomes available relative to the anticipated release (availability) date of the satellite and the status of the spacecraft and its various components.

[ANS thanks Jim Kelly, KK3K, for this Dxpedition news.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . RS-10 . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . FO-20 . KO-23 . KO-25 . AO-27 . FO-29 . AO-10 . UO-11 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . UO-22 . IO-26

Mir

Mike Foale, KB5UAC, has been active on amateur radio.

Frequencies with activity have been 145.985 MHz and the 145.200/800 MHz split.

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

(Uplink 435.750 MHz FM, Downlink 437.950 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 141.3 Hz)

Not operational at this time.

RS-10

(Uplink 145.865-145.905 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.36-29.4 MHz CW/SSB)

RS-10 still silent.

RS-12

(Uplink 21.21-21.25 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz or 145.91-145.95 Mhz CW/SSB)

Operational.

The passes will remain somewhat inconvenient through July for those of us with day jobs, occurring in the late morning and the very late evening as they do. August will result in more convenient times during the weekdays."

[ANS thanks Dick Montgomery, N3DV, for this update.]

RS-15

(Uplink 145.858-145.898 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.354-29.394 MHz CW/SSB)

WT0N reports that downlink signals are still weak from RS-15, but the bird is still workable.

(Hint: If SSB doesn't work for you, try CW. CW is very easy to hear on the downlink!)

RS-16

At 1605Z on July 24, 1997, RS-16 had both 70cm beacons on. The 504 beacon was downlinking its normal telem data at a +10 signal level. The upper beacon was only S2. No ten meter beacon and no transponder.

[ANS thanks Bennie Hall, WY4D, for this report.]

RS-16 CW Telemetry
P PSU voltage V x0.1  
O Solar panel voltage V x0.1  
N Solar panel current mA    
M TX 29 MHz Output Power mW x10 Valid in FM mode only
L TX 29 MHz current mA   Valid in FM mode only
K TX 29 MHz voltage V   7V nominal
J TX 435 MHz Output Power mW x10 Valid in FM mode only
I TX 435 MHz current mA   Valid in FM mode only
H TX 435 MHz voltage V x0.1  
G U of the transponder V x0.1  
F U of stabilizer V x0.1  
E Temperature of the charger C deg    
D Temperature TX 29 MHz C deg    
C Temperature TX 435 MHz C deg    
B Temperature RX 145 MHz C deg    
A Temperature of the stabilizer C deg    

Transponder information on RS-16:

Uplink = 145.915 - 145.948 MHz
Downlink = 29.415 - 29.448 MHz
Beacons = 29.408 , 29.451 MHz
Pwr 29 MHz Down = 1.2 W / 4 W

Beacon 1 = 435.504 MHz
Beacon 2 = 435.548 MHz
Pwr 435 MHz Beacons = 1.6 W

FO-20

(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]

KO-23

(Uplink 145.85, 145.9 MHz FM, Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-23 operating normally.

KO-25

(Uplink 145.980 MHz FM, Downlink 436.5 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-25 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for his reports on KO-25 and KO-23.]

AO-27

(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM (As of April 1, 1997) )

Operating normally.

This information can be found at www.umbra.com.

AO-27 TEPR (Timed Eclipse Power Regulation) States are as follows as of July 6, 1997

TEPR State Time TX STatus
1 N/A Off
2 N/A Off
3 --- Off
4 21 Off
5 17 On at Medium Power
6 --- Off

The TEPR States are defined as follows:

Tepr 1 Started when the satellite Enters the Eclipse
Tepr 2 Started at (tepr 1 time) after the satellite enters the eclipse
Tepr 3 Started at (tepr 1 time) + (tepr 2 time) ...
Tepr 4 Started when the satellite enters the Sun
Tepr 5 Started at (tepr 4 time) after the satellite enters the Sun
Tepr 6 Started at (tepr 4) + (tepr 5) ...

You should note that TEPR states 1, 2 and 3 happen during the Night Time passes and TEPR states 4, 5 and 6 happen during the Day time passes. These occur during EVERY pass, not just over the U.S.A.

The times assigned to the TEPR states are chosen for the health of the satellite over operation convenience. Therefore, during parts of the year the satellite will turn on late or turn off early as seen by ground stations.

Users are reminded that as an FM-mode repeater, AO-27 is subject to FM "capture effect" and can only transmit one signal at a time. Users are asked to cooperate, keep calls short, give breaks so as many stations as possible can work a pass, and above all, listen before and while transmitting. The satellite has a very sensitive receiver, and stations running approximately 25 watts power to moderate-gain omnidirectional antenna can get a good uplink signal into the satellite. A sensitive UHF FM receiver with a preamplifier and an omnidirectional antenna can receive AO-27's downlink with some fading; moderate-gain directional arrays should provide a solid receive signal. Remember to correct for the +/- 9 kHz of Doppler shift on the 436 MHz downlink signal during a pass. No Doppler correction is needed for the 145.850 MHz uplink signal.

Users are asked not to transmit on 145.85 MHz if they do not hear the satellite's downlink so as to avoid possible interference to other satellite uplinks and downlinks on adjacent frequencies.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, AO-27 Control-op, for this update.]

FO-29

Voice/CW

(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)

Digital

(Uplink 145.85, 145.87, 145.910 MHz FM, Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK)

Operational.

The latest FO-29 Schedule is as follows:

FO-29 Schedule 1997
July 25 Fri 09:23 UTC JA  
Aug 1 Fri 08:17 UTC JD 1200
Aug 8 Fri 00:30 UTC JD 9600
Aug 15 Fri 01:08 UTC JA  
Aug 22 Fri 08:26 UTC JD 1200
Aug 29 Fri 00:40 UTC JD 9600
Sep 5 Fri 01:18 UTC JA  
Sep 12 Fri 00:13 UTC JD 1200
Sep 19 Fri 00:51 UTC JD 9600
Sep 26 Fri 08:09 UTC JA  

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]

AO-10

(Uplink 435.030-435.18 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 145.975-145.825 MHz CW/USB)

Operational. Many stations from Japan heard and worked during the previous week. AO-10 still is in great shape.

[ANS thanks BJ Arts, WT0N, for this report.]

OSCAR-11

(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK. Beacon 2401.500 MHz.)

Operating normally.

An uneventful month for OSCAR-11. During the period 20-June to 17-July excellent signals have once again been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The improved signals may be partly due to increased power output resulting from lower beacon temperatures. In the UK the change to Summer time, and the lighter mornings make the early morning passes more socially acceptable. There is less electrical interference and splatter from mobile radios in the early mornings than in the afternoons.

The mode-S beacon has been heard by Dean, AL7CR in Anchorage, Alaska, and from Joe, K0VTY, located near Omaha, Nebraska. Joe used a 60 cm dish, Down East converter, into a Kenwood TR-781, with a Timewave DSP-9 filter. Telemetry nominal. The battery voltage generally around 14 volts. The internal temperatures reached minimum values (battery -0.4C telemetry electronics -1.6C), and have now started to rise. The minimum value of solar illumination was about 72% of full sunlight. Temperatures should now increase, as the solar illumination reaches a peak of about 97% in October.

Two WOD surveys of channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage) dated 07-June, and 25 June respectively, have been transmitted.

A single AMSAT-UK bulletin by Richard G3RWL has been uploaded. This featured Sputnik-1 40th anniversary, Mir frequencies, and RS-10 news. Bulletins always include current Keplerian elements for OSCAR-11, and often Keps for satellites featured in the bulletin.

Richard always welcomes short news items for inclusion in the OSCAR-11 bulletin. His e-mail address is g3rwl@amsat.org.

The operating schedule is unchanged.

Transmission Duration
ASCII status 210 seconds
ASCII bulletin 60 seconds
Binary SEU 30 seconds
ASCII TLM 90 seconds
ASCII WOD 120 seconds
ASCII bulletin 60 seconds
Binary Eng 30 seconds

There are also additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted, and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz. would be most welcome. Please e-mail g3cwv@amsat.org.

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e. within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally off. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit Clive Wallis' web site. It contains some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. The URL is http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/.

[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, for this information.]

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

(Uplink 145.9, 145.92, 145.94, 145.86 MHz FM, 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.0513 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK 1200 Baud PSK. Beacon 2401.1428 MHz.)

Operating normally.

uptime is 1043/06:53:42. Time is Sun Jul 27 12:18:52 1997
RC PSK TX Out= 0.428W
Total Array C= 0.256 Bat Ch Cur= 0.033 Ifb= 0.050 I+10V= 0.201
TX:010B BCR:85 PWRC:59E BT:3C WC:25 EDAC:8D

Graphic information about WOD/Telemetry values can be found at http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/wod.htm

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]

DO-17(DOVE)

(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK. Beacon 2401.220 MHz)

The DOVE S-band signal is 1200 PSK with no carrier suppression. The modulation is about 20 dB below the carrier. You should hear what sounds like a carrier with lots of Doppler. If you receive equipment is working well you will hear the 'buzz' from the flags and an occasional change in the sound of that modulation as a telemetry beacon is sent. If it's working really well and you run the received audio through a PSK demod then a tracking notch filter (DSP) you will clearly hear the flags and modulation. In the northern hemisphere there will be deep fades about every 30 seconds due to the rotation of the satellite. In the southern hemisphere there will probably be some fades but not nearly as deep because the antenna points down when below the equator.

[ANS thanks Jim White, WD0E, for this report.]

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

(Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25)

No report available.

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

(Uplink 145.84, 145.86, 145.88, 145.9 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK.)

Operating normally.

uptime is 767/22:26:56. Time is Sun Jul 27 12:32:06 1997
RC PSK TX Out= 0.630W
Total Array C= 0.119 Bat Ch Cur= 0.022 Ifb= 0.053 I+10V= 0.111
TX:017 BCR:7E PWRC:36E BT:3C WC: 0

Add 6.83 minutes to the clock of the satellite.

Graphic and general information about Telemetry values can be found at: http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/lo19.htm.

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]

UO-22

(Uplink 145.9 or 145.975 MHz FM; Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK.)

UO-22 is operating normally. The Earth Imaging System (EIS) is being scheduled to take images 2 or 3 times per week.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager, for this report.]

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

(Uplink 145.875, 145.9, 145.925, 145.95 MHz FM, Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK.)

The satellite is in good shape.

Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, will try to reload the BBS soon.

[ANS thanks Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, ITMSAT Command Station for this report.]

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to ANS Editor B.J. Arts, WT0N, via e-mail, at bjarts@the-bridge.net or to wt0n@amsat.org]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by B.J. Arts, WT0N, wt0n@amsat.org.

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