AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

August 24, 1997

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P3D Integration Continues

Integration Team Photo

An international team of Phase 3D project workers assembled August 18th at the Phase 3D Integration Laboratory in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. to continue the final mechanical and electronic integration efforts on the satellite. Teams from Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, Japan and the Czech Republic joined their American counterparts in an all-out marathon to prepare the satellite as quickly as possible for a safe and successful launch.

"We are happy to join our American partners in this effort" said Werner Haas, DJ5KQ, AMSAT- DL's Vice President, who also headed the European contingent. "The cooperation has, once again been excellent between our two groups" he said.

Even before our overseas compatriots arrived, workers at the Orlando Integration Lab were racing to make the needed structural modifications to the satellite since it became known that Phase 3D would, during its planned Ariane 502 launch, most likely encounter environmental loads greater than those originally stated.

Keith Baker, KB1SF, AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President reports from Orlando that these significant mechanical upgrade efforts are proceeding. "The folks here at the Lab have been burning the midnight oil over the past several weeks to make these structural changes on a work schedule where 16 to 18 hour work days have been the norm, rather than the exception", Keith said. He went on the note that, "These people have done an absolutely superb job under some extremely difficult circumstances. We all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their outstanding work."

Over the last week, these round-the-clock efforts continued with the combined team's current activities installing and checking out a significant number of the remaining electronic and mechanical pieces into the satellite. Such efforts included installation and checkout of the spacecraft's momentum wheels, the RUDAK digital experiment, the 2.4 GHz and 24 GHz transmitters as well as a number of other transmitters, receivers and other equipment, some of which were being re-installed after having been previously removed to facilitate the structural modifications.

Stay tuned to ANS for further Phase 3D integration and launch developments.

[ANS thanks Werner Haas, DJ5KQ, and Keith Baker, KB1SF, for this bulletin Information.]

AO-10 Update

AO-10 downlink signals continue to be strong. During portions of the pass when the squint angle is a considerable 90 degrees, masking of the omni antenna by the S/C's three lobes causes the deep QSB noticed. Given Stacey E. Mills, W4SM's, previously "guesstimated" ALON/ALAT which has now precessed to approximately ALON = 154, ALAT = +43, AO-10 should have a solar angle of about 6 degrees, giving 99+% illumination. After August 24th, the solar angle will begin to move toward the antenna end of the spacecraft. By November 6th, illumination should be down to about 35% and signals should be considerably diminished. The sun will directly shine on the antenna end of AO-10 (illumination = 0) on about November 29th and it should be in the middle of its next "sleep" at that time.

BIG DISCLAIMER: all the above assumes that the attitude is stable which, given past experience is a leap of faith.

Upcoming Lunar Eclipse

AO-10 is currently in its semi-annual eclipse phase where the earth blocks sunlight just after perigee on each pass. However on September 1st beginning at 2020 UTC, AO-10 will have its sunlight partially blocked by the moon when it is much farther out in its orbit (MA 195-210). The maximum occlusion will be 52% and will occur while AO-10 is visible to most of the US and the Pacific. From W4SM's location, unfortunately, it will be just on the horizon. Information regarding changes in signal quality during this time would be much appreciated. Given the good overall illumination at this time, the effect of the eclipse may not be noticeable. However, it is a good opportunity to get a qualitative assessment of transponder output when there is a relatively good measurement of change in illumination.

                 AO-10  Solar Eclipse by the Moon / W4SM

                     UTC            MA    Dist            Obsc
        DATE        HH:MM    ONo   /256    deg   SLAT    SLON     %    Type
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1997   Sep   01    20:20   10693  195   0.477   1.0 N  154.9 W  004%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:25   10693  197   0.387   1.5 N  155.0 W  016%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:30   10693  199   0.300   2.1 N  155.0 W  032%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:35   10693  201   0.231   2.7 N  155.0 W  046%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:40   10693  203   0.205   3.4 N  155.0 W  052%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:45   10693  204   0.238   4.0 N  154.9 W  044%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:50   10693  206   0.314   4.7 N  154.7 W  029%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    20:55   10693  208   0.412   5.4 N  154.5 W  012%   PAR
1997   Sep   01    21:00   10693  210   0.518   6.1 N  154.3 W  000%   PAR

AO-10 Argument of Perigee

Because of AO-10 relatively low inclination, its argument of perigee changes much more rapidly than did AO-13's. The current value is 144 degrees, placing apogee in the southern hemisphere. However, the Arg P is increasing at about 0.28 degrees/day and apogee has been moving northward from its southern most point when Arg P = 90 degrees. On approximately January 1st, 1998, Arg P will be 180 degrees, meaning apogee will cross the equator and progressively move into the northern hemisphere, peaking when Arg P = 270 degrees on approximately December 1st, 1998. So for all of 1998 and virtually all of 1999, the apogee of AO-10 will be in the northern hemisphere.

More information regarding AO-10 can be found on W4SM's Web page:
http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html.

[ANS thanks Stacey E. Mills, W4SM, for this report.]

SAREX/MIREX

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P. for Manned Space Programs SAREX Working Group provides ANS an update on future plans for Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX) operations and Mir International amateur Radio EXperiment (MIREX) contacts.

At this time, SAREX is tentatively scheduled to fly on the STS-93 AXAF-1 mission which is currently scheduled for August 27, 1998. This will be a 5-day mission at a 28.5 degree inclination. As stated, SAREX is currently official on one mission next year; however at least one other is under consideration. If one were to review the Shuttle Future Flight Web page: http://www.osf.hq.nasa.gov/shuttle/futsts.html, it should be obvious that the Shuttle is going to be quite busy next year, and in the future, constructing the International Space Station.

Last year, the SAREX Working Group made a decision to not fly SAREX on Shuttle/Mir docking flights or ISS construction flights. This decision was made because the SAREX radio is really not used during these missions due to the intense astronaut workload and the need to swap the SAREX antenna for the Mir docking antenna. The big advantage to next year's Shuttle manifest is that it lays the groundwork for a future permanent operation of ham radio station on the International Space Station (ISS)!

Now turning to Mir, the ARRL has obtained waivers from the FCC so that Mike Foale, David Wolf and Wendy Lawrence all have been given permission to operate the Mir radio. This is the good news. But there are no official MIREX/SAREX school group contacts with these astronauts planned for Mir at this time due to the tenuous situation on Mir as a result of the June 25 collision with the Progress. Remember, power on Mir is still at a premium. The SAREX and MIREX teams do not plan to restart the school group contacts with the astronauts until the Mir problems are corrected and until the Phase 1 Office (NASA's Mir Office) clears the way for the team to officially perform contacts with the astronauts again. In the meantime, hams are encouraged to talk to Mike Foale when he is on the air. Several hams have noted that Mike has been on the air recently.

Anyone wishing to apply for a School Group contact on Shuttle or Mir, should send for an application to:

  ARRL
  EAD
  225 Main St.
  Newington, CT 06111

Please understand that there is quite a long waiting list for schools to be selected for Shuttle or Mir contacts.

[ANS thanks Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P. for Manned Space Programs SAREX Working Group, for this item.]

Glenn Swanson, KB1GW, Educational Programs Coordinator, ARRL Educational Activities Department, thought he'd help schools to save a postage stamp and add to Frank H. Bauer's, KA3HDO, remarks above. Here's how a SAREX application and an ARRL SAREX Bulletin can be obtained, via e-mail, from the ARRL's automated information server.

Scheduled SAREX/MIREX QSOs

It is currently possible to apply for a school contact, via Amateur Radio, with the Space Shuttle, via the SAREX program, or with the Russian Space Station Mir, via the similar MIREX program.

Those wishing to request a Mir contact instead of a Shuttle contact, are asked to put MIREX at the top of the standard SAREX school application. Please understand that submitting a SAREX or MIREX application does not automatically grant the particular school a contact date, nor can a school specify a particular date or time frame for a contact. The ARRL has quite a few applications on file for such contacts and they are currently working with those schools that applied in late 1995.

Note: Future Shuttle missions will mainly be dedicated to bringing parts of the International Space Station into space. Therefore, it is anticipated that there will most likely be one SAREX mission in 1998, and one in 1999. Details on any possible SAREX missions in those years will be posted on the ARRL Web and via ANS bulletins as soon as they become available.

There are two documents that may be of interest. Both are available via the internet. To request an electronic version of the ARRL SAREX Bulletin via e-mail and a SAREX school application may be requested in the same way. Send an e-mail message to info@arrl.org. Leave the Subject line of the message blank. In the body of the message, type the following:

  SEND SAREXFAQ.TXT
  SEND SAREX-AP.TXT
  QUIT

Then, send the message. The ARRL's automated information server will automatically send two documents to the return e-mail address of the sender. The first file sarexfaq.txt is the ARRL SAREX Bulletin, it contains several pages of information regarding SAREX. This bulletin contains a list of frequently asked questions, with answers, that should provide many of the details sought regarding the SAREX program. The second file sarex-ap.txt is a SAREX school application -- used to apply for a scheduled Space Shuttle to school contact.

Also, check out the ARRL Web for more SAREX and Mir information.
ARRLWeb, Main page: http://www.arrl.org/
SAREX information: http://www.arrl.org/sarex/
"Amateur Radio Aboard Mir" file: http://www.arrl.org/sarex/mir.html

[ANS thanks Glenn Swanson, KB1GW, Educational Programs Coordinator, ARRL Educational Activities Department for this 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 and the packet station has been heard during many of the passes since the power cables were reconnected in the Spektr module. According to Launchspace Newsline. http://www.newspace.com/feature/newsline/report.html they have successfully reconnected power cables from the damaged Spektr module.

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

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.

"Now that RS-12 is more conveniently timed for us working folks during August, it's good to hear that the signals remain strong. However, we east coast US folks certainly hope that our colleagues in the two island states (Hawaii and Rhode) and the western states (esp., Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) take full advantage of the low sunspots and strong signals and join the fun on this bird. Your presence is greatly missed."

[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)

Operational.

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

RS-16

IW9ELR heard the 435.504 MHz beacon-telemetry of RS16. Signal was very strong 9++ and the cw-note was constant. At 29.408 only a carrier without CW over.

[ANS thanks Rosario Orlando, IW9ELR, for this update.]

RS-16 CW Telemetry
P    PSU voltage  Volts.................. x0.1
O    Solar panel voltage Volts........... x0.1
N    Solar panel current  mA
M    TX 29 MHz Output Power mW............ x10
L    TX 29 MHz current mA
K    TX 29 MHz voltage 7V nominal
J    TX 435 MHz Output Power mW........... x10
I    TX 435 MHz current mA
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  in C deg.
D    Temperature TX 29  MHz in C deg.
C    Temperature TX 435 MHz in C deg.
B    Temperature RX 145 MHz in C deg.
A    Temperature of the stabilizer in C deg.
Parameters M, L, J, I are valid in FM mode only!

Transponder information:

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 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:

FO-29 Schedule 1997
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. Very active over North America, with strong downlink signals.

OSCAR-11

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

Operating normally.

OSCAR-11 Report for 19 August 1997

Another uneventful month for OSCAR-11! During the period 18-July to 19-August there were no new bulletins or WOD surveys. However the magnetorquer counters were reset by ground control during the first week in August.

Excellent signals have once again been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The mode-S beacon has been heard by Andreas, IW0EAC in Rome. Andreas uses a 60cm dish, 0.6dB NF pre-amp, and a DB6NT converter. Clear and strong signals on two consecutive passes. John, LA2QAA, in Frei Island, Norway also reports reasonable strength signals on July 27, using a 50cm dish, and G0MRF converter. Thanks Andreas and John for those reports.

Telemetry is nominal. The battery voltage has been maintained in the range 14.0 to 14.4 volts. The internal temperatures are slowly increasing from the minimum values observed at the end of June (battery -0.4C, telemetry electronics 1.6C). The battery temperature is now 3.4C, and telemetry electronics 2.2C. This is due to a reduction in solar eclipse times.

A single WOD survey of channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage) dated 25 June has been transmitted during this period.

A single AMSAT-UK bulletin by Richard G3RWL has been transmitted. 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.

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.

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.

UO-22 is operating normally.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, has reloaded the Store and Forward communications task on the UO-22 On-Board Computer. This task includes incremental checksums which should make uploading slightly faster. In the old task, once an upload was complete, the spacecraft had to perform the checksum on the complete file. Depending on the file length, this could take quite a long time. With the new task, the checksum is computed on the fly - while the data is actually being uploaded. Thus there is no need to recompute it at the end of the transfer and this checksum delay is then removed.

However, all files that were started before Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, loaded the task around 1000 UTC on the 19th will receive a corrupt body checksum error when the upload is completed. If the file is uploaded again, it should be accepted. If trying to upload a large file that was started before the above time, then start again.

If anyone gets persistent body checksum errors while uploading files to UO-22 would they please let Chris Jackson know as soon as possible.

[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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