AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

September 14, 1997

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Special Event Station

The Virginia Air & Space Center, (VASC is located in Hampton, VA, USA), Amateur Radio Group, Inc., will operate KE4ZXW as a Special Events Station on September 27-28, 1997. The VASC Amateur Radio Group is celebrating two years of uninterrupted 9600 baud automatic satellite operation at the VASC Amateur radio exhibit. The Special Event Station will operate via KO-23 or KO-25, on both days, from 0000 to 2200 UTC. We will also operate HF from 1500 to 2200 UTC on 7.265 MHz at the top of the hour, and 14.265 MHz at thirty minutes past each hour. An Anniversary QSL card will be issued to those sending a QSL and a SASE to:

Ed Brummer, W4RTZ
108 Oyster Cove Road
Yorktown, VA 23692
USA

[ANS thanks Wally Carter, K4OGT, KE4ZXW Control Operator for this report.]

North Texas Balloon Project

The North Texas Balloon Project successfully launched its second high altitude balloon mission of 1997 on September 6th at 1539 UTC from Clifton Municipal Airport. Estimated burst altitude was 92,000 ft and the flight duration was just over two hours. Once again, HF net coverage was provided by Keith Pugh - W5IU.

There were a significant number of experiments on NTBP#8 and almost everything worked as expected. The crossband repeater, digipeater, and parrot repeater all worked flawlessly throughout the flight. The 35mm still camera appears to have functioned well and we expect to have some great photos in about a week. The GPS had some problems acquiring satellites in the beginning, but appears to have performed better as the flight progressed. It appears that the Tripmate GPS receiver does indeed have an altitude limitation, however it resumed good position reporting during the descent. The new 1.2 GHz FM ATV transmitter worked very well and they were extremely impressed with the video quality. Unfortunately, the ATV antenna departed its payload shortly after descent began due to excessive aerodynamic forces.

The payload was recovered about 10 minutes after landing and all DFing teams were at the landing site within 30 minutes of landing. Some of the DFing teams used GPS downlink information for the APRSA4 and Street Atlas USA software combination, and it worked extremely well. Other DFing teams used simple yagis or doppler units. The recovery team performed very well considering that the payload traveled nearly twice the distance (30.5 miles) as the predicted 17.8 miles. Some units even beat the chase plane to the scene! The payload landed approximately 7 miles south-southwest of Hico, TX. Good job Recovery Team.

At the conclusion of NTBP#8, Doug Howard, KG5OA, stepped down as project coordinator in order to devote more time to his family. The project will continue on as it always has since it has always been a large team effort anyway.

To keep up to date on the latest NTBP activities, check the following URL periodically:

http://procorp.com/procorp/ntbp/index.htm

[ANS thanks Doug Howard, KG5OA, for this information.]

GPS Experiment Planned

Cadets and Faculty of the United States Air Force Academy, in cooperation with University of Colorado-Colorado Springs have designed a small space payload that will be launched on an Atlas rocket the last week in October.

This mission, named Falcon Gold, will be responsible for sampling the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal from behind the GPS constellation and downlinking spectrum samples to ground stations for post processing.

Due to its short 3-week life, and their limited number of ground stations, they are looking for volunteers around the world to collect telemetry and mission data from the satellite during its 3 week life and forward electronic copies to the Air Force Academy for post processing.

The satellite will broadcast on 400.175 MHz, accessible from many scanners and Amateur Radio equipment. Modulation will be the same 9600 bps, AX.25 standard used in the Amateur Radio community. More information can be found at URL http://www.pcisys.net/~mork/ or contacting morkbj.dfc@usafa.af.mil.

STS-86 Keps

Below is the nominal State Vector and Keplerian Elements for STS-86. The vector data comes from NASA; the Keplerian Elements were computed from the vector. This is not a SAREX mission.

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

Vector format = 10117
Satellite Name: STS-86
Catalog Number: 99986
Epoch MET: 0.02975694400
0/00:42:51.000 MET
EFG E: 7313782.00000000 ft
F: 20453348.3999999 ft
G: -2777407.6000000 ft
Edot: -14256.741571000 ft/s
Fdot: 2435.99972699995 ft/s
Gdot: -19604.660624000 ft/s
ndot/2 (drag): 0.00055707642 rev/day^2
nddt/6: 1.29288E-08 rev/day^3
Bstar: 9.63231E-05 1/Earth Radii
Elset #: 1
Rev @ Epoch: 1.52584013430

Scheduled Launch: 26-SEP-97 / 02:34:06 UTC

Note that "99986" is only a temporary Catalog Number. Once STS-86 is launched, a permanent Catalog Number and International Designator will be assigned.

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

STS-86
1 99986U 97269.13677083 .00055708 12929-7 96323-4 0 15
2 99986 51.6599 298.7248 0033349 356.0335 193.2612 16.00410322 19
Satellite: STS-86
Catalog number: 99986
Epoch time: 97269.13677083
Element set: 1
Inclination: 51.6599 deg
RA of node: 298.7248 deg
Eccentricity: 0.0033349
Arg of perigee: 356.0335 deg
Mean anomaly: 193.2612 deg
Mean motion: 16.00410322 rev/day
Decay rate: 5.57076e-04 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 1
Checksum: 328

VEC2TLE may be downloaded from:

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

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

Bits and Pieces

The AMSAT-NA office will be closed the week of September 15th. Daisy and Martha will be on vacation!!

ANGOLA, D2. Look for CT4KO to be QRV as D2AI starting September 15. He will be active on 80 to 10 meters, including 24 and 18 meters, using SSB and RTTY. Some RS-12 satellite activity is expected. He will try to schedule some activity on 6 meters. QSL via CT1EGH.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this DX information.]

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

MIREX will be running the test from September 6, until September 28 1997 world wide. After the completion of the test, they will switch the Mir PMS frequency back to the current 2-meter frequency on September 29th. See ANS Bulletin ANS-250.02 for more information. Test frequency is 437.650 MHz.

BJ Arts, WT0N reports that he had a very nice horizon to horizon chat with Mike Foale, KB5UAC, during the 1615 UTC pass of Mir on September 8th. Total time of the QSO was approximately 13 minutes. BJ said every time he has talks to the Mir space station his hands get wet, it reminds him of his first QSO, and this time it was no different. Mike and WT0N chatted about his EVA and about Minnesota. KB5UAC said when he gets down from Mir he wants to go somewhere warm and vacation. Mike had commented that the 70cm frequency was working much better than the 2-meter frequency. Both voice and packet are doing well on the test 70cm frequency. WT0N said he owes a debt of thanks to KB0VBZ for his post on how to program memories to better keep up with the vast doppler shift on 70 cm. The rig BJ used was an FT-736R, running 5 watts into an 18 element M2 antenna. The tracking software during the pass was InstantTrack, running on a 286. In the 286 WT0N has a Kansas City tracker/tuner that runs both his FT-736 and FT-5400b AZ/EL rotor.

As Mike and WT0N chatted, Mike compared his EVA to deep sea diving. It is very dark in space he said, but he stated he also had a great view of the stars. He mentioned to that the spacesuit was comfortable. Mike thanked the hams who provide the Mir space station with news via packet. Also, some hams have been sending jpg files that he enjoys looking at. Mike suggested to keep the size of the jpg files to 10K bits or less.

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.

RS-12 continues to provide good signals to North America, in spite of the increased daytime activity on 15 meters. Ops are encouraged to listen to 15 meters before they transmit, however. There may be a simplex QSO in progress on the frequency you have chosen."

[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.

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.)

Operating normally.

KO-25

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

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
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.

Nice signals, good activity even on week days. Many EU and W/VE heard/worked here in Europe. Worked TR8CA (Alain in Libreville/Gabon) last Friday (in CW), he seems to be on the bird quite often, obviously during the end of the passes for Europe.

[ANS thanks Oliver Welp, DL9QJ/ N3NSF, for this report.]

OSCAR-11

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

Operating normally.

OSCAR-11 REPORT 14 September 1997

During the period 19 August to 13 September excellent signals have once again been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. Telemetry nominal. The battery voltage has been maintained in the range 13.9 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 8.4C, and telemetry electronics 6.8C. The increased temperature is due to a reduction in solar eclipse times, which is expected to continue into October.

The WOD survey of channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage) dated 25 June was transmitted until the end of August. The timing of this WOD coincided with the maximum eclipse times. This WOD is now available from my web site (details below). At the end of August a further survey of the same channels was taken, dated 26 August. This was quickly followed by channels 21, 31, 41, 51 (equipment currents) dated 30 August, and then by channels 10, 20,30, 40, dated 03 September, which are now being transmitted.

A single AMSAT-UK bulletin dated 21 June, by Richard G3RWL has been transmitted. This featured Sputnik-1 40th anniversary, Mir frequencies, and RS-10 news, and the Keplerian elements for OSCAR-11.

Considerable interest is now being shown in the mode-S beacon, as operators prepare for Phase-3D. Reports indicate that it is a very weak signal, and therefore ideal for testing converters, once they have been set up using the much stronger signal from DOVE. Reports have indicated that the signal from OSCAR-11 is around 24 dB below that of DOVE. There are however considerable variations in the comparisons which vary between -15 dB and -36 dB! Before the beacon partially failed the signal was measured at -3 dB below DOVE.

Hans, HB9AQZ, reports hearing the beacon using a 26-turn helix, mounted in the shack, and pointing through a double glass window. Ib OZ1MY in Copenhagen heard the beacon with two 16-turn helixes, feeding an SSB down converter and pre-amp (combined noise figure 1.5 dB). Trevor, VK4AFL, reports S3 signals with a 60cm dish, two turn helix feed, D.E.M converter and pre-amp. Victor, OE1VKW, reports S3-4 signals using a 67-element antenna, horizontal polarization, and UEK-2000 SAT. On the same equipment DOVE was received at S7-8. Thanks for all the reports.

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.

Below is a data sample of the birds temperatures.

uptime is 1091/06:49:36. Time is Sat Sep 13 12:16:16 1997
Bat 1 Temp 1.814 D Bat 2 Temp 1.814 D
Baseplt Temp 2.419 D RC PSK BP Temp 2.419 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp 1.814 D +Y Array Temp -5.448 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp 1.209 D +Z Array Temp 16.336 D
+X (RX) Temp 5.444 D RX Temp -6.053 D
RC PSK TX Out 0.518 W
Total Array C= 0.203 Bat Ch Cur= 0.005 Ifb= 0.061 I+10V= 0.221
TX:010B BCR:84 PWRC:59E BT:3C WC:25 EDAC:E9

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)

No report available.

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.

Below is a data sample of the birds temperatures.

Uptime is 815/22:15:51. Time is Sat Sep 13 12:21:01 1997
Bat 1 Temp 0.131 D Bat 2 Temp 0.131 D
Baseplt Temp 0.131 D RC PSK BP Temp 3.496 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp 4.057 D +Y Array Temp -4.357 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp 2.374 D +Z Array Temp -1.552 D
+X (RX) Temp -0.991 D RX Temp -1.552 D
RC PSK TX Out 0.881 W
Total Array C= 0.156 Bat Ch Cur=-0.021 Ifb= 0.062 I+10V= 0.165
TX:019 BCR:7F PWRC:36E BT:3C WC: 0

Remember to 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.

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.

[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 ANS Editor B. J. Arts, WT0N, wt0n@amsat.org.

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