AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

March 29, 1998

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Satellite Internet Link

Bob, WB4APR, reports to ANS that he is in the process of building a network of linked ground stations to provide almost continuous coverage for some of the current digital amateur satellites. WB4APR's idea is that these linked stations would use only simple antennas and operate unattended 24 hours a day, as many amateur radio digital stations currently do. They would be linked to the Internet so that any packets heard by any linked station would be merged together into a single Internet stream of raw packets for all stations. This would allow amateurs to manage their digital satellite transmissions by seeing data flow even when a selected satellite is out of range of their own station. It would also let hams on one continent see how the same satellite is being used over a distant area.

Bob reports that the Internet side of this idea has been completed by Steve, K4HG, and is working fine, having been on line for more than a year. According to WB4APR, Steve's site has demonstrated being able to handle over 2 dozen simultaneous 1200 baud packet feeds and at least 150 simultaneous users. This example system is the worldwide APRS server. Steve is now building another system just for digital amateur satellites.

Bob reports the system now needs more stations with dedicated 24 hour Internet access for each local footprint and satellite. Station requirements include digital satellite gear, computer equipment, and telnet access or TCP/IP Internet service. Bob reports stations do not need to see all packets horizon to horizon. "What really counts is that at least one station in the link out of the sum of all stations hears the packet at least once," Bob said. Everyone then gets the data via the Internet link. The central server will remove all duplicate data.

WB4APR says that a few amateurs have already responded to his request and are looking into setting up stations in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, and Spain. Interested stations should contact WB4APR at his e-mail address:

bruninga@nadn.navy.mil

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for this information]

Dayton AMSAT Rooms

AMSAT-NA secretary, Martha Saragovitz, tells ANS that AMSAT-NA still has 7 rooms available for the upcoming Dayton Hamfest. The hotel is the Homewood Suites in Fairborn, Ohio. Accommodations include a double bed in the bedroom and a fold-out double sofa bed in the living room. There is a kitchen with coffee maker, stove and refrigerator.

Interested AMSAT members should call Martha at the AMSAT-NA office, (301) 589-6062, for more information.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA secretary, Martha Saragovitz, for this information]

STS-90 Press Briefings Set for April 2

NASA's Jennifer McCarter reports to ANS that a series of background press briefings on the upcoming STS-90 mission are scheduled beginning at 8 a.m. CST, April 2, 1998 on NASA TV, originating from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. The 16-day shuttle mission is dedicated to the study of the human nervous system, the most complex and least understood part of the body.

The principal objectives of the STS-90 mission are to expand our understanding of how the nervous system develops and functions in space, but the research also will provide unique contributions to the study and treatment of neurological disorders on Earth.

The launch window opens at 1:19 p.m. CDT on April 16th, and lasts 2 hours. Following a nominal flight duration of 15 days, 21 hours, 50 minutes, Space Shuttle Columbia is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center on May 2nd at about 11:09 a.m. CDT.

NASA TV is available on GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and audio of 6.8 MHz.

STS-90 will be Columbia's 25th mission into space and the 90th Shuttle flight in the program's history. This flight is not a SAREX mission.

[ANS thanks NASA and Jennifer McCarter for this information]

MIRMON Program Available

Bob, WB4APR, reports the MIRMON program, designed to simplify the monitoring of downlink packets from the Mir Space Station during special MIREX school experiments, is now available for downloading. It includes a demonstration of the recent experiment earlier this month, showing students the potential for future, similar tests using UI packet frames.

The program is available from the TAPR FTP Web site using the following directory:

tapr/SIG/aprssig/files/dosstuff/APRSdos

[changed 12/98 to aprssig/dosstuff/APRSdos ]

Bob reports the program is a test version, which has not been thoroughly tested on the air. Users are cautioned to use it for receive monitoring only and familiarization with the user interface. Any transmit testing at this time should be done locally on a simplex digital frequency.

Stay tuned to ANS for further developments.

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for this information]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . 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

(PMS 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK)

Operational. The new modem is a Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus, Revision 8.1. Please note the command set for this TNC is different than the previous Mir TNC. MIREX suggests a copy of the KPC-9612 manual may help in understanding the changes.

The Progress 38 cargo rocket has delivered the new MIREX-DCI antenna filter to the space station. This filter will be used to prevent interference to the 2-meter PMS station from nearby commercial transmitters aboard Mir. The filter is a custom designed antenna cavity which will block the offending interference with a combination of pass band and notch filters. The filter is tentatively planned for installation in the April/May time frame.

MIREX has created an Internet Web page containing information regarding Mir and the various ham radio experiments taking place from the space station. Please check out the pages for pending and proposed projects. URLs are:

http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm
http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex.htm

[ANS thanks  the MIREX team for this information]

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

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

Not operational at this time.

(QSO mode Uplink 435.725 MHz FM, Downlink 437.925 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 151.4 Hz)

Operational. The SAFEX II installation has been utilized recently in QSO mode.

RS-12

(Uplink 145.91-145.95 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz)

Operational, mode KA. The 15m ROBOT is operational.

RS-12 has been seeing recent heavy activity and good DX possibilities.

RS-15

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

Operational. CW appears to be the most successful mode on RS-15.  However, John, G7HIA, recently worked G8ATE on sideband with 5X5 signals each way. John reports very deep QSB but much better signals than a few months ago. G7HIA used 20 watts to a 10 element beam on his uplink during this contact.

[ANS thanks John Heath, G7HIA, for this information]

RS-16

Beacons (only) are operational. The 29 MHz beacon has not been operational for some time.

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.)

Semi-operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 is not operating properly. The satellite has improved slightly, but is still considered marginal. Downlink efficiencies are between 0 and 30%.

This condition has been observed when the satellite spends little or no time eclipsed and thermal heating becomes excessive. This condition has happened a number of times in the past. Ultimately, the satellite has returned to normal operation when it cools in the earth shadow.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

KO-25

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

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-25 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for this report]

AO-27

(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM)

Operational. Widely used especially during weekend passes.

[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. Kazu, JJ1WTK, reports FO-29 was switched into mode JD on the 0700 UTC, 23 March pass. Mode JD will continue until 30 March, when a new operation schedule will be announced.

[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. Despite brief moments of deep QSB, AO-10's downlink signals have been excellent (even at apogee), with heavy stateside and DX activity.

AO-10's apogee has continued to move into the northern hemisphere. Apogee will continue to rise higher to the north for the rest of 1998, peaking in December.

W4SM has updated his AO-10 web page, use the following URL:

http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, Jon Jones, N0JK, and Dan James, NN0DJ for this update]

OSCAR-11

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

Operational.

OSCAR-11 celebrated its 14th birthday on March 1, 1998. It is a wonderful achievement by the UOSAT team who designed, built, and launched the satellite in a period of only six months. Although there have been various component failures during its long time in orbit, OSCAR-11 does have the habit of bouncing back! Great credit to its design philosophy.

During the reporting period of 16 February to 9 March good signals had been received from the 145 MHz beacon. The battery voltage has been slightly depressed, at around 13.5 volts, otherwise telemetry is nominal.

During the past week there have been some problems with OSCAR-11, the 145 MHz beacon has been off. The beacon was last heard on 9 March when telemetry was nominal. The shut down may be a recurrence of the watchdog timer problem, which was prevalent about two years ago.

A single WOD survey has been transmitted, dated 06 January 1998. This contains channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, and array voltage). The array voltage is a very good indication of the solar eclipses, changing rapidly as the satellite goes in and out of darkness.

Reports of the mode-S beacon have been received from VK3BNC, N0ZHE and N5JDB. All are using the Drake MMDS downconverter.

OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit the G3CWV Web site. Audio files have been recently added, including a Mode-S recording from KC6SZY. The web site also contains software for capturing data and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD information. The URL is:

http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/

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

The mode-S beacon is on, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, delivering half output power. Reception reports should be sent to:

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. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

[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. The telemetry is nominal. The S band transmitter is off.

Time is Fri Mar 27 23:39:52 1998 uptime is 1286/18:09:09.
+10V Bus              10.275 V  RC PSK TX Out    0.599 W	
+X (RX) Temp        -9.683 D  RX Temp          4.234 D	
Baseplt Temp          3.024 D  RC PSK BP Temp  -4.842 D  	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -5.448 D  +Y Array Temp  -24.206 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   -5.448 D  +Z Array Temp  -16.339 D	
	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.425 Ifb= 0.165 I+10V= 0.278
TX:010B BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:18

Information about telemetry values and WOD files 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)

Currently non-operational. DO-17 appears to have experienced a problem. The 145.825 MHz downlink is off the air. Jim, WD0E, reports he will attempt to correct the situation as time permits.

[ANS thanks Jim White, WD0E, for this update]

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

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

Currently non-operational. WO-18 is in MBL mode after a software crash. Attempts are being made to find and correct the cause of the suspected seasonal crashes.

[ANS thanks the WO-18 Command Team for this news.]

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. The telemetry is nominal.

Here are two orbit situations followed in time.

(A)    = the final obscure moment of the orbit
(B)    = beginning of the orbit with light

(A)

Time is Fri Mar 27 22:56:20 1998 uptime is 1011/08:51:10
+Z Array V 10.741 V    
+10V Bus 10.275 V BCR Set Point 29.271 C    
BCR Input Cu 0.158 A BCR Output Cur 0.007 A    
Total Array C= 0.010 Bat Ch Cur=-0.258 Ifb= 0.148 I+10V= 0.117

(B)

Time is Fri Mar 27 22:57:20 1998 uptime is 1011/08:52:10.
+Z Array V 22.711 V    
+10V Bus 10.950 V BCR Set Point 122.692 C    
BCR Input Cur 0.478 A BCR Output Cur 0.364 A    
Total Array C= 0.478 Bat Ch Cur= 0.244 Ifb=-0.000 I+10V= 0.120

General information and telemetry samples 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.)

Operational. Chris, G7UPN reports UO-22 is operating normally.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager of UO-22, 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.)

Operational. On 16 March, ITAMSAT Command Stations IK2XRO and IW2EGC, successfully switched the satellite to active status from the safe MBL mode it had been in. The command stations also reloaded the high level IHT97 code. The spacecraft is now sending the full set of 64 telemetry channels and collecting Whole Orbit Data survey information. After a full check is completed, the digipeater will be turned on and the file system code reloading process will begin.

Alberto, I2KBD, reports the satellite appears to be in a healthy state, with all the subsystems working nominally.

Telemetry is downloaded on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK.

[ANS thanks Alberto Zagni, I2KBD, ITAMSAT Mission Director for this information]

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to the ANS Editors at ans-editor@amsat.org, or to new ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at nn0dj@amsat.org.]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, nn0dj@amsat.org.

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