AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

July 12, 1998

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TMSAT-1 Launch

ANS is pleased to report the launch of two new Amateur Radio digital satellites.

TMSAT-1

The TMSAT-1 micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch, aboard a RESURS-O1 spacecraft, took place at 06:30 UTC, July 10, 1998. This was following a 40-minute launch delay and after a scrubbed launch the day before just 2 minutes before the planned liftoff.

Following the launch, the satellite was separated from the RESURS launch vehicle and became an object in its own right, placed into an 821km sun-synchronous orbit. TMSAT-1 was then switched on and began sending data on its downlink frequency of 436.925 MHz. Current output power is approximately 1.7 to 2 watts.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, the command station for this new bird, tells ANS the satellite is transmitting VLSI telemetry in an asynchronous format. Telemetry collected over the past 24 hours show the spacecraft is operating normally. G7UPN 's immediate plan for the satellite is to continue to load the flight software to the on-board computer and then start stabilizing the attitude. "This will hopefully be finished soon and we will then switch to the standard OBC telemetry mode that most people are familiar with," reports Jackson.

G7UPN is asking stations that can receive the UOSAT VLSI telemetry format at 9600 baud FSK to capture telemetry from the satellite and send it to him using the following e-mail address:

C.Jackson@ee.surrey.ac.uk

Jackson is requesting that stations please refrain from attempting to uplink to the spacecraft at this time.

An initial set of raw Keplerian orbital data has been provided. The element set is accurate for tracking the spacecraft.

TMSAT-1
1 25395U 98043B   98191.87373682 -.00000045  00000-0  00000+0 0 24
2 25395  98.7944 261.8948 0001516   6.1903 313.0257 14.22263117 96

The satellite is being heard worldwide. Roy, W0SL reports receiving the data carrier on a recent low elevation pass. "I found the frequency about 4 kHz higher here than I expected," reports W0SL. Bill, N4DH reports a "strong carrier" on a recent pass. From Tokyo, Masa, JN1GKZ reports hearing the satellite with 5x9 plus signals. Cliff, K7RR reports the downlink telemetry of TMSAT was very loud. Scott, VE6ITV reports a very strong downlink signal while he was testing his new 70cm preamp. IK2XRO and IW2EGC report the signal was very strong over Europe as well.

A brief overview of the TMSAT satellite and commissioning plan is available at the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/amateur/tmsat/tmsat_commissioning_plan.html

TechSat-1B

Also launched aboard the RESURS-O1 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome was the TechSat-1B satellite. TechSat-1B is a digital store-and-forward satellite using 9600 baud, frequency shift keying (FSK), much like UO-22, KO-23 or KO-25. TechSat-1B will feature VHF/L-band uplinks, with downlinks in the 70cm band.

No official announcement about this new satellite has been received from the TechSat team.

Assi Friedman, 4X1KX/KK7KX tells ANS the satellite does not have a continuous beacon, but does transmit a 9600 baud burst every 30 seconds (about 3 seconds in length).

Richard Limebear, G3RWL reports receiving some preliminary information about the spacecraft from Shlomo Menuchin, 4X1AS. The satellite appears healthy and is currently being stabilized after experiencing cold temperatures during the launch phase.

4X4AS is estimating that it will be several weeks before the initial in-orbit testing is completed. In the meantime TechSat will continue its present burst-mode transmission format.

The TechSat team will soon have an operations facility whereby ground control stations will be able to call for telemetry during overhead satellite passes. In addition, Menuchin reports software will soon be released to decode the transmissions from the satellite.

A TechSat web site is available at the following URL:

http://www.technion.ac.il/~asronen/techsat/

AMSAT-NA congratulates the TMSAT-1 and TechSat-1B launch teams for this exciting development.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, Assi Friedman, 4X1KX/KK7KX and Richard Limebear, G3RWL for this information]

Near Earth Sciences Balloon Launch

Near Space Sciences tells ANS they have returned to amateur radio ballooning after a few years of flights for research groups and commercial projects. Joe, WB9SBD reports the next ham package is due to be launched July 18, 1998, with lift-off set for 13:00 UTC.

Actual launch location and expected coverage area will be announced soon. In addition, a July 19th rain date has also been scheduled.

The payload will include an ATV transmitter, GPS positioning and a crossband FM repeater.

The ATV system will be centered on a Wyman Research transmitter with 3 watts of output on 439.25 MHz, horizontally polarized with on carrier audio. The camera will utilize a motorized mirror that will allow ground operators to look anywhere around the payload using full vertical 360-degree pan capability.

The crossband repeater will use an uplink frequency of 144.325 MHz, and a downlink using the 'on-carrier' NBFM audio feature of the Wyman transmitter on 439.25 MHz.

The GPS system will be running in full APRS mode. It will feature two frequencies for the download of GPS data. The GPS transmitter will share the 439.25 MHz horizontal signal and will simultaneously transmit on 145.85 MHz vertically.

An Internet web site will be activated during the flight and will include a log-in area and chat room along with live images from both the ground operations and from the payload itself. To find the web site point your browser to the following URL:

http://www.rocketryonline.com/conferencing/conference.cgi

[ANS thanks WB9SBD and Near Space Sciences for this information]

CY9 to be Active on Satellite

Ken, VY2RU and Don, VE1AOE tell ANS they plan to be active from CY9, St. Paul Island starting July 17, 1998. Operation is planned through July 21st. St.Paul Island is officially recognized as IOTA NA-094.

The purpose of this trip is to provide communications for 40 Boy Scouts, their leaders and several scientists. This will not be a full-blown DXpedition as such, but Ken and Don do plan to be operating as much as possible between required duties.

Operation is scheduled for all high frequency bands, 6 and 2 meter SSB and CW and several amateur satellites including AO-10.

At this time the planned callsign will be CY9AOE.

QSL requests should be directed to VE1AOE at his callbook address. More information is available from Don at the following e-mail address:

dmroland@fox.nstn.ca

[ANS thanks Don Roland, VE1AOE for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

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

Mir

SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Semi-operational
 
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Semi-operational.
 
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Operational.

The current crew onboard Mir are Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin. They speak and read Russian only. Any messages addressed as personal to R0MIR will not be understood unless it is in Russian. MIREX is again allowing R0MIR-1 for store and forward message traffic.

The PBBS is running a Kantronics KPC-9612 + V.8.1 TNC. The commands are similar to most PBBS and BBS systems.

MIREX has announced an on going APRS School Days Test. MIREX is allowing schools to use APRS for position and status reports via R0MIR. Non-school stations are asked to refrain from using APRS type transmissions or beacons via R0MIR.

[ANS thanks Scott Avery, WA6LIE, and the MIREX team for Mir status information]

RS-12

Uplink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Operational, mode KA.

RS-15

Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Semi-operational.

RS-15 has apparently lost its TLM beacon.

RS-16

The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. Attempts to command the Mode A transponder on have been unsuccessful.

AO-10

Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Operational.

DX continues to be heard and worked. Jerry, K5OE worked PY6ASV using 10 watts into an 8 element quagi. His downlink was a homebuilt 4-element yagi, TenTec transverter and an old HTX-100 transceiver. Bruce, KK5DO reports Asad, AP2AUM has been active. NN0DJ and VE6ITV report working Selva, 9V1UV. Scotty also snagged EA8BHH for a new country. However, the AO-10 'DXer of the week' is Mike, N1JEZ. He reports working OK2VLT, FBC1IXQ, 5B4/EU1AA, RA6LUX, TF3FK, UA0AET, UT3LL and CU8AAC.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at the following URL:

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

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM for his AO-10 status information and web site]

AO-27

Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM
Operational.

AO-27 TEPR States are currently:
4 = 36 = 18 Minutes
5 = 72 = 36 Minutes

This means AO-27's transmitter turns on 18 minutes after entering the Sun and stays on for 18 minutes. AO-27's transmitter is turned off at all other times during the orbit. N4USI reminds stations that this happens on every orbit, approximately 14.2 times a day. The current TEPR settings will cause the satellite to be on during the daytime at northern latitudes.

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

FO-20

Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational.

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for his FO-20 status reports]

FO-29

Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational.
 
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Not operational, the satellite is in JA (voice) mode.

Kazu, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that OBC bit errors were again detected and the on-board computer reset. Investigation of bit error frequency continues.

The FO-29 command station is now asking for reports from radio amateurs who can confirm the value of channel 2A, the 5th item transmitted in CW after 'HI HI'. The normal value of channel 2A is '00'. Reports will be appreciated (in e-mail) addressed to:

lab@jarl.or.jp

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

KO-23

Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

KO-25

Uplink 145.980 MHz FM
Downlink 436.500 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

OSCAR-11

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz
Operational.

Beacon reception reports should be sent to: g3cwv@amsat.org.

In response to many requests for information about methods of decoding OSCAR-11 signals, a package of hardware information has been added to the satellite web site. The site also contains some software for capturing data, decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD information. The URL is http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/

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

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

Uplink 145.900, 145.920, 145.940, 145.860 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 AO-16 command team has authorized an APRS experiment on AO-16 to explore the use of the 1200-baud PACSAT for APRS position/status reporting. The test periods will run each Tuesday from 0000 to 2359 UTC.

The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Jul 10 22:26:22 1998 uptime is 1391/16:53:35.
+X (RX) Temp   -13.314 D  RX Temp         -0.607 D	
BCR Input Cur    0.268 A  BCR Output Cur   0.312 A	
RC PSK TX Out    0.263 W  RC PSK BP Temp  -6.053 D  	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -4.842 D  +Y Array Temp  -24.811 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp  -4.842 D  +Z Array Temp  -19.970 D	
Total Array C= 0.249 Bat Ch Cur= 0.060 Ifb= 0.018 I+10V= 0.233
TX:0109 BCR:73 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:B2

General information and telemetry 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.

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air. Command stations are reported to be working on the problem. No additional information is available at this time.

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. No additional information is available at this time.

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

Uplink 145.840, 145.860, 145.880, 145.900 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK
Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK
Operating normally.

The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Jul 10 22:59:14 1998 uptime is 1116/08:54:04
BCR Set Point  124.815 C  BCR Load Cur     0.107 A	
BCR Input Cur    0.452 A  BCR Output Cur   0.351 A  	
Bat 1 Temp      -0.991 D  Bat 2 Temp      -3.235 D  	
RC PSK TX Out    0.547 W  RC PSK BP Temp  -7.722 D  	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -8.844 D  +Y Array Temp  -15.014 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp  -7.161 D  +Z Array Temp   -1.552 D	
Total Array C= 0.469 Bat Ch Cur= 0.243 Ifb=-0.016 I+10V= 0.124
TX:117 BCR:31 PWRC:36E BT:3C WC: 0

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 145.900 or 145.975 MHz FM
Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

More information on the satellite is available at the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, Operations Manager of UO-22 for this report]

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK
Semi-operational.

Telemetry is reported as being downloaded on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK. No additional information is available at this time.

[Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at ans-editor@amsat.org, or to 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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