AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

August 30, 1998

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W3GEY Accepts New Position

SpaceDev, a commercial space exploration and development company, has announced that Jan King, W3GEY, has joined the company as Vice President for Space Engineering. Jan has a distinguished record within the small satellite and launch vehicle communities with more than 30 years of experience. During this time he was associated with the design and development of 17 small spacecraft and nine larger spacecraft, as well as one launch vehicle.

"It is people who make a company successful, and in Jan King we have a true expert in designing and overseeing the development of low cost spacecraft. Jan has that rare combination of hands-on experience coupled with many years of innovative approaches to getting the job done, from small satellites to large spacecraft to launch vehicles," said Jim Benson, SpaceDev President and Chairman.

Most recently, W3GEY has been a Schriever Chair Professor in the Department of Astronautics, United States Air Force Academy, where he organized and managed the technical portion of the small satellite program.

As a Vice President of Technology at Qualcomm, he developed, organized and conducted system level functional tests of the Globalstar communications transponder sub-system, which verified the overall Globalstar system traffic capacity.

Previous to his position at Qualcomm, Jan was Vice President of the Boulder Operations for Orbital Sciences Corporation. He was an original member of the Pegasus launch vehicle team and of the Orbcomm spacecraft development team. In 1991, W3GEY was the co-recipient of the National Technology Medal, presented to him by President George Bush. At the request of the Department of State, Jan also served as a member of the United States delegation to the 1987 Mobile World Administrative Radio Conference.

Between 1968 and 1980, Jan was an Aerospace Technologist employed by NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He worked in the Test and Evaluation Division, the Communications and Navigation Divisions and the Delta Launch Vehicle Project Office.

W3GEY was a co-founder of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) in Washington, DC, also serving on the AMSAT Board of Directors. He was project manager for a series of 12 small satellites, currently advising AMSAT on current and future small satellite projects.

"Jan King's combination of AMSAT experience, large corporation business experience and Air Force Academy teaching uniquely qualify him to instill a low cost, hands-on culture throughout our Space Mission Division. His years of experience should increase our ability to perform missions in both near Earth and deep space," added Mr. Benson.

SpaceDev intends to launch the first privately financed spacecraft to land on another planetary body.

[ANS thanks Jim Benson, SpaceDev President and Chairman and the SpaceDev Corporation for this information]

International Candidates Join 1998 Astronaut Class

A cadre of international astronaut candidates has arrived at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to begin training as members of the 1998 Astronaut Class.

The international candidates, from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and Italy will train as mission specialists for future Space Shuttle flights, and, more importantly, for International Space Station flight assignments.

"The Class of 1998 continues our international cooperation in space as we begin assembly of the International Space Station," said NASA's David Leestma, director of Flight Crew Operations. "We welcome our international astronauts and the entire class. They have a lot of work and a very exciting time ahead of them."

The international candidates are: Leopold Eyharts, Paolo Nespoli, Hans Schlegel and Roberto Vittori, representing the European Space Agency; Bjarni Tryggvason, from the Canadian Space Agency; and Marcos Pontes, representing the Brazilian Space Agency.

[ANS thanks NASA for this information]

Guatemala Hams Want Frequencies Back

Guatemala's national ham radio society is telling its government and its people to give hams back their UHF and SHF bands. Unfortunately, it appears the Guatemalan telecommunications regulators are turning a deaf ear to that nations Amateur Radio community.

As previously reported by ANS, Newsline and the ARRL, the Guatemala Congress reallocated almost half of all the UHF and SHF frequencies used by amateurs in Guatemala. The action included a formerly shared allocation from 430 to 440 MHz and all SHF bands. The spectrum was sold to commercial land mobile stations, with some of those stations now operating in the 70-centimeter ham radio band.

The Club de Radioaficionados de Guatemal has issued what it terms as a call to the Guatemalan public conscience as part of its effort to get the government to restore ham radio access to these bands. The club has also presented a formal request to the Guatemalan Ministry of Communications.

Satellite operators in North and South America have noticed increased interference to several Amateur Radio satellites, most notably AO-27.

[ANS thanks the Radio Club of Guatemala, Newsline and the ARRL 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 . TMSAT . TechSat-1B

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 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
Uplink 21.210 to 21.250 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.408 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.129 MHz, Downlink 29.454 MHz
Operational, mode KT.

Wayne, N5WD, reports RS-12 has been switched into Mode KT, with a 15 meter uplink and 10 meter and 2 meter downlinks. John, K6YK, reports "the 2 meter downlink is very loud and is easy copy compared to 10 meters. John also reports is only takes low power on 15 meters to have an effective uplink signal. "There seems to be a lot of high powered stations pumping the satellite receiver AGC," said K6YK. Al, WC9C, also reports a strong VHF downlink from RS-12.

RS-15

Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.352 MHz (intermittent)
Semi-operational, Mode A.

John, K6YK, reports he and KO6RD had a QSO on RS-15 recently by timing their transmissions so that they transmitted while the bird was 'on' and did not transmit during the 'off' periods.

AO-10

Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Beacon 145.810 MHz (unmodulated carrier)
Semi-operational, currently in "sleep" mode.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, reports another sleep phase appears to be beginning. "I suspect that the rotational speed is so slow as to be incapable of holding a stable attitude heading. Hence, we may be entering a time of chaotic useful periods and sleep periods which cannot be predicted."

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]

JAS-1b 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.

Raul, EB4GZO, reports he is active from IN80hl on both FO-20 and FO-29 and is looking for US stations.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK and the Hawaiian amateurs for the FO-20 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 error investigation continues and the satellite will remain in voice mode. FO-29 has entered a period of 'full illumination' by the Sun. This illumination period will extend through the end of December.

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

KITSAT 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.

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/

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

[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 Aug 28 12:13:44 1998 uptime is 1440/06:40:57
+Z Array V      21.995 V  +X (RX) Temp    -1.212 D	
RX Temp         -6.658 D  Bat 1 Temp       1.209 D	
Bat 2 Temp       0.603 D  Baseplt Temp     1.814 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.442 W  RC PSK BP Temp   1.814 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   3.629 D  +Y Array Temp    1.814 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   2.419  D  +Z Array Temp    6.654 D	
Total Array C= 0.371 Bat Ch Cur=-0.029 Ifb= 0.049 I+10V= 0.309
TX:010B BCR:84 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:D6

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.]

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
Currently semi-operational.

Miguel Menendez, EA1BCU reports LUSAT/Oscar 19 apparently stopped transmitting. Ground control station LU8DYF has succeeded in regaining control. Downlink signals show good modulation with an ASCII message containing the following text:

July 31 - 1998. No BBS service. On Board Computer reload in progress.
Digipeater active. Thank you - Norberto - LU8DYF.

EA1BCU reminds operators the digipeater mode is "a very interesting option to make contacts with other stations, or to be connected with your own station to evaluate the on-line the state of your installation." Bob, WB4APR, says an efficient way to communicate via a space digipeater is to use un-numbered UI frames, which require no acknowledgment. This way several stations can talk all to each other.

[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]

ITAMSAT IO-26

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 received on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK. No additional information is available at this time.

TMSAT-1 TO-31

Downlink 436.923 MHz

The TMSAT-1 micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

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

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, for this report]

TechSat-1B GO-32

Downlink 435.325 435.225 MHz
HDLC telemetry framed so a TNC in KISS mode will decode it

The TechSat-1B micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998 and has now completed its first full week in space. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

The satellite does not have a continuous beacon, but does transmit a 9600-baud burst every 30 seconds (for about 3 seconds in length), currently on 435.225 MHz.

The TechSat team has also constructed a new home page about the TechSat bird, and promise they will add more information in the next few weeks. To view the new site, point your web browser to:

http://techsat.internet-zahav.net/

[ANS thanks Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS for this information]

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:

RS-16

Attempts to command the Mode A transponder have been unsuccessful. The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. Transponder is non-operational. No additional information is available at this time.

DO-17 (DOVE)

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK
Beacon 2401.220 MHz
Non-operational.

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air. No additional information is available at this time.

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25
Non-operational.

WO-18 is in MBL mode after a software crash. 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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