AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

November 1, 1998

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Discovery in Orbit

The Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off into a cloudless sky from the Kennedy Space Center on a nine-day scientific research mission and to return John Glenn to space, 36 years, 8 months and 9 days after he became the first American to orbit the Earth. At launch, a small compartment door that holds the Shuttle's drag chute apparently came loose a few seconds before liftoff. The loss of the 11-pound door is not expected to have any impact on the flight and does not affect the safety of the crew, according to NASA.

About 45 minutes after launch, Discovery's orbital maneuvering engines fired to round out the orbit, with a high point of 349 statute miles and a low point of 340 statute miles, circling Earth once every one hour, 35 minutes and 54 seconds.

Three hours and ten minutes into the flight, astronaut John Glenn, Discovery's Payload Specialist 2, relayed his first communication to Mission Control as the Shuttle flew 342 miles above Hawaii. "Hello, Houston. This is PS 2, we are just going by Hawaii and it is absolutely gorgeous," Glenn said.

The Internet feed of NASA TV, following Discovery in real-time, is available at the following URL:

http://www.broadcast.com/events/nasa/

Commander Curt Brown, Pilot Steve Lindsey and Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski successfully released PANSAT, the Petite Amateur Naval Satellite, during Day 2 shuttle operations.

PANSAT is a small satellite developed by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. PANSAT will use innovative spread-spectrum technology to capture and transmit radio signals that normally would be lost because the original signals were too weak or contained too much interference. Discovery's location at the time of deployment was near Australia.

PANSAT's spread-spectrum digital transponders will be available to Amateur Radio operators in the near future. In addition, software to utilize this technology will also be released. Currently, the satellite command station is located at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

More information on PANSAT is available at the following URL:

http://www.sp.nps.navy.mil

Ken, N2WWD, provided ANS with the following PANSAT orbit data:

1 25520U 98064B   98303.78165625  .00000317  00000-0  23032-4 0    13
2 25520  28.4625 151.9199 0007675  28.4084 303.4646 15.02886946    15

[ANS thanks NASA, Steve Bible, N7HPR, Ken Ernandes, N2WWD, and Lloyd Hebert, KB5TQE, for this information]

SEDSAT-1 Status

SEDSAT-1, after a successful launch and insertion into orbit, apparently has developed a major power drain problem. The spacecraft recently flew as a secondary passenger aboard a Delta II booster.

According to Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, the launch was virtually flawless with all events happening very close to the nominal schedule. Telemetry from SEDSAT was detected almost immediately in Arizona and Florida. Initial analysis of the telemetry showed that all subsystems had started and appeared to be working correctly.

During orbit day 2, Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, the Program Manager for SEDSAT-1, announced that two of the primary systems, solar panels and batteries, were not performing to specifications, "and sometime around orbit 22, the satellite went power negative, and the power cycled."

Mark, KF4YGR, told ANS that the software on SEDSAT is configured to save power if the satellite goes into a negative voltage status, "but it keeps communications up preferentially. Thus the ability to manage power is limited by the consumption of the receiver subsystems."

Chris, KC7NYV, reports that the SEDSAT Team immediately discussed a number of options to answer the problem, "but the primary objective is to establish an uplink to the satellite and upload the new code necessary to allow changes in the flight parameters. Once the new code is uploaded, we basically will put the satellite into a more aggressive power conservation mode," said KC7NYV.

Many AMSAT members worldwide responded to a call for SEDSAT telemetry so that the Command team could analyze information from several complete orbits. N8DEU, KB2WQM, N2WWD, CT1EAT, G3RWL, K5NRK, KD2JF, G0ORX, WA4SCA and JE9PEL, (among many others), offered help and/or funneled received data to the team.

KC7NYV reports that once an uplink is established, the first priority will be to enable a more lengthy charging cycle, followed by an imaging session and download. Chris estimates that the satellite will take slightly over 24 hours to charge up to full capacity while in the power-save mode. KC7NYV says what will likely happen is the satellite will be put in a mode "where it doesn't operate for a day as it charges, then operates for two days, then a day to charge and so on."

Stay tuned to ANS for further developments concerning the status of SEDSAT-1.

For more information on SEDSAT-1, including Version 1.2 of the SEDSAT ground station software -- visit the satellite web site at the following URL:

http://www.seds.org/sedsat

[ANS thanks Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, and Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, for this information]

Phase 3D Testing Successful

The AMSAT Phase 3D spacecraft successfully completed thermal vacuum testing at the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility in Germantown, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

Phase 3D is now one step closer to being flight-ready.

After nearly a week in a vacuum and five cycles of alternately warming and freezing the satellite in the test chamber, the temperature was allowed to stabilize and the chamber was brought up to nominal atmospheric pressure -- prior to removing the satellite from the chamber itself.

Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, AMSAT-DL President and Phase 3-D Project Leader was very pleased with the test, telling ANS "the test has been extremely successful at this stage. We identified a few things that need to be corrected -- that was the purpose of the test -- to find things before the satellite is launched into space. There were no major failures, no irreversible problems. It really is a spacecraft now; it has its own personality and its own quirks. Before it was just a collection of parts."

The P3D RUDAK team was very happy with the test. They report that most of their test card was completed with a "resounding success", according to Dan, N8FGV. The RUDAK command center was set up about one mile from the OSC facility and all of the testing was accomplished via line-of-sight radio links to-and-from the chamber, using the antennas on OSC's rooftop connected to P3D. The team successfully collected data from the SCOPE camera, the RF monitor experiment and the cosmic ray experiment during the temperature cycles. Additional improvements in the RUDAK software will be used for experiment control, telemetry and whole orbit data (WOD) collection. Both SCOPE cameras took pictures inside the vacuum chamber; the results of which can be viewed at:

http://www.jamsat.or.jp/scope/index_e.html

In the coming months, P3D's electronic modules will be potted to increase vibration resistance, wire bundles will be finalized and various antennas and solar arrays will be attached. The satellite is now tentatively expected to return to a facility in the Washington, DC area in a few months for vibration testing, which will verify its ability to survive the stress encountered during a launch. In addition, the P3D engineering team will also be analyzing test data during the next few weeks to fully understand the spacecraft's performance in the chamber.

P3D is now returning to Florida.

ANS congratulates the entire P3D team for a job well done, and thanks the many volunteers that helped during testing at OSC. Congratulations also to KA1LM and W3DQ who reported successful reception of P3D's beacon signal in northern Virginia and Washington, DC.

For more information on P3D, see the Phase 3D Spacecraft Integration Laboratory web site at:

http://www.magicnet.net/~phase3d/

Information on the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility in Germantown, Maryland is available at the following URL:

http://www.orbital.com/Gtown/docs/defense/facil.htm

[ANS thanks the entire AMSAT P3D Team, and especially thanks Dan, N8FGV, for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-13 . 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 . TO-31 . GO-32

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 reported to ANS that a re-supply ship successfully linked with the space station recently. All Amateur Radio operations are suspended during such docking/un-docking maneuvers.

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.

Scott, WA6LIE, recently posted a complete set of instructions on how to work the Mir space station on the SAREX reflector. Copies of the instructions are available from Scott by e-mail at wa6lie@juno.com, or by packet at wa6lie@wa6lie.#wcca.ca.usa.noam.

[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

Last reported to be semi-operational.

RS-13

Uplink 21.260 to 21.300 MHz CW/SSB
Uplink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.460 to 29.500 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.504 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.140 MHz, Downlink 29.458 MHz

Last reported in mode K.

The RS-12/13 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation during the past weeks. Modes K, T, KT and simultaneous RS-13 operation have all been reported by a number of stations.

No official word from the satellite controllers has been received. ANS recommends monitoring each satellite carefully to determine the transponder in operation and which mode it is operating in.

Tony, AB2CJ, tells ANS the RS-12 robot is QRV on 21.130 MHz.

RS-12/13 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia.

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 (2m uplink, 10m downlink)

Dave, WB6LLO, reports he has prepared a "quick and dirty" set of operating instructions for RS-15 at the following URL:

http://users.aol.com/dguimont

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, 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.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for the 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 the FO-29 Command Team has released the following announcement concerning FO-29 status:

The present JA mode of operation will continue to investigate the frequency of bit errors in the on-board-computer. Reports from Amateurs on the value of channel 2A are appreciated. The position of 2A is the fifth item after 'HI HI' in CW telemetry. The normal value is '00'. Reports should be sent to lab@jarl.or.jp.

FO-29 is still in 'full sun illumination', this should end in December.

The on-board-computer (OBC) did accept commands from ground control before full illumination began. The FO-29 Command Team says digital (JD) mode operation may be available in December. Digi-talker operation is also being planned. The next announcement is expected November 20th.

[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]

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]

OSCAR-11

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

Two new WOD software packages have recently added to the Oscar 11 web site. The first package enables various WOD channels to be compared with the solar eclipse status of the satellite. The second package compares measured and calculated magnetic fields encountered by Oscar 11. Both packages are of an advanced nature, users will need experience using the other WOD packages on the web site and a spread sheet program.

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 Oct 30 22:51:26 1998 uptime is 1503/17:16:24
Bat 1 V          1.263 V  Bat 2 V          1.267 V	
Bat 3 V          1.295 V  Bat 4 V          1.296 V	
Bat 5 V          1.276 V  Bat 6 V          1.303 V	
Bat 7 V          1.272 V  Bat 8 V          1.296 V	
+Y Array Temp  -21.180 D PSK TX HPA Tmp  -1.817 D	
+Z Array Temp  -12.709 D RC PSK TX Out    0.549 W	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.415 Ifb= 0.190 I+10V= 0.246
TX:010B BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:50

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 ground control station LU8DYF has succeeded in regaining control of the satellite. 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.

The telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Oct 30 23:00:07 1998 uptime is 091/09:22:31
Bat 1 V          1.363 V  Bat 2 V          1.363 V	
Bat 3 V          1.371 V  Bat 4 V          1.359 V	
Bat 5 V          1.379 V  Bat 6 V          1.395 V	
Bat 7 V          1.362 V  Bat 8 V          1.351 V	
+Y Array Temp  -13.892 D PSK TX HPA Tmp   3.496 D	
+Z Array Temp  -12.209 D	
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.289 Ifb= 0.122 I+10V= 0.174
TX:017 BCR:1E PWRC:62D BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at:

http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu/lo19.htm

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, 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.

[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. 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 home page about the TechSat bird, and promise they will add more information in the next few weeks. To view the 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 'on' have been unsuccessful to date. At this time the RS-16 transponder is non-operational. The 435 MHz beacon (only) is 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 reported to be 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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