November 8, 1998

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Mir to Launch New Mini-Sputnik

AMSAT-France tells ANS they have delivered a new model of mini-Sputnik satellite to the Mir space station. Tentatively, this version will be hand launched during a space walk scheduled for November 11, 1998. The announcement of this new 'bird' comes almost one year to the day after the launch of Sputnik 40/RS-17, which commemorated the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite by the USSR in 1957.

Called Sputnik 41 (and possibly RS-18), this new satellite is the same size as its predecessor, about 8 inches in diameter. At almost 9 pounds, this latest version will carry a 150-200 mW transmitter that will transmit on 145.812 MHz (plus/minus 5 kHz and Doppler shift). The new satellite does not have any solar cells; the expected operational lifetime is about 30 days.

AMSAT-France is cooperating with the educational department of the Russian Aeronautic Federation to bring about this latest Sputnik encore. Gerard, F6FAO, tells ANS that Sputnik 41 is completely new and not the spare model of Sputnik 40 that is still on board Mir. F6FAO hopes there will be an opportunity to have this spare model launched sometime in 1999.

Gerard tells ANS that in addition to the 'bip-bip' beacon plus audio-frequency telemetry (indicating internal temperature), Sputnik 41 will also broadcast pre-recorded voice greetings in three languages: French, English, and Russian. One message, read by 14-year-old Constantin Sambourov, declares in Russian-accented English: "1998 was the International Year of Air and Space." Sambourov is the son of Sergei Sambourov, RV3DR, who manages Amateur Radio activity aboard the Mir station. Another English message read by Project Chief Victor Kourilov of the Russian Aeronautic Federation, states "International Space School Sputnik Program."

The French and Russian messages convey the same greetings.

A QSL manager for this newest Sputnik has yet-to-be determined.

Stay tuned to ANS for further developments.

More information on Sputnik 41 is available at the following web site:

The 1998 International Year of Air and Space web page is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks AMSAT-France, Serge Samburov, RV3DR, Gerard Auvray, F6FAO, and the ARRL for this information]

SEDSAT-1 Efforts Continue

Efforts to uplink to SEDSAT-1, following a successful launch and insertion into orbit, is continuing with little success reported. The satellite apparently has developed a major power drain problem, indicating that two primary systems, solar panels and batteries, are apparently not performing to specifications. SEDSAT-1 has experienced several negative power cycles during its short time in orbit.

Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, Program Manager for the University of Arizona Student Satellite Project and a member of the SEDSAT team, tells ANS that several stations are attempting to uplink to SEDSAT-1. Ground stations involved in uplink attempts include P3D Integration Lab members Stan Wood, WA4NFY and Lou McFadin, W5DID, also attempting to uplink is Jim White, WD0E, and Tim Cunningham, N8DEU. SEDSAT Team member Dennis Wingo, KD4ETA, is also working with the P3D Lab.

The primary objective is to establish an uplink to the satellite and then upload a new code necessary to allow changes in the flight parameters. Once the new code is uploaded, "we will basically put the satellite into a more aggressive power conservation mode," said KC7NYV. As it stands now the satellite has been cycling through 25-hour periods of broadcasting telemetry, followed by 13-hour periods of silence, when the spacecraft is attempting to recharge its batteries.

Many stations around the globe have been sending telemetry reception reports to the SEDSAT Team. VK5AKJ, ZL1BIV, CT1EAT, N8DEU and CX6DD have all been e-mailing information that has been very useful. The SEDSAT Team welcomes any reception information regarding the satellite. Reports should be send to:

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:

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


PANSAT, the Petite Amateur Navy Satellite recently launched from the space shuttle Discovery, is apparently alive and well as it continues to orbit the Earth. The 150-pound Amateur Radio satellite carries a spread-spectrum communication package fabricated by student officers and faculty members at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, PANSAT Project Manager, tells ANS that while naval officers had a major role in the development of the spacecraft, the actual users of the small satellite will be Amateur Radio operators. "The Amateur Radio community and the US military have a longstanding, cooperative relationship. In this case, the Naval Postgraduate School is using ham radio as an aspect in a purely educational endeavor. In return, the radio community has a new resource to investigate spread-spectrum -- a new modulation scheme," said KD6DRA.

Dan recommends 'The ARRL Spread Spectrum Sourcebook' as a good place to start in understanding the spread-spectrum scheme. "Regardless of the perceptions and feelings of those on either side of the spread-spectrum fence, PANSAT will provide a quantitative means of investigating the effects of direct sequence spread-spectrum communications in the 70-cm Amateur band," said KD6DRA.

This new 'bird' is unique in several ways. Satellite operators will connect to PANSAT's bulletin board system using a 9842-baud, simplex, direct sequence spread-spectrum mode. Also, unlike other amateur satellites, PANSAT does not have a beacon mode and the operating system is complex in that the same frequency is used for both uplink and downlink transmissions.

After one week in orbit, ground stations recently made the first contact with PANSAT and downloaded preliminary data. Like other packet radio satellites, PANSAT will require additional software to be uploaded, including operating systems, AX.25 parameters and file transfer protocols. "In addition, we want to see how the spacecraft is operating on its own," Dan said.

The PANSAT Team does not expect the satellite to be available to the Amateur Radio community for another few months.

For more information, visit the official PANSAT web site at:

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, the PANSAT Team and the ARRL for this information]

Discovery Completes Mission -- ISS Next

The Space Shuttle Discovery completed a nine-day scientific research mission, including the return of John Glenn to space, 36 years after he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Discovery's astronauts glided to a smooth landing at the Kennedy Space Center as Commander Curt Brown and Pilot Steve Lindsey set Discovery down on the 3-mile long landing strip at KSC. The missing drag chute compartment door, which popped off during liftoff, posed no problem for the astronauts and had no effect on the landing. Although not a SAREX mission, the flight was followed by many Amateur Radio operators the world over.

Construction of the International Space Station will now dominate the shuttle schedule, especially the next several flights. NASA will shortly launch the initial effort to build the new space station, following an unmanned Russian rocket that will carry the Zarya cargo module into orbit. The Russian launch, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, is scheduled for November 20th. The Zarya module will be the first component of ISS, an enormous effort that involves the United States, Japan, Russia, Canada, and 12 European nations.

ISS construction activities begin with a shuttle crew launch from the Kennedy Space Center on December 3rd.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA Vice President of Human Spaceflight Programs, tells ANS "we are proceeding full speed ahead on Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station." The final flight qualification of the ARISS interim station is expected to be completed in December. According to KA3HDO, this station will allow the crew to operate on voice, packet and digital voice beacons at the beginning of station habitation. The hardware is scheduled to be flown on the STS-96 mission in May 1999. Antennas will be flown and installed shortly thereafter.

ISS crew habitation is planned for late 1999 or early 2000.

SAREX flights will resume with schools in Indiana, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia on the schedule to make Amateur Radio contact with the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia in early 1999. The flight, mission STS-93, is tentatively set for a January 21st launch from KSC.

Hams scheduled to fly aboard STS-93 will be Commander Eileen Collins, KD5EDS, Michel Tognini, KD5EJZ and Catherine Coleman, KC5ZTH.

[ANS thanks NASA, ARRL, AMSAT-NA Vice President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and the Morrock News Service 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


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

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

November, 1998 marks the 10th year of Amateur Radio activity from Mir. ANS congratulates MIREX and everyone associated with the wonderful experience of ham radio activity aboard the Mir space station.

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, or by packet at

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


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.


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.

YO3FFF reports working the RS-13 robot recently.

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


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:


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.

Several stations are reporting Oscar 10 activity, including K6YK, W4FJ and KF4FDJ.

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

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


Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM

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

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

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


Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
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

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.]


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

The satellite has a strong carrier but no downlinked data. ANS has no official information on the cause of this problem.

Richard, G3RWL, reports KO-23 has entered another period of permanent sunlight causing the spacecraft temperature to rise. The higher temperature brings deviation increases and ground stations experience degraded reception (strong carrier but little or no data received). CX6DD and WS4Z also report degraded reception.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]


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

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]


Uplink 145.900 or 145.975 MHz FM
Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK

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

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


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

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

Beacon reception reports should be sent to:

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


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 Sat Nov 07 22:18:31 1998 uptime is 1511/16:43:02
+10V Bus        10.400 V	
Bat 1 V             1.244 V  Bat 2 V          1.248 V	
Bat 3 V             1.258 V  Bat 4 V          1.267 V	
Bat 5 V            1.280 V  Bat 6 V          1.226 V	
Bat 7 V            1.249 V  Bat 8 V          1.276 V	
Bat 1 Temp       5.444 D  Bat 2 Temp       5.444 D	
Baseplt Temp     4.839 D  PSK TX RF Out   -0.029 W	
RC PSK TX Out    0.599 W  RC PSK BP Temp  -1.212 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   0.603 D  +Y Array Temp  -21.180 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp  -1.212 D  +Z Array Temp  -12.709 D	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.376 Ifb= 0.186 I+10V= 0.211
TX:010B BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:85

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]


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, EA1BCU, reports downlink signals show good modulation. The satellite is transmitting an ASCII message containing the following text:

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

The telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Nov 07 22:23:07 1998 uptime is 099/08:45:31
+10V Bus         10.871 V  RC PSK TX Out    0.689 W	
Bat 1 Temp        4.618 D  Bat 2 Temp       4.618 D	
Baseplt Temp     3.496 D  RC PSK BP Temp   5.179 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   4.057 D  +Y Array Temp  -12.209 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   4.057 D  +Z Array Temp  -11.087 D	
Total Array C= 0.010 Bat Ch Cur=-0.296 Ifb= 0.117 I+10V= 0.185
TX:017 BCR:1E PWRC:62D BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at:

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]


Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

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


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:

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

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:


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

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air.

No additional information is available at this time.


Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25

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, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ,