AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

January 10, 1999

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
1999 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS


AMSAT-UK Colloquium

The 14th annual AMSAT-UK Colloquium, also known as SpaceComm '99, will be held at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, starting Friday, July 23rd and ending Sunday, July 25, 1999.

AMSAT-UK invites authors to submit papers about amateur radio space (and associated) activities, not only for the Colloquium, but also for the Proceedings document published following the event. Colloquium organizers normally prefer authors to present papers in-person, but non-represented papers will also be welcomed.

AMSAT-UK committee members are also considering adding a Colloquium session specifically for newcomers to amateur satellite operating. Stay tuned to ANS for further information on this session as it becomes available.

Offers of Papers should be submitted as soon as possible. The final date for full documents is mid-June, with a second and final call for papers to be issued in March, about the same time as Colloquium booking information becomes available from AMSAT-UK.

Colloquium/SpaceComm 99 submissions should be sent to Richard Limebear, G3RWL, via any of the following routes:

Internet e-mail: g3rwl@amsat.org
Packet radio: G3RWL @ GB7HSN.#32.GBR.EU
Digital satellite: AO-16/UO-22/KO-25
Terrestrial mail:

  RW Limebear, G3RWL
  60 Willow Road
  Enfield EN1 3NQ
  United Kingdom

[ANS thanks Richard Limebear, G3RWL, Colloquium Program organizer, and SpaceNews for this information]

ISS Ham Gear Inches Closer to Space

The ARRL is reporting the first set of Amateur Radio gear to be used on the International Space Station has moved a bit closer to its rocket ride into space. The Phase-1 ham gear is on a tight proveout and delivery schedule and is due at Kennedy Space Center in Florida by January 20th.

US astronaut William Shepherd will command the first ISS crew. Shepherd is now studying for his ham ticket. Accompanying him will be Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR. All three have previous space flight experience. The crew has been training for their launch on a Soyuz vehicle and a planned five-month mission on ISS.

The interim ISS ham gear package will consist of Ericsson 2-meter and 70-cm hand-held transceivers set up for FM voice and packet operation, plus power supplies, cables, and accessories. Ericsson donated the commercial transceivers for the project, while the Italian ARISS team is providing the external antennas.

At this point, the equipment and accessories have been checked out in an end-to-end integration. Additionally, the transceivers have undergone EMI testing to ensure that they will not cause problems for other ISS onboard equipment. The radios will now be programmed and labeled in accordance with NASA procedures and protocols for space flight. AMSAT members who work for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center have been doing the EMI testing.

Preparing to carry Amateur Radio gear for use aboard the ISS involves careful attention to detail all along the way. Crew safety is the primary consideration. "Because of the high cost of space travel, it's critical that hardware be thoroughly tested and documented," said AMSAT's Will Marchant, KC6ROL. "Flight crews frustrated by hardware are also less likely to want to participate in Amateur Radio operations."

Getting Amateur Radio a permanent berth in space aboard ISS has involved efforts in several countries. The primary players include the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan. "The ARISS team is truly an international, democratic, organization and is cooperating to provide human spaceflight Amateur Radio operations to the entire ham community well into the next decade," said Marchant.

Amateur Radio has been manifested aboard the ISS as necessary crew equipment. The cost of providing just the interim Phase-1 amateur station for use aboard ISS is expected to exceed $60,000 US. The total cost of putting Amateur Radio aboard the ISS is expected to approach $700,000 US, with funds coming from AMSAT, the ARRL and NASA.

Still unclear at this point are the actual frequencies and the call signs the crew will use aboard the ISS. The ultimate ISS ham radio complement -- Phase-3 -- will include equipment to operate from HF through the microwave bands, with SSB, CW, FM, packet, ATV, compressed ATV, and SSTV capabilities. The German ARISS team will supplement that station with a digitalker and full duplex repeater.

Once aboard the ISS, Amateur Radio will serve as an educational tool through worldwide school contacts and as an outreach to the general public.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and AMSAT's Will Marchant, KC6ROL, for this information]

SunSat Launch Imminent

South Africa will launch its first satellite, SunSat, January 14th from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite will carry an Amateur Radio package in addition to a high-resolution imager, a precision attitude control system, and several school experiments in addition to other payloads.

SunSat was built by students at the University of Stellenbosch, and its name is an acronym for Stellenbosch UNniversity Satellite.

Professor Garth Milne, ZR1AFH, heads the SunSat team, which has been in the United States for several weeks preparing the satellite for launch aboard a Delta II rocket. SunSat will piggyback on the Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite (ARGOS) built by Boeing. ARGOS carries nine high-tech experiments that Boeing says "will demonstrate next-generation satellite technology."

SunSat will have digital store-and-forward capability on VHF and UHF. Telemetry beacons will be on 436.250 and 436.300 MHz. SunSat also will feature voice store-and-forward capability (a parrot repeater) that will be used mainly for school demonstrations. The satellite will carry two VHF and two UHF transmit and receive systems to maximize flexibility.

The basic amateur radio payload will be centered around a 2-meter parrot repeater operating 145.825 MHz using NBFM voice with 3 kHz peak deviation. Also, 1200 baud AFSK and 9600 baud AFSK store-and-forward transponders will allow digital capacity.

The launch will be carried live on several shortwave stations. The shortwave broadcasts will air January 14th from 10:00 to 11:30 UTC. Scheduled frequencies include: 9.525 MHz, 17.870 MHz and 21.530 MHz. The transmissions will carry background interviews and live coverage from the launch site. Shortwave reception reports of the broadcast are welcome. QSL to:

SARL
P.O. Box 1942
Hillcrest 3650
South Africa

For more information on SunSat, visit the following URL:

http://sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za

[ANS thanks the ARRL and Eric Rosenberg, ZS6SRL, for this information and passes on wishes of success from all AMSAT members to the SunSat team]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . RS-16 . RS-18 . 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 . SO-33 . PO-34

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
Semi-operational due to SSTV transmissions.

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.

Scott, WA6LIE, has a set of instructions on how to work the Mir space station. 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, beacon only.

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 KA (10m downlink, 15m and 2m uplinks).

Tim, KA8DDZ, reports he made a few contacts on RS-13 with his new satellite station.

The RS-12/13 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation during the past weeks. Modes K, T, KT and now mode KA 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.

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)
Operational.

AO-10 continues to function well with the exception of the periodic deep QSB, which can be partially eliminated by switching antenna polarization. Strong signals have been heard even at apogee. Also note that AO-10's apogee has passed its most northern point. This gives the satellite track (on a rectangular Mercator map projection) a distinctly symmetrical pattern. The apogee has now begun a slow migration southward.

Look for Charlie, VR2XMT, to be active on AO-10.

W4SM tells ANS that he has, using ranging software (and hardware) developed by James Miller, G3RUH, recently made ranging measurements on AO-10 for the last week and have fed these measurements into an algorithm which generates modified Keplerian elements from a "seed" set of elements. The Keplerian elements generated appear to be accurate within 16-25 km.

Satellite: 		AO-10
Catalog number: 	14129
Epoch time:		99006.12821000
Element set:    	003
Inclination:         	27.343 deg
RA of node:          	49.882 deg
Eccentricity:       	0.60113
Arg of perigee:     	279.883 deg
Mean anomaly:        	68.131 deg
Mean motion:     	2.05837888 rev/day
Decay rate:        	0.0      rev/day^2
Epoch rev:            	11705
Checksum:              	240

NASA 2-line format:

AO-10
1 14129U 00  0  0 99006.12821000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0031
2 14129 027.3430 049.8820 6011300 279.8830 068.1310 02.05837888117059

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.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, for AO-27 information]

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.

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.

The FO-29 Command Team says digital (JD) mode operation may be available soon. Digi-talker operation is also being planned.

[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.

AA7KC reports KO-23 is operational, returning to full service on January 4th. KyungHee Kim, on behalf of the KITSAT command team, reported to ANS that the downlink transmitter on KO-23 was tripped recently. He reports the problem has happened several times for unknown reasons.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-23 status information]

KO-25

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

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-25 status information]

UO-22

Uplink 145.900 or 145.975 MHz FM
Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
Semi-operational.

Chris, G7UPN, tells ANS the OBC186 flight software on UO-22 crashed recently after operating for well over 500 days. G7UPN switched the satellite into telemetry downlink to ensure that all systems looked nominal before starting the necessary reload. The software reload should be completed at this time.

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

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

[Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, is the Operations Manager of UO-22]

OSCAR-11

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

Telemetry has been nominal.

The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, prior to the launch of P3-D. The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally off

More information about OSCAR 11 can be found at the following URL:

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.

Telemetry is nominal.

Time is Sun Jan 10 11:16:40 1999 uptime is 1575/05:40:31
+X (RX) Temp	-6.053 		D  	RX Temp      		2.419 D	
Bat 1 Temp        9.680 		D  	Bat 2 Temp       		6.654 D	
Baseplt Temp     6.654 		D  	RC PSK BP Temp   	1.209 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   2.419 	D  	+Y Array Temp    	3.629 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.209 	D  	+Z Array Temp   	-5.448D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.599 W	
Total Array C= 0.547 Bat Ch Cur= 0.017 Ifb=-0.013 I+10V= 0.372
TX:010C BCR:7F PWRC:59F BT: A WC:25 EDAC:3A

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu

Telemetry WOD graphics corresponding to Dec-30 can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu/wod.htm

A complete collection of WOD graphics corresponding to the year of 1998 can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu/wod1998.zip

[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.

No BBS service. On Board Computer reload in progress. The digipeater is active.

Time is Sun Jan 10 11:20:47 1999 uptime is 162/21:43:11
RC PSK TX Out    0.674 W  +Z Array Temp   -3.235 D	
RC PSK BP Temp   3.496 D  RC PSK HPA Tmp   5.179 D	
+Y Array Temp    2.374 D  PSK TX HPA Tmp   2.374 D	
Total Array C= 0.193 Bat Ch Cur= 0.055 Ifb= 0.018 I+10V= 0.139
TX:017 BCR:89 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.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the status of IO-26. No additional information is available at this time.

TMSAT-1 TO-31

Downlink 436.923 MHz

TMSAT-1 is now open for general access by Amateur Radio operators worldwide. Normal access will allow operators to use the store and forward communications on the spacecraft and also download the high-resolution multispectral images.

Chris, G7UPN, tells ANS that during software loading (and other command activities) ground control stations may close the satellite BBS to general users. This ensures that command activity is not obstructed or slowed by user traffic. This also allows ground control stations to complete these activities much quicker.

[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 in the future.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the current status of GO-32. No additional information is available at this time.

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]

SEDSAT SO-33

Downlink 437.910 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

SEDSAT-1, signifying Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Satellite number one, was successfully launched and placed in orbit on Saturday, October 24, 1998.

SedSat is continuing to perform as it has since launch, transmitting telemetry until the batteries are depleted and then going into safe mode (for about ten hours) and then repeating the process. "The orbital geometry is such that we have had as much as 120 hours of continuous operation from the bird before the batteries die," said Dennis, KD4ETA. Recovery efforts continue.

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, for this information]

PANSAT PO-34

Downlink frequency not established.
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

PANSAT, developed by the Naval Postgraduate School, was launched from the shuttle Discovery. PANSAT spread-spectrum digital transponders will be available to amateur radio operators in the near future along with software to utilize this technology. The PO-34 command station is located in Monterey, California.

Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, PANSAT Project Manager recommends 'The ARRL Spread Spectrum Sourcebook' as a good place to start in understanding the spread-spectrum scheme.

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:

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

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, 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.

RS-18 (Sputnik 41)

Russian cosmonauts successfully launched RS-18/Sputnik 41 on November 10, 1998, during a spacewalk from the Mir space station. The satellite stopped transmitting early on December 11, 1998, meeting the 30 day projected lifetime. If the Goddard Space Flight Center forecast is correct, RS-18/Sputnik 41 should have re-entered and burned up in the atmosphere on January 7, 1999.

A computer .wav file of the actual received signal can also be found at:

http://www.ik1sld.org/sputnik41.htm

Gerard, F6FAO, suggests the following address for RS-18 QSL requests:

AMSAT-France
RS-18 QSL Manager
14 bis rue des Gourlis
92 500 Rueil-Malmaison
France

The list of received QSL's by the French QSL manager is available at the following link (note: the list changes daily as cards are received):

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ascerland/sp41QSL.htm

DO-17 (DOVE)

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

DOVE stopped transmitting in March 1998. The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air and the satellite has not responded to ground station control. Command stations will again attempt contact in the near future.

When the satellite is operating, QSL cards for receiving DOVE may be obtained from:

Dianne White, N0IZO
45777 Rampart Road
Parker, Colorado 80138-4316
USA

Dianne has received a few cards recently for what apparently is UO-11. Dianne handles cards for DOVE (DO-17) only.

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.]

Return to top


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

AMSAT Top