AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

February 14, 1999

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ARISS Meetings Successful (Part 2)

Last week, in ANS-038, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS-US Delegation member, told ANS about a series of extremely successful International Space Station (ISS) Amateur Radio accommodation meetings held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Sponsored by NASA and by Energia, the primary objective of the meeting was to finalize the design development of the 'initial station' amateur radio hardware for ISS. Representatives from NASA and Energia along with hardware development teams from the United States, Russia, Germany and Italy participated in the meetings.

Those in attendance included:

During the meeting, Sergei Samburov, RV3DR, the President of AMSAT Russia, confirmed his strong desire to work with the ARISS international partners to develop a single, coordinated amateur radio station on ISS. NASA has also officially stated that they, too, need a single, international focal point to coordinate amateur radio development and operations on ISS if amateur radio on ISS is to have a future.

The ARISS international team was formed over two years ago to provide this single focal point to the space officials at NASA (U.S.), Energia (Russia), NASDA (Japan) and ESA (Europe).

In the near future, ANS will provide additional information from these meetings, including discussions on:

NASA is reporting that the International Space Station modules continue to fly with no systems problems affecting performance as flight control teams in Houston and Moscow watch over the orbiting outpost.

Flight controllers continue to test the commanding capability of the Zarya module through the Early Communications System (ECS) connecting node. This system was installed and tested by the crew of STS-88 in December 1998. This testing will continue for the next few weeks.

The next Space Shuttle mission to visit the station is targeted for launch May 20th. The flight's objectives are to deliver interior supplies and U.S. and Russian cranes -- to be installed on the station's exterior.

ISS is currently in an orbit with a high point of 259 statute miles and a low point of 245 statute miles. Its orbital period -- the time it takes the station to circle the Earth once -- is approximately 92 minutes.

[ANS congratulates the ARISS partners and thanks NASA and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA's Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs for this information]

GOTA Special Event

Ron Seiler, VE7VVW, informs ANS that the Interior Space and Science Center, along with the support of the North Okanagan Radio Amateur Club, are sponsoring 'Girl Guides on the Air' (GOTA) from amateur radio station VE7ISS in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

GOTA began in 1985 to celebrate 75 years of Guiding in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. GOTA is a co-sponsored event between the Canadian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (CLARA) and Girl Guides of Canada - Guides du Canada.

The 'on-air' event at VE7ISS will run from 18:00 to 24:00 UTC on February 20, 1999. Satellite operation is scheduled for AO-27, FO-20 and FO-29. In addition, high frequency operation will take place on 10 through 80 meters.

[ANS thanks Ron Seiler, VE7VVW, for this information]

PANSAT PO-34 Satellite A-OK

FrPanSat, developed by the Naval Postgraduate School and launched from the shuttle Discovery last October, appears alive and well after several months in space. "It appears to be operating well," according to PanSat team member Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA. Sakoda did express some concern about battery life, telling ANS that "basically the temperatures are a bit lower than we expected, and some of our thinking as far as battery charging were less than optimistic. The concern is that we really need to baby the batteries if we're going to have a long mission life."

PanSat -- the Petite Amateur Navy Satellite -- carries a spread-spectrum communication package fabricated by student officers and faculty members at the Naval Postgraduate School. The spacecraft is set to provide store-and-forward digital packet communication using direct sequence spread-spectrum modulation. Amateur radio operators will soon be able to utilize PANSAT via a bulletin-board type user interface.

Sakoda said now that ground operations are somewhat under control, "the two main staff engineers here can focus on spread spectrum work and pushing for user access. All of us are looking forward to amateur radio involvement with PanSat," he said.

The PO-34 command station is located in Monterey, California.

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

W1B Special Event A Success

Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, tells ANS another 'W1B Special Event' is in the record books, adding "a big thanks to all the stations that worked us."

N1JEZ said the high point of the event included helping one ham (on RS-13) finish his Worked All States award by giving him Vermont. Mike also reports working several new stations on AO-27, including 13-year old KD5FAV.

At the W1B operating site, the operating team of N1JEZ and Beau, N1MJD, received considerable interest in not only the satellite gear, but in amateur radio itself.

Looking at the log -- exactly 112 contacts were made by W1B. Clean sweeps were accomplished by K5VAS and VE6EGN, with KF4FDJ and KB2WQM missing by just one. DX included G4CUO via RS-13.

A certificate confirming contact with W1B will be available in the next few weeks.

[ANS thanks Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, 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 . 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.

Dr. Dave Larsen, N6CO, reports recently sending out over 300 Mir QSL cards.

Rick, KB0VBZ, reports Mir SSTV signals received. Additional reports were received from N2YAC, F6GRY and IZ2CDP. Bruce, KK5DO, tells ANS that NCS station W5ACM (during the 2/9 Houston AMSAT Net) re-transmitted a Mir SSTV picture over the Net satellite and real audio feed. Decode it at: http://www.amsatnet.com.

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).

Jim, NU0C, passed along a unique construction idea for a mode A loop. Jim says to "check with your local CB crowd and see if you can find anyone with a busted-up 'Moonraker 4' antenna." NU0C reports just such a collection of aluminum, and the reflector element is a cubical quad style metal boom bracket with fiberglass spreaders. Jim says it looks to be fairly rugged and should work well flipped over on its side as the framework for a RS-13 style 10-meter loop with a single support point.

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)

Bob, W7LRD, reports the 29.380 MHz 'meeting frequency' used by most RS-15 operators is showing good results.

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.

W4SM reports AO-10 appears to be entering another sleep period due to poor solar angle, telling ANS the beacon is quite weak and FMing. If the past is any indication (and it may not be if AO-10 is attitudinally unstable), this sleep period will last about 4-6 weeks before gradually improving over another 4-6 weeks. W4SM also notes downlink signals are currently too weak for ranging data.

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, rotated with digital mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.
 
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Operational, rotated with analog mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.

The JARL has released the following FO-29 schedule:

Feb 8 to Feb 15 JD1200
Feb 15 to Feb 18 JA
Feb 19 to Feb 22 Digitalker

Kazu, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that due to 2 bit errors detected in the OBC February 3rd, the bird will stay in mode JA. The next announcement by the JARL command team will be February 15th.

[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
Not operational. The downlink transmitter has not been operational for any normal communication.

ANS has learned (from the KO-23 ground command team) that satellite downlink telemetry shows one of KO-23's battery cells to be very unstable. The command team is analyzing the relationship between the battery life cycle and the downlink transmitter problem.

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23's transmitter was on very briefly for a part of the February 7th pass, but did not return for the next pass. The same operation February 10th allowed a down load of only 245 bits. These multiple attempts to operate KO-23 have proved unsuccessful -- only brief transmissions with no useful data.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, and KyungHee Kim, HL0ENJ, for KO-23 status information]

KO-25

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

KO-25 is absorbing the additional traffic (due to the loss of KO-23) and is performing very well.

[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.

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.

Clive, G3CWV, tells ANS that apart from some ground control activity during the first week in January, it's been another uneventful month for OSCAR-11.

The internal temperatures have fallen slightly, by about one degree C. They are now 7.6C and 5.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. The current duration of solar eclipse times has continued to provide OSCAR-11 with near optimum conditions, maintaining an adequate power budget while not allowing the internal temperatures to rise to excessive levels.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 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.

The following list of stations successfully connected with the satellite, according to the AO-16 log of February 8-12: W4SM, XQ2FOD, WJ9F, CE2MH, K6IVY, CE5NG, PA0BJE, GM4ULS, KK4XZ, KH6ABA, KG0WL, KN4WZ, CE3SSA, EA6IC, WD8CDP, KB7KCL, GJ3YLI, LU4JCR, DG8ABG, N5ZNL, FK8CR, WA5QGD, HB9OMQ, KA1LMX, ZL1AAN and EA1BCU.

Telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Feb 12 23:14:22 1999 uptime is 1608/17:37:25
+10V Bus        10.300 V  	+X (RX) Temp    -5.448 D
RX Temp        10.285 D  	Bat 1 Temp       6.049 D
Bat 2 Temp       6.654 D  	Baseplt Temp     6.049 D
RC PSK BP Temp  -1.817 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   0.603 D
+Y Array Temp  -19.970 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp  -0.607 D
+Z Array Temp  -11.499 D  	RC PSK TX Out    0.818 W
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.461 Ifb= 0.154 I+10V= 0.327
TX:0109 BCR:1E PWRC:59F BT: A WC:25 EDAC:E0

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

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.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Feb 12 22:52:49 1999 uptime is 196/09:18:11
RC PSK TX Out    0.659 W
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.298 Ifb= 0.125 I+10V= 0.184
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.

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.

ProcMail V2.00G has been released by G7UPN. This software permits the processing of image files from TO-31. ProcMail V2.00G is available for downloading on KO-23 and KO-25. It also has been posted to the AMSAT-NA FTP site at the following URL:

http://www.amsat.org/amsat/software/win32/wisp

[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.

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. 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.

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.

QSL cards for receiving DOVE (when the satellite is operating) may be obtained from:

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

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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