AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

February 21, 1999

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New Crew for Mir

A new crew for the Mir space station successfully lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome this weekend. The three crew members are Viktor Afanasyev, Jean-Pierre Heignere and Ivan Bella. The three are expected to link up with Mir shortly. Indications are that this crew may be involved in the Russian space station's final manned mission as the last of more than 100 men and women who have lived aboard the craft.

The Mir space station was launched February 20, 1986 and was expected to last only five years. Now observing its 13th anniversary, the station's fate has not yet been sealed, as Russian space professionals continue to work to keep the station in orbit for several more years. However, Mir may be abandoned as early as August 1999 if private donors to pay Mir's expenses can not be found. Mir's estimated budget is around $250 million a year.

Dr. Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP, President of AMSAT-France told ANS that French astronaut Jean-Pierre Heignere will spend 6 months aboard Mir and is scheduled to perform two EVAs. One of the planned EVA's will give him the opportunity to hand launch yet another Sputnik nano-satellite built by AMSAT-France. This small satellite -- the third in the series -- will be called Sputnik 19. The 'launch' date is not known at this time, so stay tuned to ANS for further details.

F6BVP also mentioned AMSAT-France is looking for children's voices, spoken and recorded in Russian, to be put into the pre-recorded messages that will be broadcast by Sputnik 19.

The three messages will be:

Dr. Pidoux asked if amateurs have the possibility to record such messages using a computer .wav file, to please contact him before sending the file. Contact F6BVP at the following e-mail address: pidoux@ccr.jussieu.fr

[ANS thanks Dr. Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP, President AMSAT-France, and Florida Today for this information]

ISS Status Update

Flight control teams in Houston and Moscow continue to work in tandem to monitor the health of systems aboard the two-segment International Space Station.

The focus of attention remains testing the command and control capability of the station's Zarya control module through the Early Communications System (ECS) housed aboard the Unity node. This system was installed during the STS-88 shuttle mission to provide additional command capability of Zarya's systems using NASA's communications satellites.

These ongoing command sequences are designed to not only demonstrate the general commanding capability, but to iron out configuration issues on the ground while training NASA flight controllers in commands that could be required in contingency situations when Russian ground stations are not available.

In the meantime, the controlled spin of the station continues to be monitored and fine-tuned as necessary to manage temperatures of the overall complex.

ISS viewing opportunities from the ground can be found on the Internet at the following URL: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

The next ISS Space Shuttle mission (Discovery) is targeted for launch on May 20th. Updates on orbiter processing can be found in at the Kennedy Space Center's shuttle status report located at: http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/status.htm

[ANS thanks NASA 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
Seldom operational. No operation in 1999 has been observed.
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Seldom operational. No operation in 1999 has been observed.
 
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.

Rick, KB0VBZ, reports SSTV from Mir during a recent pass over Colorado. Rick has posted a received image to UO-22. Don, K8OMO, reports very good SSTV pictures "looking out a window of Mir," receiving 6 images on one pass. Evio, PY1FO, reports a "first ever" packet contact with Mir, during a pass over Rio de Janeiro.

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).

Kevin, WB5RUE, reports he uses a pair of inverted 'V' antennas that are phased 90 degrees 'out' as his mode A antenna. The system (commonly called a turnstile) is based on a fiberglass pole with the two antennas also acting as guy wires. Kevin uses sections of RG-6 for matching to the 50-ohm feed line, reporting "it works just as good as a loop although it is a bit more complicated to make and match -- but is a bit better when the satellite is near the horizon."

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)

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.

The satellite is showing heavy usage, especially on weekends.

[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 is in mode JA continuously.

Tony, AB2CJ, has been active on FO-20 CW.

[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
Semiperational, rotated with analog mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.

A new operation schedule for FO-29 has been announced by the JARL. Digitalker operation had been planned, however, the digital voice is experiencing problems. Digitalker operation is again planned starting March 19th.

The new operation sked for FO-29 as announced by JARL command is as follows:

Feb 22 -- Mar 08 JA
Mar 08 -- Mar 18 JD1200
Mar 19 -- Mar 23 Digitalker
Mar 23 -- Mar 30 JA

[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 well under heavy usage.

[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, reports that during the period of 17-January to 16-February-1999 good signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage has dropped slightly, averaging 13.7 volts (afternoon passes) and 13.1 to 13.2 volts during early morning passes (when the satellite has been in darkness for some time).

The magnetorquer spin correction counters have again showed very few spin counter increments, although the spin period remains around its nominal value of -300 seconds. The Z axis counter increments show normal conditions.

The internal temperatures have fallen by about two degrees C. They are now 5.4C and 3.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.

A single WOD survey dated 06-January-99 of solar array currents and array voltage (channels 10, 20, 30, 40 and +Y, -X, +X, V) has been transmitted. The sound of this WOD contains a characteristic musical tone which occurs when the constant data captured during solar eclipses is transmitted.

Reports of the Mode-S beacon reception have been received from Mike, WL7BQM, and Al, KD4VA. Mike observed a reduction in signal strength when the satellite is in eclipse (although this may also be due to path obstructions at the time).

The operating schedule is unchanged.

ASCII status (210 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY ENG (30 seconds)

The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and frequencies of the current amateur radio satellites with additional status blocks after each bulletin and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

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 19 21:28:59 1999 uptime is 1615/15:52:02
+10V Bus 10.350 V  	+X (RX) Temp    -8.473 D
RX Temp   7.260 D  	Baseplt Temp      4.839 D
RC PSK BP Temp  -0.607 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp  -0.002 D
+Y Array Temp  -24.811 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   -0.607 D
+Z Array Temp  -13.919 D  	RC PSK TX Out    0.779 W

Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.568 Ifb= 0.154 I+10V= 0.435
TX:0109 BCR:1E PWRC:59F BT: A WC:25 EDAC:20

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. The OBC (on board computer) reload is reported to be in progress, however, both EA1BCU (and ANS) have not received any updated information for several months. The digipeater is active.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Feb 19 22:45:29 1999 uptime is 203/09:10:51
+10V Bus 10.820 V  	    Baseplt Temp     3.496 D
RC PSK TX Out  0.630 W  RC PSK BP Temp   5.740 D
+Y Array Temp  -13.331 D  +Z Array Temp  -11.087 D
Total Array C= 0.010 Bat Ch Cur=-0.270 Ifb= 0.131 I+10V= 0.146
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
Unknown status.

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

Uplink 145.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK
Downlink 436.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK
Operational.

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.
Unknown status.

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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