AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

April 25, 1999

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UoSAT-12 Successfully Launched

Chris Jackson, G7UPN, reported to ANS that UoSAT-12 -- amateur radio's newest satellite -- was successfully launched on April 21, 1999 from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch took place just before 05:00 UTC and according to Chris, confirmation of stage separation was first received, followed with orbit insertion of UoSAT-12 taking place at just over 14 minutes into the flight.

The launch is the first mission for the former Soviet Union's arsenal of SS-18 ICBM missiles, all of which have to be destroyed or used for peaceful purposes under the START arms reduction treaty.

UoSAT-12 is the latest amateur radio research satellite from the University of Surrey. The bird carries a number of imaging payloads, digital store-and-forward communications and mode L/S transponders.

Launch congratulations were received from many satellite operators, including Andy, WD9IYT, who passed on good wishes to the UoSAT team, hoping "the check-out phase goes well too."

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, noted the proud heritage carried into orbit by the new satellite in his message to the UoSAT team:

"On behalf of AMSAT North America, please accept our sincere congratulations on the successful launch and activation of UoSAT-12. As with the numerous other UoSATs that have gone before, I'm confident that this new satellite will prove just as capable and just as exciting for the world's Radio Amateurs". -- Sincerely, Keith Baker, KB1SF

Operators at the Surrey Space Center ground station reported to ANS that following the launch, UoSAT-12 has successfully passed all initial tests, including enabling the on-board and essential bus subsystems. In addition, the command team successfully uploaded flight software to the satellite's primary on-board computer. This multi-tasking software will collect telemetry throughout the satellite's orbits, supporting the attitude acquisition phase of the mission. During this phase on-board software will gradually bring the satellite to an Earth-pointing state, followed by payload testing. G7UPN reports the BBS is closed for general use at this time "although the downlink is on permanently so stations can receive it."

The satellite has been transmitting 9600 baud FSK telemetry framed in a VLSI format using a downlink frequency of 437.400 MHz. Reception reports were received almost immediately following the launch. Richard, G3RWL, reported hearing UO-12 with variable signal strength. Kazu, JJ1WTK, told ANS that the signal from the new satellite was very strong. Mark, K0MDJ, reported "the new satellite was loud with solid copy, it's good to see it looking healthy!" Other reception reports were received from JE9PEL, VE7AHX, KB0VBZ, DB2OS, VK5AGR and LW2DTZ.

According to G7UPN, a dedicated UoSAT-12 web site with more information will soon be available. In the interim, preliminary UoSAT-12 data can be found at http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/CSER/UOSAT/missions/uo12/index.html

The following Keplerian elements are correct for UoSAT-12:

1 25694U  99022B  99111.87871775  .00019922  00000-0  30916-2  0 40
2 25694  64.5610  316.4522 0001414  11.6425 348.4724 14.73155686 88

[ANS thanks Chris G7UPN / ZL2TPO, and the University of Surrey, for this information]

Mir School Contact

Recently, during the 'Mir School Club Roundup', several students from Unicoi County Area Vocational High School in Erwin, Tennessee experienced a unique learning experience by participating in a special experiment that involved the Russian space station and amateur radio.

Bob Thomas, KS4NG, tells ANS that the welding classes at the school constructed a small, four element VHF antenna "with the hopes of making contact with Mir." The students also learned how to use a computer for tracking Mir as it passed over North America and a communications software package for transmitting APRS packet messages to Mir and digipeating through the station, all under the direction of KS4NG.

The experiment at the school was successful each day the students tried. The students had to aim the antenna as Mir passed overhead, track the space station during the pass and then confirm their APRS packets were received and retransmitted. Many schools in North America (along with satellite operators across the country) monitored the event and reported each station's success by e-mail. UCHS received reports from as far away as Spokane, Washington and Annapolis, Maryland.

In addition, the students learned how to use APRS software, putting a symbol of a school building on computer maps showing exactly where UCHS was located.

ANS congratulates students Diana Boone, KF4FLT, and Josh Bryant, KF4JMU, along with all the UCHS students that took part in the Mir School Club Roundup.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA Vice President/Educational Liaison Steve Bible, N7HPR, and Unicoi County Area Vocational High School Instructor Bob Thomas, KS4NG, for this information]

HSCW Contest

The Western States Weak Signal Society (WSWSS) is sponsoring the Second North American High Speed Meteor Scatter (HSMS) Contest to promote the development of skilled HSCW operators in North America.

Many satellite operators can (and have) used their satellite stations to explore this interesting mode.

The objective of the contest will be to contact other amateur radio stations via meteor scatter during the contest period (using HSCW) on amateur radio bands above 50 MHz.

The contest will run from 00:00 UTC on May 1st, through 24:00 UTC on May 9, 1999. Stations may operate up to 48 hours during this time period. Random and scheduled contacts count for contest credit. Several classes and power limit categories are available.

Certificates will be awarded to the top three stations overall, and to the highest scoring station in each USA/VE call district for each category. In addition, a certificate will be awarded to the highest scoring portable station.

Additional information about the contest -- and HSCW operation in general -- is available on many of the HSCW web sites, including http://www.qsl.net/n7stu/hscw.html

[ANS thanks the Western States Weak Signal Society 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 . SO-35

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.

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

AMSAT-France announced that Air Force General Jean-Pierre Haignere has been given a personal callsign to use aboard Mir: FX0STB. The QSL manager for FX0STB is:

Radio Club F5KAM
QSL manager Mir
22 rue Bansac
63000 Clermont Ferrand
France

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).

Andy, G0SFJ, tells ANS the RS-13 robot uplink may have moved to 145 MHz (from 15-meters). G0SFJ reports RS-13 is currently sending 'CQ CQ de RS-13 QRU 145840 kHz'.

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 SSB '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/sat.txt

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.

Several stations are experimenting with PSK31 via AO-10. KD7MW, WB4APR, K7RR, W4SM, DB2OS and DL6DBN have been posting information about this new mode on the AMSAT-BB. The May QST has a good article on PSK31. KD7MW reports some success with using this mode (contact Peter at kd7mw@amsat.org if you're interested in trying a PSK31 QSO). Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, ANS principal satellite investigator, has recently downloaded the PSK31 software and will be trying this new mode.

Tony, AB2CJ, has been transmitting SSTV via AO-10. Jim, AA7KC, reports an AO-10 contact with veteran satellite operator Stan, W0IT. Jim reports the satellite signal varied from S-7 to noise. "Performance is useful if you communicate between the deep fades," reports AA7KC. Jerry, K5OE, confirms recent reports regarding AO-10's improving   behavior, recently working DC3ZB and OZ1MY with 5x5-5x7 signals. Jerry reports the QSB is down from even a week ago.

Masa, JN1GKZ, reports his web page shows the current AO-10 spin period and spin rate (by measuring the beacon with FFTDSP software). JN1GKZ tells ANS AO-10's spin period is decreasing rapidly, by about 5 seconds each week. The current spin period has reduced from 115 seconds to 124 seconds. The web site also shows the FMing of the beacon, however, Masa reports no fluctuation of the beacon on April 24th. The JN1GKZ web site can be found at http://www.din.or.jp/~m-arai/ao10/beacone.htm

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 TEPR (Timed Eclipse Power Regulation) states on AO-27 were reset by Chuck, KM4NZ, on 13-April-99. They currently are:

TEPR 4 is 34 and TEPR 5 is 70.

Jerry, K5OE, has been active on AO-27 from EL18.

[ANS thanks Chuck Wyrick, KM4NZ, and 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.

Tony, AB2CJ, has been transmitting SSTV via FO-20.

Bruce, KK5DO, has posted pictures of JARL Headquarters and the FO-20/29 Command Station on his web site. They were taken during a recent visit. Visit the site using the following URL: http://www.amsatnet.com/jarl.html

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

Kazu, JJ1WTK, reported to ANS that the new operational schedule announced by the JARL is as follows:

through April 27    mode JA
April 28 - May 06     digitalker
May 07 - May 17     mode JA
May 17 - May 24     mode JD 1200 baud PSK mailbox
May 24 - May 31     mode JA

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for the FO-29 status reports]

KO-25

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

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-25 is performing well with good downlink efficiency.

[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
Operational

Carol, W9HGI, reports UO-22 is performing within acceptable limits. W9HGI operates the West Coast Packet Satellite Gateway (WSPG) for the Worldwide Packet Network (WPN).

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

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

[ANS thanks Carol Byers, W9HGI, for the UO-22 satellite report. 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.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting the G3CWV web site. The site contains details of the hardware and some software for capturing OSCAR-11 data and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is also an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually expanded as new data is captured. Audio files are also included with examples of each type of data transmitted by the satellite (each one plays for about ten seconds). Examples of mode-S reception can also be found at the site. All the audio files are zipped so that they can be played off-line. The URL is http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/

[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, for OSCAR-11 status 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.  S-band beacon off.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Apr 24 12:09:03 1999 uptime is 1679/06:30:31
+X (RX) Temp     5.444 D  	RX Temp         -2.422 D
Baseplt Temp      1.814 D  	RC PSK TX Out    0.472 W
RC PSK BP Temp   2.419 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   3.629 D
+Y Array Temp   -3.027 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.814 D
+Z Array Temp   18.151 D
Total Array C= 0.301 Bat Ch Cur= 0.017 Ifb= 0.062 I+10V= 0.251
TX:010B BCR:86 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:7D

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 -- both EA1BCU and NN0DJ/ANS have not received any updated information for several months. The digipeater is active.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Apr 24 13:16:09 1999 uptime is 266/23:41:31
RC PSK TX Out    0.630 W
Total Array C= 0.275 Bat Ch Cur= 0.097 Ifb= 0.013 I+10V= 0.151
TX:017 BCR:8B 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.]

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]

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.

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]

SunSat SO-35

Uplink/downlink frequencies have not been established.

The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

Hans, ZS5AKV, reports that SunSat is still in the initial test stages and the command team will provide more information as it becomes available. General amateur radio service is planned for the near future.

SunSat was launched February 23, 1999 aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. SunSat stands for Stellenbosch University Satellite and takes it name from the South African university whose students constructed the payload.

The SunSat package includes 1200 and 9600 baud digital store-and-forward capability and a voice 'parrot' repeater system that will be used primarily for educational demonstrations. The satellite has two VHF and two UHF transmit-receive systems.

For more information on SunSat, visit the following URL: http://sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za

[ANS thanks Garth Milne ZR1AFH, for this information]

The following satellites are in orbit but are non-operational at this time:

RS-16

The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. Attempts to command the mode A transponder 'on' have been unsuccessful to date.

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.

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.

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.

TechSat-1B GO-32

Downlink 435.325, 435.225 MHz
HDLC telemetry framed so a TNC in KISS mode will decode it

Unknown status. ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the current status of GO-32.

The TechSat-1B micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998.

Last reported, 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/

No additional information is available at this time.

SEDSAT SO-33

Downlink 437.910 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions. Recovery efforts have been unsuccessful.

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.

For more information on SedSat-1 visit the satellite web site at the following URL:

http://www.seds.org/sedsat

No additional information is available at this time.

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 for several weeks.

ANS has learned (from HL0ENJ) that satellite downlink telemetry shows one of KO-23's battery cells to be very unstable.

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


ANS would like to thank Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, ANS principal satellite investigator, for helping provide current satellite information for ANS.

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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