May 23, 1999

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ISS Status

As the International Space Station celebrates its 6-month anniversary, flight controllers in Houston and Moscow ready both the station and shuttle Discovery for the first visit to the outpost of the year scheduled to begin with launch of Discovery in the early morning of May 27th.

With repairs complete on the orbiter's hail-damaged external fuel tank, the shuttle was recently moved back to the launch pad for the final week of processing leading to its launch (scheduled for 6:48 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday). Discovery will carry logistics and supplies that eventually will be used by the first crew to live on the ISS.

Preparations for Discovery's arrival call for the flight controllers to uplink commands that will turn on heaters strategically placed around the station to slowly warm the interior volume prior to docking and the crew climbing on board to begin transfer operations.

Meanwhile, as Discovery was slowly rolled back to the launch pad, half way around the world in Kazakhstan the Service Module has arrived by train for the final months of its processing for launch atop a Proton booster - like the rocket that launched the Zarya control module six months ago. The Service Module will complete its testing at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in the same checkout area as Zarya prior to being loaded in the Proton for launch scheduled this fall. The module will provide the living quarters for the first crew scheduled to arrive on a Soyuz rocket early next year.

When Discovery arrives at the station, it will be carrying 3,600 pounds of supplies and hardware. Updates on the status of its launch preparations are available on the web at

The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 251 statute miles and a low point of 237 statute miles, circling the Earth once approximately every 92 minutes. The station has completed more than 2,826 orbits of Earth since its launch. As it passes overhead at dawn or dusk, the station is easily visible from the ground, and it will become even brighter once Discovery has docked. Space Station viewing opportunities for locations worldwide are available on the web at

[ANS thanks NASA and the Johnson Space Center for this information]

OSCAR-11 Report

Clive Wallis, G3CWV, tells ANS that one of amateur radio's oldest satellites in space -- OSCAR-11 -- is doing well.

G3CWV reports that during the one-month period from April 15 to May 15, 1999 - reliable signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. Received telemetry indicates that battery voltage during daylight passes has continued to decrease with an average value of around 13.5 volts. Internal temperatures have continued to fall by about two degrees Celsius during the period, due to the increasing eclipse times. Internal temperatures are reported as 2.4C and 0.6C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.

In the last month the magnetorquer spin correction counters have started to show some activity. The negative spin counter started to increment at three counts per day where previously it was incrementing at about one count every three days. Clive reports that at the beginning of April there was a period when the Z-axis counter reached 1024, causing the attitude control to stop. During this time the spin rate remained fairly constant, indicating that no corrections were needed. The Z-axis counter continues to increment normally at around 10 counts per day.

The whole orbit data (WOD) survey transmitted by OSCAR-11 shows that during periods of sunlight the main bus voltage can be seen rising and also being modulated by the spacecraft spin. The shape of this modulation factor suggests that one photo cell panel may be generating a smaller output than the others. Battery charge regulator (BCR) status shows that the switch between A and B power units occurs when the satellite enters or exits from the eclipse state. Channel 39 (telemetry electronics) shows a very small change in temperature of the telemetry electronics unit as the satellite passes through the earth's shadow.

OSCAR-11's operating schedule remains 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 many of the active amateur radio satellites.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting the G3CWV web site. The web site contains details of hardware required and some software for capturing OSCAR-11 data, such as decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually expanded as new data is captured. Also included are some audio files that are examples of each type of data transmitted by the satellite.


[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, 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 . UO-36


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

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

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, 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, beacon only.


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).

Tony, AB2CJ, reports the RS-13 robot is operational as he recently completed a successful robot contact using the 145/29 MHz combination. Tony says the robot will respond with a QSO number for a QSL, "repeating the number twice, so if you miss it the first time you get a second chance."

Jon, N0JK, is planning to be active on RS-13 from HC8/Galapagos Islands, before and after the CQ WPX CW contest. Look for N0JK between May 27 - June 1. RS-15 and AO-10 may be other possibilities. Jon will post updated times and just what satellites he will be using -- both to ANS and the AMSAT-BB.

Kevin, AC5DK, has information about RS-12/13 that contains a simple explanation on how to operate on the satellite, including a forum for operators to exchange information, pose questions or even set up skeds via RS-12/13.

AC5DK's RS-12/13 Satellite Operators Page:

AC5DK's RS-12/13 Satellite Forum:

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)
SSB meeting frequency 29.380 MHz (unofficial)
Semi-operational, Mode A (2m uplink, 10m downlink)

Dave, WB6LLO, has operating information for both RS-15 and RS-13 on his personal web site. In addition to satellite data, antenna information and AMSAT-NA Jewelry Contest information is also featured. The WB6LLO web site URL is


Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Beacon 145.810 MHz (unmodulated carrier)

Peter, NH6VB, and Steve, KB8VAO, report working Craig, 3D2TC, in Fiji via AO-10.

Peter, KD7MW, -- who has been experimenting with PSK31 -- recently tried a very different mode: Hellschreiber. The most simple form, called Feld-Hell, uses on-off keying to draw dot patterns of letters on the screen. It's sort of like a dot matrix printer or a stock ticker. If anyone is interested in an AO-10 contact using either Hellschreiber or PSK31, please e-mail Peter at

Masa, JN1GKZ, reports his web page shows the current AO-10 spin period and spin rate (by measuring the beacon with FFTDSP software). The JN1GKZ web site can be found at the following URL:

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 has again been seeing very heavy use especially during the weekends.

Jon, N0JK, is planning to be active on AO-27 from HC8/Galapagos Islands, before and after the CQ WPX CW contest. Look for N0JK on the following passes:

May 27 - 15:15 UTC
May 28 - 16:30 UTC
May 31 - 15:07 UTC

The TEPR (Timed Eclipse Power Regulation) states on AO-27 currently are: TEPR 4 is 34 and TEPR 5 is 70. The bird is shutting off slightly early.

[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

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

AMSAT-UK VHF Net regular Malcom, G7NFO, reported a recent QRP experiment with John, G7TZZ. Malcom ran 2-watts and John progressively reduced his power to 500mW (and was still Q-5) using 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:

[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
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:

May 17 - May 24     mode JD 1200 baud PSK mailbox
May 24 - May 31     mode JA
May 31 - June 7       mode JD 1200 baud PSK mailbox

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


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

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

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


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

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:

[ANS thanks Carol Byers, W9HGI, for the UO-22 satellite report. Chris Jackson, G7UPN /ZL2TPO, is the Operations Manager of UO-22]


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

During the period 15-April to 15-May reliable signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage during daylight passes has continued to decrease. The internal temperatures have continued to fall, by about two degrees C during this period, due to the increasing eclipse times.

The magnetorquer spin correction counters have now started to show some activity. During the last month the negative spin counter has started to increment at about three counts per day - previously it was incrementing at about one count every three days.

Mode-S beacon reception has been reported Victor, OK1VKW, using a 40 element horizontal Yagi and a transverter into his receiver. Signals were S-2/3. The mode-S beacon is transmitting an unmodulated carrier.

For more information on OSCAR-11, visit the following web site:

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

AO-16 passed a milestone recently when its kernel uptime reached 1,700 days on 15-May-99. This means the satellite has not required a software reload, on-board computer reboot nor has it experienced a single interruption in service in over 1,700 consecutive days.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri May 21 23:35:31 1999 uptime is 1706/17:56:59
+10V Bus        10.700 V  	+X (RX) Temp   -13.314 D
RX Temp         -0.607 D  	Baseplt Temp     0.603 D
RC PSK BP Temp  -5.448 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp  -3.632 D
+Y Array Temp     -19.970 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp  -3.027 D
+Z Array Temp     -18.760 D 	RC PSK TX Out    0.549 W
Total Array C= 0.170 Bat Ch Cur=-0.026 Ifb= 0.020 I+10V= 0.239
TX:010B BCR:6A PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC: 6

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at

A complete collection of WOD graphics corresponding to the year of 1998 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.

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 Fri May 21 22:56:09 1999 uptime is 294/09:21:31
+10V Bus        10.668 V 	RC PSK TX Out    0.127 W
RC PSK BP Temp  -5.478 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp  -6.039 D
+Y Array Temp  -20.062 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp  -5.478 D
+Z Array Temp  -16.696 D
Total Array C= 0.010 Bat Ch Cur=-0.170 Ifb= 0.120 I+10V= 0.057
TX:016 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 145.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK
Downlink 436.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK

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:

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, for this report]


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:

[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:

[ANS thanks Garth Milne ZR1AFH, for this information]

UoSAT-12 UO-36

Uplink/downlink frequencies have not been established.

The satellite is not currently available for general uplink transmissions.

UO-36 has been transmitting 9600-baud FSK telemetry framed in a VLSI format using a downlink frequency of 437.400 MHz. Peter, DB2OS, reports UO-36 is also transmitting on 437.025 MHz at 38,400 (38k4) baud at certain times over Europe.

UoSAT-12 was successfully launched on April 21, 1999 from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome. UO-36 carries a number of imaging payloads, digital store-and-forward communications and mode L/S transponders.

Further information is available from:

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports decoding two KISS data files sent by UO-36. Peter, DB2OS, reports he "was able to grab a couple of thumbnails and a few hi-res images over the last week at 38k4." Peter says the 70-cm downlink is "pretty strong." Colin Hurst, VK5HI, is currently modifying his CCD Display software to also support the UO-36 format. Images from the satellite are on the web - point your browser to the following URLs for UO-36 images:

Detroit (32-meter 4-band multi-spectral image)
Los Angeles (10-meter panchromatic image)
Ontario (10-meter panchromatic image)

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

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


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

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.


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.


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:

No additional information is available at this time.


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:

No additional information is available at this time.


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 months.

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, 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,