AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

July 4, 1999

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Phase 3D Update

AMSAT Phase 3D Laboratory and Integration Manager Lou McFadin, W5DID, tells ANS that a major Phase 3D milestone was recently reached in two areas; first with the test firing of the system that will deploy the solar panels once the satellite reaches orbit, and second, testing of the control electronics for the 400N propulsion system.

Both tests were completely successful.

Rick Leon, KA1RHL, who built the Array Release Unit (ARU) and Liquid Ignition Unit (LIU) electronics, and Bob Davis, KF4KSS, who constructed the solar panel deployment mechanism, both observed the performance of the systems as Peter Gulzow, DB2OS, programmed the spacecraft computer using a ground station to send commands.

W5DID reports the deployment system worked flawlessly and the solar panels were pushed to full open position. In addition, the 400N thruster and the ATOS Arcjet test firing was also successful - all under the watchful eyes of Dick Daniels, W4PUJ, Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, DB2OS and KA1RHL.

The spacecraft has also passed a major 'on air' test under full flight configurations. Placed outside (and protected from the Florida environment by a large sealed tent), RF communications manager Werner Haas, DJ5KQ, reports all RF subsystems aboard the satellite worked nominally.

Another major event was the successful completion of the SBS (support bearing structure) load testing. The SBS will carry the P3D satellite inside the launch vehicle during its ride to Earth orbit.

W5DID tells ANS that "after a few more close-out items and a spin balance test, Phase 3D will be ready for its final vibration and shake test." Vibration and shake testing is currently scheduled for later this month at NASA facilities in Washington, D.C.

[ANS thanks Lou McFadin, W5DID, AMSAT Phase 3D Laboratory and Integration Manager and the entire Phase 3D team for this information]

STS-93 Mission to Test DSP Hardware

The next Space Amateur Radio EXperiment mission (now set to launch July 20th) will field test a digital signal processing box NASA is looking at to improve the quality of shuttle communications audio.

The STS-93 Mission Commander is Eileen Collins, KD5EDS. Other hams on board include Mission Specialists Michel Tognini, KD5EJZ, and Catherine Coleman, KC5ZTH.

NASA's SAREX Principal Investigator Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL, says the agency's contractors have been exploring ways to make improvements to the aging shuttle fleet. Among the possibilities was improving the intelligibility of shuttle communications audio by using DSP. Bordelon says "making and testing these kinds of changes on the astronauts' communication system gets expensive and involved, so it was decided to first try out a DSP box on the less-critical SAREX payload aboard STS-93 to see how it performed under actual spaceflight conditions."

"They wanted an easy way to determine if this would clean up the audio," Bordelon explained, "and since the SAREX Amateur Radio gear uses standard interfaces, it was an easy match from a hardware standpoint." Bordelon says the two-channel DSP box tailors both the transmit and receive audio.

Students at five schools are on the list to talk to the STS-93 crew via Amateur Radio.

STS-93 will mark the 25th time that the Space Amateur Radio EXperiment has flown. The SAREX program is a cooperative venture of NASA, AMSAT and the ARRL.

[ANS thanks NASA, the ARRL and SAREX for this information]

ISS Update

The International Space Station is back on its own after the recent visit of the space shuttle Discovery to deliver supplies and logistics in preparation for the arrival of the first crew to live on the station early next year.

The station's systems remain in excellent shape.

Meanwhile, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the multi-element integrated test (MEIT) continues on components scheduled for launch to the ISS next year. This test connects components on the ground via cabling (as they will be in space) to verify they work together as well as they do individually. Additionally, the station's robotic arm -- the Space Station Remote Manipulator System -- supplied by the Canadian Space Agency has arrived at KSC for flight processing. The first piece of truss segment has also arrived at KSC for pre-flight checkouts.

The next shuttle flight to visit the ISS is scheduled for December following the launch, docking and checkout of the Zvezda Service Module living quarters this November.

ISS flight controllers in the United States and Russia began the first scheduled full charge and discharge of the six batteries on the Zarya module as part of a twice-yearly procedure to maintain as long a life on the electrical storage units as possible.

This procedure is performed on each battery every six months and is the first time to be done on Zarya's batteries.

The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 256 statute miles and a low point of 237 statute miles, circling the Earth once approximately every 92 minutes. The Station has completed more than 3,379 orbits of Earth since its launch. As it passes overhead at dawn or dusk, the station is easily visible from the ground. Space station viewing opportunities for locations worldwide are available on the Internet at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

[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 . SO-35 . UO-36

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

WB5FBS, KB0VBZ, W2RS, W2KQ, VE6EGN and AA4KN all report FX0STB voice activity. Several French amateurs recently held a special scientific event in commemoration of the city of Marseille. A scheduled contact with Jean-Pierre by F1OKN was the highlight of the day.

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).

RS-13's Robot CW auto-transponder is currently active. For confirmation of an RS-13 Robot contact, send your QSL card along with the Robot QSL number to:

  Radio Sport Federation
  Box 88
  Moscow
  Russia

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: http://www.qsl.net/ac5dk/rs1213/rs1213.html

AC5DK's RS-12/13 Satellite Forum: http://www.hotboards.com/powerforum/pwrforum.exe?who=rs1213

RS-12/13 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia.

[ANS thanks Tony, AB2CJ for RS-13 Robot QSL info]

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)
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 http://home.san.rr.com/doguimont/uploads

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.

9A1CAL has been very active from Croatia.

Reports of AO-10 beginning to FM have been received from F6AGR, DC8TS, OZ1MY and Mike, N1JEZ. Mike notes this could signal the beginning of another sleep phase, however AO-10 is still workable at this time. 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 http://www.din.or.jp/~m-arai/ao10/beacone.htm

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at 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 were reset on 20-June-99 as follows:

TEPR 4 is 42 and TEPR 5 is 78.

Jerry, K5OE, reports that with the current TEPR states on AO-27, the bird is staying on well south of its U.S. pass, with coverage within reach of all of Central America as well as Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, and northern Brazil (not to mention the entire Caribbean).

Ken, N2SMT, reports working AO-27 with his HT.

[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.

[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, tells ANS that the FO-29 operational schedule (announced by the JARL) is as follows:

Through July 5th    mode JA
July 06 - July 12     JD1200
July 12 - July 21     JA
July 21 - July 26     JD1200
July 26 - Aug 09     JA

Mineo, JE9PEL, has updated his FO-29 satellite telemetry analysis program. The software will automatically analyze all digital telemetry from the satellite such as current, voltage and temperature. The JE9PEL FO-29/software update is available at http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hamradio/je9pel/

[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 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.

During the period 15 May to 15 June 1999 consistent signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage during daylight passes has continued to decrease slightly, the average value observed was 13.4, with a range of 13.2 to 13.7 volts. The internal temperatures have continued to fall during this period.

The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and frequencies of all the current amateur radio satellites.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting the G3CWV/OSCAR 11 web site. The site contains details of hardware required and some software for capturing OSCAR 11 data.

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 Sun Jul 04 10:44:26 1999 uptime is 1750/05:04:03
+X (RX) Temp     5.444 D  	RX Temp            -4.842 D
Baseplt Temp     1.209 D  	+Z Array Temp  16.336 D
RC PSK BP Temp   3.024 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   4.234 D
+Y Array Temp       -3.632 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   2.419 D
RC PSK TX Out    0.442 W
Total Array C= 0.332 Bat Ch Cur= 0.000 Ifb= 0.039 I+10V= 0.297
TX:010B BCR:8D PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:8B

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 ANS have not received any updated information for several months. The digipeater is active.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sun Jul 04 11:32:29 1999 uptime is 337/21:57:51
+X (RX) Temp       0.692 D  	RX Temp                -0.991 D
RC PSK TX Out    0.659 W  	RC PSK BP Temp   0.131 D
Total Array C= 0.147 Bat Ch Cur= 0.032 Ifb= 0.042 I+10V= 0.122
TX:017 BCR:87 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

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 'test' of SunSat in FM repeater mode this weekend over the U.S. and Europe at first failed because of an on-board computer crash. The following statement was released by Garth, ZR1AFH:

SunSat was programmed to support 'FM repeater' style operations over South Africa, Europe, and America on Sunday, 4-July. SunSat was silent during the South African passes suggesting that the OBC-1 computer had crashed. When this occurs, its watchdog timer resets the computer and satellite into a safe condition, which presently does not include executing the uploaded diary commands that would have activated the FM transponder.

ANS learned the satellite was (apparently) successfully reprogrammed as the central U.S. pass Sunday afternoon yielded multiple contacts on the FM transponder. Many stations commented on how strong the downlink signal from SO-35 actually was. A full story on this successful operation will be carried in ANS-192.

ANS congratulates the SunSat team on this achievement!

Bruce, KK5DO, captured the first 'FM' pass of SunSat in Real Audio and has posted the file at http://www.amsatnet.com

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

[ANS thanks Garth Milne ZR1AFH, for this information]

UoSAT-12 UO-36

Downlink 437.025, 437.400 MHz

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.

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. Chris, G7UPN, reports UO-36 is also transmitting on 437.025 MHz at 38,400 (38k4) baud. Presently the BBS is still closed.

S-band high speed downlink commissioning continues at rates between 128kb/s and 1Mb/s.

VK5HI TMSAT viewer software is available on the AMSAT web/ftp site at ftp://ftp.amsat.org/amsat/software/win32/display/ccddsp97-119.zip

Further information on UO-36 is available from: http://www.sstl.co.uk/

[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:

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 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 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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