August 7, 1999

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AMSAT Workshop

Preliminary Announcement

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT-NA) is sponsoring an Amateur Satellite Workshop for Colleges and Universities on Thursday, October 7th 1999, at the Hanalei Hotel, San Diego. The purpose of the Workshop is to provide a series of educational lectures and information to colleges and Universities proposing to use the radio spectrum for their small satellite projects.

The Workshop will cover topics on:

For more details see ANS next week and the AMSAT-BB

[ANS thanks Steve Bible, N7HPR, and VP. Educational Liaison for this information.]

Jovian Moon's Atmosphere

An astronaut landing on the Jovian moon Io would have a harsh environment to deal with, but would be rewarded with the most dazzling auroral light show in the solar system.

Last october a team of American and Taiwanese space scientists reported their discovery in images taken by the Galileo spacecraft of colorful auroral emissions from Io during eclipse by Jupiter.

In today's issue of Science they publish results from an in-depth study of those images.

The tenuous atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io partially collapses in the darkness of the giant planet's shadow, they now find. At the same time, bright blue glows emanating from stealthy volcanic plumes grow even brighter.

"This is our first detailed look at visible aurorae on a solar system satellite" said Paul Geissler of the University of Arizona, lead author of the report. "The picture helps us to understand Io's atmosphere and the process that generates the emissions".

Co-authors of the science article are Alfred S. McEwen, also with the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Wing Ip of the Taiwan National Central University, Michael J. Belton of National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Torrence V. Johnson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, William H. Smyth of Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Cambridge Mass. and Andy Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology.

Io's aurorae, like those on Earth, are caused by the impact of electrons on atmospheric gasses. Io is bathed by a swarm of charged particles that are trapped by Jupiter's magnetic field, similar to the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding our own planet.

In addition a powerful electric current flows from Io to the poles of Jupiter, caused by an enormous electric potential of some 400,000 volts, generated by the motion of the Jovian magnetic field past Io. When these electrons collide with the gasses in Io's atmosphere, they set off a dazzling light show of red, green, and blue emissions bright enough to be visible to the naked eye.

The red and green glows may be caused by neutral oxygen and sodium atoms respectively, Geissler said. The blue emissions are probably due to sulfur dioxide vented from volcanoes on the moon's surface.

Some of these plumes are invisible in daylight and can only be seen during eclipse, he added. The currents cause the gasses to light up, much the same as the glows from fluorescent lamps.

Io's erie glow dims noticeably with time as the satellite lingers in Jupiter's shadow. The likely explanation, concludes the international team of scientists that analyzed the pictures, is a partial collapse of the moon's atmosphere during eclipse. Some of Io's patchy atmosphere is derived from sulphur dioxide ice on the surface of the satellite that is warmed by the Sun and sublimes (evaporates). This component begins to recondense in the absence of sunlight during eclipse. More surprisingly, the blue glows associated with volcanic plumes appear to intensify while Io is in darkness. This may indicate that some of the current flow between Io and Jupiter is conducted through the interior of Io, particularly during periods when the atmospheric conduction is low.

The Galileo spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter and its moons since December 1995. Galileo is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA.

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.

Jerry, K5OE reports copying several Robot 36 SSTV images from Mir.

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).

John, K6YK reports decent activity on RS-13 but lots of 15 meter QRM on the uplink due to the band being open.

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

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.

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


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)

AO-10 continues to be usable however the QSB is very deep and slow. If you have a second VFO on your rig, use it to monitor the beacon as this will tell you when AO-10 emerges from its fades.

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

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for his AO-10 status information and web site]


Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM

John K6YK reports many stations active from portable and mobile locations. Many handy talkie/QRP stations checking in. One bicycle mobile. Mobile stations N6KMR, N7SFI, K5OE, KK5YY, K7XQ, K6YK and others have been hitting some unusual grids and counties. For those who need Hawaii, AA6HH is back on again, after getting his rig fixed.

The TEPR (Timed Eclipse Power Regulation) states were reset on 20-June-99 as follows:

TEPR 4 is 42 and TEPR 5 is 78.

[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.

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

July 26 (Mon) - Aug 09 (Mon) JA
Aug 9 (Mon) - Aug 12 (Thu) JD1200
Aug 12 (Thu) - Aug 23 (Mon) JA
Aug 23 (Mon) - Aug 26 (Thu) JD1200
Aug 26 (Thu) - Sep 9 (Thu) 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

[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. (As of Aug 6, 1999)

[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

[ANS thanks Carol Byers, W9HGI and Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO for UO-22 status information]


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

During the period 15 June to 16 July 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 13.5, with a range of 13.2 to 13.9 volts.

The internal temperatures have remained fairly constant during this period. They are now 0.2C and minus 1.0c for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. The maximum eclipse time appears to have been reached, and should decrease in the next few months. This should result in increased internal temperatures and improved battery voltage.

The magnetorquer spin correction counters have now resumed their nominal counting rates, after unusual behavour during the last few months. The counting rate for the negative spin counter is now about 6.5 counts per day, whilst the Z-axis counter increments at about 11 counts per day. During the last week the Z-axis counter reached its maximum value of 1024, causing the attitude corrections (magnetorquer firings) to stop. When this happened the spin period slowly started to increase. A value of -537 seconds was recorded before ground control reset the counters on July 14. The spin period has now dropped to a nominal value of -348 seconds.

The WOD survey dated 08-April-1999 of channels 39, 50, 52, & 63 (telemetry electronics temperature, battery charge current, battery voltage, and BCR status), has been transmitted during this period. This starts at 1600 UTC. At the end of the period a new WOD survey of channels 1,2,3,61 (magnetometers) dated 15 July 1999, was started. This should show the increased spin period mentioned above.

Reports of the mode-S beacon have been received from Ted WA2HKS and Ken G8VR. Ted reports strong signals from overhead passes using a 3-foot corner reflector, and a Drake converter. On the other hand Ken uses an 18-element helix (G3RUH design), and a Down East converter. He commented that the antenna was very easy to construct and pointed out that although many stations use a dish for Mode-S satisfactory results can be obtained with simpler antennas. Many thanks for those reports Ted and Ken.

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 all the current amateur radio satellites.

There are additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted, and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

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 test source for those testing mode-S converters, prior to the launch of Phase 3D. However the signals are very weak, and there is a lot of Doppler. Users should also note that the polarization of OSCAR-11 is LHC. Even if you can't hear OSCAR-11, your equipment may still be OK for P3D. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz would be most welcome. Please e-mail

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e., within range of Guilford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting the G3CWV/OSCAR 11 web site. The web site contains details of hardware required and some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. Also included are some audio files: examples of each type of data transmitted by OSCAR 11. Each one plays for about ten seconds. There are also examples of mode-S reception. All the audio files are zipped, so that they can be played off line. These should help listeners identify the various types of data, and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful decoding.

The URL is

[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.

Telemetry is as follows:

up time is 1783/16:48:02 time is Friday AUG 06 22:28:51 1999
+10V bus	10.400 V	+X (RX) Temp 	-11.499 D
RX Temp		1.209 D	Baseplt Temp	  0.603 D
RC PSK TX Out 	0.298 W	RC PSK BP Temp 	- 6.053 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp 	-4.842 D	+Y Array  Temp  -24.811 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp	-5.448 D	+z Array  Temp	-16.944 D

Total Array Bat Ch cur =-0.310 Ifb=0.186 I+10V=0.142
TX:0109 BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC: B

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

Telemetry is as follows:

Uptime is 371/08:02:31.  Time is Fri Aug 06 21:37:09 1999
+X (RX) Temp -9.405 D
RX Temp      -3.235 D
RC PSK TX Out  0.534 W

Total Array C=0.335 bat Ch cur=0.176 Ifb=0.007 I+10v=0.119
TX:016 BCR:7f PWCR: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

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.

A second test of SunSat in FM repeater mode on July 11 over the U.S. was quite successful with many stations active and a large number of contacts made through the bird.

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

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

[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

Further information on UO-36 is available from:

[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 Executive Vice President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, substituting for Dan James, who is unavailable due to a heavy workload.