October 10, 1999

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Phase 3D Launch Announcement

ANS is pleased to repeat the October 8th special announcement concerning the launch opportunity for the Phase 3D satellite (ANS 281.01). This special announcement was made simultaneously by AMSAT-DL in Germany, at the AMSAT-NA Symposium in San Diego and on the AMSAT-NA Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) and the ANS mailing lists.

MARBURG, GERMANY (October 8, 1999) AMSAT's most ambitious project to date -- the International Phase 3D communications satellite -- has now been accepted for launch aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, AMSAT-Germany's President and Phase 3D Project Leader released the following statement:

"As the primary agency responsible for securing a launch opportunity for Phase 3-D, I am pleased to announce that AMSAT-Germany and Arianespace have now come to an agreement calling for the launch of P3-D as a secondary payload aboard the "first suitable" Ariane 5 flight."

Dr. Meinzer went on to comment that, "From the very beginning of the Phase 3-D project, we considered the Ariane 5 series our primary launch vehicle. Our long history of success and mutual cooperation with both the European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace, coupled with our need to lift P3-D into a high geostationary transfer orbit, made the Ariane 5 the unanimous choice by AMSAT."

Following standard protocol, specific details of the launch agreement were not released.

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, was elated with the latest news. "I'm very pleased to see that AMSAT-DL's negotiations with Arianespace have resulted in a launch contract for Phase 3-D, and I'm delighted we are again slated to fly on an Ariane vehicle," he said. "Following the resounding success of Ariane flight 503, the Ariane 5 has now proven itself to be a very capable launcher. When coupled with our many past successes with ESA and Ariane, I believe we now have an unbeatable combination. Once it is in orbit, the Phase 3-D satellite will not only help us usher in the new Millennium, it will also signal the dawn of a brand new era for Amateur Radio," he concluded.

While both AMSAT presidents expressed optimism for an early launch of the satellite, Dr. Meinzer expressed caution that the wait for the "first suitable" flight could still turn out to be a long one. "While the launch of Phase 3-D could come as early as the first half of the year 2000, we must remember that Ariane's launch manifests are continually being updated to accommodate market changes as well as the availability of other payloads. Thus, one or more changes to P3-D's anticipated launch date, along with its specific Ariane 5 mission number, are a very real possibility before our satellite actually flies," he said.

Nevertheless, based on its new 'standby' launch status, Phase 3D is slated to be delivered to the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana later this month so as to be ready for quick integration once Arianespace identifies a specific Ariane 5 launch vehicle for P3D's ride to orbit.

While its primary focus is on improved worldwide satellite communications, the Phase 3D satellite will also have a very positive influence on the very future of Amateur Radio. Built primarily from donated resources, the International Phase 3D team includes participating AMSAT groups from Austria, Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Finland, Russia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, France, New Zealand and Hungary, in addition to the groups from AMSAT-Germany and AMSAT-North America.

AMSAT is very proud of its long tradition of excellence and the contributions it has made to the advancement of space communications, space education and the space sciences. Phase 3D will be Amateur Radio's premier vehicle to continue the quest for new communications technologies for generations yet unborn.

[ANS thanks AMSAT President's Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC and Keith Baker, KB1SF, and congratulates the entire Phase 3D team on this exciting announcement]

Reaction to Phase 3D Announcement

Following release of ANS 281.01 concerning the launch opportunity for Phase 3D, AMSAT received several comments:

"Congratulations to the entire AMSAT team," came from John, N2HMM. "What a wonderful piece of news," wrote Sangat, 9M2SS, adding, "please convey our heartfelt good wishes to the entire Phase 3-D team on this exciting announcement." "Woohoo!" wrote Jeff, W4JEF. Andy, WD9IYT, added, "Good news! Now, for a smooth ride to orbit and let the fun begin. Congratulations to all of the folks who have been chugging away on this one."

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, welcomed the AMSAT announcement. "Congratulations to AMSAT's Phase 3D team on moving another important step closer to launch," Sumner said. "For those who have been putting off getting their stations ready for Phase 3D, the time for procrastination is just about over!"

The League has been a major contributor to the Phase 3D project. Both the ARRL and SpaceNews included coverage of the AMSAT announcement.

In San Diego for the AMSAT-NA Symposium and Annual Meeting, AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, said the news meant "lots of smiles around the conference room." Baker said he was pleased that AMSAT-DL's negotiations with Arianespace resulted in a launch contract for Phase 3D and was delighted that Phase 3D was again slated to fly on an Ariane vehicle. KB1SF emphasized today that Phase 3D is "a standby passenger in every sense of the word," so a specific launch date is "very uncertain" right now. However, Phase 3D is slated to be delivered to the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, later this month.

Bruce, KK5DO, reported the Houston AMSAT Net had a "very successful two days of live Symposium transmission over GE-1." For those that were not able to hear this C-Band satellite transmission, Bruce has many of the seminars available in RealAudio on

Peter, DB2OS, summed up the feelings of the entire Phase 3D team with his posting; "congratulations to everyone," said DB2OS, and "thank you to all who have been so patient and never gave up their confidence in AMSAT P3-D."

Pictures from the official signing of the P3-D launch contract can be found on the AMSAT-DL web site.

The Arianespace launch schedule can be found at

[ANS thanks the entire Phase 3D team and the ARRL for this information. Excerpts were also taken from AMSAT-BB.]

ISS Update

The International Space Station spent a quiet week in orbit with flight controllers in Houston and Moscow monitoring onboard systems, while verifying backup command links through NASA's communications network.

One of the routine systems checks aboard the station included verifying the Unity module's early communications system is available for backup commanding to the Zarya. This is done by sending commands to Zarya via the communications system housed inside Unity using NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) System. Both control centers in Houston and Korolev (outside Moscow) sent commands to Zarya through Unity.

Other station systems checked included the onboard motion control system used to refine the spin rate of the ISS, which is currently about three tenths of a degree per second. This maintains even temperatures on the overall structure and minimizes propellant usage to maintain orientation. Also, the batteries used to harness the sun's energy for electrical systems are cycling as expected with the exception of battery 1, which remains disconnected from the system.

Circling the Earth every 92 minutes, the ISS is orbiting at an altitude with a high point of 248 statute miles and a low point of 230 statute miles. Since Zarya was launched last November, the station has completed more than 5,000 revolutions of the planet.

Space Station viewing opportunities worldwide are available on the Internet at

[ANS thanks NASA for this information]

Space Shuttle Update

With wiring inspections and repairs of space shuttles Discovery and Endeavour nearing completion and similar work beginning on Atlantis, shuttle program managers recently set new planning target launch dates for the next three Space Shuttle missions.

"Our number one priority for the Space Shuttle is to fly safely, and that is why we delayed our launch preparations and have performed such comprehensive wiring inspections and repairs," Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore said. "As a result of our inspections, we've made significant changes in how we protect electrical wiring. We believe those changes, along with changes to the work platforms and procedures we use in the Shuttle's payload bay, will prevent similar wire damage from recurring," Dittemore added.

Shuttle status reports are available on the web at

[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


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

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).

RS-13's Robot CW auto-transponder is 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 schedules via RS-12/13.

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

AC5DK's RS-12/13 Satellite Forum:


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)

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

Chuck, KM4NZ, recently reset the TEPR states on AO-27 (on October 11, 1999).

TEPR 4 is 22 and TEPR 5 is 58

[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 is in mode JA continuously.

FO-20 continues to function quite well.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for the FO-20 status reports]

JAS-2 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.
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.

Mike, KF4FDJ, has put together a very informative document on FO-29, addressing analog, digital and digi-talker modes. To obtain a copy e-mail Mike at

Kazu, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that the FO-29 operational schedule (announced by the JARL) is as follows:

through October 18th   Digitalker
October 19 - 21   JA
October 22 - November 8   Digitalker
November 9 - 15   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.

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


Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK

ANS has learned (from HL0ENJ) that satellite downlink telemetry shows two of KO-23's battery cells to be very unstable. Transmitter 0 was shutdown on October 2nd due to a power shortage. The on board file storage is safe. HL0ENJ reports "this was an anticipated event as KO-23 is now approaching its maximum eclipse period orbit -- which has about a 35 minute eclipse -- hence, the decision to turn off the transmitter until October 13th.

Jim, AA7KC, confirms no signal from KO-23 recently.

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

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 amateur radio satellites.

More information on OSCAR-11 is available at the following URL:

[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 has operated continuously for over 1,800 days since its last software reload.

AO-16 telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Oct 08 21:40:52 1999 uptime is 1846/15:58:08
+10V Bus         10.350 V  	+X (RX) Temp   -10.288 D
RX Temp           4.839 D  	BCR Load Cur      0.343 A
BCR Input Cur   0.179 A  	BCR Output Cur    0.018 A
RC PSK TX Out    0.310 W  	RC PSK BP Temp  -5.448 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -2.422 D  	+Y Array Temp  -23.601 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp  -3.632 D  	+Z Array Temp  -16.339 D
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.326 Ifb= 0.179 I+10V= 0.165
TX:0109 BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:66

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. The digipeater is active.

LO-19 telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Oct 08 22:02:49 1999 uptime is 434/08:28:11
+X (RX) Temp    -7.722 D  	RX Temp             3.496 D
BCR Set Point   31.394 C  	BCR Load Cur     0.283 A
BCR Input Cur     0.127 A  	BCR Output Cur   0.007 A
RC PSK TX Out  0.616 W  	RC PSK BP Temp   0.131 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -0.991 D  	+Y Array Temp  -16.696 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp   0.131 D  	+Z Array Temp  -13.331 D
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.277 Ifb= 0.119 I+10V= 0.164
TX:017 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:

PanSat is the featured cover article in the July/August issue of the AMSAT-NA Journal (written by KD6DRA and N7HPR).

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, for this information]

SunSat SO-35

Semi-operational. Modes of operation and uplink/downlink frequencies have yet to be officially established.

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.

SunSat has been in mode-B recently. Greg, KE4ROL, reports excellent downlink signals. Ray, W2RS, was active from the AMSAT-NA Symposium along with Danny, VA3JDH, Jerry, K5OE, and others.

The announced SUNSAT schedule through November 7th is as follows:

Phillipines, China, Taiwan, Japan 01:37 to 01:49 UTC
Africa 09:36 to 09:51
Europe 09:58 to 09:13
South America 14:36 to 14:56

Indonesia, China, Japan 02:30 to 02:45 UTC
Africa 08:57 to 09:12
Europe 09:19 to 09:33
South America 14:03 to 14:18

India, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan 05:09 to 05:24 UTC
Continuous over Africa to Europe 10:00 to 10:29
South America 14:54 to 15:12

Eastern Australia 00:54 to 01:09 UTC
Africa to Europe 09:16 to 09:48
USA 16:14 to 16:29

Australia 01:55 to 01:14 UTC
Africa and Europe 08:37 to 09:07
South America and East USA 15:32 to 15:47

Australia 02:55 to 03:10 UTC
Africa and Europe 09:35 to 10:08
South America 16:30 to 16:47

Australia 02:16 to 02:34 UTC
Africa to Europe 08:54 to 09:26
South America 13:52 to 14:12

Indonesia and Japan 01:52 to 02:06 UTC
Africa to Europe 09:55 to 10:25
Western USA 16:50 to 17:06

Times are UTC. Uplink is on 436.291 MHz (+/- Doppler up to 9 kHz). Downlink is on 145.825 MHz.

For more information on SunSat, visit the following URL:

[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 a baud rate of 38,400 (38k4).

G7UPN also tells ANS that UO-36 is severely power limited and Chris is working on a new protocol to allow the downlink to only be switched on over active ground stations. "Once we get this going, UO-36 will be running the 38k4 downlink, and will be available when spacecraft resources (primarily power) permit," said G7UPN.

Presently the BBS is still closed.

S-band high speed downlink commissioning continues at rates between 128kb/s and 1Mb/s. The S-band downlink frequency has not been announced.

The VK5HI TMSAT viewer software is available on the AMSAT-NA web site at

Further information on UO-36 is available from:

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


Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

IO-26 was launched on September 26, 1993, recently celebrating its sixth birthday.

Alberto, I2KBD, reports IO-26 has been opened to APRS use. ITAMSAT ground controllers have switched the digipeater function to 'on'.

[ANS thanks ITAMSAT Project Manager Alberto E. Zagni, I2KBD, for this information]

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

Mir Space Station

Ham radio activity aboard the Mir space station came to a close on August 28, 1999 as the crew returned to Earth, leaving the station unmanned. Mir is in a stable orbit with only essential systems running. All amateur radio activities have ceased. Currently, the station is being prepared for re-entry sometime in the first quarter of 2000. However, the final fate of the space station has not been formally announced. Stay tuned to ANS for further developments.

Current Amateur Radio equipment aboard Mir includes:

SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Not 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
Not operational.  No operation in 1999 has been observed.
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Not operational.


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.

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 TechSat. 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.

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports he has again received minimal telemetry (one frame) from the satellite recently, dated September 20th.

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

No additional information is available at this time.

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.