October 24, 1999

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
1999 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS

Phase 3D Watch

Both AMSAT-DL and the ARRL are reporting that Phase 3D Project Leader Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, and a delegation from AMSAT-DL are at the Phase 3D Integration Laboratory in Orlando, giving the P3D satellite a final once-over.

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, tells ANS that "so far, everything is proceeding smoothly." KB1SF said the German team is putting P3D through its paces as a final checkout prior to shipping the satellite to the launch site at Kourou in French Guiana at month's end.

As ANS has reported, a launch contract accepting Phase 3D as a payload for the first suitable Arianespace Ariane 5 vehicle launch was signed October 5th. In a news release last week, Arianespace noted that Phase 3D would be "one of the first secondary payloads boosted by Ariane 5, which will use a special adapter for orbital injection." The Arianespace release also said that Phase 3D, which weighs 1,430 pounds, will be injected into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). P3D will then use its own propulsion system to reach an elliptical orbit ranging from approximately 2,480 miles to more than 27,000 miles from Earth.

This official Arianespace press release can be found at

Once in its intended orbit, Phase 3D will have an estimated life span of 10 years. For more information on Phase 3D, visit the AMSAT-NA Web site at

[ANS thanks AMSAT-DL, the ARRL and Arianespace for this information]

ISS Update

As hinted in previous ANS bulletin sets, NASA now confirms the space shuttle that will carry the initial Amateur Radio gear into space for the International Space Station will launch no earlier than February 10, 2000. The flight will be aboard shuttle Atlantis, on mission STS-101, and will carry only the ham transceivers, not any external Amateur Radio antenna setup. The good news is that the ARISS team reports a suitable commercial external antenna on the service module will be made available so that the crew can start using the ISS ham setup immediately on 2-meters. It is important to note the arrival and installation of the external ham antenna modules is still a high NASA/ARISS priority.

The flight transporting the VHF and UHF hand-held transceivers and associated antennas and accessories to the ISS had been scheduled to launch in December of this year. NASA imposed a shuttle launch hiatus to perform electrical inspections of the entire shuttle fleet, however, disrupting the launch schedule. The inspections came in the wake of problems during the July launch of the shuttle Columbia, when astronauts and ground controllers struggled with power failures in computers controlling two of the orbiter's three main engines.

NASA and Russian space agency officials also have agreed to delay the launch of the Zvezda service module that will house the amateur gear. According to NASA, a U.S. delegation and the Russians agreed that "it is no longer prudent to proceed with the current service module schedule."

For more information on the ARISS project, see

[ANS thanks NASA and the ARRL for this information]

Goddard Anniversary

AMSAT's Dan Schultz, N8FGV, told ANS about a recent anniversary that helped to form the groundwork for space launch vehicles as we know them today.

On October 19, 1899, then 17-year old Robert Goddard climbed a cherry tree in the backyard of his family's home in Worcester, Massachusetts. In later years he wrote about that fateful day:

"This was the situation when, on the afternoon of October 19, 1899, I climbed a tall cherry tree at the back of the barn, on a plot where I had visions of some kind of frog-hatching experiments, and, armed with a saw which I still have, and a hatchet, started to trim the dead limbs from the cherry tree. It was one of the quiet, colorful afternoons of sheer beauty which we have in October in New England; as I looked toward the fields at the east, I imagined how wonderful it would be to make some device which had even the possibility of ascending to Mars, and how it would look on a small scale, if sent up from the meadow at my feet. I have several photographs of the tree, taken since, with the little ladder I made to climb it, leaning against it. It seemed to me then that a weight whirling around a horizontal shaft moving more rapidly above than below, could furnish lift by virtue of the greater centrifugal force at the top of the path. In any event, I was a different boy when I descended the tree from when I ascended, for existence at last seemed very purposive."

This date was of such significance to Dr. Goddard that he thereafter referred to it as his "anniversary day" and almost every year made some reference to it in his diary as his personal holiday.

With the 100-year anniversary of that day and with a U.S. spacecraft approaching Mars for a landing along with the recent announcement of the upcoming launch of Phase 3D, it seems fitting to reflect on the vision of Dr. Goddard so many years before, in the branches of a cherry tree one October afternoon.

[ANS thanks Dan Schultz, N8FGV, for this information]

RS-16 Re-Entry

Phase 3D team member Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, tells ANS that the RS-16 satellite re-entered Earth atmosphere some time on Monday, October 25, 1999. Peter reports that undoubtedly, the spacecraft burned up upon re-entry. The mode-A transponder aboard the satellite was never fully activated.

The decay alert was first posted by Eric, W3DQ. The AMSAT-BB contained the following message:

It seems that the Russian Amateur Radio satellite Zeya (RS-16) has re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on Monday morning. RS-16 was launched aboard the first launch vehicle from the (then) new Russian Svobodny Cosmodrome in 1997. SpaceCom's last prediction showed the decay of Zeya at 25-October-1999, 04:12 UTC.

ANS has carried the following minimal RS-16 information in the non-operational satellite category for the past two years:

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

ANS will now remove RS-16 information from future bulletins.

[ANS thanks Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, 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 . 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)

Jerry, K5OE, reports to ANS that he has been timing AO-10 QSB during perigee passes and notes a semi-consistent pattern of about a 14-minute cycle: 8 minutes of discernible audio going from "barely there" through the warble stage up to about S-5 signals, and then back down again. Stacey Mills, W4SM, reports AO-10 currently experiences eclipses at perigee of approximately 30 minutes length. W4SM reports that "what Jerry is describing appears to be a different phenomenon related to slow tumbling of the satellite producing poor illumination of the solar panels, poor antenna positioning, or both. However, please note that the perigee eclipses will continue for a long time (months). They will slowly move towards a later period in the orbit and a corresponding longer duration into the early part of 2000." W4SM tells ANS that AO-10 will not be eclipse-free again until March 25, 2000.

DX continues to be heard and worked on AO-10. Filippos, SV1DNU, reports working Kimio, 8J1RL, on AO-10. "His signals were quite strong, I worked him with 10 watts on an 8-element yagi for the uplink and a 6-element yagi for the downlink, both without elevation control," said Filippos. AMSAT-UK 2-meter net regulars Malcom, G7NFO, and Terry, G1WPR, both report contacts with 8J1RL. Mike, W1BFN, reports a QSO with 5H3US.

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

Jamboree-On-The-Air activity on AO-27 was heard recently from K2BSA, KC2BZJ and KD4SFF. Jim, V31KD, has been active from Belize during recent AO-27 passes.

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.

Filippos, SV1DNU, reports good signals from FO-29 recently.

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:

October 22 - November 8   Digitalker
November 9 - 15   JA

As this bulletin set was initially posted, N1JEZ reports that FO-29 was still in analog mode.

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
Not operational.

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

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 is non-operational once again. The last contact with the satellite was on 22-October-1999 at 02:50 UTC.

[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 Sat Oct 23 11:13:12 1999 uptime is 1861/05:30:44
+Z Array V      22.711 V  	X (RX) Temp    -5.448 D
RX Temp         -1.817 D  	5V Bus              4.874 V
+8.5V Bus        8.960 V  	+10V Bus        11.175 V
BCR Set Point  125.746 C  	BCR Load Cur      0.313 A
BCR Input Cur    0.509 A  	BCR Output Cur   0.415 A
Bat 1 Temp       4.839 D   	Bat 2 Temp           5.444 D
Baseplt Temp     4.839 D  	RC PSK TX Out      0.457 W
RC PSK BP Temp   1.209 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   0.603 D
+Y Array Temp    5.444 D  +Z Array Temp   -2.422 D
Total Array C= 0.523 Bat Ch Cur= 0.102 Ifb=-0.014 I+10V= 0.326

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 Sat Oct 23 11:39:49 1999 uptime is 448/22:05:11
+X (RX) Temp    -1.552 D  	RX Temp                -0.991 D
Baseplt Temp      2.374 D   	RC PSK TX Out      0.674 W
RC PSK BP Temp  -0.991 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp  -0.430 D
+Y Array Temp        3.496 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp  -1.552 D
+Z Array Temp       -3.235 D
Total Array C= 0.286 Bat Ch Cur= 0.124 Ifb= 0.045 I+10V= 0.113
TX:017 BCR:89 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. It 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 1999 issue of the AMSAT-NA Journal (written by KD6DRA and N7HPR).

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

SunSat SO-35

Semi-operational. SunSat has been in mode-B recently.

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.

Filippos, SV1DNU, reports "excellent signals received from SunSat, peaking at S-9+." SV1DNU also reports that he could even hear the downlink on his handheld.

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

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 (at times) testing 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.

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.

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 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

Return to top

This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ.