October 31, 1999

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AMSAT Urges Rejection of 2.4 GHz Application

AMSAT-NA has urged the Federal Communication Commission to reject Los Angeles County, California's application for an experimental license to develop a public safety video system in the 2.4 GHz band. The LA County proposal seeks FCC approval to develop an experimental system using four 10 MHz channels to transmit video images from helicopter cameras to five remote receiving sites with active tracking antennas.

The proposal targets the 2402-2448 MHz band. Amateurs have a primary domestic allocation at 2402-2417 MHz.

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, said AMSAT views the experimental TV operation "with the greatest concern," adding, "AMSAT-NA believes that any such grant would violate the spirit of the Commission's own order granting amateurs primary status on much of the band in question and could well disrupt amateur satellite and other amateur use of the band as well as jeopardizing its use by other existing occupants."

KB1SF urged the FCC to deny the experimental license application because it poses the potential for serious interference to current and future satellites and could limit the use of the pending Phase 3D amateur satellite. The Phase 3D satellite includes transmitters and receivers on 2.4 GHz.

President Baker also expressed concerns that a temporary experimental license could become a permanent fixture. The ARRL expressed similar objections to the proposal last month. The decision to grant the proposed experimental license is up to the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology's Experimental Licensing Division.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, and the ARRL for this information]

UO-36 Thruster Test Successful

The Surrey Space Center tells ANS that it has successfully fired the electric 'resistojet' onboard UO-36 (UoSAT-12). The resistojet is a form of electric propulsion where a fluid (such as water or nitrous oxide) is super-heated over an electrically-heated element and the resulting hot gas is expelled through a nozzle to produce low-level thrust. The thrust from the resistojet can be used to adjust the spacecraft's overall orbit.

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

The satellite is not currently available for general uplink transmissions.

[ANS thanks Martin Sweeting, Director, Surrey Space Center at the University of Surrey for this information]

ISS Update

The International Space Station's orbit was recently raised slightly as a precaution in avoiding a piece of space debris. The maneuver raised the overall orbit of the ISS by about one statute mile using both of the Zarya control module's orbit adjust engines. The burn lasted 5 seconds.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, processing of the Zvezda module continues in preparation for its launch to the ISS early next year. At this time 12 astronauts and cosmonauts are at Baikonur to view the Zvezda module up close as the Russian service module continues in its processing at a checkout hangar near its launch pad.

NASA was informed that an investigation is also underway into the recent loss of a Proton rocket and its communications satellite payload that crashed back to Earth minutes after liftoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan. The booster's second stage apparently malfunctioned. The Proton launch vehicle is similar to the rocket that will bring Zvezda to orbit. NASA reports that it is much too early to determine what, if any, impact this failure could have on Zvezda's planned launch in the January 2000 time frame.

The CCN report about the launch failure can be found at

In orbit on the International Space Station activities continue to go smoothly with the focus being on systems checks and command link verification between the two control centers and the orbiting complex.

Cycling of the five batteries on the Zarya module continues with no problems seen in the units that store the Sun's energy and convert it to electrical power for the components in both Zarya and Unity. Additionally, a test was done using Unity's early communications system to turn on, and then turn off, an air circulation fan inside Zarya to prove the system's effectiveness to operate when commanded through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System using the Early Communications System.

ISS is orbiting at an altitude of 247 by 230 statute miles. Since the launch of Zarya last November, the Station has completed more than 5,240 orbits.

Space Station viewing opportunities worldwide are available on the Internet 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 . 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)

DX continues to be heard and worked on AO-10. Mike, KF4FDJ, reports working Pat, FO5QS, French Polynesia.

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.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite 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

[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.

Filippos, SV1DNU, reports good signals from FO-29 recently. Joel Black, K2SAT, confirms FO-29 is now in digitalker mode.

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 - 10 JA
November 11 - 23 Digitalker
November 24 - 25 JA
November 26 - 30 Digitalker

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.

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 again became operational 29-October. Jim notes the downlink transmitter has changed and that has altered the downlink frequency. "Full downlink efficiency can be obtained by tuning approximately 2.5 kHz below the 435.175 MHz noted downlink frequency," reports AA7KC.

[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.

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.

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]


Uplink/downlink frequencies have not been 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. The satellite was not available for the October 24th mode-B pass over North America (reported by N1JEZ).

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.

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

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.

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

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).

Presently the BBS is still closed.

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

Digipeater function is on.

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

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