AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

November 14, 1999

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Sat Ops to Help NASA with Space Experiment

Amateur Radio satellite operators will get a chance to contribute to a NASA satellite project by recording the data.

The Plasma Experiment Satellite Test (PEST) will ride on the Joint Air Force-Weber State University Satellite, or JAWSAT. A launch is set for early December. JAWSAT will serve as a bus for several deployable payloads and the attached PEST experiment.

The telemetry stream from JAWSAT --which includes data from PEST-- will be transmitted on amateur frequencies. "Hams will be able to obtain data that characterizes certain aspects of the ionosphere above the D, E, and F layers where most of their signals are reflected," said PEST Project Manager Fred Berry, WA4IWY. "We're going to publish the data format in terms that everyone can understand," he said.

Data from PEST can be received using either a G3RUH modem or a GMSK modem. Data rates should be as high as 38.4 kb/s, transmitted on 437.175 MHz and/or 2403.2 MHz. NASA will publish instructions for sending in the data so the PEST teams can use it.

It's an experiment," WA4IWY said. "We're hoping that high school and college students will get involved and learn something about the ionosphere and radio propagation."

Deployable payloads aboard JAWSAT are the Orbiting PicoSat Automatic Launcher --or OPAL-- and ASUSAT, provided by Arizona State University. ASUSAT itself will contain amateur packet hardware and a 2-meter/70-cm FM voice repeater. OPAL will release three tiny picosats. One of them, called StenSat, will have a crossband repeater aboard that will operate much like the popular AO-27 satellite.

After JAWSAT reaches its desired polar orbit altitude of 420 miles, it will be about two weeks before PEST is first powered on. PEST will acquire data for at least a two-month period.

For more information on the PEST project, visit http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast04nov99_1.htm

[ANS thanks the ARRL and NASA for this information]

Aviation and Space Education Day

Hank, N1LTV, tells ANS that "a tremendous event will happen on Thursday, November 18th involving the Leonids meteor shower, ham radio, balloons and rockets. It's called Aviation and Space Education Day and is part of the Rhode Island Rockets for Schools program.

At an old navy airfield (near Charlestown, Rhode Island) more than one thousand students will gather from several states to launch all classes of model rockets --and if weather permits-- three high altitude balloons including the SkyQuest 3 hamradiosonde. One of the high power model rockets will also loft an ATV camera and transmitter.

N1LTV notes the highlight of the festivities will be the firing of a Viper-Dart sounding rocket into a 60-mile-high suborbital flight with the goal of collecting comet dust from the Leonids meteor shower. The Viper rocket engine should fall into the ocean close to shore and the GPS radio-equipped nosecone will be tracked and then recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

This marks the first time ever a missile will be launched into space from any New England state.

The SkyQuest 3 will be carrying a CW and RTTY modulated 2-meter transmitter that should be heard at least 250 miles away as it reaches its peak altitude.

More information is available from the Rhode Island Rockets for Schools web site at http://users.efortress.com/mudbug/ (or) the SkyQuest web site at http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/3161/hablic.htm

[ANS thanks Hank Riley, N1LTV, for this information]

ISS Update

NASA reports to ANS that flight controllers in Houston and Moscow continue to verify the health of all systems aboard the International Space Station through routine commanding from the ground.

Battery cycling of the five usable storage units inside the Zarya module was completed this past week as controllers prepare for the next round of deep cycling. The deep cycling of each battery takes about five days.

The early communications system inside the Unity module continues to operate normally. Every week or two, commands are issued to switch between the right and left low gain antennas to ensure their health.

Other weekly checks included measuring and refining the spin rate of the complex, which is oriented with Unity pointed at the Earth. The slow spin maintains even temperatures on all systems and minimizes propellant usage.

All other systems are in excellent shape as ISS orbits at an altitude of 242 by 225 statute miles. Since the launch of Zarya last November, ISS has completed more than 5,594 orbits.

Space Station viewing opportunities 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 . 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

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

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

Operational, 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
  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 schedules 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-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 for mode A operation 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.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html

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

[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.

AO-27 uses a method called Timed Eclipse Power Regulation (TEPR) to regulate the on-board batteries. In simple terms, TEPR times how long the satellite has been in the eclipse (or in the sun) and decides what subsystems to turn on or off.

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

TEPR 4 is 22    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
Operational.

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 kf4fdj@amsat.org

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

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 http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hamradio/je9pel/

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for the FO-29 status reports]

KITSAT KO-23

Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Semi-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 again became operational 29-October. Jim notes the downlink transmitter has changed and that has altered the downlink frequency. "Downlink efficiency is greater than 90% if the downlink receiver is tuned 2.5 kHz low," reports AA7KC.

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

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.sstl.co.uk

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

OSCAR-11

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz
Operational.

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:

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.

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 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. The digipeater is active.

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. It has been posted to the AMSAT-NA FTP site at http://www.amsat.org/amsat/software/win32/wisp

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, for this report]

PANSAT PO-34

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.

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/

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.

Hans, ZS5AKV, reports the SunSat ground control team at the University of Stellenbosch are now in the process of loading new control software. ZS5AKV reports "operation as previously scheduled is doubtful."

For more information on SunSat, visit the following URL:

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.

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 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]

ITAMSAT IO-26

Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK
Semi-operational.

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
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.

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:

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.

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports he has again received minimal telemetry from the satellite recently, dated October 22nd.

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 http://www.seds.org/sedsat

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 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.

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