December 26, 1999

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JAWSAT Data - Part 3

As reported earlier in ANS, the JAWSAT launch (with amateur radio's newest satellites) has been postponed until early 2000. This delayed launch timeframe allows ANS to take a detailed look at each of the new birds. Last week ANS looked at OPAL, the Orbiting Picosat Automatic Launcher. OPAL will be part of the JAWSAT multi-payload adapter space-frame during launch. Following deployment, OPAL will in turn eject three small satellites, one of which will be STENSAT.

STENSAT is a small (12 cubic inch, 8.2 ounce) satellite, which is intended for use by amateur radio operators worldwide and will operate as a single channel, Mode-J, FM voice transponder (much like AO-27).

STENSAT will use an VHF uplink frequency of 145.840 MHz and a UHF downlink on 436.625 MHz. The satellite will periodically use 1200 baud packet for sending telemetry. Additionally, ham operators will be able to 'ping' the satellite by transmitting a six digit DTMF command string to the receiver uplink.

For more information on STENSAT, visit

A web cast of the launch of JAWSAT (and STENSAT) is available. To register for the web cast, visit

[ANS thanks Richard Limebear, G3RWL, for this information]

Straight Key Night on OSCAR

As ANS previously reported, if you are wondering how to welcome the new millennium -- Ray, W2RS, has the answer, straight key night on the active OSCAR satellites!

Ray invites satellite operators to participate in the 28th annual Y2K edition of Straight Key Night on OSCAR, sponsored by AMSAT-NA. The event is open to all radio amateurs worldwide.

As always, there are no rules, no scoring and no need to send in a log at the end of the event. W2RS tells ANS that SKN is simple - all operators need to do is operate using the continuous wave (CW) mode of transmission (with a hand key!) on any OSCAR satellite, or the moon (OSCAR-Zero), between 00:00 and 23:59 UTC on 1-January-2000.

All participants are encouraged to nominate the operator with the best fist among those they heard or worked.

Please send your nomination to W2RS:

via e-mail:

via packet radio: W2RS @ WA2SNA.NJ.USA.NA (or) W2RS @ GB7HSN.#32.GBR.EU

Ray also tells ANS that his listed callbook address is correct.

Best Fist nominees will be featured in an AMSAT News Service bulletin in early February and in the next available issue of the AMSAT-NA Journal following the contest end.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, for this information]

STS-103 Update

The Hubble repair mission, STS-103, is well underway as this edition of ANS is being prepared. After a flawless launch, Discovery and its seven astronauts successfully completed a two-day chase to catch up to and retrieve Hubble, closing on the telescope at a rate of about 340 nautical miles with each orbit of Earth.

As ground controllers at Goddard Space Flight Center placed the space telescope in an attitude with its closed aperture pointed toward Earth, Commander Curt Brown guided Discovery through an approach from below Hubble. Mission Specialist Jean-Francois Clervoy followed this maneuver by reaching out with the shuttle's robotic arm to grip Hubble itself. The successful 'grapple' was made about 24 hours after Discovery's launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first of three planned space walks to repair and upgrade Hubble equipment took place on Wednesday. Mission Specialist and Payload Commander Steve Smith and Mission Specialist John Grunsfeld first replaced the telescope's three Rate Sensor Units. Each contains two gyroscopes. The second major task completed was the installation of six Voltage/Temperature improvement kits between Hubble's solar panels and its six 10-year-old batteries. As Discovery astronauts completed these high priority tasks, they also completed the second longest spacewalk in history at 8 hours, 15 minutes.

Major tasks on Thursday's space walk by Michael Foale and Claude Nicollier included replacement of Hubble's outmoded DF-224 computer with a more modern unit 20 times faster and with six times the memory. They also replaced one of Hubble's three fine guidance sensors, used to precisely point the telescope and gather scientific data.

Discovery remains in excellent condition, in an orbit with a high point of 380 statute miles and a low point of 369 miles. The mission is on target for a December 27th return landing.

[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

Operational, in mode-KA with a 10-meter downlink and a 15-meter and 2-meter uplink.

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 for mode A operation 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 worked (and heard) on AO-10.

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

Scott, AC3A, has been active from EL86 (Sanibel Island).

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. The AO-27 pages on the AMSAT-NA web site include an explanation of AO-27 operations at

Chuck, KM4NZ, reset the TEPR states on AO-27 (on December 14).

TEPR 4 is 12    TEPR 5 is 48

[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.

JAS-1b (FO-20) was launched in February 1990 and 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
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
Operational, rotated with analog mode and digi-talker.

JAS-2 was successfully launched on August 17, 1996, by an H-II launch vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center.

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, reports the FO-29 operational schedule (announced by the JARL) is as follows:

through January 11th 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 operational with good data throughput.

[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

Chris, G7UPN, reported to ANS that UO-22 was  reloaded with new software to make the satellite Y2K compliant.

More information on the satellite is available at

[ANS thanks 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.

Russ Platt, WJ9F, of the AO-16 Command Team tells ANS "it appears that after 1900 plus days of operating -- AO-16 suffered a problem that returned it to safe mode." WJ9F has been able to turn the 70-cm transmitter back on. AO-16 is in MBL (Microsat Boot Loader) mode and ground teams are checking the on-board memory to find the cause of this problem. Stay tuned to ANS for further updates.

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

Chris, G7UPN, recently reloaded TO-31 with the new flight software to fix a few minor Y2K issues. TO-31 users may also note that many of the high resolution color images on TMSAT are now compressed using a UoSAT compression format. This format is supported by the VK5HI CCD display program.

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

[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.

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 using an uplink of 436.291 MHz (+/- Doppler) and a 145.825 MHz downlink.

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 SunSat schedule is as follows (supplied by Henry Chamberlain, ZS1AAZ):

26-December Australia 02:07 to 02:21 UTC
Antarctic 08:46 to 09:00
South America 13:50 to 14:04
USA 15:44 to 15:58
Antarctic 20:03 to 20:13
27-December Antarctic 09:42 to 09:52 UTC
19:23 to 19:33
28-December Antarctic 09:01 to 09:11 UTC
20:22 to 20:32
29-December Antarctic 08:20 to 08:30 UTC
19:42 to 19:52
30-December Antarctic 09:20 to 09:30 UTC
20:43 to 20:53
31-December Antarctic 08:40 to 08:50 UTC
20:02 to 20:12

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). Currently, this downlink is switched on over Europe. Due to the limited power on UO-36, it is not possible to have this downlink on permanently over all areas.

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]

TechSat-1B GO-32

Downlink 435.225 MHz, HDLC telemetry

Updated status. Shlomo, 4X1AS, tells ANS that efforts are underway to bring GO-32 on line. According to Dr. Fred Ortenberg of the Asher Space Research Institute in Haifa, "the TechSat control team is about to finish its Amateur Radio BBS package tests. The next stage is to add beacon messages about the satellite's housekeeping status."

Stay tuned to ANS for further information.

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.

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


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 is not operational. Stay tuned to ANS for further developments.

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

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.


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

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 Executive Vice President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH.