September 28, 2001

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AO-40 Update

ANS is pleased to report that the GPS experiment on AO-40 has undergone successful testing. This experiment was supplied and sponsored by NASA to determine if it is possible to get positional data outside of the GPS ring of satellites.

There are two GPS receivers on AO-40, the A receiver for receiving signals around apogee and the B receiver for signal reception around perigee. Both receivers are operational and data is passed from the receivers through the RUDAK to the S-band transmitter.

Jim White, WD0E, has been the AMSAT coordinator and chief operator for this activity. Jim reported that "we received a signal on the apogee receiver from about 52,000 kilometers out with good signal levels." WD0E told ANS that further data is being gathered and the information is being analyzed.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs (and an instrumental person in setting up the GPS experiment), told ANS that "if this experiment goes the way I expect it will, this will revolutionize the way we use GPS in space. Many future high Earth orbit spacecraft will be able to take advantage of GPS for autonomous navigation and station keeping."

AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, was delighted with the news of the GPS success, and commented that "it is great to be able to help our friends at NASA. Testing this experiment has been a long time in coming, and we were worried that radiation may have damaged the GPS receivers. Now at last we have a very positive result from this important experiment."

AO-40 activity continues.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, informed ANS that the RUDAK time slots remain active from MA=70 to MA=87 currently.

Mike, N1JEZ, reports he has been able to QSO 39 stations, including 10 contacts using Mode-L uplinks. N1JEZ has worked Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, Hungary, Italy as well as the United States.

Ed, AL7EB, reports 7 states including Alaska and Hawaii, along with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong - in 40 initials.

AL, WC9C, reports 231 contacts with 143 stations in 32 states and 28 countries so far via AO-40.

In other AO-40 news, Jean-Michel, F6GBQ, has completed an initial group of contacts on 24 GHz with success. F6GBQ is looking for more contacts on AO-40 using mode K!

AO-40 is currently in a long period during which the Earth eclipses the Sun near perigee. These actually began about August 28th, and will rapidly increase in length. The will continue well into June 2002. During September, eclipses peaked at 85 minutes in duration.

For the current transponder operating schedule visit

Stay tuned to ANS, the official source of AO-40 information.

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

September 2001 President's Letter

Once each month ANS will feature information from AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH. This feature is known as the President's Letter. The following is the September 2001 installment:

The Presidents Letter for September 2001 is a little late, due to the terrible things that happened in New York and Washington. However, I am pleased to report that amateur radio has once again come to the assistance of those who are involved in the search and rescue efforts, and I feel sure that as a result of the continuing need to develop and maintain emergency plans in towns and cities around the world - our services will continue to be in demand.

I am also proud to report to you that since the infamous acts of September 11th, the number of registrants for the AMSAT-NA Symposium and Annual meeting in Atlanta has grown by quite a large number, with many participants coming from overseas in addition to North America. This certainly is in the spirit of "return to normality".

More tests are being carried out on AO-40, and of particular note is the testing of the GPS systems, which were provided by NASA. These tests are currently proceeding using the RUDAK system and I hope they turn out to be successful.

Design parameters are continuing for Project "JJ" and project committee members hope to have their preliminary design review around the end of this year. Meanwhile, the Business Development Committee has plans in place to involve members in the important business of fund raising for our new project - will you help? In the next few weeks expect to receive a letter from me outlining the needs of the project and ways that you, our membership can help.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing many of you at our Symposium and Annual Meeting in Atlanta!

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for this information]

AMSAT-NA Symposium Near

AAMSAT-NA corporate secretary Martha Saragovitz reminds ANS readers that the 2001 AMSAT Space Symposium is one week away! This is the last opportunity to register by calling Martha at +1(301)589-6062.

Show support for AMSAT and come to Atlanta!

Symposium Chairman Steve Diggs, W4EPI, announced recently that Paul Middleton, K4NUH, the national sales manager for Kenwood USA will speak at the Saturday night banquet.

The subject of Paul's presentation will be 'Amateur Radio - Hobby and Industry'. This will be a wonderful to hear about our hobby from the manufacturer's side of the equation.

For further details about the 2001 AMSAT-NA Symposium, visit

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . SO-35 . UO-36 . AO-40 . SO-41 . SO-42

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.