October 5, 2001

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AO-40 Update

Graham, VK5AGR, AO-40 command station team member, told ANS that as part of the commissioning procedures for the satellite, a prolonged RUDAK session was scheduled for orbit 432, from MA=7 to MA=86. No middle beacon or transponder operation will be allowed during this period.

AO-40 activity continues.

Wayne, W9AE, reports a new country (for him) on AO-40, working Shun, KH0/K7WD, who is on a DXpedition in Saipan.

Al, W5LUA, reported to ANS that as of early October, he was able to receive the 24 GHz beacon from AO-40. Al reports that beacon peaked at 7 dB over the noise, with some fading noted. W5LUA uses a transverter with a dual conversion scheme which down-converts to approximately 1994 MHz and then further down-converts to 144 MHz. Al reports the dual conversion scheme offers greater image rejection because of the high (first) IF frequency.

Trevor, VK5NC, reported receiving the K-band signal from AO-40 at Mount Gambier, in South Australia. The signal was 6-7 dB above the noise.

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]

Kodiak Star Mission Successful

The Kodiak Star mission lifted off into beautiful blue skies from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska at 02:40 UTC on September 30, 2001. The launch had been delayed due to the energetic proton flux from a recent solar flare, the only minor problem in an otherwise flawless countdown.

The Kodiak Star payload included the APRS-equipped PCSat, built by midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy under the guidance of AMSAT-NA member Bob Bruninga, WB4APR.

PCSat is a 1200-baud APRS digipeater designed for use by amateurs using hand-held transceivers or mobiles. Bruninga reports that PCSat successfully separated and immediately began transmitting 1200 baud AX.25 AFSK telemetry on 145.825 MHz.

WB4APR told ANS that as of October 3, 2001 PCSat had been enabled for user access.

Also carried into space with PCSat were the Starshine-3 and Sapphire payloads. Starshine-3 is a mirror ball with AX.25 9600 baud telemetry on 145.825 MHz. Sapphire has 1200-baud AX.25 telemetry and a voice replay on 437.100 MHz.

Lee, KU4OS, reported hearing PCSat during an early morning's pass, telling ANS "that signals sounded full quieting and showed S-5 to 7." Bob, WB5MZO, copied Sapphire with "good signals as it swung across the eastern coast." A nice and clear visual pass of Starshine over Buenos Aires, Argentina, was reported by Gustavo, LW2DTZ.

WB4APR, told ANS that "we are humbled at all the great effort all around the world that was made to feed live data as PCSat took to the skies!"

For more information, visit the PCSat web site at

Sapphire data can be found at

The Starshine web site is at

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, SpaceDaily and the ARRL for this information]

AMSAT-NA Symposium Underway

As this edition of ANS was broadcast, the AMSAT-NA 2001 Symposium and Annual Meeting was underway.

The Symposium is under the direction of Chairman Steve Diggs, W4EPI. 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'.

Station W4O has been active as an ARRL-sanctioned Special Event Station during the Symposium. W4O is active on HF, several satellites, along with local VHF/UHF FM voice and APRS. Over 100 contacts had been made by W4O as this edition of ANS was broadcast.

A Field Ops Breakfast was scheduled for Sunday, along with the AMSAT-NA annual meeting.

[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.