January 6, 2002

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AO-40 Update

The ARRL is reporting that AO-40 satellite ground controllers have begun adjusting the spacecraft's attitude as it enters a period of unfavorable sun angles. AO-40 command station team member Stacey Mills, W4SM, says that AO-40's operating schedule has been modified slightly to reflect the decreasing attitude longitude (ALON).

"As expected, the satellite has lost sun sensor lock, so we are now officially in the 'dead zone'," Mills reported. The satellite is currently in a long period during which Earth eclipses the sun near perigee. These periods will continue well into next June.

The attitude shifting is necessary to compensate for the unfavorable Sun angle, leaving AO-40's antennas pointing away from Earth for several weeks. To save power, the transponder passbands are being turned off at various times, and the RUDAK digital transponder was also scheduled to be off.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for its AO-40 coverage]

IARU Newsletter

Martin, VE3OAT, informed ANS about comments in the IARU Monitoring System December newsletter:

It appears that FM radio signals from the taxi drivers in the San Luis and Sonora, Mexico area are no longer getting into the 2-meter uplink of UO-14.

After much talk and correspondence, this success has been hard won, and has involved a number of people in different roles during the last 18 months. From among all those involved, I would like to express special thanks to Ray Soifer, W2RS, of AMSAT-NA, whose plea to the VHF and Satellite Committee at the 2001 IARU Region 2 Conference in Guatemala City generated extra interest and concern about this and similar problems, and to the Federación Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores (FMRE), especially Lorne Libin, XE1V, for his very effective discussions with COFETEL (the Mexican telecomms adminstration), and again to Alejandro Pereida, XE2BSS, for his thorough technical analysis of the problem and for his persistence in pursuing it from beginning to end.

Congratulations gentlemen, and thank you!

[ANS thanks the IARU for this information]

Honors for G3YJO

Ray, W2RS, informed ANS that the 2002 Honors List included a knighthood for Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, "for services to microsatellite engineering." Ray passed on his congratulations, noting this very well-deserved recognition and the many achievements of G3YJO.

AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, also noted the achievement:

Dear Sir Martin,

It was with great pleasure that I learned of your recent appointment. Your work with SSTL, and your added value to both the educational viewpoint and the development of satellites with international implications brings great credit to you and your colleagues.

On behalf of AMSAT-NA, the Board of Directors, Officers and members, may I offer you our congratulations on this appointment.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

Martin told AMSAT that he was "totally surprised and somewhat awed by receiving this honor," adding, "I'm aware that achievement comes not from just one person but is the result of teamwork, support and friendships without whom nothing would have been possible."

Martin hopped that this recognition of his work will benefit all concerned at Surrey and in AMSAT and that both organizations will continue to strive for new challenges!

[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.