April 21, 2002

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Advanced Data Communications

AMSAT-NA's Rick Hambly, W2GPS, recently reminded satellite operators that AMSAT-NA is in the process of developing two new satellites; OSCAR-Echo is being designed to be a LEO EasySat with voice and data capabilities; and Eagle, which is going to be an elliptical bird with linear transponders.

In addition to the standard compliment of transponders, there is room on both satellites for optional payloads.

One such payload under consideration is a transponder to support the development of ADCARS - Advanced Data Communications for the Amateur Radio Service. This project involves the use of a very high speed wideband data communications channel to simultaneously carry multiple voice, data, and video. The characteristics of the channel would be such that link margins and quality of service will be significantly improved over conventional techniques.

The major effort to achieve these goals will be associated with the development of ground station hardware and software. New transmitter, receiver and antenna designs will also be needed. Other technology issues will include modulation, coding, interleaving, and channel access methods.

There are four areas of design and development that are needed to put such a payload on the new satellites. They include transmitter design, receiver design, CPU design, and payload integration.

Can you help?

W2GPS is now appealing to the AMSAT membership at large. Here is your chance to design something that will actually fly in space!

Contact Rick, W2GPS, at for more information.

[ANS thanks Rick Hambly, W2GPS, for this information]

AMSAT-NA at Dayton

AMSAT-NA's Ed Collins, N8NUY, reported to ANS about the upcoming Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT-NA events include:

May 16th:
AMSAT booth setup at Hara Arena will begin. The evening will include a pizza-n-suds get together. Contact N8DUY for more information.
May 17-19:
Hamvention is open and the AMSAT booth will be manned. On Friday, maps to the AMSAT Banquet will be available at the booth.
The annual AMSAT-NA Banquet will be held at Eleanor's Amber Rose in north Dayton. Dinner will be served following the presentation by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. Bob will speak on APRS and the U.S. Naval Academy PCSat satellite.
May 18th:
The AMSAT Forum will be held in Room-1 beginning at 08:15.

For more information about AMSAT Hamvention events, contact N8NUY at

[ANS thanks Ed Collins, N8NUY, for this information]

Atlantis ISS Mission Update

The mission of outfitting the newest components of the International Space Station continued this past week and included the mission's third and forth spacewalks. Shuttle astronauts Steve Smith and Rex Walheim continued installation work on the S-Zero Truss, now permanently attached to the station's U.S. laboratory, Destiny. During the 6?-hour spacewalk, Smith worked from a platform on the station arm, operated by Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa and Flight Engineer Dan Bursch. In addition, Shuttle astronauts Jerry Ross and Lee Morin accomplished the fourth and final spacewalk of the STS-110 mission, with many of their tasks focusing on helping future spacewalkers.

Ross, N5SCW, set a personal best, making his 9th spacewalk during his seven orbital flights. The retired Air Force Colonel set a record for the greatest number of flights and spacewalks by an astronaut or cosmonaut!

Prior to his current flight, N5SCW had logged 1,133 hours in space.

The first space railroad car received its first trial run last Monday, highballing along 26 feet of the track atop the ISS S-Zero (S0) Truss at a maximum speed of one inch per second, or 100 yards an hour.

The 10 crewmembers also participated in a news conference with media representatives at NASA centers in Florida and Houston and at Mission Control Moscow. The event was also carried live on NASA television.

In addition to the news conference, astronaut Dan Bursch talked to an excited group of students at the Quogue School in Quogue, New York. A crowd of 123 fellow students and about 100 parents witnessed the Earth-to-space interview in the school auditorium. This was followed by astronaut Carl Walz being interviewed by youngsters at the Caribbean Preparatory School in Puerto Rico. Both contacts with NA1SS were arranged through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

On Thursday Atlantis left the International Space Station after a successful mission to bring the centerpiece of the station's main truss to the orbiting laboratory and four successful spacewalks to connect and outfit it.

In a related event, the first screening of the Space Station 3D IMAX film took place here on Earth, and is reported to be "breathtaking" by ARISS members. In the movie ham astronaut Bill Shepherd talks to students in the Texas using ARISS equipment. According to ARISS Program Manager Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, "it is the closest way that an individual could experience space without going to it themselves. It was spectacular from the perspective that you really felt like you were there."

[ANS thanks the ARISS group, NASA, the ARRL and ARNewsline 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 . RS-21 . 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 . NO-44 . MO-46

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.