May 12, 2002

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AO-40 Update

The AO-40 command team reports the satellite has now achieved an improved solar angle, with enough available power to activate the RUDAK, GPS, and CEDEX systems.

In its short lifetime, AO-40's GPS and CEDEX experiments have yielded exciting preliminary data, and the command team, along with the experimenters (including the folks at NASA) are anxious to receive new data.

RUDAK command stations have uploaded the necessary software, and after successful testing, several stations around the world are now downloading RUDAK data.

The GPS apogee receiver seems to be working fine. Three files were downloaded and sent to NASA. A quick look indicated they contained reasonable looking data. Further data analysis will be done soon by the GPS group at Goddard. The plan is to continue to download and forward that data as it is collected.

Data collected last fall indicated unexpectedly strong signals from several orbiting GPS satellites.

The CEDEX experiment was turned on and it was verified it was talking to RUDAK. However, only time stamps were being received. AO-40 command stations will continue to work with the system. The CEDEX data from last fall clearly showed the satellite traveling through the Van Allen belts. It also showed some interesting features just outside the known belts. The measurements of the amount of radiation exposure to the electronics in AO-40 are extremely helpful for future design efforts.

Now that RUDAK is functional, there may be occasional periods, (particularly when it is visible over Australia), that RUDAK is activated briefly outside of the nominal window - to check on the directory status, etc. Please bear with these interruptions. If they occur, they should be of short length. In addition, AO-40 has been experiencing very intense RADAR interference, that makes commanding difficult on U-band and extremely difficult on L-band. This has happened once before (September-October 2001). At that time, it only lasted about a week. If commanding is not possible because of interference on U/L bands, it may be necessary to switch on the V-band receiver. This will turn off the U-band receiver and uplink during this time. Again, please bear with the command team if this becomes necessary, it should be of short duration.

In summary, the command team is pleased the GPS receiver (at least the apogee unit) is functioning normally after this long period in a high radiation orbit. The hope is to get CEDEX fully operational and gather some data from it. Work with the other hardware and experiments will be undertaken as time allows.

Stacey, W4SM, has updated his P3T/AO-40 telemetry program by modifying the output telemetry to include a UDP format, suitable for transmission to the Goddard telemetry server. The UDP option is in the TCP/IP window. The Help file also contains information regarding setting up this feature.

You can get the updated version of P3T at the W4SM web site.

[ANS thanks the AO-40 Command Team for this information]

New AMSAT-France Picosats

AMSAT-France has announced that two French amateur radio picosats were launched on the recent Ariane 4/V151 mission. The main mission satellite on flight V151 was ESA's sophisticated SPOT-5 orbiter.

The two picosats, designed, built and funded by AMSAT-France are battery powered and should work about 40 days. They remained fastened to the third Ariane 4 stage, with an 800-km high orbit.

Both picosats will transmit NBFM voice recorded messages in English, French, German and Japanese, along with 400 baud BPSK telemetry, one on 145.840 MHz and the other on 435.270 MHz.

AMSAT-France President Jean-Louis Rault, F6AGR, reported a QSL card for this mission will be available. Reception reports with QSL requests are encouraged, at the following address:

14 bis, rue des Gourlis
92500 Rueil Malmaison

An SASE and 2 IRC's are required.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-France for this information]

AMSAT-NA at Dayton

The 2002 Dayton Hamvention is this week, and AMSAT-NA will be very active!

The AMSAT booth theme this year is "AMSAT: On the Horizon" in recognition of the new satellite projects, OSCAR-Echo and Eagle.

A new golf shirt design, T-shirts, hats, an updated (and laminated) AMSAT Frequency Guide, an updated Amateur Satellite Resource Guide will all be available at the booth.

Other "must-have" items include the latest Working the Easy Sats manual, a revised Digital Satellite Guide and Analog Satellite Guide, the popular Arrow Antenna, the latest version of WiSP, NOVA, and MacDoppler PRO, Kansas City Tracker units, SSB UEK-3000 S-Band downconverters, newly designed patches and stickers, a new ARISS CD-ROM, a video of ISS contacts and the ham antenna EVA will all be available. All the available software will be demonstrated at the booth, so prospective buyers can check out the operating parameters and screen shots.

Space hardware will be on display, including a mockup of Project Echo, the thermal mass model of PCSat, and the original Microsat mechanical test model.

AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH will be at the AMSAT booth on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

AMSAT will once again offer a membership incentive at Hamvention to encourage new members to join (and current members to renew)!

AMSAT members who are in Dayton on Thursday evening are invited to attend a social "get together" at Marion's Pizza in Beavercreek. Full details are available on the AMSAT-NA web site.

The annual AMSAT Dayton Dinner will take place on Friday evening at the Amber Rose Restaurant in north Dayton. Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, is the keynote speaker.

The AMSAT Forum is scheduled on Saturday from 08:15-09:45 in Room 1. The following presentations are currently scheduled (with Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, Forum Moderator):

KK5YY and other volunteers will be providing demonstrations of UO-14 (and other satellites) from outside the Hara Arena.

AMSAT-NA is looking forward to seeing you at Dayton!

[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 . NO-44 . NO-45 . 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.