August 11, 2002

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ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-08-06 07:00 UTC

The ARISS (a joint effort of AMSAT, the ARRL, NASA, the ARISS international partners including Canada, Russia, the European Partners, and Japan) operations team wishes to announce the following very tentative schedule for ARISS school contacts. This schedule is very fluid and may change at the last minute. Remember that amateur radio use on the ISS is considered secondary. Please check the various AMSAT and ARISS webpages for the latest announcements. Changes from the last announcement are noted with (***).

Also, please check for possible live retransmissions ( Listen for the ISS on the downlink of 145.80 MHz.

ISS Expedition 5 crew:
Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD
Sergei Treschev RZ3FU
Valeri Korzun RZ3FK

KANSAI HAM FESTIVAL 2002, Hirakata, Japan direct via 8N3ISS
2002-08-02 08:32 UTC
Congratulations Kansai and Peggy on a successful contact. 15 students had their questions answered. (***)

Euro Space Center space camp direct via ON4ESC
2002-08-07 18:04 UTC (***)

Jamboree Station, The Netherlands, PI4RIS
1st choice 2002-08-24 or 2002-08-25
2nd choice 2002-08-17 or 2002-08-18

Kursk's High School No. 55, Russia, 2001 direct via RK3WXZ
1st choice 2002-08-30 07:57 UTC (***)
2nd choice 2002-08-29 08:53 UTC (***)
3rd choice 2002-08-28 08:14 UTC (***)

Mikve Israel School/ Givatayim Space Observatory, Israel direct via 4Z4SAT
Week of 2002-09-02 TBD (***)

Whitson Crew Pick, Stanley Clark School, South Bend, IN
Week of 2002-09-02 TBD

Whitson Crew Pick, Martensdale - St. Mary's School, Martensdale, IA
Week of 2002-09-09 TBD

Whitson Crew Pick, Silver Hills Middle School, Fairplay, CO
Week of 2002-09-16 TBD

Joamie Ilniarvik, Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada
Week of 2002-09-23 TBD

Whitson Crew Pick, Spruce Hill Christian School (K-8), Philadelphia, PA
Week 2002-09-30 TBD

Glen Waverley Secondary College, Melbourne Australia, VK3BPU

Travis Elementary, Greenville, Texas

Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, Illinois direct via AJ9N
TBD (***)
Look for possible live streaming video, the website is

Center for Educational Technologies, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling,
Telebridge TBD

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site, click on your choice of language, then click on News.

Currently the ARISS operations team has a list of over 40 schools that we hope will be able to have a contact during 2002. As the schedule becomes more solidified, we will be letting everyone know. Current plans call for an average of one scheduled school contact per week.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, for the above information.]

PCSat Activities

As of this morning, PCsat is back into positive power budget. She has entered a week or so of minimum eclipses 30% instead of the nominal 35%. Telemetry serial numbers are in the 200's this morning. At one TLM per minute, anything above 100 minutes means she has made it through her last eclipse.

PCsat has been working fine in sun, and is supporting the position/status reporting of many travelers including an arctic weather station and four Naval Academy Sail boats and many regular users on their summer travels.

Our boats are using 5W HT's with wire dipoles taped to the inside of the fiberglass cabin and we are seeing them on most passes. We have one on PCsat 145.825, one on PCsat 144.39, one on ISS and the 4th is variable trying to hit any of the birds including UO-22 when in view.

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for the above information.]

AO-40 Update


ALON/ALAT is now approximately 25/0. We will continue to move forward slowly over the next few weeks until we reach ALON=45 degrees.


Starting August 13th, AO-40 will begin to experience prolonged eclipses (see table below). In order to deal with these, we will need to turn the S2 transmitter off during the eclipse period. To do this will require two lines of the scheduler. Therefore, we will need to terminate the VRx Wednesday session during this time.

Ephemeris Dated: 2002 Aug 01 [Thu]
                  Entry     Exit      DUR            IN    OUT
DATE              HH:MM:SS  HH:MM:SS  HH:MM:SS  ONO  MA    MA
2002 Aug 13 [Tue] 03:00:32  03:16:19  00:15:47  820  31.1  34.7
2002 Aug 15 [Thu] 12:18:41  13:02:35  00:43:54  823  30.8  40.6
2002 Aug 20 [Tue] 07:07:27  08:28:12  01:20:45  829  32.9  50.9
2002 Aug 25 [Sun] 02:02:32  03:54:43  01:52:11  835  36.4  61.4
2002 Aug 30 [Fri] 16:14:16  18:36:57  02:22:41  842  42.1  74.0
2002 Sep 05 [Thu] 06:36:24  09:17:47  02:41:23  849  50.2  86.2
2002 Sep 10 [Tue] 01:58:57  04:39:23  02:40:26  855  59.8  95.6
2002 Sep 15 [Sun] 17:00:14  18:59:33  01:59:19  862  76.6  103.3
2002 Sep 18 [Wed] 22:52:07  23:08:40  00:16:33  866  95.7  99.4

Transponder Schedule

The schedule has been modified, as of orbit 816 to switch off the middle beacon from MA 30 to 60. Note that the V-Rx sessions have been discontinued for now.

N  QST AMSAT AO-40  S2 Downlink     @=variable   2002-08-09
         MA      020   030   060   188@  216   240   020
         MB       |  *  |     |  *  |     |  *  |  *  |
         RUDAK    |     |     |     |  *  |     |     |
         V-Rx     |     |     |     |  *  |     |  *  |
         U-Rx     |  *  |  *  |  *  |     |  *  |     |
         Passband |     |     |  UL |     | UL2 |     |

RUDAK will be ON the following days:
Aug 11 SUN
Aug 14 WED
Aug 15 THU

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for the above information.]

AMSAT-UK Satellite Colloquium Report

Report on the Amsat-UK Colloquium, 26 to 28 July 2002.

Over 90 delegates attended from 16 countries and four continents; numbers have increased again.

The beginners' sessions were well-attended too; it looked like we had a few more than last year - about 25 in each session; G7HIA, W2RS, and W3IWI all had audiences. And the beginners' live demonstrations on UO-14 proved to be popular again; thanks to W2RS and G7HIA for doing them - contacts across the Atlantic were made with the hand-held equipment. QSL via G7HIA.

We have competitions at the Colloquium; this year we had the usual quiz plus the "Smallest AO-40 Station" and "Best Speakers" awards.

The quiz was won by Pieter PA3FWM with 29 correct answers out of a possible 40. Paul, VP9MU, will be putting this year's questions onto amsat-bb soon.

There were two categories for the AO-40 award: one for the best station demonstrated "live" and one for other submissions. The winner in the "non-attending" class was PE1RAH; take a look at his (and other) submissions at:

The Best Speaker prize was awarded to Craig Underwood, G1WTW; The Best New Speakers award went to Mike Tyrrell, G6GAK, and Phil Masding for their presentation about space photography; fascinating images backed up by many neat software accessories.

This year the G3AAJ Trophy was awarded to Fred and Jenny Southwell, G6ZRU and G1LIT, in recognition of the hard work they put in to Amsat-UK for many years. Amsat-UK would not have survived without their labours; we wish them a well-earned rest.

Measurements were, this year, limited to antenna gain and matching on 1269 MHz and 2400 MHz. Antenna gain measurements were made with reference to a Polarad CA-L standard gain horn antenna, supplied courtesy of the Martlesham Radio Society (G4MRS). In all over 30 measurements were made on the University of Surrey sports field where the antenna test range was set up. The vast majority of measurements were made on 2.4GHz antennas including dishes with helix and patch feeds. The other common antenna type was the multiturn helix. On 1.2 GHz just four antennas were measured.

Command station and UoS clean-room visits were, as usual well supported. The barbecue took place in balmy weather out on the grass beside the lake. We were joined here by a swan with babies; they enjoyed the UoS bread as much as we did. Another activity which is becoming a "regular" is live firing demonstrations of UoS propulsion systems. We weren't disappointed this year; very noisy.

Other items discussed at the Colloquim include:

Bdale, KB0G, made the following points in his talk about RUDAK on AO-40: There are no plans to use RUDAK as an FM repeater (as happened on AO-21). The 9k6 hardware system is about 10 dB less sensitive than expected. If the current DSP tests are successful, there could be a return of the ZRO tests (weak signal reception) on AO-40

AO40 goes far enough out in space to pass through the earth's magnetic bow-shock sometimes (CEDEX talk by G1WTW).

Work has resumed, with some success, on the Israeli GO-32 spacecraft with a view to putting it into amateur BBS service. The Technion Institute decided to hire a radio ham to help them promote the Techsat's BBS issue, and fulfill their promises to the amateur radio community ASAP.

Has anyone heard about the Amsat-ZL project? Check out KiwiSat at

The (unconfirmed) date of next year's event is 25 to 27 July 2003; put it in your diary NOW.

The Proceedings document will be made available within a week or two both in electronic and paper formats. We will make an announcement on amsat-bb when it becomes available.

Images from the event are currently being uploaded to

[ANS thanks Richard G3RWL and AMSAT-UK for the above information.]

International Lighthouse Weekend Satellite Operations

The Eagle Harbor (Michigan) Lighthouse (USA-253) in grid EN57 will be active in the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend Aug. 17-18, using the special 1x1 call K8E. Modes of operation include HF/VHF, CW/SSB, FM satellite and possible HF digital. Collectors of ARLHS numbers can get credit for three upon request: Eagle Harbor Lighthouse USA-253, Front Range Light USA-254 and Rear Range Light USA-255. QSL to N8MR with #10 SASE. Web page is

The Indian River Amateur Radio club will be operating from the Cape Canaveral (FL) Lighthouse (USA-108), Grid EL98. The Cape Canaveral station will be operating using the special callsign N4L. Planned modes of operation include HF CW/SSB, APRS and satellites. Satellite operations are being planned for UO-14, SO-41, ISS, and PCSat.

[ANS thanks Mike, N8MR, and Al, N4TME, for the above information]

Shuttle Flights to Resume

Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore announced Friday that NASA plans to resume shuttle flights in late September, pending successful completion of welding repairs of liquid hydrogen flow liner cracks in the four shuttles' Main Propulsion Systems. Atlantis, which will fly on STS-112, is scheduled to launch no earlier than September 28.

Three cracks on Atlantis will be welded and two on Endeavour, which is slated to launch no earlier than November 2. In addition to the welding repairs, the rough edges on the liner holes will be polished and smoothed to prevent future cracks.

STS-112 will deliver the S1 (S-One) Truss to the International Space Station. Endeavour's flight, STS-113, will deliver the Expedition Six crew and the P1 (P-One) Truss to the station. Space Shuttle Columbia's next mission, STS-107, is slated to lift off no earlier than November 29.

[ANS thanks NASA and Arthur N1ORC for the above information.]

ISS Amateur Radio Status

ISS Amateur Radio Status: August 6, 2002

By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

High Activity on ISS voice and Packet:

It's great to see all of the emails about the ISS crew working many stations on voice. And it's great to see the packet email system (PMS ) being actively used by the ISS crew. The only down side, is we are seeing one of the seasonal peak loads on the ISS station. Whenever there is a lot of press or email about ISS, there will always be an increase in the number of users and or attempted users trying to access the PMS and voice. After a while the newness will wear off and the packet stations pining will drop off and the people calling on voice will drop off. Until the next big story or shuttle launch. Then the user load will go up again. If you are a beginner at ISS packet, then this month may be a bad month to make your first packet connect (geography and time zone dependent).

I have posted several memos on working ISS packet and voice on the MAREX web page. Please review the data and try to have fun.

How to use the ISS voice and packet systems

ISS Packet Operations Manual (PMS) August 5, 2002
How to configure and use Unproto/Round Table on ISS February 27, 2002
Tips for working ISS on Voice July 8, 2001
ISS Packet Interference issues May 28, 2001
How Much power do I need to operate packet on ISS May 28, 2001
Packet Race Condition May 21, 2001
MAREX News ISS Unproto / Round Table Activated April 8, 2001
How to operate APRS

When can I talk to the ISS crew, Lets do the Numbers:

Amateur radio stations world wide. 2,000,000
Assume 10% want to talk to ISS. 20,000
Assume ISS talks to 10 people day: 3,600 total per year
Years required for 10% of the amateur radio population to have a 2-way voice link with ISS = 5.5 years

Actually these numbers are not reality. The ISS crew only has a very small amount of free time to make random contacts. The actual number of people they do talk to per month is much lower. Some of the ISS crews do not have any real amateur radio experience, and those crews usually only use the ISS amateur radio station during formal approved time line school schedules.

The bottom line:

Be grateful that we have the equipment on ISS.
Use experience to improve you success.
Avoid using lots of transmitter power.

Radio Status and Voice Tips:

Current ISS crew:
Valery Korzun RZ3FK
Sergei Yevgenyevich Treschev RZ3FU
Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD

The ISS is currently using an Ericsson portable radio (known as a HT) which is operating on the amateur radio 2-meter band. The Packet Radio System (PRS) is using a PacComm Picopacket 1200 baud Terminal Node Controller (also called a TNC or Packet Radio System). The radio is currently connected to a pair of externally mounted co-phased mono band antennas (2-meter band). The typical power output is 5 watts, with an ERP rating of 5 watts.

The ISS crew is using a set of headphones with mic (David Clark Aviation style), which is then attached to the HT. There are a few minor draw backs to this configuration. The first is, the other crew members can not join into a conversation easily because and there is no external speaker for the system (a speaker upgrade is in development).

The other issue is the noise canceling microphone on the DC headset. The audio level is very low and the ISS crew members must remember to "eat the mic" and talk loud.

The ISS crew is on UTC times, so expect the crew to be awake from 07:00 - 22:00 UTC time. And sleeping from 22:00 - 07:00 UTC (approximately). Make sure you know the difference between your local time and the UTC time.

The ISS crew can only use the amateur radio station, during their OFF times, when all other important work has been completed. Voice contacts are purely random. However your best times to find the crews are during the evening hours on ISS (ISS crews are in UTC time. Best times between 1500 - 2200 UTC).

Good luck all, suggest you get your tape recorders ready and start listening to the ISS channels. Please observer the proper calling procedures.

1. Make sure you are using the correct channel for your country.
2. Wait for ISS crew to call CQ or QRZ.
3. Send only your call sign and wait for crew to acknowledge.
4. Listen closely for the call of the station she is talking to.
5. If you do not hear your call sign, DO NOT TRANSMIT again until you hear the ISS crew member say CQ or QRZ

Please be courteous.

Note: ISS changes channels depending on which part of the word they are over in use

145.80 Downlink Worldwide (Voice and Packet)
144.49 Voice Uplink Regions 2 & 3 (Americas, Asia, Australia)
145.20 Voice Uplink Region 1 (Europe, Africa)
145.990 Packet Uplink world wide

Related NASA indexes:

[ANS thanks Miles Mann, WF1F, for the above information]

ISS Expedition 6 All-Ham Crew

KD5MDT in for KC5FVF on next ISS mission: Astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, has been named to replace Don Thomas, KC5FVF, as a member of the Expedition 6 International Space Station crew. Pettit had been training as backup flight engineer for the increment six team. NASA said the reassignment resulted from a medical issue that affects Thomas' long-duration space flight qualifications. "The demanding nature of long-term space flight requires a conservative approach to crew health issues, especially this early in the program," said Astronaut Office Chief Charlie Precourt, KB5YSQ. Thomas -- a SAREX veteran who's flown on four space shuttle flights and logged more than 1040 hours in space -- has been training for his ISS assignment for more than three years. Pettit will join Expedition 6 Commander Kenneth Bowersox, KD5JBP, and Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin, RV3DB. A chemical engineer who holds a PhD, Pettit served as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico before joining the astronaut corps. Pettit, Bowersox and Budarin all are experienced amateur radio operators. This will mark the third all-ham crew aboard the ISS.

[ANS thanks The ARRL Letter, Vol 21, No 30 for the above information.]

ANS in Brief

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-7 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . 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

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT  News Service Editor Lee McLamb,