August 18, 2002

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ISS Eva to Deploy New ARISS Antennas

Two EVAs are scheduled to occur on August 16 & August 23. The plan is to deploy the last two ISS Ham radio antennas (WA1 and WA2) during the August 23 EVA. The antennas will be installed along the perimeter of the aft end of the service module, closest to the Soyuz docking port. WA1 will be located at the 8 o'clock position and WA2 will be located at the 4 o'clock position. FYI, 6 o'clock is down (Earth Pointing) and 12 o'clock is up. The EVA to deploy these is planned to start around 3:30 UTC on August 23.

A picture of all four antennas prior to shipment is shown at (216k file)

FYI, on-orbit photo of the WA4 antenna prior to deployment is shown at (92k file)

We have uploaded two on-orbit photos of the WA3 antenna, shown at the 10 o'clock position on the aft end of the service module. These are located at (181k file) (174k file)

The following paper has some great pictures and diagrams which depict the entire ISS ham system, including the antenna systems. This paper is probably big for some that have low bandwidth internet capabilities. The file is about 800K.

The ARISS-U.S. team is working with our Russian counterpart, Sergej Samburov, RV3DRto support this EVA. The U.S. team will be supporting this EVA from the control centers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Russian team will be supporting this at the TSUP (Mission Control Center) in Korolev (Moscow area).

[ANS thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO ARISS International Chairman for the above information.]

European Space Campers Chat with US Astronaut Aboard ISS

US Astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, was the guest of honor via ham radio August 7 of more than 100 youngsters attending space camp in Belgium. The direct contact between NA1SS aboard the International Space Station and ON4ESC at the Euro Space Center, which is hosting the camp, was arranged and coordinated via the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, said that because the youngsters spoke either Dutch or French, a computer program was used by those translating the astronaut's English, which displayed the translations on a screen. Campers ranged in age from 8 to 15.

Among other things, Whitson talked about what got her interested in becoming an astronaut. "When I was nine, I watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon," she told the youngsters, "and I thought that it would be a very special job to be able to be an astronaut."

The ARISS contact got widespread media coverage in Belgium.

The space camp contact marked Whitson's third such QSO for ARISS. On August 2, Whitson answered questions from 15 students via 8N3ISS at the Kansai Ham Festival 2002 in Hirakata, Japan. On July 3, Whitson had a successful direct contact with DN1SZA at the Progymnasium Rosenfeld in Germany.

In other ARISS news, NASA has announced that it will deploy the last two ISS amateur radio antennas during the second of two space walks set for August. The two VHF-UHF flexible tape antennas will be installed August 23 along the perimeter of the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module -- the crew's living quarters.

Expedition 5 Crew Commander Valery Korzun, RZ3FK, and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, RZ3FU, will carry out the space walk. Installation of the new antenna on the Zvezda Service Module will make possible two separate ham stations aboard the ISS -- one on 2 meters and the other on 70 cm. Plans call for installing HF gear at NA1SS, as well as higher power VHF and UHF equipment.

ARISS is an international project sponsored jointly by ARRL, NASA and AMSAT. More information is available on the ARISS web site Information for this report was provided by Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, and by NASA.

[ANS thanks The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 31 for the above information.]

RUDAK Testing Continues


Testing of three different DSP modulators has been done during the AO-40 RUDAK windows over the US. Two worked, one didn't. Further testing on the 153k6 experiment is planned for future RUDAK windows.

The recent testing included an AFSK signal that briefly produced an FM carrier with a 1 KHz tone modulating it.

A "pseudo-ZRO" test was left running. It puts out a carrier at 2401.864 that starts out at full power and reduces power by 3dB every 10 seconds. It goes down to 45 dB below the full power level. WD0E reports he can detect the signal until it goes below -42 and -45 dB. This calibrated, weak signal provides a good test of your receiving capability.

Note that some IMD products are present when this signal is at higher power levels. Specifically, when just the 9k6 FM downlink is on there are IMD products above and below it about 53 kHz. When the 'ZRO' carrier is also on additional IMD products are generated. One is about 30 kHz below the FM signal, another is about 50 kHz above the FM signal. Don't be confused by those. The 'ZRO' signal is a pure carrier, no modulation. We would like to hear how well the 'ZRO' signal can be heard a low levels. Reports to please. The 'ZRO' code will be allowed to run as much as possible but may not be on if that hardware is needed for other testing.

The purpose of this code is to further our understanding of how to program the DSP hardware. The objective remains to produce easily usable links to RUDAK.

[ANS thanks Jim WD0E for the above information.]

Super ZRO Test Using a Distant Pioneer

There was another Pioneer 10 contact on Sunday, 7/14/02. The Deep Space Station near Madrid found the signal but was unable to consistently lock onto the receiver. The signal level was reported at -185 dBm, just about at the threshold value.

During the three hour pass, lock could only be held for about a minute. The uplink from Goldstone, California sent Saturday, 7/13/02, confirmed that the spacecraft signal is still there.

Pioneer 10 is currently at a distance from Sun of 80.82 AU, traveling at a speed relative to the Sun of 12.24 km/sec (27,380 mph). The current distance from Earth to Pioneer 10 is 12.21 billion kilometers (7.59 billion miles) with a round-trip tight time of 22 hours 37 minutes.

In March 2002, when contact was last established with Pioneer 10, it was at a distance of 79.7 AU with a received downlink signal strength at about -183 dBm.

[ANS thanks SpaceDaily for the above information.]

Watching TV Over the Moon

Dr. Anthony Mann of the Physics department at the Western Australian University has created a receiving system which allows him to tune in television signals from the US.

Tony has been a DX TV enthusiast for decades, using his scientific credentials to stretch the laws of physical limits in order to "See further and further, unaided by satellites or wire". His latest accomplishment, apparently a first, is to work out the parameters for using the Moon as a satellite reflector for bouncing TV signals from the USA into Australia.

As regards Tony's gear, he uses an Icom R7000 receiver, a Jaycar 91-element UHF antenna fitted with GaAs-FET 20dB masthead amplifier.

So far there's nothing very special about that except that the antenna is mounted on a tripod 1.5 meters above ground with the ability to adjust both azimuth and elevation to track the Moon in his sky.

Fortunately a Moon setting in Oklahoma is well above the horizon in Perth, Western Australia.

The signal Tony receives is tiny, very tiny, and not enough to produce a picture he can watch or even sound he can listen to. At this stage, it's not about watching Bugs Bunny cartoons, it's all a bit more scientific than that.

Knowing the transmitters frequency to within a few Hertz, yes that's right Hertz, is essential as what Tony is searching for is a "beat note" indication that a carrier signal is present on the Icom receiver.

By using web amateur "Moon bounce" web sites he was able to calculate the Doppler shift for a group of likely TV stations, and then got hold of a precise TV station's transmitting frequency down to the last two Hertz; i.e., 501.248XXX, the X's being the Doppler shift migrated.

Results this year have included signals originating in Oklahoma and Indiana.

You can read more about Dr. Tony Mann's television reception experiments at  (this is case sensitive)

[ANS thanks Bill Pasternak WA6ITF and the Amateur Radio Newsline for the above information.]

AMSAT-UK 2002 Pub Quiz with Answers

Answers to AMSAT-UK Pub Quiz 2002 - With Corrections

1). What is the oldest in orbit semi-functional amateur spacecraft?


2). Amsat-Oscar-40 carries a camera experiment that is used by the Command Team for attitude determination, it is called YACE. What does the acronym YACE stand for?

ANSWER: Yet Another Camera Experiment

3). The YACE camera is off-pointing with respect to the spin axis of AO-40, which natural object was used recently to calibrate "how" off-pointing the camera is?

ANSWER: The Moon

4). In AO-40 telemetry what blocks sometimes contain the Whole Orbit Data information?
A). A, D
B). K, L, E
C). Q
D). K, L, M, N


5). In July is the Earth closer to the Sun than in January?


6). What does TCP/IP stand for?

ANSWER: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

7). Which country is allocated the callsign series 6CA-6CZ?


8). What do the morse characters [sing it] dah-di-dah-dit dah-dah-di-dah spell?


9). Which amateur satellite was given the OSCAR number 35?


10). What was the operational lifetime of AMSAT-OSCAR-6?

ANSWER: 4.5 years

11). What was the highest frequency beacon on AMSAT-OSCAR-13?

ANSWER: 2400.664 MHz (2.4 GHz will do)

12). What was Doppler's first name?

ANSWER: Christian Andreas
NOTE: The answer for Surrey was "Johann", because my text books are incorrect ... you learn something new every day!

13). How many moons orbit Mars?


14). What are "Hammer-Aitoff", "Mercator", and "Mollweide" collectively known as?

ANSWER: Map Projections

15). Who wrote in 1950: "THE ROCKET motor is unique among prime movers in two respects -- its independence of any external medium, and its ability to generate colossal thrusts and powers"?

ANSWER: Arthur C. Clarke

16). What was the first spacecraft to orbit Mars?

ANSWER: Mariner 9

17). In what year was INTELSAT's first satellite (Early Bird) launched?

ANSWER: [6 April] 1965

18). The first US satellite, Explorer 1 discovered the Van Allen radiation belts. Was it launched in (A) January 1958 or (B) February 1958?

ANSWER: A - 31 January 1958

19). Which Apollo mission was crewed by Scott, Irwin & Worden?

ANSWER: Apollo 15

20). In what US state was Robert Hutchings Goddard professor of physics when he BEGAN experimenting with rockets?

ANSWER: Massachusetts

21). Is a "jacobi" a measure of (A) electric resistance or (B) electromagnetic radiation flux density?

ANSWER: A [Obsolete unit of electric resistance defined in 1848. It is the resistance of a copper wire of length 25 feet which has the mass equal to 345 grains]

22). A hubble is an obsolete unit of distance used in astronomy. Does one hubble equal 9.46052973 x 10 to the power 24 metres - yes or no?


23). Was the obsolete British unit of length - "The Iron" employed in the measurement of (A) Railway/Railroad tracks or (B) Shoes?

ANSWER: B - Shoes

24). What amateur satellite has the NORAD/NASA catalog number of 07530?


25). What amateur satellite has the NORAD/NASA catalog number of 26609?


26). In 1998 Bryan Burrough wrote a book called "Dragonfly". Which orbital object was the setting for this book?


27). In IPS what is the result of 1 2 + DUP + (DUP is pronouced DUPE)


28). What is the oldest satellite built at the University of Surrey still in orbit[ and working ]?

ANSWER: UoSAT 2 / Oscar 11

29). What does the abbreviation "WOD" stand for?

ANSWER: Whole Orbit Data

30). In the AO-40 telemetry stream what block usually follows a K,L,M,N or E block?


31). Since January 1, 1972, most and now all broadcast time services distribute timescales based upon the redefined Coordinated Universal Time, which differs from TAI (Atomic Time) by an integer number of seconds. What is the abbreviation of Coordinated Universal Time?


32). What does the abbreviation DOVE, as in DOVE-OSCAR-17 stand for?

ANSWER: Digital Orbiting Voice Encoder

33). In what year was UoSAT-Oscar-11 launched?

ANSWER: 1984

34). Which was launched first (A) AMSAT-OSCAR-7 or (B) Pioneer 11?

ANSWER: B - Pioneer 11

35). In mythology was Ariane a (1) Greek or (2) Roman heroine?

ANSWER: 1 - Greek

36). The US space probe Pioneer 12 was renamed before launch to what?

ANSWER: Pioneer Venus NOTE: The answer at Surrey was Voyager. This in incorrect. Voyager was known as Mariner Jupiter/Saturn. [Thanks to G3RUH for correction]

37). In what year did the comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 crash into Jupiter?

ANSWER: [16-22 July] 1994

38). To what email address should everyone send in their AO-40 telemetry capture?


39): Who is the baddy in the new Scooby Doo movie?

ANSWER: Scrappy Doo

40). What is the full name of the organization known as "NOAA"?

ANSWER: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tie Break: How many degrees does the Earth rotate in one sidereal day?


As usual all mistakes are mine, and my word is final!

[ANS thanks Paul, VP9MU, G6KCV for the above information.]

ANS in Brief

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT  News Service Senior Editor JoAnne Maenpaa, WB9JEJ,