August 25, 2002

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AMSAT-NA Presiden't Letter

Well, I hope all of our Northern Hemisphere members have had a great summer with safe vacations. Last Month I had the pleasure of representing AMSAT-NA at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium held at the University of Surrey, Guilford just outside of London, U.K. Of the Papers which were presented, there were three from AMSAT North America, namely one by Tom Clark (W3IWI) about OSCAR-E, one by Bdale Garbee (KB0G) on RUDAK and one by Jerry Brown (K5OE) on Dual Dish Feeds for 23/13 cms. All three papers were very well received and will be updated and presented again at our own Fort Worth Space Symposium and Annual Meeting, in November.

While July 2002 was the wettest July in the UK for ten years, the Colloquium was held in temperatures around 86 degrees F and beautiful sunny days. My congratulations go to the AMSAT-UK committee who organized the event, a very successful effort. As well as my being there to represent AMSAT-NA there were the presidents (or equivalent chairmen) of the AMSATs of UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Israel, and South Africa, this provided an excellent opportunity to exchange views with our overseas colleagues.

At the special request of the team working on the AO-40 RUDAK, I have authorized the spending of a modest sum for building some test equipment. This equipment will enable the amount of time that RUDAK is tested on AO-40 to be reduced, permitting other operations to take place. It is hoped that RUDAK will be available to "Joe Ham" in the next few months, and Bdale Garbee will be giving us more information on RUDAK and its operation in November - so be sure to come to Fort Worth for this valuable information.

Also to be discussed by Bdale is "Why we cannot use the Transponders and RUDAK both at the same time".

On another topic, I would like to bring to your notice the recent work of three of our members who have given a great deal of their time in preparing AMSAT position papers for the FCC. In a previous letter I have already mentioned that our Amateur Satellite Service frequencies in the 2.4GHz band are under attack from those wishing to use the frequencies commercially, and are also unlicensed, additionally I have also mentioned the FCC Notice of Prepared Rule Making (NPR) on Orbital Debris. Well, these three members have written, discussed, modified, edited, re-written, etc. the AMSAT-NA responses to the FCC on these very important topics.

I must publicly thank Bill Tynan W3XO Chairman of the Board, Perry Klein W3PK VP Government Affairs, and Ray Soifer W2RS VP International Affairs for their very hard work and for the many hours that they spent on our behalf.

If you would like to see the results of their efforts please look at our filings web page. (

These topics will continue to be debated for some time to come, and Bill, Perry and Ray will, I am sure, continue to work these issues on our behalf. Thank you all three! Plus the several others who have supported you, by offering their thoughts and comments on the drafts.

Finally, to all the membership and those who would like to become an AMSAT member "Don't forget to make your reservations to Fort Worth". This is another opportunity to meet with the Board of Directors, to look for answers and to provide your input to your organization. I look forward to seeing you there!".

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS Thanks Robin Haighton, President AMSAT-NA, for this information]

AO-40 Frequently Asked Questions Web Page Updated

Steve VK5ASF says he has received a lot of feedback, thoughts, and contributions to the AO-40 FAQ. He thanks everyone for your support. There was some overlap in feedback in some areas, but he hopes he hasn't missed anything that anyone supplied.

It's now complete (except for tidying up the layout and HTML). It's at the same URL as before ( There have been over 700 accesses to it since it was announced so there seems to be a lot of interest!

He is now looking for final feedback (on content only - the way MS Word presents itself in the prototype version is planed to be turned into proper HTML before it goes on the AMSAT site(s).

The main changes have been:

[ANS thanks Steve VK5ASF for the above information.]

OSCAR-11 Report

19 August 2002

The period from 15 July to 18 August has been an eventful one for OSCAR-11. The normal diary sequence was heard on 145.826 MHz, up to and including 22 July. On 24 July to 01 August the beacon was heard transmitting continuous ASCII telemetry only. On 05 August the VHF beacon was silent. This was the first interuption of continuous service since March 1998.

Initial attempts by ground control to command the satellite failed. They had noted some difficulties in the past, when the satellite was cold (which it is at the present time). However, on 17 & 18 August the VHF beacon was heard once again, transmitting ASCII telemetry only.

Throughout this eventful period, the telemetry has been nominal, and the mode-S beacon has been heard normally.

The internal temperatures have increased by two degree C. They are now +1.2 C and 0 C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. These temperature rises are expected to continue during the next few months, due to the reduction in solar eclipse time.

The battery voltage observed during daylight passes has increased by 0.6 volts. The average value observed was 13.4 with a range of 1.1 to 13.8 volts.

While the diary cycle was operating, the spin period varied between 353 and 373 seconds. There were 76 Z axis, zero plus spin, and 67 negative spin magnetorquer firings during these nine days. Examination of the magnetometer channels of recent telemetry indicates that the spin period is now around 950 seconds, indicating that the attitude control is not operating.

While the diary cycle was operating the SEU count rate has continued to remain stable at 1150 counts per day. Decoding the SEU binary telemetry shows six memory locations 39C0, 21C0 3EC0, 37B1, 180 and F96 have failed.

The WOD survey of channels 1, 2, 3, 61 (X, Z, Y magnetometers and status) dated 22 May 2002 was transmitted until the diary cycle stopped. This survey shows an unusually long spin period of 1800 seconds. The WOD may now be downloaded from my web site, details below.

The mode-S beacon on 2401.5 MHz has been heard by many stations including KA4YMY, WA6FWF, Wl7BQM, OZ1MY, Laurent F-SWL, OE6AG, ZL2MN, OE1VKW, GM3OGI, G8VR, VE7BPB and K3EL. These reports indicate that the recent problems on OSCAR-11 have not effected the operation of this beacon. Roy VE7BPB has detected weak sidebands 2400 Hz either side of the main carrier, with his Spectran program. This suggests that the modulation may be a continuous tone of 2400 Hz, instead of AFSK. Many thanks for all those reports.

Some time ago, Joe G3ZCZ/VK suggested that a telemetry archive for OSCAR-11 would be useful, especially for educational projects.

I agreed, and have now started the archive on my website. Initially it is just for the current year, and 2001. I will add other years as time permits. In parallel there is a news archive which provides an overview of the state of the satellite, at the times when the telemetry was captured.

Telemetry from 1993 to 2000 should be relatively easy to archive, as I already have the data on disk. Data prior to 1993 will take a lot longer to archive, as I have to convert it from tape to disk. A tedious process! The early data is often of poor quality, and there are many long gaps where no recordings were made.

If anyone out there can provide any data, particularly for the 1984 to 1993 years, this would be most appreciated. Please e-mail me with details. However please DO NOT SEND ANY FILES, before futher discussion.

The telemetry archive is at Visit the OSCAR-11 page.

The normal operating schedule for OSCAR-11 is currently suspended, and the VHF beacon transmits continuous ASCII telemetry.

The mode-S beacon is ON, nominally transmitting an unmodulated carrier on 2401.5 MHz. There is however a VERY low level of AFSK modulation which has been detected on strong signals. Telemetry indicates that the beacon has partially failed, and is delivering half power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, as an alternative to OSCAR-40. However the signals are very weak, and there is a lot of Doppler. Users should also note that the polarisation of OSCAR-11 is LHC. Even if you can't hear OSCAR-11, your equipment may still be OK for OSCAR-40. Any reports of reception on 2401.5 MHz would be most welcome. Please e-mail

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e., within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting my web site.

The web site contains details of hardware required and some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. Also included are some audio files, examples of each type of data transmitted by OSCAR-11, each one plays for about ten seconds. There are also examples of mode-S reception. All the audio files are zipped, so that they can be played off-line. These should help listeners identify the various types of data, and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful decoding.

The URL is

If you place this bulletin on a terrestrial packet network, please use the bulletin identifier $BID:U2RPT76.CWV, to prevent duplication.

[ANS thanks Clive G3CWV ( for the above information.]

AO-40 Update

Due to prolonged eclipses and worsening squint angles, the RUDAK unit has been turned off until conditions improve.

M QST AMSAT OSCAR-40 2002 Aug 18
                        ALON/ALAT ~ 30/0
*** RUDAK has been discontinued until conditions improve. ***
   We will continue to increase ALON to move ahead of the sun.
               *** See N-block for schedule.***
         The AO-40 team would like your telemetry files!
Please "zip" compress your daily telemetry files and e-mail to:

N  QST AMSAT AO-40  S2 Downlink    @=variable    2002-08-18
        MA      020   030   076   OFF@  216   240   020
        MB       |  *  |     |  *  |     |  *  |  *  |
        RUDAK    |     |     |     |  *  |     |     |
        V-Rx     |     |     |     |  *  |     |  *  |
        U-Rx     |  *  |  *  |  *  |     |  *  |     |
        Passband |     |     |  UL |     |  UL |     |

[ANS thanks Stacey W4SM and the AO-40 Command Team for the above information.]

ktrack Available for Linux

Luc Langehegermann LX2GT is pleased to announce the first release of ktrack, a Linux/KDE3 satellite tracking program.

Some of its features include:

You can get it at

[ANS thanks Luc LX2GT ( for the above information.]

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule at 2002-08-19

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

For information about educational materials available from ISS partner space Agencies, please refer to links on the ARISS Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are interested in supporting an ARISS contact, then you must fill in an application. The ARISS operations mentor team will not accept a direct request to support an ARISS contact.

You should also note that many schools think that they can request a specific date and time. It does not work that way. Once an application has been accepted, the ARISS mentors will work with the school to determine a mutually agreeable date.

Websites that may be of interest include:

Your completely filled out application should be returned to the nearest coordinating ARISS region if your specific region is not listed. E-mail is the preferred method of submitting an application.

Here are the email addresses:

ARISS-Canadave2ka@rac.caDaniel LamoureuxVE2KA
ARISS-Europejh.hahn@gmx.netJ. HahnDL3LUM / PA1MUC
ARISS-Japaniaru-r3@jarl.or.jpKeigo KomuroJA1KAB
ARISS-Russian2ww@attbi.comValerie AgabekovN2WW/UA6HZ
ARISS-USAARISS@arrl.orgThe American Radio Relay League
ARISS-Australiave2ka@rac.caDaniel LamoureuxVE2KA
ARISS-New Zealandve2ka@rac.caDaniel LamoureuxVE2KA

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

2002-08-22 04:25 UTC to 2002-08-23 10:25 UTC EVA
ARISS contacts are off limits the day before, the day of, and the day after EVAs.

Jamboree Station, The Netherlands, PI4RIS
1st choice 2002-08-24 11:55 UTC
2nd choice 2002-08-25 12:35 UTC
3rd choice 2002-08-25 10:59 UTC

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
1st choice 2002-09-04 09:44 UTC
2nd choice 2002-09-02 10:01 UTC

Whitson Crew Pick, Stanley Clark School, South Bend, IN direct via W9AB
1st choice 2002-09-05 16:23 UTC
2nd choice 2002-09-06 15:26 UTC

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

Whitson Crew Pick, St. Mark's Lutheran School, Hacienda Heights, CA
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

Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Euro Space Center, Transinne, Belgium, direct via ON4ESC or Telebridge

Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Royal Technical School Belgian Air Force, Sint Truiden, Belgium
Direct via ON4BAF

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

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

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there., click on English (sorry I don't know French). You are now at; 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.

Charlie Sufana AJ9N
One of the ARISS operation team mentors

[ANS Thanks ARISS 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 Dave Johnson, G4DPZ,