September 8, 2002

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AO-40 Update


As of September 9, the AO-40 operating schedule has been updated as below. The beacon off/on time for eclipse has been moved again slightly. It is now off at MA=50 and back on at MA=106.

N  QST AMSAT AO-40  S2 Downlink   @=RUDAK OFF      2002-09-07
         MA      020   050   106   OFF@  216   240   020
         MB       |  *  |     |  *  |     |  *  |  *  |
         RUDAK    |     |     |     |  *  |     |     |
         V-Rx     |     |     |     |  *  |     |  *  |
         U-Rx     |  *  |  *  |  *  |     |  *  |     |
         Passband |     |     |  UL |     |  UL |     |

RUDAK has been discontinued until conditions improve.

Attitude 2002-09-03

The estimated attitude is now approximately ALON/ALAT 45/2. This approximate attitude will be held until 2002-09-18.

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

AO-7 Sighted Optically

AO-7 was sighted optically from Holland, MI (EN62), Sept. 5, 2002 between 01:29 - 01:33 UTC.

The instrument used was a Meade ETX-70 telescope, 70mm objective lens, 350mm focal length and 14x magnification.

AO-7 was first sighted at about 35 degrees elevation and tracked to about 80 degrees elevation. Unfortunately, the telescope got confused when AO-7 neared the zenith and stopped tracking. This was a 89-degree pass.

It was much brighter than expected, 8-7 magnitude, very tiny and star-like at first, white in color, but was brightening to near 6th magnitude when the telescope stopped tracking it.

[ANS thanks Armando, N8IGJ, for the above information.]

ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-09-02 20:00 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 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

Mikve Israel School/ Givatayim Space Observatory, Israel direct via 4Z4SAT
Contact was successful at 2002-09-02 10:00 UTC
Congratulations Givatayim and Peggy Whitson

Jamboree Station, The Netherlands, PI4RIS

Glen Waverley Secondary College, Melbourne Australia, VK3BPU
Option 1: Thursday 2002-09-12 10:50 UTC
Option 2: Friday 2002-09-13 09:50 UTC

Whitson Crew Pick, Martensdale - St. Mary's School, Martensdale, IA
Option #1 2002-09-19 16:30 UTC via ZS6BTD
Option #2 2002-09-19 17:18 UTC via WH6PN
Option #3 2002-09-16 18:35 UTC via WH6PN

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

Lamar Elementary (was Travis), 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.

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

ARISS School Contact

Congratulations to Peggy Whitson operating NA1SS on the ISS and W9AB at Stanley Clark School in South Bend, Indiana on their just completed ARISS contact. The contact was started about 15 to 30 seconds after AOS and ended about predicted LOS. Approximately 3 minutes from the end there was some QRM from a local paging service so you might have heard some dropout.

15 questions were asked. In the audience were some 200 students and about 50 adults. Two of the South Bend TV stations were also there. Thank you for providing live audio of the contact.

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

IPS Programming Page Added to AMSAT-NA Web Site

The OSCAR-40 satellite, like its predecessors P3A, OSCAR-10, and OSCAR-13, has as its "brains" a computer system based on the RCA COSMAC 1802 microprocessor.

The computer is running an operating system called IPS (Interpreter for Process Structures), and loaded into that environment is the flight software that does spacecraft command and control, housekeeping chores, battery charge control, navigation, transponder switching, beacon data generation, and so on.

Work is currently underway to develop a custom processor (currently code named the Am1601). This processor will be optimized for the IPS operating system and will be used in the flight computer for the new AMSAT-NA "Eagle" satellite, and may be used for the proposed AMSAT-DL P3E and P5A satellites as well.

IPS was devised by Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, at a time when 1802, 6502, 6800 and 8080/Z80 processors were state of the art -- around 1976-1979. At that time there just wasn't an easy-to-use, robust, engineering-oriented, multitasking and, above all, portable operating system for cheap computers based on these CPUs and their tiny (boldly described as "massive") 16 kilobyte memories. Computers at that time meant the Atari 800, North Star Horizon, etc. IPS is a brilliant piece of software engineering, as relevant today as it ever was.

But how many people know anything about IPS? Not many nowadays. Here's an opportunity to discover all about it, with a book and IPS emulators for DOS and Windows.

For more details see

[ANS thanks Paul VP9MU for the above information.]

Final Two Ham Antennas Installed Aboard Space Station

The last two Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) antennas were installed last week during a space walk. The installation wraps up work that began last January when the first two of the four Italian-designed antennas were attached to the ISS exterior. During the second of two space walks this month, two members of the Expedition 5 crew attached essentially identical VHF-UHF flexible-tape antennas to the ISS Service Module on August 26.

Installation of the new ARISS antennas on the Zvezda Service Module -- the crew's living quarters -- makes possible two separate ham stations aboard the orbiting outpost -- one for VHF operation, the other for UHF (70 cm). Similar flexible-tape antennas for VHF-UHF and for HF were installed during January space walks by the Expedition 4 crew, although there is not yet any HF gear aboard the ISS.

The newest two VHF-UHF flexible tape antennas -- designated WA1 and WA2 -- were installed along the perimeter of the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module, near the Soyuz docking port.

Frank Bauer, the ARISS Chairman, provided additional details of the new antennas. Frank said, "There are 4 antennas on ISS. Each of these antennas support multi-band operation. Actually 3 of the 4 antennas are identical. Each of these antennas can support 2 meter, 70cm, L band, and S band transmit and receive. They also support reception of GPS and the Russian Glisser EVA TV system. On the fourth antenna, the 2 meter/70cm whip is replaced with a 2.5-meter-long whip (vertical). This antenna will support HF operations, particularly 10 meters."

Frank continues with an overview of future plans for ARISS radio installation, "Right now we could support 70cm operation using the Ericsson radio. We are still waiting for the Russians to certify the use of this equipment with the new antennas. In the near future (Phase 2), we will have a dual-band 2 meter/70cm radio along with the 70cm radio. When these two systems are installed, we probably will hook one up to WA1 and the other to WA2. These are the two downward facing antennas. For a while, each radio system will use a separate antenna system. When we add additional equipment, we will evaluate the antenna uses. For now, we don't have any L band or S band equipment under development, but several ideas are in the works. And, of course, HF operations will use the WA4 (HF) antenna."

The International ARISS team have worked quite hard to bring these antennas to fruition. The Russian provided the feedthroughs and supported the EVAs. The US team did the hardware integration and certification. The Italian team, U.S. team and Russian team all developed portions of the hardware.

[ANS thanks The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 34 and Frank Bauer for the above information.]

ANS in Brief

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT  News Service Editor Lee McLamb, KU4OS,