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Robin Haighton, President of AMSAT-NA, provided the members with an update on the status of the fund raising campaign in currently in progress.
Robin wrote, "This message is to keep you all informed on the results of the fall funding campaign. More details will appear in my December President's letter.
First - the challenge of raising $2000 toward the Eagle Earth sensors has been met, therefore the two anonymous donors will provide the extra $2000 to purchase one Earth sensor. Any more donations, that are specifically designated, will go toward the second earth sensor.
We have a number of new donors to the President's Club at Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. As of December 3 we have 76 new "Core Level" donors. It seems that the "Core Level" has become quite popular with AMSAT members, and our objective is to get many more donors to support our satellite building programs.
Who will be our 100th donor?
Whoever it is, will get a free one year membership in AMSAT. Based on the current rate of return, I suspect that the 100th donor form will arrive at Silver Spring about one week from now."
Robin Haighton VE3FRH
[ANS thanks Robin Haighton VE3FRH for the above information.]
AMSAT received a message this week from Oliver Amend DG6BCE and the German Amateur Radio Association announcing the planned launch of an amateur radio payload "SAFIR-M" aboard a German scientific satellite named "RUBIN-2". The launch is scheduled for 20th of December 2002 from Baikonur into an 650 km orbit with 65 degree inclination.
SAFIR-M is a project of a group called Arbeitskreis Amateurfunk und Telekommunikation in der Schule, or AATiS e.V. Its English translation means "Working Group for Amateur Radio and Telecommunications in Schools."
SAFIR-M was developed in close cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Pforzheim, Germany under the leadership of Henning Rech DF9IC and his team. The main purpose of the satellite is to give students easy access to space communications. It will have a downlink at 145.825 MHz with AX.25, 9k6 packet as well as an optional voice message beacon. The uplink is at 435.275 MHz (AX.25, 1k2), offering Mode B operation. The callsign will be DP0AIS.
SAFIR-M is designed as a "store and broadcast" system for APRS based messages, dedicated for the use of schools in combination with the existing WX-Net and planned buoy experiments in Germany. It extends German space educational activities to an European and global base.
Details on SAFIR-M can be found on http://amend.gmxhome.de. Information about AATiS e.V. is available under http://www.aatis.de. The SAFIR-M homepage is still in German, but work is underway to add the information in English.
[ANS thanks Oliver DG6BCE (DG6BCE@aatis.de) for the above information.]
Last week it was announced that the Russian launch of their Mozhaetz satellite also carried the RS-20 payload. The downlink frequencies were listed as 435.319 MHz and 145.828 MHz. The initial report of the launch indicated that CW telemetry could be heard on these downlinks. Not much was heard from RS-20 for the first couple of days. Then signal reports began to appear from around the world.
Mineo Wakita JE9PEL reported:
I heard good CW signal of RS-20 by using ALSAT-1 keps on 435.3185 MHz +/- Doppler, every approximately 15 seconds, at 23:09:00-23:22:00 UTC, 1 Dec 2002. Recordings of RS-20 are at
(wav 2322 KB) http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hamradio/je9pel/21202r20.wav
(mp3 527 KB) http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hamradio/je9pel/21202r20.mp3
Don Woodward KD4APP reported:
I just heard RS-20 at 0214 UTC (Tuesday Decembe 3, 2002) on a very low pass (maximum 3 degrees). It was very loud. Sounded like random CW - I have posted a MP3 file on my satellite sounds page on my website, http://kd4app.webhop.org
Ib Christoffersen OZ1MY reported:
During this pass with AOS at 2014 UTC on 1 December, the new Russian satellite was heard again. Again this time on 70 cm (435.319 MHz). The downlink signal looked like telemetry - but I can not read that. The satellite was in easy reach of Moscow. Therefore I think they were uplinking and downlinking to/from the satellite. The keps for Alsat-1 seems to be correct for the new one (Mozhayets).
Discovering an additional mode besides the announced CW telemetry, some thought that the new telemetry on the Russian Mozhaetz satellite sounded like two tone FSK, 1200 and 2400 hertz. Howard G6LVB thought that the MixW2 software could be used to decode the FSK signal. He suggested to try the following:
1. First set to RTTY mode and check that it works OK.
2. In the Mode -> Mode Settings menu.
a. Set the RX frequency to 1800;
b. Over-key the Shift to 1200;
c. Over-key the baud rate to 1200 or 300 as appropriate;
d. Set the Charset to ASCII8;
e. You may or may not find the Inverted bit might be needed.
[ANS thanks everyone for their RS-20 information.]
ANS welcomes the opportunity to publish your good news of success in working a new satellite, new DX, new mode, etc. We also print reports about what space related activities your local satellite groups and ham clubs are doing. Send your operating reports to JoAnne (email@example.com) and they will be printed here.
Greg N0ZHE sent a report of a Thanksgiving weekend contact with the ISS in the visual wavelengths. Greg wrote, "In the evening of Thanksgiving day John KA0OXY and I both went out to the back yard to watch a visual pass of the ISS and the docked space shuttle fly over our location in EM17. The elevation was at 40 degrees, passing from the SW to NE. At about two-thirds the way through the pass we watched the ISS vanish into thin air as it went into the Earth's shadow."
"On Saturday, November 30, we went out to watch the ISS and space shuttle, still docked, fly over again on a SW to NE pass. We saw the station vanish into the Earth's shadow as it did two evenings previously."
"Before this pass had started, I had put a call out on the local repeater to Ron N5SMJ. Ron was not available at the time but Dan KB0LYK returned my call. As I told Dan about the upcoming visual pass of the ISS/space shuttle Conrad KB0FCL came on asking for more details. I heard other stations on my mobile rig announcing they had a visual on the ISS."
"By the end of the pass our count on who had seen the ISS now included KB0LYK and wife, WD0ACB, N0IEG, KC0FCL, N0IDW, KA0OXY, N0ZHE and many other non-hams."
[ANS thanks KK5DO, N0ZHE, and NE0P and congratulates PA3GJE and AA9NF for this week's operating news.]
You are cordially invited to participate in the 30th annual Straight Key Night on OSCAR, conducted by AMSAT-NA for radio amateurs throughout the world.
There are no rules, no scoring and no logs required. Just operate CW on any OSCAR satellite, using a straight hand key, from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC on 1 January 2003, working as many SKN stations as you can. The moon (OSCAR Zero) counts too.
In keeping with the friendly nature of this event, each participant is asked to nominate one of the operators worked for "Best Fist." It is not necessary that your nominee have the best fist of anyone you heard, just of those you worked. Please send your nomination to W2RS via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, via packet radio at W2RS @ WA2SNA.NJ.USA.NA, or by mail. Those nominated will be recognized in an ANS bulletin to be published in early February, and in The AMSAT Journal.
[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, for the above information]
Dave WB6LLO issued a call for additional stations to become net control stations of the Beacon+20 Net on AO-40. Noting how often the net convenes Dave said, "it is directly dependent on the number of net control volunteers we have available."
Dave continued, "Due to the varying availability of AO-40 access coupled with the commitments we all have, it makes regular scheduling of nets an impossibility. That fact also applies to terrestrial nets, but at least we have the advantage of predicting positive communications a fairly reasonable period in advance."
Dave has proposed rotation of available net control stations. He said, "With your tracking program it is easy to predict a sufficiently accurate schedule in advance. If YOU are the next in line, YOU decide when you can conduct a net. YOU may need a break when your turn comes along. In that case, simply inform the next in line until you can find the time again."
Dave invited those interested in this proposal to contact him by e-mail at email@example.com.
[ANS thanks Dave WB6LLO for the above information.]
Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station on Monday, December 2, 2002, leaving behind the Expedition 6 crew who are all licensed amateur operators. Commander Ken Bowersox is KD5JBP. NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit is KD5MDT. Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin RV3FB.
After final farewells among the STS-113 and Expedition 5 and 6 crews, the hatches between the spacecraft were closed. Following a series of pressure and leak checks, Endeavour gently undocked from the station as the two spacecraft flew over northwestern Australia.
As Endeavour departed the station, Bowersox rang the ship's bell on board and wished the crew a safe landing. Endeavour Commander Jim Wetherbee wished the Expedition 6 crew "fair winds." After a one-quarter-lap fly-around of the station, Pilot Paul Lockhart fired a final separation burn of Endeavour's engines to begin its final departure from the station.
All major mission objectives were accomplished during Endeavour's stay at the ISS. The 14-ton Port One truss segment, one of 11 such structures that will form the station's backbone, was delivered and installed over the course of three spacewalks by Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington.
With its latest addition, the station's mass stands at 197 tons, or about 400,000 pounds. Returning home after spending 178 days on the station is the Expedition 5 crew -- Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev.
[The above report is based upon NASA briefings submitted by Arthur N1ORC.]
Claudio Ariotti IK1SLD forwarded the farewell packet message from the ISS Expedition 5 crew:
*** CONNECTED to RS0ISS-1 [03-Dec-02 00:19:00] Logged on to RS0ISS's Personal Message System on board the International Space Station CMD(B/H/J/K/KM/L/M/R/S/SB/SP/ST/SR/V/?)> r 867 Stat : BR Posted : 02/12/02 07:03 To : ALL From : RS0ISS @ BBS : xID : Subject: GOOD BY! DEAR FRIENDS! WE WERE SO HAPPY TO LIVE AND WORK SIX MONTHS ON BOARD OF ISS. WE WERE GLAD TO USE HAM RADIO TO HAVE PMS AND VOICE CONTACTS WITH YOU LIVING ON THE PLANET EARTH. IT WAS VERY NICE TO MEET IN AI OUR OLD FRIENDS WITH WHOM WE HAVE HAD COMMUNICATION WITH STATION MIR. APPRECIATED! IT WAS ALSO GREAT TO MEET NEW OPERATORS FROM BIG COUNTRIES AND SMALL AND UNUSUAL CORNERS OF OUR PLANET. ISS FAN CLUB HAS A LOT OF INFORMATION ABOUT ISS AND ARISS. GREETINGS FOR MEMBERS OF THE CLUB! WE WISH EVERYONE ALL THE BEST! WE WILL MISS YOU! 73! CREW OF EXPEDITION 5 ISS VALERY KORZUN, PEGGY WHITSON, SERGEY TRESHEV.
Information about the ISS Fan club can be found at http://www.issfanclub.com.
[ANS thanks Claudio IK1SLD for the above information.]
A major disaster struck southern Germany on Thursday 7 November, claiming numerous victims and cutting the town of Ulm off from the rest of the world. Except all the victims were actually actors and the 'disaster' was really a pre-scripted event.
In reality, Ulm was the site of a full-scale trial of the new DELTASS (Disaster Emergency Logistics Telemedicine Advanced Satellites System) system, developed by a team lead by CNES for the European Space Agency (ESA).
DELTASS uses both geostationary and low earth orbit communication satellites enabling 'top-down' management of emergency workers dispersed across a disaster zone, as well as letting medical experts located hundreds of miles away carry out on-the-spot diagnoses of casualties.
Such a fail-safe communication system for emergency telemedicine greatly multiplies the effectiveness of rescue workers within the affected area, especially as existing communications networks might not have survived.
"A major accident does as much invisible as visible harm," said Francesco Feliciani, DELTASS Project Manager at the European Space Agency. "Apart from the damage to terrestrial communications infrastructure done by the likes of an earthquake or floods, the first thing that becomes unavailable is the cellular network, which quickly gets overloaded. We saw this in the Toulouse chemical factory explosion last year."
Using DELTASS, search and rescue workers entering a disaster area to identify casualties carry PDAs and satellite phones to transmit details of the victims, opening 'electronic patient forms' that stay with casualties throughout their treatment process and can be progressively updated.
First aid and ambulance teams are equipped with Portable Telemedicine Workstations for two-way communication with medical experts at a nearby Medical Field Hospital. Patient data such as ECGs and vital signs can be transmitted along with still images of injuries.
And at the hub of the DELTASS system is this Medical Field Hospital, set up within the disaster area. It is from here that mobile teams' activities are co-ordinated, patients are gathered, treated and their data tracked, and decisions are made about evacuating them elsewhere.
Broadband communication links enhances patient treatment, enabling video conferencing with hospital staff in another country as well as telediagnosis techniques such as ultrasound.
Francesco Feliciani explained: "Most of all DELTASS allows us to 'follow' each patient from his first contact with the search and rescue team through the quite complex chain of events that characterizes the diagnostic and therapeutic intervention, distributed over time and space."
During the DELTASS baptism of fire, a Mobile Field Hospital was placed in Ulm along with three search and rescue teams, a mobile ambulance and a Portable Telemedicine Workstation.
The trial proved a great success, with several actors playing 'victims', relayed by ambulance to the Mobile Field Hospital. A live teleconsultation link was established with a hospital in Berlin, standing in as a second opinion reference hospital.
The DELTASS project commenced in July 2001. ESA worked on it with a number of partners including CNES and the French space medicine institute MEDES.
"DELTASS is an integrated solution where several hardware and software elements are used together" Francesco Feliciani said. "The real challenge was adapting and combining these elements to create a coherent set-up enabling emergency telemedicine.
"Now, following this demonstration, we are negotiating with the DELTASS team to launch a co-funded project to bring it to a real utilization phase, to be operated by real users for actual emergency cases. We will hear more about this system in coming months!"
[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information.]
Link to the weekly report on satellite ...
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. RS-20. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Senior Editor JoAnne Maenpaa, WB9JEJ, email@example.com