August 28, 2003

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AMSAT-NA President's Reminder

As we approach September, I issue this "Annual Reminder" for various AMSAT activities. If you plan coming to the Annual Meeting and Space Symposium the remember our block of reserved rooms is no longer available after September 17. The current rate of exchange is about $1.00 Cdn = $0.71 US. Thus the rooms advertised as $119 Cdn + tax are about $84.50 + tax. Also, if you register with Martha before September 15th then your registration fee is only $30 US. After September 15, it rises to $35 US and at the door $40 US or 57 Cdn.

The Saturday evening dinner price is fixed at $35 US, however I am pleased to advise that we have received the generous donation of a new ICOM 910H satellite radio as our Grand Prize which will be drawn form all of the tickets for those who register. -- Wow -- Many other valuable prizes have also been donated, including hardware, software, and gift certificates.

As you are aware this year we will welcome at least 2 and maybe more new members, of the Board of Directors. How many new ones depends on your votes, there are 4 places available and 8 candidates. So keep your votes rolling into Silver Spring, keep the Corporate Secretary (Martha) busy counting them, remember if you don't vote, then don't grumble about BoD actions. It's your organization so vote for your choice of candidates. As we have over 4500 members I would like to find out how high Martha can count! All ballots must be received by the close of business on September 15.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President, AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH, for the above information]

VUSat Update

VUSat is a 40 kg micro-satellite to be launched onboard PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) from Sriharikota launch range. It will be a co-passenger along with another remote sensing satellite (most likely IRS-P6) to be launched on the same vehicle.

It is cubical in structure of about 630mm x 630mm x 550mm size.

It has body-mounted solar panels on the four sides. Antennae for communication are mounted on the top, the bottom portion interfaces with the launcher.

VUSat is a spinning satellite in a synchronous polar orbit of about 917 km (LEO).

The bus electronics performs the functions of attitude control, telemetry, telecommand and data acquisition and is controlled by a single microprocessor.

Satellite Telecommand (TC) and Telemetry (TM) are on the VHF band.

VUSat Payload

There will be two transponders: Indian and Dutch as main and redundant systems. Both of them will be operating in Mode-B configuration with UHF uplink and VHF downlink. This mode is also known as U-V operation.

They are linear transponders designated to operate in CW/USB/FM modes of amateur communication. Since they are linear transponders they may be tried in other modes of operation too. They will have an output power of about 30 dBm (1 Watt).

They will share common turnstile antennae for input and output along with satellite mainframe TC/TM systems.

Typical link calculations are as below:

1) UHF uplink (435.25 MHz centre frequency)
Ground station power : 40 dBm (10Watts)
Antenna gain : 12 - 18 dBi
EIRP at max. ant. gain : 56 dBm

2)VHF down link (145.90 MHz centre frequency)
Antenna gain: 16 dBi
Received carrier power (at gnd. RX) : -107 dBm (1uV)

Notes: Both the transponders will have 60 kHz bandwidth.

Transponders may be differentiated by their respective beacons; Indian transponder will have an unmodulated carrier on 145.940 MHz whereas the Dutch transponder will have modulated information on 145.860 MHz.

Satellite will have a periodicity of about 7000 secs and is likely to be visible for about 10-12 mins. maximum during a good pass. Like any other LEO satellite, daily we may expect 3-4 good passes.

Flight versions of the Dutch (by Williams, PE1RAH) and Indian transponders were tested "on-the-air" on 27 August 2003. Both the transponders worked satisfactorily in CW/SSB/FM of mode-B (UV) operation. Hams VU2LX, VU2POP, VU2IR, VU2WMY/URC participated in this important test and gave reports. With this testing the packages are ready to go on to VUSat deck.

Current news and additional information is available at the AMSAT-India web site.

[ANS thanks Nagesh, VU2NUD, for the above information]


The weekly Cowley County Amateur Radio Club in Winfield, KS,. CCARC VHF AMSAT Satellite net meets each Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. local time on the 145.190- repeater.

On 24 August 2003, NCS was Greg, N0ZHE. There was 11 check-ins to the net, with sat ops reporting 35 contact made through the week of 18-24 August. Satellites reported worked were AO-7 and AO-40.

Sat ops reporting this week were: John KA0OXY, Bill W0OQC, Greg N0ZHE.

DX contacts reported off AO-40 into the following countries:

Other topics talked about on the net ranged from:

For more information on our local VHF AMSAT satellite net check out

[ANS thanks Greg, N0ZHE, for the above information]

AO-40 DX Update

The following AO40 DX operations planned for the near future:

V31KD (Belize) August 30-31 by Jim Huhta AA4MD.

KH2GR (Guam) September 5-8 by Yoshi JF6BCC

C3/EB4AFK (Andorra) September 6-7 by Jose EB4AFK

Also, for those who haven't noticed, Dave, EI4HT, is now quite active on AO40.

Wayne, W9AE, adds, "I wish I could be home to work Andorra because that would be a "new one" for me. Nowadays there is so much DX activity on AO40 that it's almost impossible to take a long vacation without missing something!"

[ANS thanks Wayne, W9AE, for the above information]

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2003-08-27 04:00 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 7 crew:
Yuri Malenchenko RK3DUP

Tentative cutoff day for ARISS contacts with Expedition 7 is 2003-09-20

Next up Expedition 8 crew:
Mike Foale KB5UAC
Alexander Kaleri U8MIR

Tentative schedule:
2003-10-18 Soyuz launch
2003-10-20 dock
2003-10-28 undock

Incarnate Word Academy Houston, TX
Contact is a go Thursday 2003-08-28 18:58 UTC at 81 degrees

Boulder High School
Contact is a go for Wed 2003-09-03 16:10 UTC (***)

Cornell University
Contact is a go Thu 2003-09-04 13:40 UTC

Kagawa Junior High School, Ube City, Japan
TBD direct via 8N4ISS (***)

Webster High School, Webster, N.Y.

Stanford University
Palo Alto Gunn High School, California

Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Verbum Casa das Palabras Vigo Spain
TBD UTC with Pedro Duque

Ceip Seixalbo school Ourense, Spain
TBD UTC with Pedro Duque

Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL
TBD UTC (Contact was not completed)

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list is now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there.

Latest ARISS announcements and news

Successful school list or

If you can not get into the GSFC site, then go directly to the RAC site. (***)

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 60 schools that we hope will be able to have a contact during 2003. 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, AJ9N, for the above information]

This Week's News in Brief

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
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. GO-32. SO-33. PO-34. UO-36. AO-40. SO-41. SO-42. NO-44. NO-45. MO-46. AO-49. SO-50

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, KU4OS,