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April 4, 2004

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First Call for Papers

This is the first call for papers for the 2004 AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting to be held October 8-10 in Arlington, Virginia. This symposium will be held in conjunction with the ARISS International Meeting that is planned for October 10-13.

Proposals for papers, symposium presentations, and poster presentations are invited on any topic of interest to the amateur satellite program. An emphasis for this year is AMSAT's educational outreach activities, including our educational outreach efforts with universities and the International Space Station. In particular, papers on the following topics are solicited: Students & Education, ARISS, Echo, Eagle and other satellite-related topics.

We request a one-page abstract by June 1, 2004. Camera ready copy on paper or in electronic form will be due by August 1, 2004 for inclusion in the printed symposium proceedings.

Abstracts and papers should be sent to:
Daniel Schultz N8FGV
14612 Dowling Drive
Burtonsville, MD 20866
or by e-mail to: n8fgv@amsat.org

[ANS thanks Dan, N8FGV for the above information]

Spacewarn Draft Available

A draft of this month's Spacewarn bulletin is available online at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/spacewarn/. The SPACEWARN Bulletin is published by the World Data Center for Satellite Information on the first of the month and contains all information on launches for the preceeding month received prior to publication.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]

Satellite Net Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The 10th Anniversary of Central Kansas Satellite net is April 10th, 2004. The net is now known as the CCARC Vhf AMSAT satellite net.

On April 10th 1994 the first satellite net in south central Kansas was held on the CCARC 146.190- WA0JBW repeater which is located just north of Winfield, KS, and is sponsored by the Cowley County Amateur Radio Club.

The purpose of the net was and still is to provide up to date information related to satellite communications. In the beginning it was very hard to come across information. The net provided the means to share operating tips and other information.

Net Control was Ron N5SMJ and reading the ANS bulletins was Rick WB0VZW. Rick received the bulletins via 2 meter packet from John WD5EEV. About a year after the net started Greg N0ZHE took over reading the bulletins for Rick. At the beginning there were 15 satellite operators in the local area.

In Feb. 2004 Ron N5SMJ had moved back to Tyler TX. Greg N0ZHE has taken over net control. He also reads the bulletins. Helping Greg in the shack is his Dad John KA0OXY who helps log the check-ins.

Over the years the satellite group has been to hamfests, amateur radio clubs, tail gate parties, and field day events, to give demos and presentations and just to have a good old time. Places they have gone to over the years have been Salina, Wichita, Augusta, Winfield, Arkansas City, and Derby, all in Kansas.

Today there are 5 active satellite operators, Dick N0TGR, Ron K0RJS, Bill W0OQC, John KA0OXY, and Greg N0ZHE. The bulk of our check-ins are non-satellite operators but enjoy listening to our net and we thank them for there continued support each week. The net average is 13 check-ins.

The net takes check-ins from anyone who would like to check in (you don't have to be a satellite operator to check in) then the bulletins are read and then another round of check-ins are taken. There is a time for any comments or questions from the check-ins.

As much talk as there has been about amateur radio satellite communications over the years, it is hard to believe that it still remains amateur radios best kept secret. As satellite operators sometimes I wonder if we are doing a good enough job on getting the word out as to how much fun this part of the hobby really is.

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

ARISS Success in France

The ARISS School Contact, scheduled with the College Georges Brassens of Saint Mard and the Jacques Prevert school, was a success.

The two schools of Saint-Mard, located at 45 km to the North-East of Paris (France), were in direct radio contact with Mike Foale on board the International Space Station on April 1st, 2004 from 18:27 to 18:37 UTC, i.e. 20:27 to 20:37 local time. The QSO was done by F0EJN Catherine with the technical assistance of the team led by F5CAR Jocelyn, comprising F5MFO Patrick, F6AGO Robert, F1CUH Guy, F6GYH Bernard, F1ENB Luc, F1XR René, F5STO Jean-Marc.

The teachers, parents, VIPs and media who assisted to the radio contact could see the excitement and wonder in the eyes of the students. The contact was relayed by ATV to the school's main hall where an audience of about 150 assisted. In the radio room only the technical and educational team as well as the students who participated to the educational project were admitted.

Ten questions were answered by Mike Foale, KB5UAC who started the contact by a great "Bonjour". The contact ended by a loud thank you and greetings were sent to Alexander Kaleri, U8MIR.

The teachers and the students of the two schools are very grateful to the individuals and to the organisations involved in the preparation of the Space talk: AMSAT France, ARISS-Europe, ARISS International and NASA.

After this unique experience and as a conclusion to the educational project, the students of the scientific workshop SYNTHESE 3D (AST), now are required to create a CD ROM reviewing the various activities including those related to the ARISS contact.

For ten minutes, the Jacques Prévert school and the Georges Brassens college were honored to welcome an astronaut in their classroom.

An audio recording of the downlink signal will be made available on the ARISS-Europe website under the Archive page.

Gaston Bertels
ARISS-Europe chairman

[ANS thanks Gaston, ON4WF, for the above information.]

ARISS International Meeting

ARISS teams from around the world met in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands from 25 March to 27 March to review progress of the programme, determine future steps, and to review projects submitted to the organization for future use. Various committees updated the international team on their progress, while Chairman Frank Bauer presented an overview of the current status of the programme and previewed the Roy Neal certificate from the special event held late last year. (Certificates will be sent out shortly.)

Projects submitted for consideration include Amateur Television on the International Space Station. This project would allow for the possibility of mounting an ATV camera on the outside of the station. The Shadow Experiment was presented. More information on this scientific experment can be found at http://www.tsniimash.ru/Shadow/default_eng.htm. A proposal was also made to incorporate the Internet Radio Linking Project and EchoLink into school contacts. Further information on these technoilogies can be found at www.irlp.net and www.echolink.org.

Aside from accomplishing general administrative tasks, this meeting gave team members the first opportunity in over a year to meet face to face and discuss the programme. The next meeting will be held in Alexandria, Virginia in October. It will be held just after the AMSAT general meeting on 10-13 October. All interested parties are welcome to attend. If you would like to propose a project for the ARISS team, please contact Mike Miller at ka5sma@amsat.org for further information.

[ANS thanks Scott, N3ASA, for the above information.]

Echo Launch Goal

As of 30 March, AMSAT has raised $61,988 of the $110,000 needed to launch Echo, the next AMSAT satellite planned to be launched. The current target launch date is 29 June, 2004.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

Expedition 9 Ready to Fly on April 19

Three astronauts will blast off for the International Space Station (ISS) on April 19, two of them to replace the team which has been there since last October, officials at the Russian space agency said Wednesday.

Russian Gennady Padalka and American Michael Fincke will replace Alexei Kalery and Michael Foale, and will spend six months at the station, officials said.

Dutchman Andre Kuipers, a 45-year-old astronaut with the European Space Agency, will spend less than two weeks at the station. He is due to return to earth with Kalery and Foale on April 30.

The trio recently completed preparations for the mission at Star City, an astronaut training center outside the Russian capital Moscow.

The three are due to blast off for the ISS aboard a Soyuz rocket from Russia's launching pad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Padalka and Fincke are due to perform two space walks in June and August to install equipment necessary for the European-built new automated transfer vehicle, which is due to arrive at the station in April 2005.

[ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.]

New Opportunities to Reduce QRM to Amateur Satellites in Region 1

At the recent meeting of the IARU Region 1 VHF Managers held in Vienna, the subject of QRM to satellites operating in the amateur spectrum allocated to satellites was discussed. As a result of good work performed by Ib, OZ1MY, we were able to demonstrate both by written log and by .WAV file the QRM that is occurring, especially but not exclusively to 145 MHz uplinks and when the satellites are over Africa and the Middle East.

The IARU Region 1 has a Monitoring Service which has been active for some years but which has, up to now, concentrated on frequencies below 30 MHz. In view of the wide area of QRM that can be caused by satellites relaying signals across many borders, the team has now enthusiastically agreed to add our problems to their portfolio.

What is needed therefore are regular reports showing the following details which can be usefully backed up by .wav files as these can enable more precise recognition of accents and dialects to be made. This information obviously can aid identification.

(These are really "column" headings but this does not display very well using "plain text"!) The team has good contacts which are already used daily to "remove" some of the intruders to our bands so we should try to see if similar success can be achieved on VHF and UHF. The system works generally through national societies so you should send your reports to the MS coordinator of your Region 1 National Society in the first instance. For the time being could you also please send me a copy as well for information. In response, I will try to provide everyone with a quarterly report on the MS activities as they apply to our branch of amateur radio! I would be grateful if you could forward this information to all Region 1 AMSAT organizations.

Graham Shirville G3VZV
IARU R1 Satellite Co-ordinator

[ANS thanks Graham Shirville, G3VZV, for the above information.]

AMSAT-DC Meeting a Success

Maryland-Washington D.C. AMSAT Co-ordinator Pat Kilroy, N8PK, announced that the annual AMSAT-DC meeting was a success. Though obstacles were encountered, perserverence paid off as attendees got to see many very fine presentations. More information on the presentations and the meeting can be found on Pat's website http://patkilroy.com/amsat-dc/.

Pat extends his thanks to all involved.

[ANS thanks Pat, N8PK, for the above information.]

Upcoming ARISS Contact

An ARISS contact is expected to occur this week between the crew of the International Space Station and Sonoran Sky Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona. This will be a direct contact, and it is predicted to be the final contact of the current ISS Expedition. Further details will be released via the SAREX listserv as they become available.

[ANS thanks Scott, N3ASA, for the above information.]

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. 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 ans-editor@amsat.org

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA, n3asa@amsat.org.

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