April 25, 2004

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April President's Letter

Several important activities have taken place in the last few weeks, which affect the future of the AMSAT organization and where we are going in the future. Firstly, a meeting of the International ARISS committee at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands gave a starting approval for two new projects as follows:

1) Approval of the Russian Shadow project, which is an experiment to determine the effect on RF of a Plasma Propulsion unit; i.e., will RF, and hence communications, be interrupted by the plasma field.

2) Fast Scan -TV, (Digital) This would involve one or more color cameras, placed externally at suitable locations on the ISS. Cameras would be capable of pan/tilt and zoom and be capable of amateur control. UK to co-ordinate proposals for this.

These projects can now be developed and presented to the hardware committee for safety evaluation. While this work is proceeding we are all awaiting for the return of the shuttle to provide additional lifting capability to and from the ISS. The current estimate of availability of the Shuttle is spring 2005.

The AMSAT Strategic Planning committee is working to develop a more effective means of operating the organization, and to provide improved communications between the Board of Directors, the Officers and the Members. A new "Team approach" is being developed which will reduce the day to day activities of the President, that I and my predecessors have done for many years. I believe that this initiative will be a very positive one for AMSAT.

By now four hundred of you will have received a membership survey, we need you to return that survey to us for evaluation. The survey was generously paid for by one of our members, who is anxious that AMSAT should be able to meet the needs of our membership. This survey should define our membership requirements. Names were taken at random and the number of 400 is statistically very accurate to present a good picture of membership needs. With the publication of our Annual Report we are now in a position to present AMSAT as a charitable organization to selected foundations based principally on educational aspects of AMSAT. This may reduce the time involved in fund raising, however it is still important that our membership be involved in providing AMSAT with funding for the special amateur radio aspects of our satellites.

Only a few weeks to Dayton, and of course we will be prominent again in the "Ball Arena" at the usual place. I look forward to seeing you there, and hope that you will participate in the various draws that we have for equipment. All money received will be put toward the Echo launch fund. You will have the opportunity to re-new your regular membership, make your President's Club donation, and contribute directly to the Echo Launch Fund. The fund is still about $40K short of its goal and we need you to help "Give Echo a Lift". Echo launch pins will be available at the AMSAT booth for anyone donating $20 or more to that cause. The annual Dayton AMSAT Banquet will be held Friday, May 14th at 1800 at the Amber Rose. The cost is $25 for the buffet which includes tax and gratuity. Payment will be made at the door with cash, Visa or MasterCard. To make reservations contact Nancy Makley, Please list the name and call of each person who will be attending. If you are a current President's Club Gold member and attending the dinner, contact

Well enough from me for this month, - see you in Dayton

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH for the above information]

AMSAT News Service Editors Wanted

The AMSAT News Service (ANS) is currently seeking volunteer editors to assist with the preparation of the weekly bulletins. Volunteers will work with the existing ANS editors on a rotating schedule to produce the weekly news bulletin. In a typical rotation each editor is responsible for producing the bulletins once a month. Since the entire ANS staff is volunteer, we always work together to accommodate schedules and unforeseen events.

If you'd like to be part of the team please contact me at

Lee McLamb-KU4OS,
ANS Senior Editor

[ANS thanks Lee, KU4OS for the above information]

Satellite Interference Reporting in IARU Region 2

Ray Soifer, W2RS reports that the procedures recently adopted by IARU Region 1 (Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa) for reporting illegal non-amateur interference to amateur satellite uplinks have now also been adopted in IARU Region 2 (the western hemisphere), with only one small difference: because IARU Region 2 does not have a regional satellite coordinator as does IARU Region 1, we in Region 2 are asking those reporting such interference, and their national societies, to send copies of their reports to the IARU Satellite Advisor (ZS6AKV) and his Advisory Panel at

Steps to identify and help eliminate such interference will be coordinated among all three IARU Regions, at two levels: through the Satellite Advisor and Advisory Panel, and also through the worldwide IARU Monitoring Service organization, including MS Coordinator Bob Knowles, ZL1BAD, and his three regional coordinators.

To : All IARU Member Societies in Region 2

I would like to inform you of a small change in the operation of the IARU Region 2 Monitoring System, concerning intrusions in the VHF/UHF amateur bands and interference to amateur satellites.

Historically, the Monitoring System has concentrated on the HF bands, and has ignored the VHF and UHF bands where interference has tended to be local and almost always within national borders. Now, however, when intruders use the same VHF and UHF frequencies already used by amateur satellite uplinks, the resulting interference crosses many borders.

Several years ago in cooperation with AMSAT-NA, the Region 2 Monitoring System developed a simple, informal arrangement to deal successfully with a particular instance of this problem. Further, at the 2001 Region 2 conference in Guatemala, a recommendation was passed (Annex C to the Report of Committee "C", TG-P-04), calling attention to the growing problem of intruders in the VHF and UHF bands. Most recently, the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System has undertaken to include VHF/UHF intruder problems in their regular activities.

To respond better to this problem in Region 2, the general procedures of the Monitoring System will be broadened slightly, resulting in three small changes:

1. Member societies in Region 2 are encouraged to include the VHF/UHF bands in their monitoring system activities, especially but not only the amateur satellite uplink sub-bands;

2. Societies are encouraged to include reports of intruders in the VHF/UHF bands in their monthly reports to the IARU Region 2 Monitoring System Coordinator; and

3. When monitors or coordinators report intrusions involving satellites, they should also send a copy of their report to the IARU Amateur Satellite Advisor, ZS6AKV.

These changes can be seen in context in the web pages at

I hope that your organization will support and promote these changes. Thank you and I wish you success in all of your work.

Martin H. Potter, VE3OAT
IARU Region 2 Monitoring System Coordinator

[ANS thanks Martin, VE3OAT and Ray, W2RS or the above information]

ARISS Status 19 April 2004

Successful Launch of Expedition 9 Crew

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, are now on-orbit as they prepare for docking with the ISS aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. Dutch ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS, joined the Expedition 9 crew for an eight day DELTA Mission on board the ISS. Launch occurred at 11:19 pm EDT on April 18. The crew may participate in the engineering tests of the Phase 2 hardware.

Articles on Sonoran Sky Contact

The Arizona Republic published two articles on the Sonoran Sky Elementary School contact. The first, entitled, " Sonoran Sky students, space station link up," was published on April 6 and can be found at

To view the second article, which was run on April 9, and entitled, "Students have chat with astronaut," see

The video of the Sonoran Sky contact can be found at

ARRL Article on Amateur Radio and the Space Exploration Initiative

ARRL ran a web story on the Space Exploration Initiative and what part amateur radio might play in this endeavor. See the article, entitled, "ARISS to Mull Ham Radio's Role in Distant Space Travel," at

Scheduling of ARISS Contacts Continues for Expedition 9 Crew

In addition to the ARISS contacts with DELTA Mission astronaut Andre Kuipers, planning has begun to schedule contacts with the Expedition 9 crew. The first contact with Expedition 9 has been tentatively scheduled with Erie Planetarium in Erie, Pennsylvania as a telebridge and will take place the week of May 24.

[ANS thanks Carol for the above information]

Hamvention 2004 AMSAT Events

Thursday, May 13th - The third annual AMSAT "Pizza n Suds" party at Marion's Pizza. The party will begin at 1830. If you plan to attend, contact Dave Misek, .

Friday, May 14th - The AMSAT Banquet will be held at 1800 at the Amber Rose. The cost is $25 for the buffet which includes tax and gratuity. Payment will be made at the door with cash, Visa or MasterCard. To make reservations contact Nancy Makley, Please list the name and call of each person who will be attending. If you are a current President' Club Gold member and attending the dinner, contact

For more detailed information, check the AMSAT web site (

Any questions, give me a call!
Martha - AMSAT Manager (301-589-6062)

[ANS thanks Martha 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. 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,