AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.
The news feed on https://amsat.org publishes news of Amateur Radio in space as soon as our volunteers can post it. Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor at amsat dot org. You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans
In this edition:
- Candidates for the AMSAT Board of Directors Announced
- Help Celebrate AMSAT’s 50th Anniversary – Take W3ZM on the Road!
- Lightsail-2 Scheduled for Launch June 24
- NASA Lightsail-2 PR and TV Coverage
- Listening to Lightsail-2 Co-passengers
- AMSAT President Joe Spier Speaks With SIP Interns
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- ARISS News
- How to Support AMSAT
- Shorts From All Over
Candidates for the AMSAT Board of Directors Announced
The 2019 candidates for the AMSAT Board of Directors, in alphabetical order by last name are:
- Jerry Buxton, N0JY
- Howard (Howie) Defelice, AB2S
- Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
- Jeff Johns, WE4B
- Brennan Price, N4QX
- Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK
- Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
- Michelle Thompson, W5NYV
This year AMSAT membership will select four candidates to the Board of Directors. The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be seated as voting members of the Board of Directors. Two alternate directors will be selected based on the next highest number of votes received.
Ballots will be mailed to the AMSAT membership by July 15, 2019.
The election closes September 15, 2019.
Clayton L. Coleman, W5PFG
Help Celebrate AMSAT’s 50th Anniversary – Take W3ZM on the Road!
Leading up to the 2019 AMSAT 50th Anniversary Space Symposium and General Meeting, to be held in Arlington, VA, October 18 – 20, 2019, AMSAT’s call sign, W3ZM, will operate from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Not only is this your chance to get Worked All States-Satellites under the W3ZM call sign, but, also, your chance to be a part of this historic effort.
Note: When operating outside of the “3” call area, operators will append the W3ZM call sign with “/(call area).” As an example, someone operating from Texas will use W3ZM/5; from Hawaii, W3ZM/KH6; from Alaska, W3ZM/KL7; and from Puerto Rico, W3ZM/WP4.
To make this happen – We need your help! Please volunteer to get on the air and activate your State, using AMSAT’s W3ZM call sign, as well as to cover those States without an active AMSAT Member. Activations of other United States Territories (i.e. Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands) are also welcome.
To volunteer and operate using AMSAT’s W3ZM call sign, you must:
- Be a current member of AMSAT
- Obtain permission by emailing AMSAT VP of User Services, specifying the requested date(s) and location(s)
- Submit an ADIF log of contacts made for upload to LoTW by AMSAT, as instructed in your notice of approval to use the W3ZM call sign
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP of User Services for the above information]
2019 marks AMSAT’s 50th Anniversary of Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
To help celebrate, we are sponsoring the AMSAT 50th Anniversary Awards
Program. Full details are available at:
Lightsail-2 Scheduled for Launch June 24 – Beacon on 437.025 MHz
LightSail is a citizen-funded project from The Planetary Society. After launch this cubesat will be propelled solely by sunlight, to Earth orbit. LightSail 2 is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy on June 24, 2019, and we will attempt the first, controlled solar sail flight in Earth orbit.
LightSail 2 will ride to space aboard the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission which will send 24 spacecraft to 3 different orbits. LightSail 2 itself will be enclosed within Prox-1, a Georgia Tech-designed spacecraft originally built to demonstrate close-encounter operations with other spacecraft. Prox-1 will deploy LightSail 2 seven days after launch.
After a few days of health and status checks, LightSail 2’s four dual-sided solar panels will swing open. Roughly a day later, four metallic booms will unfurl four triangular Mylar sails from storage. The sails, which have a combined area of 32 square meters [344 square feet], will turn towards the sun for half of each orbit, giving the spacecraft a tiny push no stronger than the weight of a paperclip. For about a month after sail deployment, this continual thrust should raise LightSail 2’s orbit by a measurable amount.
LightSail 2 will fly in a 24-degree inclination, 720 km, circular orbit. At latitudes of 42 degrees north it will reach a maximum elevation of 10 degrees above the horizon.
Lightsail-2 has been issued an experimental radio license WM9XPA and transmit on 437.025 MHz. A morse beacon will transmit the callsign every 45 seconds. A packet beacon will transmit AX.25, FSK 9K6 bps data.
Beacon information is available at:
Documentation of the downlink telemetry data structure is posted at:
[ANS thanks the Planetary Society for the above information]
NASA Lightsail-2 PR and TV Coverage
NASA Television coverage is scheduled for an upcoming prelaunch activity and first nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, which will be carrying four agency technology missions to help improve future spacecraft design and performance.
The launch window for the Falcon Heavy opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT Monday, June 24, from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch, as well as a live technology show, will air NASA Television and the agency’s website.
SpaceX and the U.S. Department of Defense will launch two dozen satellites to space, including four NASA payloads that are part of the Space Test Program-2, managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The four payloads include two NASA technology demonstrations to improve how spacecraft propel and navigate, as well as two NASA science missions to help us better understand the nature of space and how it impacts technology on spacecraft and the ground.
Full NASA TV coverage is as follows: (all times EDT)
Sunday, June 23
- Noon – NASA prelaunch technology TV show from Kennedy. Subject matter experts will explain each NASA mission and answer questions.
Monday, June 24
- 9:30 p.m. – Live NASA TV coverage begins of the return to Earth of NASA astronaut Anne McClain and two other International Space Station residents, with landing scheduled at 10:48 p.m. (Public Channel)
- 11 p.m. – NASA TV launch commentary begins ahead of the targeted 11:30 p.m. launch. NASA TV will simulcast the SpaceX STP-2 webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. (Media Channel)
[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]
Listening to Lightsail-2 Beacon Co-passengers
The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Team has published the following frequencies and operating modes for the amateur radio band cubesats also being launched with LightSail:
|TBEX-A||437.485 MHz||9K6 AX.25 GMSK|
|TBEX-B||437.535 MHz||9K6 AX.25 GMSK|
|Oculus-A SR||437.200 MHz||9K6 AX.25 GMSK|
|CP9||437.505 MHz||9K6/19K2/38K4 AX.25 FSK|
|BRICSat-2||145.825 MHz APRS up/dn||Initially, only TLM once a minute, and PSK31 every 20 secs.|
|PSAT-2||145.825 MHz APRS up/dn||APRS-to-Voice,
PSK31 29.4815 MHz up - UHF 435.350 down
SSTV camera down on same UHF audio
|Armadillo||435.525 MHz||38K4 GMSK, CW TLM|
|PROX-1||437.345 MHz 2.3 GHz non-amateur|
Visit http://aprs.org/psat2.html for details of PSAT-2 and BRICSat-2 operations.
[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]
Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
AMSAT President Joe Spier Speaks With SIP Interns
AMSAT president Joe Spier recently addressed the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Internship Project (SIP) at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
During the June 17 event students in the program were provided with two opportunities to learn about space communications from widely different perspectives. The first session was led by Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) president Joe Spier – the second by Dave Israel, the Exploration and Space Communications (ESC) projects division’s lead architect.
With Spier, SCaN interns got the chance to learn about AMSAT, a volunteer organization that designs, builds, launches and commands amateur radio payloads on satellites. SCaN intern and “ham” Caitlyn Singam was required to pass a rigorous FCC exam to be given her unique callsign, AC3AG, at the highest level of certification, ‘Amateur Extra-class’. Given her history with amateur radio the talk was particularly inspiring.
“I actually ended up talking to Mr. Spier afterwards about getting involved in AMSAT,” Singam said. “It was really exciting.”
Singham enjoyed learning about Spier’s unconventional route to AMSAT, which she related to in her own academic career. “I’ve had an interesting route myself, with biological sciences and a master’s in systems [engineering] in the fall,” she said.
Spier’s route took him from a background in geology to becoming a leader in the small satellite community. He had early dreams of becoming the first to climb Olympus Mons, the highest peak on Mars. Today, he refers to the interns as the ‘Mars generation,’ hoping that an intern today might summit that peak in the near future.
He shared his personal strategy on making big NASA dreams come true: “I always clarified it by saying, ‘If I can’t be that person, I want to help someone else be that person.’”
In the afternoon, SCaN interns met with ESC’s lead communications architect for an overview of division projects. Israel’s work at NASA spans 30 years. Interns heard about topics ranging from the development of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) in the late 1980s to the Space Mobile Network, a concept for an interplanetary internet that Israel envisions coming to fruition in the near future.
Israel, like Spier, offered the SCaN interns in attendance some advice:
“Never keep any good ideas to yourself, and don’t worry about asking questions from a different perspective,” Israel said. “A question from a different perspective gets people to think about it in a different sort of way.”
“Never keep any good ideas to yourself, and don’t worry about asking questions from a different perspective.”
To Grace McFassel, a SCaN intern who attended the talk, Israel’s story was not only interesting, but inspiring. “He [has] this specific skillset that he dearly loves, and he’s used that to carry himself through by finding niches where he can be useful,” McFassel said. “It’s a good lesson to carry orward.”
To learn more about SIP or SCaN, visit NASA.gov/SCaN. To apply for internships, visit intern.nasa.gov.
The full article can be viewed at:
[ANS thanks Emily Cavanagh, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, via their Explorations & Space Communication Website for the above information]
AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur radio package,
including two-way communication capability, to be carried on-board Gateway in
lunar orbit. Support AMSAT’s projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations as of June 21, 2019
Post Hot Rod Power Tour Rove (New York to Wyoming) – June 15-27, 2019
Following the Hot Rod Power Tour, RJ, WY7AA, will be heading to FN02 for a few days and plans to work FN01/11 gridline around June 17-18. Details to follow. He will be heading as far east as FN32 and then eventually working his way back to DN71. Specifically looking for EN01/02 along the way. Details will be posted to Twitter and his QRZ page as the trip plans unfold. Follow RJ on APRS.fi as WY7AA-9, as he will not have Twtter access along the road.
Lost in the Hertz (DN06/07/16/17) – June 23, 2019
Kell (KI7UXT) and John (KC7JPC) will rove to DN06/07/16/17 grid corner (plan A) or DN06/07 grid line (plan B) and work FM satellites and if time/pass permits work a few linear satellites. Expect a 18:00 UTC start time. Check out Kell’s Twitter feed for specific passes: https://twitter.com/KI7UXT
#JosephOrBustRove (DN04, DN05, DN15) – June 28-30, 2019
Casey, KI7UNJ, will be wandering around Eastern Oregon and decided to do a little grid activating. Look for Casey on FM passes in DN04 mid-Friday, June 28th, in DN15 Friday night to Saturday evening, and DN05 Sunday morning. Specific passes to be posted on Casey’s Twitter feed https://twitter.com/KI7UNJ
Hawaii (BK29, BL20) – June 27 to July 8, 2019
Mark, N8MH will be operating a bit as N8MH/KH6 June 27-July 3 from BK29 and July 5-8 from BL20, FM and linears. Possibility of other grids once there. Watch Mark’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N8MH
mini-Route 66 Rove (DM94/95, EM05/15, EM14, EM23/24) June 28 – July 5, 2019
John, AB5SS, will be driving east from DM85 on a mini-Route 66 trip starting June 28, staying/passing through DM95/94, EM05/15, stopping in EM14 for July 2-4th, then head home thru EM24/23 on July 5th. Operating holiday-style, as family allows, posting activations to Twitter: https://twitter.com/TxRadioGeek
South Dakota (EN04, EN05) – July 2-3, 2019
Lucky for us, Mitch, AD0HJ, will be stopping at the EN04/05 gridline from July 2nd 22:37z to July 3rd 13:27z, on his way to Iowa. Mitch will working the FM Satellites (SO-50, AO-91, AO-92). Check Mitch’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/AD0HJ
Iceland (HP95 IP15 IP25 IP03 HP03) – July 13-19, 2019
Adam, K0FFY, is taking his family (and his radios) to Iceland. Tentative schedule is HP95 July 13, IP13 and IP15 July 14-15, IP25 July 16, IP03 or HP93 July 17-18, and HP94 July 19. There’s a lot to see, so passes will be best effort and announced on Twitter shortly prior. https://twitter.com/K0FFY_Radio
Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at) amsat.org
[ANS thanks Robert KE4AL for the above information]
- 2019-06-13 11:10 UTC between Nick Hague KG5TMV using ISS callsign NA1SS and Peninsula Grammar, Melbourne, Australia Contact was telebridge via VK4KHZ. ARISS Mentor was Tony VK5ZAI.
- 2019-06-15 10:39 UTC between Cosmonaut Oleg Konenenko using ISS callsign RSØISS and GBPOU RM “Saransk Polytechnic College”, Saransk, Russia Contact was direct via R4UAB. ARISS Mentor was Sergey RV3DR.
- 2019-06-15 18:11 UTC between Nick Hague KG5TMV using ISS callsign NA1SS and Smithsonian Air and Space – Udvar-Hazy, Chantilly, VA, USA Contact was telebridge via W6SRJ. ARISS Mentor was Dave W8AAS.
- 2019-06-19 08:49 UTC between David St-Jacques KG5FYI using ISS callsign OR4ISS and King Island District High School, Currie, TAS, Australia Contact was telebridge via IK1SLD. ARISS Mentor was Shane VK4KHZ.
- 2019-06-20 12:48 UTC between Nick Hague KG5TMV using ISS callsign NA1SS and Rowan Preparatory School, Claygate, United Kingdom Contact was direct via GB4RPS. ARISS Mentor was Ciaran MØXTD.
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI, direct via W8TCM
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Nick Hague KG5TMV
Contact is go for: Fri 2019-06-28 14:02:16 UTC 25 deg
Watch for live stream at:
[ANS thanks ARISS, Charlie AJ9N and David AA4KN for the above information]
AMSAT and ARISS are currently supporting a FundRazr campaign to
raise $150,000 for critical radio infrastructure upgrades on ISS. The
upgrades are necessary to enable students to continue to talk to astronauts
in space via Amateur Radio. We have reached a great milestone with $26,180
raised or about 17% towards our goal. This would not have been possible without
your outstanding generosity!! For more information and to DONATE TODAY visit:
How to Support AMSAT
AMSAT relies on the support of our members and the amateur radio community to Keep Amateur Radio in Space.
How can you help?
- Join AMSAT
Both you and AMSAT will benefit when you join. You get the AMSAT Journal bimonthly and support from AMSAT Ambassadors. Member dues and donations provide AMSAT’s primary support. Join today at: https://www.amsat.org/product-category/amsat-membership/
- Become a Life Member
Becoming a Life Member has never been easier. Now you can become a Life Member with 12 monthly payments of $74 through our online store. See https://www.amsat.org/product/lifetime-membership/ for details.
- Donate to AMSAT
Make a one time or recurring donation to AMSAT today. Even as little as one dollar a month can make a difference! Donate today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
- Purchase AMSAT gear on our Zazzle storefront.
AMSAT receives 25% of the price of each sale on AMSAT logo merchandise from our Zazzle storefront located at https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear
- Support AMSAT when you make purchases from Amazon!
So far, AMSAT has received $3,913.29 from AmazonSmile. Search for “Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation” https://smile.amazon.com/ref=smi_ext_twt_dshb_smi
- Volunteer for AMSAT AMSAT relies on volunteers for nearly all of our activities. If you have an idea for how to help, please let us know, Details on volunteering can be found at https://www.amsat.org/volunteer-for-amsat/
[ANS thanks the AMSAT office for the above information.]
Shorts From All Over
- Richmond, BC Radio Club Field Day Article
Here is a nice article announcing Richmond (British Columbia) ARC satellite presence for Field Day: https://tinyurl.com/ANS174-RARC
[ANS thanks Alan Campbell / Richmond News for the above information]
- JAISAT-1 to Launch July 5
JAISAT-1, built by the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand and carrying a VHF/UHF linear transponder, is scheduled to launch on July 5, 2019 from Vostochny Cosmodrome on a Soyuz/Fregat launch vehicle.
[ANS thanks JM3LGF via Twitter for the above information]
- New Distance Record via AO-91
News received via the South Africa Radio League’s SARL Weekly News in English 2019-6-22 report that a news distance record was set via the AO-91 satellite. On Friday 21 June at 12:07 UTC Andre, ZS2BK in grid KF26SB made a FM QSO with Richard, 9G5AR in grid IJ95VN and the distance is 5243.9 km. Well done to Andre and Richard! [ANS thanks SARL News for the above information.]
- Congratulations to AE4FH, WX4TVJ, KM4LAO & AI6V on receiving scholarships awarded by ARRL Foundation! https://tinyurl.com/ANS174-Awards [ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]
- The AMSAT Journal Editor-in-Chief Joe Kornowski KB6IGK would like to share your Fieled Day Satellite setup pictures. Please send your pictures in TIF, GIF or JPG format accompanied with a text description. Please do not embed graphics or photos in your manuscript. Please send submissions to journal at amsat.org. Selected photos will apear in a future edition of The AMSAT Journal. The AMSAT Journal reserves the right to selct materials based on suitability of content and space considerations. [ANS thanks Joe KB6IGK for the above information.]
- The May/June edition of The AMSAT Journal has been mailed and members should be receiving them. In this issue:
- Apogee View by Joe Spier K6WAO
- AMSAT CubeSat Simulator Part 3: Failure Simulations and
- Troubleshooting by Alan B. Johnston KU2Y and Pat Kilroy N8PK
- Tom Clark, K3IO, and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), By Bob McGwier
- RF Generator Techniques for Space Applications by Jurgen Vanhamel ON5ADL
- DM31 Activation, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument by Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK
- Hamvention 2019 in pictures
To receive a copy of The AMSAT Journal join AMSAT today: https://www.amsat.org/join-amsat/
[AMSAT thanks The AMSAT Journal editorial staff for the above information.
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT office.
Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a maximum of six post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student membership information.
This week’s ANS Editor,
EMike McCardel, AA8EM
aa8em at amsat dot org