SMOG-P and ATL-1 Designated Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106)

On December 6, 2019, the Technical University of Budapest SMOG-P and ATL-1 PocketQubes were launched on an Electron launch vehicle from the Mahia Launch Complex in New Zealand. SMOG-P and ATL-1 were developed as part of the university curriculum and operated in cooperation with the HA5MRC Technical University amateur radio club. The satellites carry spectrum monitoring payloads and are currently active.

At the request of the Technical University of Budapest, AMSAT hereby designates SMOG-P as Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105), and ATL-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106). We congratulate the owners and operators, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them a long mission and continued success on this and future projects.

73,
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator

SMOG-P
MO-105 (SMOG-P)
ATL-1
MO-106 (ATL-1)

ANS-349 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 15

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-349

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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:

  • Calling All Radio Amateurs: Help Find OPS-SAT!
  • FCC Moves to Remove 3.4 GHz Amateur Satellite Allocation
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • FoxTelem version 1.08w Released
  • AMSAT-EA works against the clock on GÉNESIS satellites
  • New NASA eBook Reveals Insights of Earth Seen at Night from Space
  • Israel Applauds Successful Launch of Duchifat3
  • Ham Radio University Satellite Operations Forum on January 4
  • Possible ARISS SSTV Operation Before Year’s End
  • Recent ARISS Contacts
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

Calling All Radio Amateurs: Help Find OPS-SAT!

Calling all radio amateurs! The European Space Agency (ESA) is challenging anyone with amateur radio equipment to catch the first signals from OPS-SAT, ESA’s brand new space software laboratory. On 17 December, OPS-SAT will be launched into low-Earth orbit on a Soyuz rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, together with ESA’s Cheops exoplanet-tracker.

Once launched, the satellite will deploy its solar panels and ultrahigh frequency antenna, and then start to send signals back home.

Could you be the first on Earth to catch them? ESA’s mission control team in Darmstadt are asking for your help to find the fledgling CubeSat.

OPS-SAT is a first-of-its-kind CubeSat dedicated purely to experimentation. It carries a wide variety of advanced payloads allowing ‘Experimenters’ to deploy and test their software and apps in space.

Anyone can apply to be an Experimenter! Find out more about the mission, and how to apply here: http://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Operations/OPS-SAT_your_flying_laboratory

Lift-off is scheduled for 08:54:20 UTC on 17 December. Deployment will begin 15044.6 seconds later (T+15044.6 seconds), expected to be at 13:05:04 UTC. OPS-SAT will begin transmitting 15 minutes after satellite deployment and after ultra-high frequency (UHF) antenna and solar array deployment have been confirmed. The first two passes over Europe are expected on the same evening. To track OPS-SAT, a preliminary launch TLE is available here, and will be updated as soon as new orbital information is available.

Main downlink characteristics:

  • Space segment transceiver GomSpace NanoCOM AX10
  • Frequency UHF – 437.2 MHz
  • Modulation GMSK
  • Occupied Bandwidth 25 kHz
  • Baudrate 9k6
  • Modulation Index 0.5

More information can be found at: https://github.com/esa/gr-opssat/blob/master/docs/os-uhf-specs.pdf

[ANS thanks ESA for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows, and M2 LEO-Packs
from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds
goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

FCC Moves to Remove 3.4 GHz Amateur Satellite Allocation

AMSAT (@AMSAT) tweeted at 11:51 AM on Thu, Dec 12, 2019: “At today’s Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission passed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to delete the amateur allocation at 3.3-3.5 GHz, including the amateur satellite service allocation at 3.4-3.41 GHz.”

Later, @AMSAT tweeted: “Noting the importance of microwave spectrum for future amateur satellites in HEO and/or GEO orbits and beyond, AMSAT will file comments in this proceeding opposing the deletion of this amateur satellite service allocation.”

Watch ANS bulletins for future developments.

[ANS thanks @AMSAT for the above information]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

The following Amateur Radio satellite has been added to this week’s TLE distribution:

SMOG-P – NORAD CAT ID 44832 (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO).
1 44832U 19084J 19346.85910300 .00001000 00000-0 50000-4 0 05
2 44832 97.0009 211.0657 0089111 218.3064 289.3286 15.64885322 06
Frequency: 437.1497 MHz.

The Israeli student satellite Duchifat3 was successfully placed in orbit by ISRO (India) on December 11, 2019 along with several other satellites. Therefore, it will take a while for those objects to separate enough to accurately identify Duchifat3. The following is a set of preliminary TLEs supplied by Nicholas Mahr, KE8AKW (via AMSAT-BB) on December 12, 2019 for your use:

Duchifat3
1 84101U 19345.41319444 .00000000 00000-0 50000-4 0 08
2 84101 37.0000 148.0000 0001442 0.0000 140.0000 15.02563222 03

On Dec. 13, Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, verified Doppler measurements showing that Duchifat 3 is object 44854 (2019-089C). The telemetry downlink frequency is 436.400 MHz.

Another PocketQube on this launch (only 5 cm on a side!0 has been identified as ATL 1
1 44830U 19084G 19346.85945000 .00001000 00000-0 50000-4 0 08
2 44830 96.9998 211.0781 0044791 228.7076 277.5196 15.64736264 09
Frequency: 437.1741 MHz.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, Orbital Elements Manager, and Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, for the above information.]

FoxTelem version 1.08w Released

Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA, has announced the release of version 1.08w of the FoxTelem software. This is a bug fix release to FoxTelem. If you have been seeing issues then you should upgrade to this new version.

Primarily it addresses the following:

  • Crashes seen at run time
  • Issue with DDE transmission to SatPC32 which can hang FoxTelem or another program using DDE
  • Some minor issues with HuskySat graphs and display

It is available as usual here:

Thanks to all who reported bugs and issues. Keep them coming. Please advise Chris if you see any other issues via g0kla <at> arrl.net

Fox-in-a-box orders from the AMSAT Store after December 13, 12:01 UTC (that is, by the time you see this) will also ship with FoxTelem V1.08w. The FIAB download directory has not yet been upgraded, but a downloaded SD card as well as existing cards are very easy to upgrade. Please see previous articles here and in the ANS for how to do it.

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA, and Burns Fisher, WB1FJ for the above information]

AMSAT-EA works against the clock on GÉNESIS satellites

AMSAT EA is workin against the clock, together with students from the European university, in the development of the GENESIS satellites. The 1.5 P pico sats, measuring 7.5x5x5cm are expected to be launched from the United States in February 2020. These satellites are based on the designs of EASAT-2 engineering and will allow testings of the EASAT-2 subsytems.

The estimated time in orbit of the GENESIS is estimated at around a month. They incorporate the linear transponder receiver module designed for EASAT-2 and an Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) transmitter. They will offer functionality of a regenerative repeater in ASK and CW and also incorporate the ionic motor experimental for pocketqubes developed by Applied Ion Systems.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-EA for the above information]

New NASA eBook Reveals Insights of Earth Seen at Night from Space

Earth has many stories to tell, even in the dark of night. Earth at Night, NASA’s new 200-page ebook, is now available online and includes more than 150 images of our planet in darkness as captured from space by Earth-observing satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station over the past 25 years. The book is free for download in Kindle, ePub, and PDF formats at https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/earthatnight_detail.html

“Earth at Night” shows how scientists use images such as this astronaut photo of the Gulf of Mexico taken from the International Space Station over the southern United States to study our changing planet.

The images reveal how human activity and natural phenomena light up the darkness around the world, depicting the intricate structure of cities, wildfires and volcanoes raging, auroras dancing across the polar skies, moonlight reflecting off snow and deserts, and other dramatic earthly scenes.

“Earth at Night explores the brilliance of our planet when it is in darkness,” wrote Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in the book’s foreword. “The book is a compilation of stories depicting the interactions between science and wonder. I am pleased to share this visually stunning and captivating exploration of our home planet.”

In addition to the images, the book tells how scientists use these observations to study our changing planet and aid decision makers in such areas as sustainable energy use and disaster response.

NASA brings together technology, science, and unique global Earth observations to provide societal benefits and strengthen our nation. The agency makes its Earth observations freely and openly available to everyone for use in developing solutions to important global issues such as changing freshwater availability, food security and human health.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

Israel Applauds Successful Launch of Duchifat3

Israel has applauded the successful launch of Isro’s PSLV-C48 rocket that put an experimental satellite built by students of its country into orbit on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The Cuchifat-3 Israeli satellite was among nine foreign customer satellites piggybacking on India’s primary payload Risat-2BR1, a military radar imaging satellite. The launch occurred at 09:55 UTC. Full article at https://tinyurl.com/uz7p35u

Duchifat3 was built by high school students supported by Herzliya Science Center in Israel and carries an on-board camera for earth imaging. The V/u FM transponder has an uplink of 145.970 MHz and a downlink of 436.400 MHz — however some reports indicate that the FM repeater downlink may actually be at 436.420 MHz.

[ANS thanks The Times of India and AMSAT-UK for the above information]

Ham Radio University Satellite Operations Forum on January 4

The 21st annual Ham Radio University, on Saturday, January 4, 2020 is a “A day of education to share ideas, experiences, knowledge and fellowship among Amateur Radio operators.” The event will be held at:

LIU / Post
Hillwood Commons Student Center
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548
Web: http://hamradiouniversity.org/

The suggested donation $5 – no preregistration is required! Doors open at 7:30 AM with first forums at 8:30 AM.

Satellite operation is a part of the learning experience: 11:00 a.m. Satellite Operations for Beginners by Frank Garofalo WA2NDV

[ANS thanks the Ham Radio University 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/ 

Possible ARISS SSTV Operation Before Year’s End

ARISS reports the possibility of a worldwide commemorative SSTV operation from the International Space Station on Friday, Dec. 27 or Saturday, Dec. 28 and following days. The SSTV downlink frequency is 145.800 MHz. ARISS will provide more information as it becomes available. Watch the amsat-bb and follow @ARISS_status on Twitter for updates.

An SSTV system is an integral part of one of the ARISS ham radio stations, NA1SS/ RS0ISS in the Service Module. It transmits and receives JPEG still images.This system utilizes the Kenwood D700 and D710 radios and the ARISS antennas mounted on the Service Module. The SSTV equipment also includes SpaceCam and MMSSTV software, a radio/computer interface module and data cables. A Kenwood VC-H1 is also used to provide near real-time automatically transmitted images once every 3 minutes, when active.

A Kenwood D710 radio located in the Service Module was deployed by the Russian Space Agency, Energia to provide extended support of imaging experiments using various SSTV formats. It employs SpaceCam and MMSSTV software to transmit stored images.

The current Expedition 61 crew aboard the ISS includes Dr. Andrew “Drew” Morgan, KI5AAA, an emergency physician in the U.S. Army; veteran pilot Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, RK6ATR; Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, an Italian Air Force officer, pilot, and engineer; pilot Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka; biologist Dr. Jessica Meir; and electrical engineer Christina Koch.

[ANS thanks ARISS and NASA for the above information]

Recent ARISS Contacts

Istituto Comprensivo “Japigia 1 – Verga”, Bari, Italy, direct via IZ7RTN and Istituto Comprensivo “Caporizzi – Lucarelli”, Bari, Italy, direct via IZ7RTN. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS, The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP. Contact is go: Fri 2019-12-20 12:35:30 UTC

There are few upcoming ARISS school contacts due to school holiday vacations around the world. Recent contacts were:

A contact with About Gagarin From Cosmos, City of Kursk, Russia and City of Ufa, Russia, direct via RZ9WWB was successful on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The ISS callsign was scheduled to be RSØISS, and the scheduled astronaut was Alexander Skvortsov, RK6ATR.

A contact with Woodridge Middle School, High Ridge, MO, direct via NØKBA was successful on Thursday, Dec. 12. The ISS callsign was scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP.

The ARISS contact with Council Rock High School South students at the Northampton, Pennsylvania school on Thursday, December 5 received local press coverage in the Bucks County Courier Times newspaper: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-349-ARISS-CouncilRock

[ANS thanks ARISS 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
 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

Upcoming Satellite Operations

For “Ham Radio Day Aboard the Queen Mary” on Saturday, 14 December 2019. Endaf Buckley, N6UTC, and Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, will work passes as W6RO between 1700 UTC and 0100 UTC (9am-5pm Pacific time) from the Sports Deck on the RMS Queen Mary, next to the W6RO Wireless Room. More information about this event is available at: https://amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/2019-November/075512.html  and at https://www.queenmary.com/calendar-of-events/ham-radio-day/home/

On Sunday, 15 December 2019, N6UTC and WD9EWK will go north of the Los Angeles area to the DM04/DM05/DM14/DM15 (35.0 N 118.0 W) grid intersection. They plan on working passes for a few hours there, starting with an AO-92 pass around 1740 UTC.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Board member Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, for the above information]

South Florida (EL95, EL96) December 11-15, 2019 James, K4WPX, will be in EL96/95 December 11th-15th, vacation style, mostly evening passes, FM only. James will be staying in EM96 but ~1mile from the EM95 line, so he can skip over there for some passes, too. Pass announcements via Twitter: https://twitter.com/k4wpx

Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019 Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special empahasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF

Big Bend National Park (DL88) March 16-17, 2020 Ron AD0DX, Doug N6UA, and Josh W3ARD will operate from Big Bend National Park to put grid DL88 on the air. Details will be added here, as they come available, but you are more than welcome to keep an eye on their individual Twitter feeds: https://twitter.com/ad0dx, https://twitter.com/dtabor, and https://twitter.com/W3ARDstroke5

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services, for the above information]

XT2, BURKINA FASO (Reminder). Harald, DF2WO, is once again active as XT2AW from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, until December 20th. Activity is usually holiday style on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. He states that he works mostly on the Digital modes (FT8, PSK31, JT65 and RTTY) and slow CW. He will concentrate on 160/80/60 meters. “PLS Skeds for 80 and 160.” He will also be active on the Satellites (including 3W into 85cm dish for QO-100) See QRZ.com more details. QSL via M0OXO, direct or by M0OXO’s OQRS  (www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/).

ZZ, BRAZIL (WFF Op). Operators Joao Carlos/PU4GOD, Leo/PY1CC, Aldir, PY1SAD and Eduardo/PU1REC will be active from the headquarters of the Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park (PYFF0226) with special callsign ZZ1F between December 12-15th. This is during the first weekend of the Brazilian Parks event, under the coordination of Ronaldo (PS8RV). Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters including VHF using CW, SSB, Satellites and the Digital modes. QSL via LoTW or QRZ.com.

[ANS thanks Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin No. 1443 for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • Some observers have reported that satellite JY1 is, at least occasionally, transmitting image data from its on-board camera. (ANS thanks Hasan Schiers, N0AN, for the above information)
  • Want to build a satellite? A scholarly book, “Low Earth Orbit Satellite Design” by Dr. George Sebestyen, Steve Fujikawa, Alex Chuchra, and Nick Galassi, was recently published by Springer, Inc. This book offers an in-depth guide to engineers and professionals seeking to understand the technologies behind Low Earth Orbit satellites. At $139.99 for the hardcover edition, it might be a pricey stockingstuffer, but paperback and ebook editions are cheaper, and Springer is running a holiday book special: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319683140#aboutBook  (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
  • ESA’s short film, The Burn, takes us into the heart of Europe’s mission control during a critical moment in the life of a future mission. Filmed on site in Darmstadt, Germany, with the help of volunteers (many of whom are real-life spacecraft controllers), The Burn illustrates the critical importance of decades of investment in state-of-the-art mission operations infrastructure and highly trained teams to flying Europe’s most daring space missions. View the film at: https://tinyurl.com/yxxewnjt  (ANS thanks ESA for the above information)
  • NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, aims to carry astronauts to the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis project, and has been described as “the most powerful rocket ever built.” The SLS has just completed its latest round of testing: a “test to failure” pressure test of the main liquid hydrogen tank. The tank withstood more than 260% of expected flight loads before buckling and rupturing! The tank was pushed to its limit and failed at the point predicted by the analysts, which is good news for the models used by NASA. (ANS thanks engadget.com and NASA for the above information)
  • Meade Instruments, a company familiar to backyard astronomers, has filed for bankruptcy. The company has fallen on hard times in recent years, as they’ve faced increasing competition. Meade also recently lost a lawsuit, which pushed them over the edge into bankruptcy. The company is based in Irvine, California, and was founded in 1972. They started out selling small refracting telescopes. They expanded and now sell telescope models worth up to $10,000.  (ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)
  • The Orbital Index blog (orbitalindex.com) maintains a directory of free space-related software resources for space hobbiests at: https://github.com/orbitalindex/awesome-space  (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
  • + The Orbital Flight Test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 6:36 a.m. EST. The uncrewed flight test will be Starliner’s maiden mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (ANS thanks NASA 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.

73 and remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Mark Johns, K0JM
[email protected]

ANS-342 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 8

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-342

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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:

  • AMSAT Member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, Named 2020 Carole Perry Educator of the Year
  • AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Participates in Hackaday Hack Chat
  • AMSAT to Join ARRL in Opposition to FCC Proposal to Eliminate 3.3 – 3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation
  • Chris Taron, NK1K, Completes Satellite DXCC Via LEO Satellites
  • Duchifat3 with V/u FM Transponder To Launch December 11
  • Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA
  • AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat to Transmit Emergency Traffic using WINLINK
  • AMSAT-SA to Shift Main Focus to AfriCUBE, a Digital SDR CubeSat
  • LSF Heads Back to Orbit with the Qubik Mission
  • VUCC Awards And Endorsements for November 2019
  • Upcoming ARISS Activities
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT Member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, Named 2020 Carole Perry Educator of the Year

The Orlando HamCation has announced that AMSAT member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, is the 2020 receipient of the Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award. This award is bestowed upon an individual who has made an outstanding contribution educating and advancing youth in Amateur Radio. It was first awarded in 2018 to its namesake, Carole Perry, WB2MGP, in honor of her work as an educator teaching students about ham radio.

Melissa has been an educational professional for over 20 years and currently teaches at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. Along with teaching engineering and computer scienve, she is also involved in the school’s amateur radio and engineering clubs. Her students held demonstrations at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Innovation Day. Some of her other educational endeavors include working on the first satellite to be launched and built by an elementary school and co-facilitating a workshop at Space Port Area Conference for Educators 2019. Melissa has a Technician Class radio license and is a member of AMSAT, NASA Goddard Amateur Radio Club and ARRL. She is involved in ARISS as an Ambassador on the US Education Team. She will be presenting an
ARISS Workshop at the Space Exploration Educators Conference 2020.

AMSAT congratulations Melissa on this well-deserved honor!

[ANS thanks the Orlando HamCation for the above information]

AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Participates in Hackaday Hack Chat

AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, participated in a Hackaday Hack Chat on December 4, 2019. Built for about $300 using mostly off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts, the simulator lets satellite builders work the bugs out of their designs before committing them to the Final Frontier.

Logs from the chat are available at: https://hackaday.io/event/168230-amsat-cubesat-simulator-hack-chat

More information about the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator project can be found at http://cubesatsim.com/.

Dr. Johnston also recently presented at the Radio Club of America’s Technical Symposium. His presentation, entitled “Designing the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator: A Functional Satellite Model for the Classroom” is available at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-342-KU2Y

[ANS thanks Hackaday and Alan Johnston, KU2Y, for the above information]

AMSAT to Join ARRL in Opposition to FCC Proposal to Eliminate 3.3 – 3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation

At its December 12th open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to remove the amateur allocation at 3.3 – 3.5 GHz, including the amateur satellite service allocation at 3.4 – 3.401 GHz.

The ARRL plans to file comments opposing the deletion of the amateur allocation. AMSAT also plans to file comments in opposition to this proposal and we are coordinating our efforts with the ARRL. More information on the FCC proposal can be found on the ARRL’s website at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-342-ARRL.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and the ARRL for the above information]

The digital download version of the 2019 edition of
Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available as a
DRM-free PDF from the AMSAT Store. Get yours today!
https://tinyurl.com/ANS-237-Getting-Started

Chris Taron, NK1K, Completes Satellite DXCC Via LEO Satellites

Chris Taron, NK1K, recently completed his satellite DXCC award with all QSOs made using LEO satellites. His 100th DXCC entity worked came courtesy of Phillipe Chateau, EA4NF, who was operating as EA9/EA4NF in Melilla, on November 19th. Chris posted a recording of his QSO via AO-7 at https://chirb.it/90xpzx. The LoTW confirmation a few days later left him at 99 DXCCs confirmed. A QSL card received from VP2V/DL7VTX on December 5th put him over the top with 100 DXCC entities confirmed.

AMSAT congratulates Chris on his great achievement!

[ANS thanks Chris Taron, NK1K, for the above information]

Duchifat3 with V/u FM Transponder To Launch December 11

Duchifat3, carrying a V/u FM transponder, will launch on the PSLV-C48 mission, currently scheduled for launch at 09:55 UTC on December 11, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR in India. The planned orbit is 576 km circular with an inclination of 37 degrees.

Duchifat3 was built by high school students supported by Herzliya Science Center in Israel and carries an on-board camera for earth imaging. The V/u FM transponder has an uplink of 145.970 MHz and a downlink of 436.400 MHz. Telemetry will be transmitted using 9k6 BPSK with AX.25.

http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=586

[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows, and M2 LEO-Packs
from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds
goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat to Transmit Emergency Traffic using WINLINK

The AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat travels to the space station on the 19th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-19) contract mission for NASA integrated within a NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) and launches from the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD). The J-SSOD is handled by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) outside the space station.

AZTECHSAT-1 has received IARU coordination for a downlink frequency of 437.300 MHz using 9k6 GMSK or FSK. The cubesat will also carry a Globalstar radio. The cubesat will listen for emergency messages in the 439 MHz frequency range and then retransmit these messages for amateur radio operators to copy on the 437.300 MHz downlink using the WinLink protocol.

AZTECHSAT-1 will create a Saturation Map of 435-438 MHz by listening for the whole orbit and returning captured data to the ground station using the 437.300 MHz amateur radio downlink plus a 1600 MHz Globalstar link.

The emergency messages received via globalstar to the AZTECHSAT-1 ground station will be shared on the project’s website. A certificate will be available for amateur stations receiving the emergency message(s) submitted via their website and confirmed by the AZTECHSAT-1 team.

Full details are posted on the AZTECHSAT-1 web:
https://upaep.mx//aztechsat
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=661

[ANS thanks the IARU and the AZTECHSAT-1 at Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla]

AMSAT-SA to Shift Main Focus to AfriCUBE, a Digital SDR CubeSat

The AMSAT-SA CubeSat development team has shifted their CubeSat development focus from an analogue transponder to a digital SDR based unit. The development of the AfriCUBE digital SDR transponder under the leadership of Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC has reached an advanced stage and will soon be ready to undergo its first field trials.

The team is not abandoning the development of the KLETSKous analogue transponder, which performed well during the BACAR 7 flight on 12 October 2019. Leon Lessing, ZS6LMG has taken the development to this point but unfortunately, due to personal commitments, cannot continue to work on Kletskous. “I would like to thank Leon for his support and wish him well in his future endeavours,” Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, AMSAT -SA CubeSat project leader said.

During the BACAR flight test it showed that some further development is needed to improve the transponder’s receiver sensitivity. “Here is a great opportunity for young enthusiastic engineers in the amateur radio community to take on the challenge. I invite interested persons with RF experience to contact me and become part of the team. While there is no financial reward, the experience and achieving something great that will fly in space outweighs this many times. It will certainly look good on anyone’s CV”, Hannes said.

The EPS (electronic power system), space frame and stabilisation system are complete. The development of the solar panel and antenna deployment systems are making good progress. Frik Wolf, ZS6FZ said he will be ready by mid-January 2020 for project review and field testing.

Currently work on a new onboard control system has been paused while Fritz Sutherland, ZS6FSJ is working with Anton Janovsky to get AfricaCUBE ready for on-the-air trials.

Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL will continue work on the documentation crucial to secure a launch opportunity and Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV will work on frequency allocations and explore launch opportunities and the marketing of the project.

AMSAT-SA is continuing its dialogue with SANSA and its contractor to place a transponder on EOSAT-1, a planned high performance earth-observation satellite designed to produce data for a broad range of earth observation applications. The development of AfriCUBE will enhance this opportunity.

JOIN THE AMSAT SA CUBESAT TEAM

AMSAT SA invites radio amateurs with RF, electronic and software experience to join the Satellite Development team and contribute to technology and human capital development in South Africa. The team meets every alternate Monday on a Skype conference and quarterly face-to-face. Send your contact details and your main interest in the CubeSat project to [email protected] Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP or another team member will contact you.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-SA and the South African Radio League for the above information]

LSF Heads Back to Orbit with the Qubik Mission

Libre Space Foundation is proud to announce that it is currently developing and integrating 2 pocketqube satellites (QUBIK-1 & QUBIK-2) and supplying a pocketqube deployer (PICOBUS) to be flown as part of the DREAM payloads program on the inaugural Firefly Alpha launch from Firefly Aerospace.

The project consists of two 50x50x50mm Pocketcubes each of approx. 250g. The project mission is for the satellites to conduct a series of telecommunications related experiments, while at the same time, ground station analysis of the received signals will try to exploit doppler variations in order to perform orbit determination and satellite identification from radio amateur stations around the world. The telecommunication experiments will use several different modulation, coding and framing schemes, with the intention to provide insights about their performance at nano-pico-satellite missions. In addition the frame itself will be organized in such a way so spacecraft identification can be performed as early as possible from the PHY (using orthogonal or PN sequences). Proposing UHF downlinks using either GFSK, GMSK or BPKS at 9k6 or 19k2 bps with QPSK at bit rates of 19k2 or 38k4 bps. Planning a Firefly launch from Vandenberg in March 2020 into a circular 300km 97 degree orbit together with GENESIS-N, GENESIS-L, FOSSASAT-1B and FOSSASAT-2 More info at https://libre.space

Frequency coordination is pending with the IARU:
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/formal_detail.php?serialnum=703

[ANS thanks LibreSpace for the above information]

VUCC Awards And Endorsements for November 2019

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period November 1, 2019 through December 1, 2019. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CallsignOctober 2019 VUCC StandingNovember 2019 VUCC Standing
KO4MA16941701
WA5KBH738744
W5RKN694702
N3GS597601
VE7CEW478501
KK4YEL400413
AD0HJ353375
N7EGY300351
W5CBFNew179
N0RSRNew154
N0RC100104
EA8CXNNew101
VE2NGONew100
VU2LBWNew100

If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at w5rkn at w5rkn dot com and I’ll revise the announcement. This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned. Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!

[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN, for the above information]

ARISS Activities

  • About Gagarin From Space Conducting an amateur radio session with students of “Amur State University Blagoveshchensk”, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via R?ØJ
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS The scheduled astronaut is Oleg Skripochka Contact is go for Thu 2019-12-05 08:52 UTC
  • Council Rock High School South, Holland, PA, direct via KC3NGG
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
    Contact was successful: Thu 2019-12-05 17:56:31 UTC
  • B. Pascal Institute – Public School, Rome, Italy, direct via IKØMGA and Istituto Comprensivo Lipari “S. Lucia”, Lipari, Italy, direct via ID9GKS
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be IRØISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Sat 2019-12-07 11:44:00 UTC
  • Greenwood Primary School, Greenwood, Western Australia, Australia, telebridge via IK1SLD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
    Contact is go for: Tue 2019-12-10 10:55:14 UTC
  • City of Kursk, Russia and City of Ufa, Russia, direct via TBD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Alexander Skvortsov
    Contact is go for: Tue 2019-12-11 10:10 UTC
  • Woodridge Middle School, High Ridge, MO, direct via NØKBA
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Thu 2019-12-12 15:29:16 UTC

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, and David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS operation team members, 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
 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Satellite Shorts:

  • Dec 12th ND0C EM09 – 1647z on AO-91 & 1708z on AO-92
  • Dec 12th ND0C EN00 – 1821z on AO-91 & 1843z on AO-92
  • South Florida (EL95, EL96) December 11-15, 2019
    James, K4WPX, will be in EL96/95 December 11th-15th, vacation style, mostly evening passes, FM only. James will be staying in EM96 but ~1 mile from the EM95 line, so he can skip over there for some passes, too. Pass announcements via Twitter: https://twitter.com/k4wpx
  • Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019
    Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special empahasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF
  • Big Bend National Park (DL88) March 16-17, 2020
    Ron AD0DX, Doug N6UA, and Josh W3ARD will operate from Big Bend National Park to put grid DL88 on the air. Details will be added here as they come available, but you are more than welcome to keep an eye on their individual Twitter feeds: https://twitter.com/ad0dx, https://twitter.com/dtabor, and  https://twitter.com/W3ARDstroke5

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at) amsat.org

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP – User Services, 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/ 

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • Albert “Al” Noe (81), KL7NO, from Fairbanks Alaska, passed away Monday evening, November 25, 21 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. Al was an avid 6 meter operator just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska in grid BP54. He was still active on 6 meters up until the very end. For over 40 years Al provided EME, AMSAT, and many other contacts on 6, 2, 1.25 meters, 70 & 23 centimeters from his Alaska QTH just outside of Fairbanks. Blanchard Family Funeral Home in Fairbanks will be handling Al’s services and an obituary will be published at a later date. https://www.blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com/  (Via the Central States VHF Society)
  • John Toscano, W0JT, passed away Wednesday, November 27, in San Antonio. He fought a long battle against many health problems during the last several years. Since moving to Texas, he had almost completed his dream station (6-m through 10 GHz) at a great location (20 dB hilltop) and participated in both AMSAT and RMG club activities. Previously, while in Minnesota, he was a very active NLRS member on the VHF/UHF/SHF bands with fixed, rover and portable stations. As a retired pharmacist and U of MN assistant professor, John will be remembered for his programming contributions with his 10 GHz contest logging/scoring program and his on-line contest activity spreadsheets. He also had many interests in astronomy and astrophysics.  (Via the Central States VHF Society)
  • From Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1442: FP, ST. PIERRE & MIQUELON (Early Announcement). Eric, KV1J, will once again be operating from the Island of Miquelon (NA-032, DIFO FP-002 WLOTA 1417, Grid GN17) as FP/KV1J between June 30th and July 14th, 2020. This is his 14th trip to the island. Activity will be on 160-10 meters (no 60m – not authorized) using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8/FT4 (but primarily SSB, RTTY and FT8/FT4) and the satellites. He will generally be on the highest frequency band that is open (favoring 12/10m). He will be active in the IARU HF World Championship (July 11-12th). ADDED NOTE: Eric will usually try to be on as many Satellite passes as he can when the WX is good, generally favoring the FO-29, XW-2x, AO-7, and possibly the FM birds. Weekends may be limited since he will be concentrating on the low(er) bands and contests. QSL via KV1J, direct or by the Bureau. Also eQSL and LoTW. For more details and updates, check out his Web page at: http://www.kv1j.com/fp/July20.html
  • Issue 78 of CQ DATV is now available at https://cq-datv.mobi/78.php.

 

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.

73 and remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
[email protected]

ANS-335 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 1

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-335

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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:

  • AMSAT Fox Leaderboard Will Show Monthly Leaders
  • AMSAT Will Be at Superstition Superfest Hamfest
  • Electron Booster on the Pad for Rocket Lab’s 10th Mission
  • FCC Seeks to Clear Radio Amateurs Out of 3.4 GHz
  • WRC-19 Final Report: Small Satellites and the 1240-1300 MHz Band
  • AMSAT Auction Celebrating 45th Birthday of AO-7 Raises $480
  • Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT Fox Leaderboard Will Show Monthly Leaders

Starting from Nov. 26, the AMSAT Fox Telemetry leaderboard will now show MONTHLY totals. The top stations will be those that have submitted the most telemetry in the last 30 days. The old style leaderboard can be accessed by clicking “All-time Leaderboard” to see totals since the launch of Fox-1A. To see more than the top 10 stations, click on “Show all ground stations” to see everyone. The leaderboard has also been updated to show PSK frames decoded alongside FSK frames. DUV and Highspeed are both counted but are not shown separately on the totals page.

HuskySat-1 is now at the ISS on the Cygnus. We expect it to be boosted to its target orbit in the new year. It will transmit BPSK telemetry continuously on 70cm, so dig out that 435Mhz antenna and make sure it works! Fox-1E will follow in the (hopefully near) future and will also transmit PSK on 70cm.

As with previous spacecraft, the telemetry collected is sent to our University Partners who fly experiments and help make these missions possible. Please collect and forward telemetry if you can.

The link to the leaderboard is: https://www.amsat.org/tlm/

If there are questions, contact Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ via email: g0kla <at> arrl.net

(ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ for the above information)

The digital download version of the 2019 edition of
Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available as a
DRM-free PDF from the AMSAT Store. Get yours today!
https://tinyurl.com/ANS-237-Getting-Started

AMSAT Will Be at Superstition Superfest Hamfest

AMSAT will be at the Superstition Amateur Radio Club’s “Superstition Superfest” hamfest on the morning of Saturday, December 7, 2019. The hamfest will be in the southwest parking lot of Mesa Community College, located on the east side of Dobson Road between Southern Avenue and US-60 exit 177 in Mesa, Arizona. More information about the hamfest is available at: http://superstitionsuperfest.org/

WD9EWK will be on the satellites during the hamfest, demonstrating satellite operating. If you hear WD9EWK on a pass that morning, please call and be a part of a demonstration. The hamfest site is in grid DM43, in Arizona’s Maricopa County. QSOs made during the hamfest will be uploaded to Logbook of the World, and QSL cards are available on request (please e-mail WD9EWK directly at patrick <at> wd9ewk.net with the QSO details).

[ANS thanks Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, for the above information]

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

Electron Booster on the Pad for Rocket Lab’s 10th Mission

Rocket Lab has announced that its next mission will launch multiple microsatellites in a rideshare mission representing five different countries. The launch window for Rocket Lab’s tenth flight, will open November 25, New Zealand time, and take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.

Onboard this rideshare mission are six spacecraft comprised of 5cm PocketQube microsatellites from satellite manufacturer and mission management provider Alba Orbital. Two of these satellites include downlinks in the UHF amateur radio band.

TRSI is a PocketQube for technology demonstration. Its main objective is to show which functionality can be achieved with dimensions of 5cm x 5cm x 5cm. It carries two experiments that are connected to the amateur-satellite service.

  • First is a waterfall experiment which will show an image in the waterfall diagram by hopping the frequency within its transmission band (image-type beacon).
  • The second experiment is to analyze RF reception capabilities from LEO with a novel detector receiver and a small patch antenna. It was designed to test if small satellite receivers which don´t need deployable antennas are feasible. The received signal´s envelope will be sampled and forwarded using UHF in MFSK for signal analysis. During the experiment phase the satellite will also perform as an amateur CW repeater, providing additional RX strength indication; eg. CW morse signals will be re-sent in MFSK, showing the RX amplitude in dBm. A downlink on 437.075 MHz has been coordinated.

IARU Frequency Coordination information has been posted at: http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=649

FossaSat-1 PocketQube by AMSAT-EA which has a 5x5x5cm structure and a total mass of 250 grams. Radio link testing features a new experimental RF chirp modulation called LoRa which greatly improves the link budget reducing the power consumed and reduces the cost of receivers.

The output power from the transmitter required for the correct reception during a pass is also very low at well under 100mW, being spread spectrum at such low power it poses no interference risk. It operates at a considerable level below the noise level of other systems and would cause no interference to weak narrowband signals.

Students & amateurs will be able to receive telemetry from the satellite with inexpensive hardware, expanding & promoting the amateur satellite community with youth. Uplink challenges will also be carried out with rewards for amateurs.

The mission is completely open source with all information regarding the design of the satellite & how to decode its information clearly laid out & hosted by AMSAT-EA. The site will provide decoding software for SDR use in order to allow anyone to decode LoRa using common existing hardware & host software for users to submit telemetry data, making all data public and rewarding users with certificates & awards.

The UHF downlink plans on using FSK RTTY 45 BAUD ITA2, 100mW 183hz Shift and LoRa 125kHz, Chirp Spread Spectrum Modulation, 180 bps, 100mW. A downlink on 436.700 MHz has been coordinated.

IARU Frequency Coordination information has been posted at: http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=652

A commercial payload on board is ALE-2 from a Tokyo-based company creating microsatellites that simulate meteor particles. See http://star-ale.com/en/news/317/2019/01/04/ for more information.

Rocket Labs mission web page can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y672rjj5

[ANS thanks Rocket Labs, IARU, AMSAT-EA, TRSI, and Alba Orbital 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
 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

FCC Seeks to Clear Radio Amateurs Out of 3.4 GHz

At its December 12 open meeting, the FCC will consider adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to remove the amateur radio 9-centimeter allocation at 3.3 – 3.5 GHz. ARRL plans to comment in opposition to the proposed action. According to an FCC “Fact Sheet,” the proceeding WT Docket 19-348, “Facilitating Shared Use in the 3.1 – 3.55 GHz Band,” is a follow-on from the MOBILE NOW Act, approved by the 115th Congress, which requires the FCC and the US Department of Commerce to make available new spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. It also requires the FCC to work with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to evaluate whether commercial wireless services and federal incumbents could share spectrum between 3.1 and 3.55 GHz. NTIA manages spectrum allocated to federal government users.

“This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would propose to remove the existing non-federal allocations in the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band as a step towards potential future shared use between federal incumbents and commercial users,” the FCC Fact Sheet explains. “By taking the initial step needed to clear the band of allocations for non-federal incumbents, the Commission furthers its continued efforts to make more mid-band spectrum potentially available to support next generation wireless networks — consistent with the mandate of the MOBILE NOW [Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless] Act.”

The NPRM proposes to clear the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band of existing non-federal users by removing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations [emphasis added] in the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band and to relocate incumbent non-federal users out of the band. The FCC would seek comment on relocation options and “transition mechanisms” for incumbent non-federal users, either to the 3.1 – 3.3 GHz band or to other frequencies, and on how to ensure that non-federal secondary operations in the 3.1– 3.3 GHz band will continue to protect federal radar systems.

Regarding the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Service allocations, the FCC NPRM asks whether existing amateur spectrum in other bands might support operations currently conducted in the 3.3 – 3.5 GHz band. The 3.40 – 3.41 GHz segment is designated for amateur satellite communication. “We seek comment on the extent to which the band is used for this purpose, whether existing satellites can operate on other amateur satellite bands, and on an appropriate timeframe for terminating these operations in this band,” the FCC NPRM says.

Also at its December 12 meeting, the FCC will consider another NPRM in WT Docket 19-138 that would “take a fresh and comprehensive look” at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band and propose, among other things, to make the lower 45 MHz of the band available for unlicensed operations and to permit “Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything” (C-V2X) operations in the upper 20 MHz of the band. The FCC is not proposing to delete or otherwise amend the amateur allocation, and it would continue as a secondary allocation, but the primary allocation for 5.850 – 5.925 GHz would change.

The amateur radio 5-centimeter allocation is 5650.0 – 5925.0 MHz, and the NPRM, if approved, would address the top 75 MHz of that amateur secondary band. While no changes are proposed to the amateur allocation, anticipated more intensive use by primary users could restrict secondary amateur use.

The band 5.850–5.925 GHz has been reserved for use by dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), a service in the intelligent transportation system (ITS) designed to enable vehicle-related communications, the FCC said in a Fact Sheet in WT Docket 19-138. “The Commission initiates this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the 5.9 GHz band rules and propose appropriate changes to ensure the spectrum supports its highest and best use.” ARRL also will file comments opposing any changes affecting the 5-centimeter amateur allocation.

Both draft FCC proposals are subject to change prior to a vote at the December 12 FCC meeting, and there will be opportunity to file comments and reply comments on the final proposals after they are released.

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information]

WRC-19 Final Report: Small Satellites and the 1240-1300 MHz Band

In the final week, the meetings at WRC-19 have been running until 3 in the morning in an attempt to get the work completed. The RSGB have released their WRC-19 report covering small satellites and also the Amateur 1240-1300 MHz band. The report notes “A lesson from the process indicates how difficult it may be in future to achieve any upgrade to other amateur allocations.” Read the RSGB Small Satellites and 23cm report at https://tinyurl.com/vjfho66

Friday, November 22 saw WRC-19 conclude its month long biggest ever conference. Many of the 3,300 delegates had started to travel home even before the release of the ‘Provisional Final Acts’ and closing ceremony.

The ITU website has released the provisional acts as a huge 567-page PDF document—a tribute to the the hardworking editorial and translation teams at the conference. These provisional acts are due to come into force on January 1, 2021, so no early changes are currently expected in practice. WRC-19 Provisional Final Acts – a 567 page document – is available at https://tinyurl.com/tyzfvl3

Read the RSGB WRC-19 Final report at https://tinyurl.com/qjw9kvd

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows, and M2 LEO-Packs
from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds
goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/

AMSAT Auction Celebrating 45th Birthday of AO-7 Raises $480

The auctions for a set of gold-plated AO-7 cufflinks and a 50th Anniversary AMSAT lab coat recently concluded and raised $480 to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space. Thank you to all of the bidders for participating in the auctions!

If you missed out on the auctions, but still want to help out, please consider donating or purchasing items from the AMSAT store at www.amsat.org today!

[ANS thanks Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, for the above information]

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule

  • Council Rock High School South, Holland, Pa., direct via KC3NGG
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
    Contact is go for: Thu 2019-12-05 17:56:31 UTC
  • Pascal Institute – Public School, Rome, Italy, direct via IKØMGA and Istituto Comprensivo Lipari “S. Lucia”, Lipari, Italy, direct via ID9GKS.
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be IRØISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Sat 2019-12-07 11:44:00 UTC

For more information, the ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, ARISS operation team, 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

  • Nunavut, Canada (ER60) November 11 – December 6, 2019
    Look for VY0ERC to once again be active from the Eureka Weather station (NA-008, Zone 2) between Nov. 11 to Dec. 6. This station is operated by the Eureka Amateur Radio Club [probably the most northerly located amateur radio club in the world] from Eureka, Nunavut. The suggested bands are 40 and 20 meters (possibly 80m), as well as FM satellites (from ER60, EQ79) using SSB, the Digital modes and very slow CW. Activity will be limited to their spare time. QSL via M0OXO, OQRS or direct. For updates, see: https://twitter.com/vy0erc
  • Key West (EL94) December 3-6, 2019
    Tanner, W9TWJ, will be vacationing in Key West December 3-6. Key word is vacation, but he will jump on some FM satellite passes to activate EL94 for those that need it or just want to chat. Watch Tanner’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/twjones85
  • Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019
    Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special emphasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at) amsat.org

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP – User Services, for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • NASA’s “Ride to Station” App and Educator Guide equips educators with simple tools and knowledge to take a fun, interactive app and turn it into a powerful, educational tool for students of all ages! The interactive app gives an overview of the complexities involved in getting to and conducting research aboard the International Space Station. The app is also challenging and fun! The Commercial Crew Program focuses on working with NASA’s two partners Boeing and SpaceX to create American commercial capabilities to safely send humans to and from the International Space Station. For more information see: https://tinyurl.com/vj9gyfr  (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)
  • Rovers and some multiop VHF/UHF contest stations will be interested in the future Down East Microwave DEM V/U Xverter. This device covers ALL 5 OF THE AMATEUR BANDS between 144 MHz and 1.2 GHz. According to the preliminary information from the manufacturer: “All frequencies convert to/from 28 MHz. The transmit output level is approximately 1 watt and will exhibit a 2 dB noise figure with greater than 15 dB gain on all bands. The Transverter will also contain an AUX RF port that will be configured as an additional 2M port for connection to a higher frequency transverter such as our future DEM MICRO-VERTER containing 4 additional higher bands of operation.” (ANS thanks Pete Heins, N6ZE, the Pacific NorthWest VHF Society, and www.downeastmicrowave.com for the above information)
  • Rocket Lab has partnered with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) to be the sole provider of ground station services for the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite bus customers. KSAT’s KSATlite ground network is designed and optimized for small satellite systems, providing  Photon customers with downlink and uplink capabilities in UHF, S-band, X-band, and Ka-band across a global ground station network of over 200 antennas that supports 50,000 contacts per month. (ANS thanks SatMagazine.com for the above information)
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) will be testing an improved waveform on the 48-MHz Tropospheric Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (TDRWP) from Monday, November 25 through Sunday, December 1. The purpose of the test is to improve the instrument’s resolution and still operate within the assigned bandwidth. NASA is requesting the amateur radio community to report via email to [email protected] any detected emissions in the 50 – 54 MHz band dur  ing that period. Include the date, time, location, frequency, and any other pertinent information (such as IQ files of the signal for evaluation) that might assist NASA in assessing potential impacts to the amateur radio community.  (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)
  • NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 12:51 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 4, for the launch of its 19th resupply mission to the International Space Station under contract with the agency. Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Tuesday, Dec. 3, with prelaunch events. The Dragon spacecraft, which will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, will be filled with supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science investigations and technology demonstrations that will occur during Expeditions 61 and 62.  (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)
  • Jerri Ellsworth, AI6TK, who was the AMSAT/TAPR guest speaker at Dayton in 2018, was featured as a “technology visionary” by the New York Times in an article first published in October, but highlighted once again in a series wrap-up on Nov. 26. Those who have a N.Y. Times online account can access the story at https://tinyurl.com/tmkhqaq
  • ANS wishes a happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend (or what remains of it) to all U.S. satellite operators!

 

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.

73 and remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Mark Johns, K0JM
K0JM at amsat dot org