ANS-054 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for February 23rd

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE — ANS-054

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 http://www.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.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:
http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • QARMAN and Phoenix CubeSats Deployed from ISS
  • AMSAT Files Comments Opposing Deletion of 3.4 GHz Band
  • NEMO-1 Buoy Report
  • GNU Radio Conference – Tickets and Call for Papers
  • U.S. Naval Academy’s PSAT3 Scheduled to Launch in Mid-March
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” Available with Membership
  • ARISS Radio Telebridge Stalwart Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, SK
  • Upcoming ARISS Contacts
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

QARMAN and Phoenix CubeSats Deployed from ISS

The von Karman Institute in Belgium (VKI) reports the successful deployment of the QARMAN satellite from the International Space Station
on Wednesday, 19 February. QARMAN is one of several cubesats that were scheduled for deployment this week.

Also, Arizona State University reports that its Phoenix CubeSat was successfully deployed from the ISS as scheduled at 9:35 UTC Wednesday. Roughly 30 minutes after deployment, its beacon was heard for the first time at an amateur radio ground station located in Indonesia.

VKI also reports successful reception and decoding of telemetry from QARMAN. It is important to note that both of these satellites are using
the same frequency, 437.35 MHz, for telemetry transmissions, and that they are in very similar orbits. Both satellites also follow the AX.25
protocol at 9600 baud, with GMSK modulation. It will take some trial and error before each spacecraft’s TLEs can be confirmed.

Operators of these satellites are actively seeking observations from amateurs. Please report to:
https://community.libre.space/c/satellites-observations

ANS is awaiting reports regarding the other satellites that were scheduled for deployment on Wednesday, as listed below:

CubeSatDownlink (MHz)Uplink (MHz)Scheduled Deployment Time (UTC)
RadSat-u437.425437.4257:10
CryoCube2261.0002082.004 12:55
AztechSat-1437.300437.30012:55
SOCRATES914.700914.70014:30
Argus-02437.290437.29016:00
HARP468.000450.00016:00
SORTIE468.000450.00017:40

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK, VKI, and Arizona State for the above information]


AMSAT Files Comments Opposing Deletion of 3.4 GHz Band

AMSAT has filed comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which proposes to delete the 3.3 – 3.5 GHz (9 cm) amateur band, including the 3.40 – 3.41 GHz amateur satellite service allocation.

In the comments, AMSAT opposes the deletion of this allocation and emphasizes the necessity of adequate microwave spectrum for future amateur satellite projects, including AMSAT’s GOLF program and the Lunar Gateway.

AMSAT further notes that the most desirable allocations for use as uplinks are the allocations between 2.4 and 5.67 GHz. These allocations
total 80 MHz. The most desirable allocation for downlink use is the 10.45 – 10.50 GHz allocation, totaling 50 MHz. As many of the proposed
uses include amateur television and high-speed data transmission with satellites in high earth orbit or lunar orbit, these allocations may
quickly become inadequate. AMSAT also notes that the 2.4 and 5.67 GHz allocations are widely used for ISM and consumer devices, such as WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled devices. The 3.4 GHz allocation is shared between amateur use and other non-federal and federal licensees, but is free from the unpredictable interference of consumer devices.

While acknowledging that the 3.4 GHz amateur satellite service allocation is not currently used by any amateur satellites and that it is
unsuitable for worldwide communication since it is not available in ITU Region 1, AMSAT identifies a number of potential future uses for
the band as worldwide usage of the other available allocations increases. These potential uses include a future amateur satellite in
geostationary orbit above the Americas.

In the comments, AMSAT also noted several non-amateur satellite uses of the broader 3.3 – 3.5 GHz amateur service allocation, including its
wide use in mesh networking, EME communications, and contesting.

The full text of the comments as filed can be downloaded at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-054-FCC

Interested parties may file reply comments on or before March 22, 2020 at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ The proceeding is WT Docket No. 19-
348.

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


NEMO-1 Buoy Report

AMSAT ARGENTINA launched the NEMO-1 buoy into the Atlantic sea on January 30th at noon, using the callsign LU7AA. It was transported 70 km east of Mar del Plata by the fisherman’s ship ‘Porteño’, from Sandokan.

The buoy, which emits in WSPR mode at 14095.6 KHz and FM VHF in APRS mode, navigated drifting free for 12 days traveling about 1100 kilometers, until on February 11th it was sighted and taken out of the water by the tuna vessel ‘Juan Pablo II’.

The captain of the ship, Rinaldi Yaco, considered that the buoy was sailing semi-sunk and decided to rescue it, informing Amsat Argentina
of that event.

The NEMO-1 then traveled eight more days aboard the tuna vessel, continuing its mission of data capture and broadcasting, until on Feb-19
it arrived at the port of Mar del Plata, where colleagues from the Mar del Plata Radio Club picked it up and kept in custody.

A group of AMSAT-LU is traveling to recover NEMO-1. The buoy will be reconditioned and a new launch is planned. It will be tried to take it,
on this occasion, to more than 200 km offshore, so that it will continue to navigate freely, reaffirming the commitment and contribution
of radio amateurs to QRPp propagation research also helping navigation and the community.

AMSAT ARGENTINA especially thanks the Captains and crews of the ‘Porteño’, the ‘Juan Pablo II’ ships and the Mar del Plata RClub in
the persons of its Secretary, Jose Luis Hermida (LU9DHJ) and Jorge Garelli (LU5EOR) for the help provided and to the more than 100 ‘travelers’ in NEMO-1, who supported this project helping to carry it out.
http://amsat.org.ar?f=ce

Adventure photos: http://amsat.org.ar?f=buoy

[ANS thanks LU7AA, AMSAT Argentina 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


GNU Radio Conference – Tickets and Call for Papers

GNU Radio is used by spacecraft and ground station developers around the world. GRCon is the annual conference for the GNU Radio project and community. GRCon20 will be held September 14-18, 2020 in Charlotte, N.C.

The GNU Radio Conference celebrates and showcases the substantial and remarkable progress of the world’s best open source digital signal
processing framework for software-defined radios. In addition to presenting GNU Radio’s theoretical and practical presence in academia,
industry, the military, and among amateurs and hobbyists, GNU Radio Conference 2020 will have a very special focus: Speed, latency, delay,
and timing!

Enjoy our racing theme throughout the conference, featured in our contests and a high-octane Thursday night dinner. Papers and presentations on theme will be recognized at the conference with an award.

But wait, there’s more! We’ll be co-located and coordinated with the TAPR Digital Communications Conference. It’s the weekend immediately preceding GRCon20. Find out more at: https://tapr.org/?page_id=68

Registration and an online and mobile-friendly schedule will be posted at https://www.gnuradio.org/grcon/grcon20/

Developers and users from the GNU Radio Community are invited to present projects, presentations, papers, posters, and problems at GRCon20. Submit talks, demos, and code! Please share this Call widely. To submit your content for the conference, visit the dedicated conference submission site at: https://pretalx.gnuradio.org/grcon20/cfp

First round closes 17 April 2020. If accepted, your content will be immediately scheduled. Notifications go out 26 June 2020.

Final round closes 1 September 2019. Submissions received between 18 April 2020 and 1 September 2020 are accepted space permitting, and notifications will be sent out on a rolling basis.

Those with questions or need assistance with submitting then please write grcon@gnuradio.org

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT Board Member, for the above information]


U.S. Naval Academy’s PSAT3 Scheduled to Launch in Mid-March

The U. S. Naval Academy’s PSAT3 payload is scheduled to launch in mid-March from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska in Kodiak, AK.

PSAT3 is functionally equivalent to NO-104 (PSAT2), but does not include PSK31 functionality. It carries a 145.825 MHz APRS digipeater
and SSTV downlink capability.

PSAT3 will not be a free-flying satellite. It will remain attached to the upper stage of the launch vehicle. Consequently, the mission dur-
ation will be limited to a few months, when the rocket body will deorbit.

More information about PSAT3 can be found at http://aprs.org/psat3.html

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, and the IARU for the above information]


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

The following Amateur Radio satellite has been added to this weeks AMSAT TLE Distribution:
SwampSat-2 NORAD CAT ID 45115 (Deployed from Northrop Grumman NG-12 Cygnus 2-3-2020.)
(Thanks to Nico Janseen, PA0DLO, for satellite identification.)

Sadly, AO-85 (Fox-1A) has been declared at end of mission. But, I think I will retain AO-85 in the TLE distribution for a while just in case there are some last comments from our friend. (Remember AO-7?)

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]


Free Digital Copy of “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” Available for New or Renewing Members

While HuskySat-1 completes it’s scientific mission, check out the best resource for learning how to work through linear transponder satellites (and other types of amateur satellites). For a limited time, AMSAT is making the “Getting Started With Amateur Satellites” book available as a download with any paid new or renewal membership purchased via the AMSAT Store. This offer is only available with purchases  completed online, and for only a limited time. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The book is presented in PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.

Please take advantage of this offer today by visiting the AMSAT store at https://www.amsat.org/shop/ and selecting any membership option. While there, check out AMSAT’s other items, including the M2 LEOpack antenna system, Arrow antennas, AMSAT shirts, and other swag. Be sure to view your cart before going to checkout. If you add a membership and then go directly to checkout, you’ll never see an option to add your free gift.

If you have trouble selecting your free gift, please see this YouTube video to see the steps necessary. https://youtu.be/oRqk5Am-UzE

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]


ARISS Radio Telebridge Stalwart Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, SK

When the International Space Station (ISS) orbit is not favorable for a direct Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) con-
tact with a particular school or location scheduled to speak with an astronaut, ARISS radio telebridge stations bridge the gap. Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, of Parklands, South Africa, one of the “regulars” during the earlier years of the ARISS program, died on February 1 at age 95.

Klatzko served as an ARISS radio telebridge station in South Africa for many years until he retired. ARISS telebridge stations establish the direct ham radio link and feed two-way audio into a telebridge line for delivery to the contact site. John Sygo, ZS6JON, described Klatzko as “always bright and cheerful and a great operator,” who made major contributions to the amateur service.

“He was one of the first to experiment with slow-scan television,” Sygo said. “For many years, he assisted NASA to link astronauts with their families using amateur radio links from Mir, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. For over 2 decades he was the co-producer and presenter of Amateur Radio Mirror International.”

[ANS thanks ARRL 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/


Upcoming ARISS Contacts

ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station. A contact is scheduled with the Kittredge Magnet School, Atlanta, GA, direct via KQ4KMS. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS, and
the scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan, KI5AAA. The contact is go for: Monday, 2020-02-24 at 18:23:55 UTC (31 degrees elevation).

A contact is also scheduled with the Celia Hays Elementary School, Rockwall, Texas, direct via W5SO. The ISS callsign is presently sched-
uled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan, KI5AAA. The contact is go for: Tuesday, 2020-02-25 at 17:35:18 UTC (31 degrees)

Watch for live stream at https://live.myvrspot.com/st?cid=NWM5NW

The ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/

Note that all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, of the ARISS operation team for the above information]


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Current schedule:

  • March 6, 2020, Irving Hamfest, Irving, Texas
  • March 14-15, 2020, Science City on University of Arizona, Tuscon, Ariz.
  • March 21, 2020, Midwinter Madness Hamfest, Buffalo, Minn.
  • March 21, 2020, Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Ariz.
  • March 28, 2020, Tucson Spring Hamfest, Tucson, Ariz.
  • March 29, 2020, Vienna Wireless Winterfest, Annandale, Va.
  • May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
  • May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, Ariz.
  • May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, Ohio
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, Texas

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download: AMSAT Intro Brochure. This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – 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/


Upcoming Satellite Operations

#SnowBirdRove (EL79) – February 1-29, 2020

Joe, KE9AJ, will cross the border into Florida, seeking climatical asylum in EL79 for the entire month of February. Since he will be there for an extended period, with both FM and linear gear, keep an eye on Joe’s Twitter feed for specific pass announcements: https://twitter.com/KE9AJ

There is a possibility that Joe may have to make a pit stop in EM54 and EM53 on his way down South on February 1st. Monitor Twitter
for updates.

Culebra Island, PR (FK78) February 22-23, 2020

Radio Operadores del Este, Inc, KP3E will be returning to Culebra Island February 21-23. Listen for Rafael, KP4RV, on FM satellites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xSbPgIyhtA&feature=youtu.be

Vidalia, LA (EM41) February 28 – March 1, 2020

Brian, KG5GJT, will will be operating from the bank of the Mississippi River in Vidalia, La. (EM41), where Jim Bowie was seriously wounded in the Sandbar Fight on September 19, 1827. This will be vacation style, so keep an eye on Brian’s Twitter feed for updates: https://twitter.com/KG5GJT

DN26/36 Mar 14-15 KC7JPC Linears (and possibly FM)

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

#NevadaMayhem part 1: Central Nevada (DM19) March 21, 2020

David, AD7DB, will venture deep into Central Nevada to specifically activate grid DM19 on Saturday March 21. This is actually down a side road from “The Loneliest Road in America.” Hardly any hams even live in that grid. It’s for sure that few ever activate it. On the way there, Friday March 20, he will try to also activate some or all of: DM06, DM16, DM07, DM08, DM17 and DM18. Going home Sunday March 22, he will try to visit them again. This will be on FM satellites only. Internet and cell coverage may be very poor up there, but for updates check Twitter: https:/twitter.com/ad7db

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

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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Students in the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington have confirmed via their Facebook page that they have been commanding HuskySat-1 to various transmitter power levels and beacon intervals. Some amateurs tracking the bird, which carries a linear transponder to be activated later, had feared that the varying levels were a sign of problems. But this is part of the experimentation. The HuskySat team has been providing updates on their operations on their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/UWCubeSat/posts/  You should not need a Facebook account to view that link.
(ANS thanks UW CubeSat Team for the above information)

+ NASA will accept applications for its next astronaut class March 2 to 31. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a master’s degree in a
STEM field and two years of relevant professional experience. To sign up, see: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts
(ANS thanks NASA HQ News for the above information)

+ International Astronomical Youth Camp will take place in Spain from 12 July to 1 August 2020. The camp typically hosts around 65 participants, aged between 16-24 years old. The IAYC’s main aims are to promote knowledge on astronomy and related sciences in a unique, international atmosphere. Participants work on a research project of their own choosing over the course of the three weeks, culminating in a final report. See https://www.iayc.org/ for details.
(ANS thanks Carys Herbert, IAYC Leaderteam, for the above information)

+ The ARISS-UK Team have announced that the Electromagnetic Field 2020 event is to host an ARISS contact during the weekend of July 23-26. The event will be held at Easton Manor Deer Park, near Ledbury in Herefordshire, UK. Information and event tickets available at: https://blog.emfcamp.org/2020/02/14/ticket-sales-dates/
(ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information)

+ The maiden flight of the Long March-5B rocket carrying a trial version of China’s new-generation manned spaceship is expected to take place in April, indicating the imminent start of construction of China’s space station. The rocket, the prototype core capsule of the space station, and the experimental manned spaceship are undergoing 0tests at the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the coast of south China’s island province of Hainan. https://bit.ly/2VcjXrO
(ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information)

+ A new version of the game of “chicken” is evolving in outer space. According to Gen. John Raymond, the U.S. Space Force Chief, Russian “inspector” satellites are threatening the tenuous stand-off stability between adversarial spacefaring nations. Since Novemeber, the U.S. Space Command has been tracking a satellite known as Cosmos-2542 which ejected a smaller, nested satellite referred to as Cosmos-2543. The Russian satellites have been actively maneuvering near USA245, a classified military imaging satellite.
(ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information)

+ Amazon has patented a mechanism for throwing satellites into space with a multi-drone-guided whip, mounted on a boat. See details at:
https://bit.ly/37KWPmL Note, though, that Amazon (and other tech companies) have a history of patenting things that they’ll never
actually build, such as Amazon’s underwater fulfillment centers: https://bit.ly/2Tf7DV9 Has April Fool come early?
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index 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 6 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,

K0JM at amsat dot org

ANS-047 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for February 16th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-047

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 http://www.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.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: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • AMSAT-OSCAR 85 Declared End of Mission
  • HuskySat-1 Update
  • Update from AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG
  • Free Digital Copy of “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” Available for New or Renewing Members
  • Apogee View – January/February 2020
  • 5 Tips on Etiquette and Good Manners on the FM Ham Radio Satellites
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 13, 2020
  • Upcoming ARISS Contacts
  • Upcoming AMSAT Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT’s GOLF-TEE satellite recently reached a major milestone
when prototype boards transmitted telemetry for the first time.
Help support AMSAT’s path back to HEO by donating today!

https://www.amsat.org/donations/amsat-golf-program-donations/

AMSAT-OSCAR 85 Declared End of Mission

AO-85 (Fox-1A) Flight Unit

After a long decline in the health of its batteries, AO-85 has gone silent. Having not been heard throughout the most recent period of  full illumination, it is reasonable to believe the batteries have deteriorated to the point of no longer being able to power the transmitter. Should some future event cause a cell to open, it is possible the satellite may be heard again, but for now it is time to declare end-of-mission.

AO-85 was conceived as the first AMSAT cubesat, and was designed to be a successor to the popular AO-51 microsat. Accepted into the NASA CubeSat Launch Initative in February 2012, AO-85 was launched October 8, 2015. AO-85’s success led to further Fox satellites AO-91, AO-92, AO-95, and RadFxSat2 / Fox-1E which will be launched later this year. The Fox-1E transponder was also spun off into a radio system now in orbit onboard HuskySat-1, and soon to be in several other university cubesats.

Development continues on GOLF-TEE and GOLF-1, which will include a legacy V/u linear transponder and a SDR-based multiband uplink and 10 GHz downlink radio system. Your continued support of AMSAT by membership and donations will help us Keep Amateur Radio in Space.

[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT Vice President – Operations 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

HuskySat-1 Update

Members of the HuskySat-1 Team Receiving Data

Students in the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington have been celebrating successes since HuskySat-1, a student built satellite weighing about 9 lbs, deployed into space on Friday, January 31st:

• After being deployed, HuskySat turned on, deployed the antennas on the first attempt, and start transmitting in a designated “safe mode”.
• On the first active pass over Seattle, just 2 hours after deployment, students used the UW ground station to command the satellite to change operational modes.
• With help from AMSAT and the network of amateurs across the globe, the HuskySat team has been able to closely track the health of the satellite. Health data includes temperatures, battery charge state, and solar panel charging.
• Over the weekend, the camera payload took and transmitted the first pictures from space! The camera included collaboration with Raisbeck Aviation High School and nonprofit Quick2Space.

No alt text provided for this image
Picture of earth from the HuskySat-1 Camera

Commissioning of the satellite systems is still underway. The satellite has actually been in space inside a Nanoracks deployer since launch on Nov 2nd. The main research goal of satellite is to demonstrate the new propulsion and communication technologies on the satellite. At the completion of the research phase, the satellite will be utilized as an amateur transponder.

The mission of the UW program, housed in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, is to foster interdisciplinary student participation in space systems research, to inspire and train future space scientists and engineers, and to advance spacecraft capabilities at the University of Washington.

On February 15th, AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, hosted a Twitch stream to discuss the AMSAT Linear Transponder Module (LTM-1) and HuskySat-1. You can see a replay of the livestream at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/552209241

[ANS thanks Paige Northway of the HuskySat-1 team and Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President – Engineering, for the above information]

Update from AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG

I am humbled by the greetings and congratulatory messages received over the past ten days since becoming the President of AMSAT. Please join me in expressing gratitude to our immediate past president Joe Spier, K6WAO, for his dedication to AMSAT’s mission of Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

It was a pleasure to speak with many of our members at the Orlando Hamcation last weekend. Attending Hamcation afforded me the opportunity to meet with many of our volunteers and reach out to other organizations in amateur radio such as the ARRL and the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.

My priority, now underway, is to ensure all Directors have equal access to AMSAT resources to perform their duties. AMSAT complies with Section 29-413.05 of the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act of 2010. Most of the information Directors use to perform their duties are already publicly available on the Internet on our website, published in the AMSAT News Service (ANS) and often in print as part of The AMSAT Journal. These resources are not password protected and can be viewed by members and non-members alike.

Once I’ve had an opportunity to speak individually with the Directors, I will convene a Board of Directors teleconference to address outstanding business. At any time, three Directors may call on the President to schedule a Board of Directors meeting, per our bylaws Article II, Section 5, Paragraph A.

73,
Clayton
W5PFG
AMSAT President

[ANS thanks Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, AMSAT President, for the above information]

Free Digital Copy of “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” Available for New or Renewing Members

While HuskySat-1 completes it’s scientific mission, check out the best resource for learning how to work through linear transponder satellites (and other types of amateur satellites). For a limited time, AMSAT is making the “Getting Started With Amateur Satellites” book available as a download with any paid new or renewal membership purchased via the AMSAT Store. This offer is only available with purchases completed online, and for only a limited time. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The book is presented in PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.

Please take advantage of this offer today by visiting the AMSAT store at https://www.amsat.org/shop/ and selecting any membership option. While there, check out AMSAT’s other items, including the M2 LEOpack antenna system, Arrow antennas, AMSAT shirts, and other swag. Be sure to view your cart before going to checkout. If you add a membership and then go directly to checkout, you’ll never see an option to add your free gift.

If you have trouble selecting your free gift, please see this YouTube video to see the steps necessary: https://youtu.be/oRqk5Am-UzE

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]

Apogee View – January/February 2020

Happy New Year! 2020 promises to be an exciting year filled with new satellites to work and significant progress towards our next generation of satellites. By the time you read this, HuskySat-1 should be in orbit and completing its science mission before being turned over to AMSAT for amateur radio use. I want to congratulate all those involved with this project both at the University of Washington and on AMSAT’s Engineering and Operations teams who worked to make this mutually beneficial partnership happen. More details about HuskySat-1 and our partnership with the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington can be found elsewhere in the January/February 2020 issue of The AMSAT Journal.

While we look forward to the completion of HuskySat-1’s primary mission, we also await the launch of the final Fox-1 satellite, RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E, which is currently scheduled to launch no earlier than the first quarter of this year on the ELaNa XX mission. The ELaNa XX mission will fly on the second flight of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne vehicle.

As the Fox project wraps up its series of five 1U CubeSats, progress continues on GOLF, the next generation of AMSAT satellites. A group of GOLF-TEE (Greater Orbit Larger Footprint – Technology Evaluation Environment) satellite prototype boards transmitted telemetry for the first time on Tuesday, January 14th. During the test, the boards were laid out on a bench as a “flat-sat” with interconnecting wires, bench power supplies, and a dummy load on the transmitter. The interconnected boards included:

• An early RT-IHU (Radiation Tolerant Internal Housekeeping Unit – i.e., computer) prototype,
• A CIU (Control Interface Unit) prototype, and
• A set of spare boards from HuskySat-1 that act as prototypes for the LIHU (Legacy IHU) and legacy VHF/UHF RF components.

Now that the team has reached this point, AMSAT Engineering has RF to use as a basis for developing a GOLF-TEE decoder for FoxTelem, our ground telemetry receiver software. Thousands of hours of work by many AMSAT volunteers have gone into the hardware and software that got us this far, with much work yet to be done before the assembly of flight units. The GOLF-TEE satellite is designed as a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) testbed for technologies necessary for a successful CubeSat mission to a wide variety of orbits, including MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) and HEO (High Earth Orbit).

The work on GOLF is intended for our CubeSat missions to higher orbits. However, much as the Fox-1E linear transponder was adapted as a payload for HuskySat-1, components developed for GOLF, such as the RT-IHU and the microwave SDR transponder, can be adapted to serve as the basis for a hosted payload on a commercial or government satellite in geostationary orbit or perhaps an educational CubeSat destined for MEO or GTO. Should an opportunity arise, the work being done on GOLF means that we will be ready to build such a hosted payload.

While we continue our work on these satellites, we face the prospect of regulatory roadblocks. Last year, we submitted comments on the Federal Communication Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the mitigation of orbital debris. The proposed rules as worded would severely limit the type of missions AMSAT could pursue. While the Commission has not yet issued final rules, we are hopeful that the near-unanimous opposition of commenters to the more harmful aspects of the rules, such as the requirement for satellite operators to indemnify the United States Government for any potential claims regarding their satellites, will limit the negative impact.

Another serious concern is our access to spectrum. While international threats that arose in the months before the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference to the 144 MHz – 146 MHz and 1260 MHz – 1270 MHz amateur satellite service bands have subsided for the time being, other threats appear on the horizon. This past December, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would delete the amateur allocation at 3.3 GHz – 3.5 GHz, including the amateur satellite service allocation at 3.4 GHz – 3.41 GHz. While that band has not yet been used for any amateur satellites as it is not available in ITU Region 3 (Asia & Oceania), it is still a potentially useful resource for a future amateur geostationary payload over the Americas.

Additionally, we know that many AMSAT members also use this band for other purposes, such as mesh networking, contesting, and EME communications. Access to microwave spectrum is crucial for many of our planned activities, including GOLF and amateur radio on the Lunar Gateway, and we must vigorously defend our spectrum allocations. AMSAT is currently drafting comments opposing this proposed rule, and, working alongside the ARRL, we continue to monitor potential legislative and regulatory actions that could limit or even preclude some of our current and planned activities.

On a final note, I wanted to let the membership know that AMSAT’s servers will be migrating to a new operating system and a new hosting service later this year. This is necessary as the operating system currently running AMSAT’s servers will reach its end of life in November. While AMSAT’s capable IT team led by Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, will do their best to minimize any disruptions to AMSAT services, this type of transition can often result in unforeseen problems. Continue to monitor the AMSAT-BB and AMSAT’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for any updates.

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President, 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

5 Tips on Etiquette and Good Manners on the FM Ham Radio Satellites

The DX Engineering blog On All Bands recently published an article en titled “5 Tips on Etiquette and Good Manners on the FM Ham Radio Satellites” by Sean Kutzko, KX9X.

The article can be found at: https://www.onallbands.com/ham-radio-satellite-operating-etiquette/

[ANS thanks Sean Kutzko, KX9X, and DX Engineering for the above information]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 13, 2020

The following Amateur Radio satellite’s name and NORAD CAT ID have been changed:
1. HuskySat 1 satellite name is now HuskySat-1.
2. Based on changes in Space-Track TLE data, HuskySat-1’s new NORAD CAT ID is now object 45119.

(Thanks to Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, for satellite identification.)

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager for the above information]

Upcoming ARISS Contacts

Maple Dale Elementary School, Cincinnati, OH, direct via K8SCH
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
Contact is go for: Thu 2020-02-20 18:20:28 UTC 48 deg

The ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/.Note that there are links to other ARISS websites from this site.

The main page for Applying to Host a Scheduled Contact may be found at https://www.ariss.org/apply-to-host-an-ariss-contact.html.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

All dates and times listed follow International Standard ISO 8601 and time format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS

[ANS thanks Charlie Sulfana, AJ9N, ARISS Operations, 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/

Upcoming AMSAT Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space?

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Current schedule:

+ March 6, 2020, Irving Hamfest, Irving, TX
+ March 14-15, 2020, Science City on University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
+ March 21, 2020, Midwinter Madness Hamfest, Buffalo, MN
+ March 21, 2020, Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Scottsdale, AZ
+ March 28, 2020, Tucson Spring Hamfest, Tucson, AZ
+ March 29, 2020, Vienna Wireless Winterfest, Annandale, VA
+ May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra Vista, AZ
+ May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
+ May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
+ June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-026-Hamfest

This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

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

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Satellite Shorts

  • Feb 13-16 DM22 AD7DB and N7JY FM
  • Feb 15 CN78 ADODX FM and Linear (Twitter @ad0dx)
  • Mar 14-15 DN26/36 KC7JPC Linears (and possibly FM)

#SnowBirdRove (EL79) – February 1-29, 2020
Joe, KE9AJ, will cross the border into Florida, seeking climatical asylum in EL79 for the entire month of February. Since he will be there for an extended period, with both FM and linear gear, keep an eye on Joe’s Twitter feed for specific pass announcements:
https://twitter.com/KE9AJ

St. Barthelemy Island (FK87) February 15-22, 2020
Operators Pat/N2IEN, Ray/W2RE, Rockwell/WW1X, and Lee/WW2DX will be signing FJ/homecalls from St. Barthelemy (NA-146) between Feb. 15 and 22. QRV holiday-style on 160 to 6m and via satellite on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL cards for all calls via NR6M.

Vidalia, LA (EM41) February 28 – March 1, 2020
Brian, KG5GJT, will will be operating from the bank of the Mississippi river in Vidalia, La. (EM41), where Jim Bowie was seriously wounded in the Sandbar Fight on September 19, 1827. This will
be vacation style, so keep an eye on Brian’s Twitter feed for updates: https://twitter.com/KG5GJT

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 Vice President – User Services, for the above information]

Operators Alex/VE1RUS and Pierre/VE3TKB will once again be active as VY0ERC from the Eureka Weather station between now and March 28th. This station is operated by the Eureka Amateur Radio Club [probably the most northerly located amateur radio club in the world] from Eureka, Nunavut, Canada. The suggested bands are 40 and 20 meters possibly 80m), as well as FM satellites (from ER60, EQ79) using SSB, the Digital modes (FT8 and RTTY) 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

[ANS thanks The Ohio/Penn Dx Bulletin 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

  • The Nanoracks deployment of several CubeSats has been delayed until no earlier than February 17 due to delays with the launch of Cygnus NG-13. CubeSats scheduled to deploy are RadSat-u, Phoenix, QARMAN, CryoCube, AztechSat-1, SOCRATES, Argus-02, HARP, and SORTIE.
  • AMSAT-UK OSCAR News Editor Slade Stevens, 2E0SQL, is soliciting articles for the next issue. Send submissions to 2E0SQB at amsat.org
  • The AMSAT-UK shop is now stocking a 5 watt 2.4 GHz amplifier kit for use with the QO-100 geostationary satellite. For more details, see https://tinyurl.com/ANS-047-QO-100
  • The first crewed mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon may launch on May 7th. https://tinyurl.com/ANS-047-SpaceX
  • Wouter Weggelaar, PA3WEG, recently released a composite video showing all currently orbiting FUNcube family satellites being launched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdjXzPEsuxw
  • The EIRSAT-1 CubeSat has passed both environmental and vibration testing: https://twitter.com/EIRSAT1/status/1225810684065259520
  • Spaceflight Industries recently signed a deal to sell its satellite rideshare launch business Spaceflight, Inc. to Mitsui & Co., in partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd. AMSAT purchased the launches for AO-92 and AO-95 from Spaceflight, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/ANS-047-Spaceflight

[ANS thanks everyone 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 6 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
n8hm at amsat dot org

ANS-040 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for February 9th

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 http://www.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.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:
http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President
  • Phoenix CubeSat Upcoming Deployment
  • New ISS Tour Video Goes Inside Cygnus NG-12
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • HuskySat-1 Gains Enthusiastic Following
  • Robert Bankston, KE4AL, Proposes amsatLink Project
  • 10 US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
  • AMSAT at Yuma (Arizona) Hamfest, 14-15 February 2020
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-040.01
ANS-040 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 040.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 Feb 09
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-040.01

 

Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President

At a special meeting held via teleconference, the AMSAT Board of Directors elected Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, President. Coleman previously served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and also served as AMSAT’s Secretary during this time. He has also volunteered in several other capacities for AMSAT, including chairing the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium held aboard the cruise ship Carnival Liberty.

Coleman’s first introduction to amateur radio in space was with SAREX and Mir. An interest in setting up an AX.25 BBS and nodes led to him trying out the Mir Personal Message System (PMS) and digipeater to make contacts in the early 1990s. It wasn’t until a visit from a friend in 2011 that Coleman was bitten by the OSCAR bug and began his AMSAT journey chasing operating awards.

Having held other leadership roles in his community, nonprofits, and critical infrastructure, Coleman’s desire is working with constituents to improve organizational processes and align them with strategic goals. Professionally, Coleman works in the industrial process control sector as both a consultant and business development manager. He resides in the North Texas area with his spouse and two children.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Board of Directors and AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG for the above information]

 

Phoenix CubeSat Upcoming Deployment

Several CubeSats are scheduled to be deployed from the ISS into orbit on 12 Feb. Among them is the Phoenix CubeSat, which is a 3U CubeSat developed by Arizona State University to study the effects of Urban Heat Islands through infrared remote sensing. Following deployment, the Phoenix operations team would appreciate as much help as possible with identifying the spacecraft and verifying that it is operational.

Phoenix is scheduled for a deployment time of 8:30 UTC on 12 Feb.

Please note that two CubeSats being deployed on this date operate on the same frequency. Both Phoenix and QARMAN share the frequency of 437.35 MHz, and both utilize an AX.25 9600 baud protocol with GMSK modulation. Both CubeSats will also be deployed within 1.5 hours of each other, and will therefore be close to each other in orbit. Please be mindful of this situation, and if you have any doubt about the CubeSat that you are receiving, please get in touch with Sarah Rogers, Project Manager, Phoenix CubeSat, sroger13 [at} asu.edu with any questions or concerns.

To read more about the Phoenix CubeSat, it’s transmitter characteristics, and how you can decode the signal, please see the website at
http://phxcubesat.asu.edu/content/amateur-operations!

[ANS thanks Sarah Rogers, KI7OOY, 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/

 

New ISS Tour Video Goes Inside Cygnus NG-12

A video by astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan posted on the European Space Agency YouTube channel on January 26th, 2020 shows Luca going inside the Cygnus NG-12 vehicle, which took cargo, as well as several satellites, including HuskySat-1, to the ISS.

Even more relevant to HuskySat-1 and the the amateur radio satellite community, Luca mentions the “delivery system” they planned to install on the vehicle before it was released, which happened on January 31st. HuskySat-1 was deployed from the delivery system later that day. Luca says he thinks it’s really cool that the delivery system provides another way to gain access to space, and I couldn’t agree more.

The Cygnus tour begins at 24:42 into the video, and the delivery system is mentioned at 26:57.

This link to the video goes directly to 24:42:

[ANS thanks John Brier, KG4AKV, for the above information]

 

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

The following satellite’s NORAD CAT ID has been changed in this week’s AMSAT TLE distribution:
OCULUS-ASR is now object NORAD CAT ID 44348

The following satellites have been deleted from this week’s AMSAT TLE distribution:
OBJECT H – NORAD CAT ID 44346 (non-amateur satellite TEPCE, decayed February 1,2020)
OBJECT J – NORAD CAT ID 44347 (non-amateur satellite FALCONSAT-7)
TBEX-A – NORAD CAT ID 44356 (non-amateur satellite)

The following Amateur Radio satellite has been added to this week’s TLE distribution:
HuskySat 1 – NORAD CAT ID 45117 (Cygnus NG-12 Spacecraft deployment, 1/31/2020).
(Thanks to Nico Janseen, PA0DLO, for satellite identification.)

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]

 

HuskySat-1 Gains Enthusiastic Following

Initial reports indicate considerable interest among amateurs in tracking and capturing data from the newly deployed HuskySat-1. The satellite, designed at the University of Washington, was launched to the ISS by Cygnus NG-12 on November 2, 2019. It was deployed to a higher orbit from the ISS by Cygnus on January 31, and began telemetry transmissions on 435.800 MHz.

HuskySat-1’s 1,200 bps BPSK beacon is active and decodable with the latest release of AMSAT’s FoxTelem software. FoxTelem is available at https://github.com/ac2cz/FoxTelem

HuskySat-1 is a CubeSat, and will demonstrate onboard plasma propulsion and high gain telemetry for low Earth orbit that would be a precursor for an attempt at a larger CubeSat designed for orbital insertion at the Moon.

HuskySat-1 is expected to carry out its primary mission before being turned over to AMSAT for activation of a 30 kHz wide V/U linear transponder for SSB and CW.

Initially it looked like object 2019-071G was HuskySat-1, but our friends at the 18th Space Control Squadron published data on additional objects in recent days, and there is considerable evidence suggesting that HuskySat-1 is actually one of those instead.

Element sets for objects 2019-071H and 2019-071J are now distributed in nasabare.txt as candidates for the “Real” HuskySat-1.

Usually element sets are good for a week or more, at least for ham purposes where we have fairly wide beam widths. The exception is the ISS, the only spacecraft we have in nasabare.txt that maneuvers, and we keep its element sets “fresh” by applying updates from Johnson Spaceflight Center several times per day. HuskySat01 will be testing a thruster early in its mission, and endeavors to demonstrate a delta-V of 100m/sec or more. This could cause the accuracy of element sets to degrade more quickly than usual.

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT IT Team Leader for the above information]

 

Robert Bankston, KE4AL, Proposes amsatLink Project

amsatLink is a proposed three-phased program to ultimately establish a constellation of nanosatellites, linked in a peer-to-peer voice communications network for amateur satellite service. As a wireless ad hoc network, future satellites can be added to the network and ground stations, moving in and out of a nanosatellite node’s footprint, can easily join and exit the network.

The proposal is to create an IEEE 802.11 wireless ad hoc network, operating within the FCC Part 97 amateur radio frequency allocation of the 2.4 GHz microwave band. Individual satellite and ground nodes would connect directly, dynamically, and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to create one virtual network that can efficiently route data from/to clients.

While the idea of cross-link communication between satellites is not new, amsatLink hopes to continue the efforts of NASA’s PhoneSat, EDSN constellation, and NODES missions, by expanding the network to include ground-based nodes, demonstrating the use of voice over internet protocol communications, and organizing nodes into clusters, where each cluster consists of one nanosatellite node and any visible ground nodes.

amsatLink will continue NASA’s design philosophy by utilizing commercial-off-the-shelf hardware and keeping the design and mission objectives as simple as possible. Estimated total hardware cost per satellite is less than $5,000. Proposed ground stations will also use off the shelf equipment with a total estimated cost of less than $150.

For more details, see https://ke4al.github.io/amsatLink/ Robert seeks further discussion of this proposal among AMSAT members.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, 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

 

 

10 US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the schools and host organizations selected for the second half of 2020. Of the proposals submitted during the recent proposal window, 10 were accepted to move forward in the selection process for a scheduled amateur radio contact with a crew member on the ISS. The primary goal of the ARISS program is to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities and raise their awareness of space communications, radio communications, space exploration, and related areas of study and career possibilities.

The schools and host organizations are now engaged in the next step of the acceptance process. When ready, they will be put in the scheduling queue for a contact during the July to December 2020 time period. Although ARISS expects to schedule all 10 during this period, changes to NASA crew availability might force some delays to the next time period.

The schools and host organizations are:

  • Estes Park Elementary School, Estes Park, CO
  • Green Bank Elementary School, Green Bank, WV
  • Tecumseh Public School, Tecumseh, OK
  • RSU #21, Kennebunk, ME
  • JFK High School, Denver, CO
  • Oregon Charter School, Mill City, OR
  • Newcastle High School, Newcastle, WY
  • Tarwater Elementary School, Chandler, AZ
  • Kopernik Observatory, Vestel, NY
  • Salem-South Lyon District Library, South Lyon, MI

[ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS PR, for the above information]

 

AMSAT at Yuma (Arizona) Hamfest, 14-15 February 2020

AMSAT will be at the Yuma Hamfest, which is also serving as the 2020 ARRL Southwestern Division Convention, on Friday and Saturday, 14-15 February 2020. The hamfest will be at the Yuma County Fairgrounds, along 32nd Street, across the street from Yuma International Airport and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, south of Interstate 8. More about the hamfest is available at:

http://www.yumahamfest.org/

WD9EWK will be on the satellites during the hamfest, demonstrating satellite operating. If you hear WD9EWK on a pass, please call and join in the demonstration. The hamfest site is in grid DM22, in Arizona’s Yuma 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 with the QSO details).

Patrick will tweet updates from the hamfest using the @WD9EWK Twitter account. If you do not use Twitter, you can see the tweets in a web browser at: http://twitter.com/WD9EWK

In addition to the WD9EWK demonstration, AMSAT member Dave Bartholomew, AD7DB, will give a presentation “Getting Started on FM Satellites” on Saturday (15 February) morning at the hamfest. Dave’s presentation is scheduled for 10:20 a.m.

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

 

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Current schedule:

  • February 14-15, 2020, Yuma Hamfest and ARRL Southwest Division Convention, Yuma, AZ (see details above)
  • February 15, 2020, Cabin Fever Reliever Hamfest, Saint Cloud, MN
  • March 6, 2020, Irving Hamfest, Irving, TX
  • March 14-15, 2020, Science City, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
  • March 21, 2020, Midwinter Madness Hamfest, Buffalo, MN
  • March 21, 2020, Scottsdale (AZ) Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
  • March 28, 2020, Tucson Spring Hamfest, Tucson, AZ
  • March 29, 2020, Vienna Wireless Winterfest, Annandale, VA
  • May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Assn. Hamfest, Sierra Vista, AZ
  • May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
  • May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download: AMSAT Intro Brochure. This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

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

 

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Satellite Shorts
Feb 15 CN78 ADODX FM and Linear (@ad0dx)
Mar 14-15 DN26/36 KC7JPC Linears (and possibly FM)

SnowBirdRove (EL79) – February 1-29, 2020 Joe, KE9AJ, will cross the border into Florida, seeking climatical asylum in EL79 for the entire month of February. Since he will be there for an extended period, with both FM and linear gear, keep an eye on Joe’s Twitter feed for specific pass announcements: https://twitter.com/KE9AJ

Key West and Boca Grande Key (EL94, EL84+) February 9-11,2020
Clayton, W5PFG, will be in Key West, Florida (EL94) February 9 through the 11, 2020. Monday, February 10, 13:15-17:30 UTC, Clayton will operate FM & SSB satellites from EL84xm, Boca Grande Key. Listen for W5PFG near these dates for additional Florida grids, such as EL79, EL89, EL99, EL86, EL96, & EL95. Keep an eye on Clayton’s Twitter feed for announcements https://twitter.com/w5pfg

Del Carmen Island (EK48cp) February 9, 2020
Ismael, XE1AY, will operate from Del Carmen Island (DL87th) on Sunday 9 February, using the callsign 4A2L (see QRZ). Ismael only expects to operate FM satellites for a couple of hours. In addition, they plan to operate CW, SSB, and FT8.

Isla Perez, Mexico (EL52, EL50, EL51) February 11 – 17, 2020
Members of Radio Club Puebla DX will be active as 6F3A from Isla Perez, Mexico, between February 11-17. The operators mentioned are Patricia/XE1SPM (Team Leader), Ismael/XE1AY, Eduardo/XE2YW and Ricardo/XE1SY. Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters, and include the ARRL DX CW Contest (February 15-16). QSL via XE1SY. Ismael, XE1AY, reports that he doing CW and the satellites, and will also TX from EL50 and XE1AY/mm from EL51.

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]

Eureka, Nunavut, Canada (ER60, EQ79) Operators Alex/VE1RUS and Pierre/VE3TKB will once again be active as VY0ERC from the Eureka Weather station between now and March 28th. This station is operated by the Eureka Amateur Radio Club [probably the most northerly located amateur radio club in the world] from Eureka, Nunavut, Canada. The suggested bands are 40 and 20 meters (possibly 80m), as well as FM satellites (from ER60, EQ79) using SSB, the Digital modes (FT8 and RTTY) 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

[ANS thanks The Ohio/Penn Dx Bulletin for the above information]

 

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • After setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman, NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth on Feb. 6, along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. Koch launched March 14, 2019. Her first journey into space of 328 days is the second-longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut and also places her seventh on the list of cumulative time in space for American astronauts. Full story: https://bit.ly/386BTrc
    (ANS thanks spaceref.com for the above information)
  • SpaceX has been garnering all the headlines when it comes to satellite constellations. Their Starlink system will eventually have thousands of tiny satellites working together to provide internet access. But on Thursday, Feb. 6, OneWeb launched 34 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz launch vehicle. Eventually, OneWeb intends to have as many as 5,000 satellites in orbit.
    (ANS thank universetoday.com for the above information)
  • An industry report forecasts demand for 14,000 to 20,000 new satellites to be launched in the next decade. The report suggests that launch slot availability will be a challenge for satellite operators, and that delays due to longer lead times and additional costs will put pressure on research, commercial, and military operators.
    (ANS thanks satmagazine.com for the above information)
  • NASA declared the Spitzer Space Telescope’s 16-year mission complete on Thursday, Jan. 30 after sending final commands for the spacecraft to enter hibernation as it drifts farther from Earth. The Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s original four “Great Observatories,” studied the most distant galaxy ever observed in the universe, gathered data on the characteristics of planets around other stars, and detected a new ring around Saturn.
    (ANS thanks spaceflightnow.com for the above information)
  • Finnish amateur photographers have discovered a new auroral form. Named ‘dunes’ by the hobbyists, the phenomenon is believed to be caused by waves of oxygen atoms glowing due to a stream of particles released from the Sun. In the study, published in the journal AGU Advances, the origins of the dunes were tracked to a wave guide formed within the mesosphere and its boundary, the mesopause.
    (ANS thanks astrowatch.net for the above information)
  • The JAMSAT general meeting and space symposium will take place at the Tokyo, Odaiba, Science Museum on March 14 and 15.
    (ANS thanks JAMSAT for the above information)
  • Bob Atkins KA1GT has documented his recent observations of interference to 1296 EME from the Galileo navigation satellites’ E6 mode. Read Bob’s article at https://bobatkins.com/radio/galileo-1296.html
    (ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)
  • Minutes of the 2019 AMSAT Board of Directors meeting are now available at https://www.amsat.org/minutes-of-the-board-of-directors/
    The December 2018 Annual Financial Review report is also now available at https://www.amsat.org/audit-and-other-financial-reports/
    (ANS thanks the AMSAT Office 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 6 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,

K0JM at amsat dot org

Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President

AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG
AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG

At a special meeting held via teleconference, the AMSAT Board of Directors elected Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, President. Coleman previously served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and also served as AMSAT’s Secretary during this time. He has also volunteered in several other capacities for AMSAT, including chairing the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium held aboard the cruise ship Carnival Liberty.

Coleman’s first introduction to amateur radio in space was with SAREX and Mir. An interest in setting up an AX.25 BBS and nodes led to him  trying out the Mir Personal Message System (PMS) and digipeater to make contacts in the early 1990s. It wasn’t until a visit from a  friend in 2011 that Coleman was bitten by the OSCAR bug and began his AMSAT journey chasing operating awards.

Having held other leadership roles in his community, nonprofits, and critical infrastructure, Coleman’s desire is working with constituents to improve organizational processes and align them with strategic goals. Professionally, Coleman works in the industrial process control sector as both a consultant and business development manager. He resides in the North Texas area with his spouse and two children.

AMSAT members will have the opportunity to meet Coleman at the Orlando HamCation on Saturday, February 8th. He will hold a meet and greet at the AMSAT booth from 9:30am-10:30am and 2:00pm-3:00pm. He will also make remarks at the AMSAT Forum, which will be held at 12:30pm Saturday in Room CS III at the Lakeside Pavilion.