ANS-117 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 26th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE ANS-117

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@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:

  • March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted
  • Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator
  • Let’s Take Some Pictures
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One
  • New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-117.01
ANS-117 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 117.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 April 26
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-117.01

March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted

The March/April 2020 edition of Apogee View, a comprehensive update on AMSAT’s activities from AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, has been posted to the AMSAT website.

https://www.amsat.org/apogeeview/

[ANS thanks AMSAT the above information]


Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator

Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has made the news once again for tracking down yet another “zombie” satellite. Scott was the subject of a report broadcast on National Public Radio on Friday, April 24.

This time, he managed to identify signals from LES-5, an experimental military UHF communications satellite built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and launched in 1967. Even though the satellite was supposed to shut down in 1972, it’s still going. As long as the solar panels are in the sun, the satellite’s radio continues to operate.

In 2018, Tilly found a signal from a NASA probe called IMAGE that the space agency had lost track of in 2005. With Tilley’s help, NASA was able to reestablish contact. He has rediscovered several other long-forgotten birds, including Transit 5B-5, a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy navigation satellite launched in 1965.

Scott announced his findings on LES-5 through his Twitter account, @coastal8049, on March 24. The full NPR story may be found at: https://n.pr/2x64aAZ

[ANS thanks NPR.org for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Let’s Take Some Pictures

The command team has had a few requests for camera mode on AO-92 over the last few weeks, and it’s been a while, so let’s take some pictures next week.

Next Tuesday morning, April 28th, we’ll attempt to command the camera on at approximately 1440Z and 1612Z. We’ll also try the 1750Z pass. If we can’t command on the 1750Z pass, we’ll find a suitable pass later in the week for the west coast.

Take a look at https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/ for a guide on how to set up FoxTelem, and
https://www.amsat.org/tlm/showImages.php?id=4 for near-live images as we go. Remember, the more stations submitting telemetry during the event, the better the chance of complete images!

[ANS thanks Andrew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP 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


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

Last week’s AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletin (ANS-110.01) contained a news item entitled “Receiving SMOG-P and ATL-1 Nano Satellites With an RTL-SDR” from Zoltan Doczi, HA7DCD.

Please note that on December 19, 2019 AMSAT designated SMOG-P as Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and ATL-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106).

In the AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution, the TLEs for these two Hungarian satellites are shown as follows:
MO-105 is NORAD Cat ID 44832 (SMOG-P)
MO-106 is NORAD Cat ID 44830 (ATL-1)

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


The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One

Just a little history, Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI, was a very prolific operator and in his honor this certificate was created and the first certificate was issued to him on June 27, 1994. He has since become an SK and his local club has taken over his call sign. The award was originally the W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. The local club asked me not to use their call sign for the award. I changed the award to The Robert W. Barbee, Jr. W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. And here we are today, finally having issued over 100 certificates and over 30 of the 5,000 certificates.

This award is for making 1,000 contacts with any station any time. You can say hello to your friend on every satellite on every pass every day and count those contacts. That being said, any contact you log counts. The award has endorsements for making 1,000 more contacts up to 4,000. Another 1,000 contacts will earn a special W4AMI 5,000 certificate.

To submit for the award, please email me an extract from your log either in Microsoft Excel XLS(X) format or ADI(F) format. Either will work just fine. Then wait for me to get back to you notifying you to go online and make your payment. I need nothing from LoTW, confirmed contacts are not an issue, this award is for simply making a contact. See:
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-robert-w-barbee-jr-w4ami-award/

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, 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/


New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store

Thanks to an post on Twitter from Michael Styne, K2MTS, AMSAT is pleased to offer a new t-shirt on the AMSAT Zazzle Store. This t- shirt design is available in variants suitable for printing on either dark or lightly colored shirts.

The shirt features a representation of AMSAT-OSCAR 7 in orbit with the tagline “OSCAR – Adventure and Excitement in Space Age Communication” This image was used in advertisements for the 1978 ARRL book “Getting to Know OSCAR.” The ARRL has granted AMSAT permission to republish this classic image as a t-shirt.

Get yours today! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

https://www.zazzle.com/oscar_t_shirt_dark-235643945481104970

https://www.zazzle.com/oscar_t_shirt_light-235449229998854129

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

ZW8, BRAZIL (Special Event). Operators Freddy/PY3YD, Joselito/PS8BR, Fernando/PS8CW, Raimundo/PS8DX, Jose/PS8ET, Milton/PS8HF, Nelson/PS8NF, Pirajah/PS8RF, Dalton/PS8TV and Andre/PT9AL are using the special event callsign ZW8THANKS as a tribute to health care professionals fighting COVID-19. Activity will be on all bands and modes including the satellites. QSL via direct, eQSL or LoTW. (ANS thanks the Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1461 for the above information)

Due to COVID-19, there are no other announced satellite operations at this moment. Any roving activity of which AMSAT becomes aware will be posted at: https://www.amsat.org/satellite-info/upcoming-satellite-operations/

Until then, stay safe and keep making contacts from home.

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/


ARISS News

ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio.

Northern Virginia Schools Group, Woodbridge VA, Multi-point telebridge contact via AB1OC is scheduled for Thursday, April 30. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is go for 13:35:00 UTC at a maximum elevation of 62 degrees. Stations in the eastern U.S. should be able to listen in on this contact on 145.80 MHz FM. A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home.

The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions. ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff member in their own homes (even quarantined).

[ANS thanks ARISS 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.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule:

June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
September 26, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

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

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV 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]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Diwata-2 (PO-101) has been active daily to provide emergency access during Covid-19 pandemic. Check https://twitter.com/Diwata2PH For Daily activation schedule (ANS thanks DIWATA-2 Ground Team for the above information)

+ On this 50th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 13, the BBC has pro duced a documentary video series, “13 Minutes to the Moon,” along with associated web resources and podcasts. The documentary can be accessed worldwide at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xttx2 (ANS thanks Peter Green, G0ABI, for the above information)

+ Happy 30th anniversary, Hubble! The Hubble Space Telescope was laun ched into LEO on April 24th, 1990 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-31 launch video). Featuring a 2.4 m mirror and optics that are smooth to 10 nanometers (but were in the wrong shape until corrected by the first of five servicing missions in 1993), Hubble takes images of the Universe with never-before-seen quality. The telescope may work into the 2040s, hopefully being joined by its more-advanced sib ling, the JWST, next year. Take a moment to browse some of Hubble’s most stunning snapshots of the Universe at: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/ (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ Astronauts onboard the International Space Station have gotten a first good look at the controversial Starlink satellites. On April 13th, they photographed a train of 16 Starlinks cutting through Southern Lights over the Antarctic. Learn more about their unique photo and corresponding ground-based sightings on Spaceweather.com (ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ SpaceX launched 60 more spacecraft Wednesday to join the Starlink fleet. The successful launch Wednesday marked the 84th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since June 2010. That makes SpaceX’s Falcon 9 the most-flown orbital-class U.S. launcher currently in operation, exceeding the 83 missions performed by the Atlas 5 rocket built by rival United Launch Alliance. With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has delivered 422 Starlink satellites to space. The company is seeking regulatory approval to fly 4,400 of the satellites in the project’s first phase. SpaceX’s next Starlink launch after Wednesday could happen as soon as early May on another Falcon 9 rocket mission. That will be followed by SpaceX’s first launch with astronauts on-board — scheduled for May 27 — to begin a test flight of the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship to the International Space Station. (ANS thanks spaceflightnow.com for the above information)

+ A series of unusually severe spring storms parading across the southeastern USA had residents taking shelter this week from hail and tor- nadoes. High above the maelstrom, sprites were dancing. Sprites are a form of electricity in powerful storm clouds. While regular light- ning lances down, sprites leap up. They can reach all the way to the edge of space 90 km or more above Earth’s surface. (ANS thanks Southgate ARC and spaceweatherarchive.com 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 addi- tional 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,

Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ

ki7unj at amsat dot org

 

 

ANS-110 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 19th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-110

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@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:

  • ARRL, AMSAT Seek Changes in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation Proposals
  • House Committee Leaders Request FCC Delay Rulemaking on Space Debris
  • 3D Printed Cubesat Simulator Frame Design Posted
  • New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store
  • Receiving SMOG-P and ATL-1 Nano Satellites With an RTL-SDR
  • Commercial Blogs Feature Introductions to Satellite Operations
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-110.01
ANS-110 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 110.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 April 19
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-110.01

ARRL, AMSAT Seek Changes in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation Proposals

ARRL Washington Counsel Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, and AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, on April 8, discussed with senior FCC International Bureau staff by telephone the FCC’s draft Report & Order (R&O) on mitigation of orbital debris (IB Docket No. 18-313). The amateur representatives told the FCC staff that “two aspects of the draft regulations are of particular concern…. and would seriously hinder amateur radio’s future operations in space, if adopted as proposed without the relatively minor changes that we propose.”

First, ARRL and AMSAT requested a revision to proposed language that otherwise would allow only private individual licensees to indemnify the U.S. for the operations of an amateur space satellite. ARRL and AMSAT requested that satellite owners be added to that provision. The amateur representatives, noting that amateur radio licensees may only be individuals under the amateur rules, stated that “[i]n no other service would an individual be required to personally make a similar indemnification” and that “it would be difficult to impossible to find an individual Amateur Radio licensee willing to bear that risk.”

Second, ARRL and AMSAT asked the FCC to delay by 3 years the proposed effective date of April 23, 2022, for a rule that would require satellite operators to certify that space stations “be designed with the maneuvering capabilities sufficient to perform collision avoidance” for spacecraft designed to operate above 400 kilometers in altitude. Citing the long lead times to design and construct Amateur satellites, ARRL and AMSAT suggested that a more reasonable date would be April 23, 2025 and noted that, based on recent past years, only an estimated 3-5 amateur satellites likely would be launched during the extra period.

“We do not disagree with the purpose of this requirement,” they told the FCC staff, but “the proposed effective date is unreasonable in the case of amateur radio satellites.” The new effective date “would allow time for amateur spacecraft designers to adapt to this new requirement,” they said.

Citing the value of amateur satellites to the development of the commercial small satellite industry, and student participation in such projects, ARRL and AMSAT said a strong and robust Amateur Satellite Service will help inspire future developments in satellite technology. The requested changes to the draft R&O would help ensure that amateur radio continues to have a future in space and contribute to the public interest on an educational, non-pecuniary basis.

The FCC is expected to consider the R&O at its April 23 open meeting. The AMSAT/ARRL document may be read in full at: https://bit.ly/2KjfHjf

[ANS thanks the American Radio Relay League for the above information]


House Committee Leaders Request FCC Delay Rulemaking on Space Debris

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin, and Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Kendra Horn sent a letter requesting that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) delay on their Proposed Rulemaking in the matter of Mitigation of Orbital Debris in the New Space Age.

The Science Committee Members raised a number of concerns with moving forward on the rule, including the timing of the action during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, the immense effort undertaken to recover from the pandemic, and the potential for the FCC’s proposal to exacerbate impacts on U.S. industry and international competitiveness at a critical period in our nation’s history, we hope that you will agree to postpone future action,” the letter reads.

The letter also raises substantive concerns with the rule itself, the rulemaking process, and the potential for regulatory and legislative inconsistency, noting significant concerns from stakeholders [including AMSAT].

“The proposal contradicts Executive Branch policy and is inconsistent with existing and proposed legislative action,” the letter states. “Regulatory action by the FCC at this time, without clear authority from Congress, will at the very least create confusion and undermine the Commission’s work, and at worst undermine U.S. economic competitiveness and leadership in space.” The letter also mentions that FCC action could duplicate efforts at the Department of Commerce.

The full text of the letter is available at: https://bit.ly/3bhJqoC

[ANS thanks spaceref.com for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice.
For details, please visit https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


3D Printed Cubesat Simulator Frame Design Posted

AMSAT VP – Educational Relations, Dr. Alan Johnston, KU2Y, posted his build of the 3D printed ‘Universal 1U Cubesat Frame’ by Juliano85 at: https://thingiverse.com/make:789484 Alan notes, “It is a perfect frame for the new AMSAT CubeSatSim, a low cost CubeSat functional satellite model.” Information on building the Simulator can found at: http://cubesatsim.org

The CubeSatSim is a low cost satellite emulator that runs on solar pan els and batteries, and transmits UHF radio telemetry. The simulator is a tool for education and demonstrations. It can be used in a classroom or training setting to introduce the basics of satellites, or it can be used to teach STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) concepts. It can also be a stepping stone in a project to build and launch an actual flight model CubeSat.

[ANS thanks Alan Johnston, KU2Y, VP – Educational Relations, 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


New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store

Thanks to an post on Twitter from Michael Styne, K2MTS, AMSAT is pleased to offer a new t-shirt on the AMSAT Zazzle Store. This t-shirt design is available in variants suitable for printing on either dark or lightly colored shirts.

The shirt features a representation of AMSAT-OSCAR 7 in orbit with the tagline “OSCAR – Adventure and Excitement in Space Age Communication” This image was used in advertisements for the 1978 ARRL book “Getting to Know OSCAR.” The ARRL has granted AMSAT permission to republish this classic image as a t-shirt.

Get yours today! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

https://www.zazzle.com/oscar_t_shirt_dark-235643945481104970

https://www.zazzle.com/oscar_t_shirt_light-235449229998854129

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information]


Receiving SMOG-P and ATL-1 Nano Satellites With an RTL-SDR

Zoltan Doczi (HA7DCD) has published a tutorial that shows how to receive signals from the SMOG-P and ATL-1 nano satellites which were launched via Rocket Lab back in late 2019.

SMOG-P is a Hungarian nano satellite developed by BME University. It’s payload consists of an on board spectrum analyzer that is designed to measure electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog) from space, and to also monitor the DVB-T spectrum. It currently holds the title of the world’s smallest satellite in operation. ATL-1 is another Hungarian satellite this time developed by ATL Ltd. Its mission is to test a new thermal isolation material in space and to monitor the DVB-T spectrum.

To receive telemetry from these satellites one can use a Raspberry Pi, RTL-SDR, Yagi, and optionally an LNA and filter. In his post Zoltan shows how to install the SMOG-P decoder, and provides a script that automatically decodes, uploads packets to the BME University server, and archives old IQ files and packets.

Zoltan notes that if you wish to receive these satellites, now is the time to do so as these nano satellites are in a very low orbit and only have an orbital lifespan of only 6-8 months total.

The full blog post with photos may be found at: https://bit.ly/2VeTk56 and at https://bit.ly/3cnfV4Z

[ANS thanks Zoltan Doczi, HA7DCD, and RTL-SDR.com 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/


Commercial Blogs Feature Introductions to Satellite Operations

The official corporate blogs of two businesses closely related to the amateur radio market have focused attention on introducing newcomers to the world of satellites in this past week. Icom America, Inc. and DX Engineering have both featured satellite operations in blog posts, and have promoted these posts on their corporate social media channels.

Electronics manufacturer Icom America featured a post introducing satellite operations to newcomers this week. The blog post, authored by Jim Wilson, K5ND, is titled, “Satellite Operations – Amazing Technology, Grids and Grins.” The post is dated April 13, 2020.

In a social media post the same day, @IcomAmericaInc tweeted: “Have you ever tried satellite operations? If you haven’t, we have a short blog by Jim Wilson @k5nd that can spark your interest. Find out more at: https://bit.ly/2WWF0PU

The blog entry, which includes many photos and graphics, offers some basic information on satellites currently available, discusses ideas for possible ground stations, and mentions satellite operating activities such as DX, grid chasing, and roaming. The post also includes a link to amsat.org and promotes the 2019 Edition of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites, published by AMSAT.

[ANS thanks Icom America for the above information]

Also, amateur radio retailer DX Engineering placed a satellite post in the Technical Articles section of their “On All Bands” blog. The post, by Sean Kutzko, KX9X, appeared on April 15.

Titled, “How to Predict and Track a Satellite Pass,” the post offers a basic primer on satellite tracking and reviews a number of online satellite tracking sites, as well as some of the available tracking software and apps for Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems. SatPC32, which is available through AMSAT, is prominently mentioned.

A Tweet from @SeanKutzko states: “To access a #hamradio satellite, you have to know when it’s above the horizon and where to point your antenna. My latest blog for @DXEngineering shows you how to do both!  https://onallbands.com/how-to-predict-and-track-a-satellite-pass/ @AMSAT #amsat #hamr #arrl #KX9X”

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


Upcoming Satellite Operations

Due to COVID-19, there are no announced satellite operations at this moment. Any roving activity of which AMSAT becomes aware will be posted at: https://www.amsat.org/satellite-info/upcoming-satellite-operations/

Until then, stay safe and keep making contacts from home.

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/


ARISS News

ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio.

The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions. ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff member in their own homes (even quarantined).

[ANS thanks ARISS 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.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule:

  • May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
    Postponed to September 26, 2020
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

  • 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
  • April 4, 2020 River Bend Wireless and Mechanical Society Presentation, Faribault, MN
  • April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Brainerd, MN
  • May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra Vista, AZ
  • May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
  • May 1517, Hamvention, Xenia, OH

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV
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]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ The Hubble Space Telescope explores the universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday. What did Hubble look at on your birthday? Enter the month and date to find out at: https://go.nasa.gov/2RJeAxu
(ANS thanks NASA.gov for the above information)

+ The Youth on the Air Camp in the Americas, a summer camp for licensed amateur radio operators ages 15 through 25 that was scheduled to take place June 21 through June 26, 2020 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township (North Cincinnati), Ohio has been postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A satellite session had been planned for this event. For more information about YOTA in the Americas can be found at YouthOnTheAir.org.
(ANS thanks Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, for the above information)

+ Houston, we’ve had a problem. April 11th marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13’s launch. Check out the amazing Apollo 13 in Real Time to follow the mission as it happened or jump to any point in the mission timeline) at: https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/ NASA also released “Apollo 13: Home Safe,” a 30 minute documentary that follows the mission, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM8kjDF0IJU Apollo 13 remains one of the greatest all-time feats of human ingenuity and improvisation under pressure.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ Space has not been insulated from the virus. An article cataloging some of the impacts of the pandemic on the spaceflight, “How the Coronavirus Outbreak is Affecting the Space Industry,” can be found at: http://www.satmagazine.com/story.php?number=818620039
(ANS thanks SatMagazine for the above information)

+ The International Space Station Expedition 62 crew, consisting of NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir, Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ, departed the International Space Station and landed in Kazakhstan on Friday, 17 April. The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft undocked from the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module at 0153z Friday, and landed on the Kazakh steppe at 0516z. The replacement crew, consisting of NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner arrived at the ISS on April 9. (ANS thanks SpacelightNow for the above information)

+ ARRL members will now receive digital access to four ARRL magazines beginning with their latest issues. Joining QST and On the Air magazines on a digital platform will be the bimonthly editions of QEX — The Forum for Communications Experimenters and NCJ — National Contest Journal. Print subscriptions of QEX and NCJ will continue to be available at additional cost for those who want to receive them. All four magazines are easily accessed through any web browser from members-only links, or via the free ARRL Magazines app is available for iOS and Android.
(ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

+ Intelsat’s IS-901 satellite is nearly 20 years old, and well beyond its expected lifespan, but a small spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman succeeded in docking with the satellite and giving it another five years of service, the companies announced on Friday. The feat is a space industry first. Full article at:
https://tinyurl.com/y7ta8qzr
(ANS thanks Zach Metzinger, N0ZGO, and CNBC.com for the above information)


/EX

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,
Mark D. Johns, K0JM

k0jm at amsat dot org

ANS-103 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 12th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-103

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.  ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

The news feed on http://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.

In this edition:

  • ARISS Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • New TQSL Version Provides Better LoTW Rover Support
  • AMSAT-EA Registering SanoSat-1 for AMSAT Nepal
  • ESA and LibreSpace Report: SDR’s for Small Satellites
  • Brazil Holds 430 and 1240 MHz Hearing
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-103.01
ANS-103 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 103.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
April 12, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-103.01

ARISS Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the ARISS team is working to transform its activities for the health and safety of ourstudents, host educational institutions and its team.  It has instituted an immediate response effort followed by a more strategic, longer term initiative to protect all.  ARISS leadership, working with a physician on the team, is carefully reviewing all of its procedures in light of the evolving COVID-19 recommendation. ARISS will continue to monitor the local and global situations and will modify its local and global planning as these situations change.

ARISS has two primary initiatives underway.  One is to develop “virtual school” contacts to link each student in their home through its telebridge stations.  The other is to plan SSTV (picture downlink) sessions during which pictures from ISS can be received by all in their homes.

For further information on the ARISS plan, see: https://www.ariss.org/COVID-19.html

[ANS thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS International Chair for the above information.]

         Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
    is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
  https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/

New TQSL Version Provides Better LoTW Rover Support

The latest version of TrustedQSL (TQSL), version 2.5.2, offers improved Logbook of The World (LoTW) support for operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain incorrect location data.

The primary new feature in TQSL 2.5.2 allows logging programs, in conjunction with TQSL, to avoid incorrect contact uploads, while adding mechanisms to allow easy uploading of logs for roving stations. LoTW had required rovers to identify each location used as a separate location in TQSL. The new version of TQSL allows these operations to be handled much more smoothly by using information from the station’s logging program.

When a log is signed by TQSL, the station details — call Sign, DXCC entity, grid square, and other location details provided by the selected station location (and call sign certificate) — are compared with the details in the log. If the US state and station location in a log do not agree, TQSL 2.5.2 will reject the contact, detecting errors in instances when an incorrect station location has been chosen.

This feature will necessitate changes in many logging programs, because it requires that the log provide station details previously not used by TQSL. Once a logging program supplies these (MY_STATE, MY_DXCC, MY_CQ_ZONE, etc.), then TQSL will validate them against the log. Currently, Cabrillo logs use the CALLSIGN field to verify that the contacts are for the correct call sign.

Optionally, a station performing roaming operations (e.g., from multiple grid squares) can choose to have TQSL assume that the log is correct. When call sign or home station are provided with the log, TQSL will automatically update the details on the upload. Select “Override Station Location with QTH Details from your Log” on the “Log Handling” preference page to enable this feature.

This release also includes an update to the most recent TQSL configuration file.

[ANS thanks the ARRL 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

AMSAT-EA Registering SanoSat-1 for AMSAT Nepal

The Union of Spanish Amateur Radio Operators’ satellite group, AMSAT-EA, is registering with IARU and the ITU the AMSAT Nepal satellite SanoSat-1.  This is being done due to the difficulty of carrying out this procedure in the Asian country. This is a one-off collaboration which will allow said satellite to fly under the Spanish flag.  It should be launched jointly with the AMSAT-EA EASAT-2 and Hades satellites possibly with SpaceX later this year.

SanoSat-1 is a 5cm/side pocketQube 1P designed and developed affordably for the hobbyist community by using readily available commercial of-the-shelf components (COTS).

The SanoSat-1 satellite integrates a gamma radiation sensor as a payload. Its main mission will be to measure space radiation while orbiting, and periodically transmit its level to Earth using RTTY-FSK modulation. All radio amateurs will be able to receive and decode radiation measurement data.

The secondary mission of the SanoSat-1 satellite is also to demonstrate the storage and forwarding concept which will be useful in remote disaster-prone locations. The satellite will collect data from ground sensors, store it on board and transmit it to Earth’s main station. The design and kit for the ground sensors will be made available to the general public.

One of AMSAT Nepal’s goals is to encourage more people to join the group of radio amateurs by receiving data from SanoSat-1 which will also transmit a CW beacon with its internal status.

Another activity scheduled to promote radio amateurs and satellite technology to science and technology students around the world is the organization of hands-on workshops on the construction of pico-satellites and ground stations. There will be an opportunity to build an affordable open source ground station (SatNOGS) and a dedicated GFSK receiver ground station to receive the data.  The design of the satellite itself will be open source as well.

More information is available at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-103-SanoSat-1

[ANS thanks the Union of Spanish Amateur Radio Operators 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/

ESA and LibreSpace Report: SDR’s for Small Satellites

The European Space Agency and Libre Space Foundation have published a paper comparing many common software defined radios (SDR’s). The devices they examined are:

  • RTS-SDR v3
  • Airspy Mini
  • SDRPlay RSPduo
  • LimeSDR Mini
  • BladeRF 2.0 Micro
  • Ettus USRP B210
  • Pluto SDR

The report looked at several bands of interest, but not the HF bands — not surprising considering that some of the devices can’t even operate on HF. They did examine VHF, UHF, L band, S band, and C band performance. Some of the SDR’s have transmit capabilities, and for those devices, they tested the transmit function as well as receive.

The review isn’t just subjective. It calculates noise figures and dynamic range, along with other technical parameters. It also includes GNURadio flowgraphs for their test setups, which would be a place to start if one wanted to do these kinds of measurements oneself.

Towards the end of the 134 page report is an assessment of SDR software and how the boards are supported. There was no clear winner or loser although the report did mention how SDRPlay’s closed source limited software support in some applications.

Read the complete report at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-103-SDR-Report

[ANS thanks Hackaday for the above information.]

Brazil Holds 430 and 1240 MHz Hearing

A public hearing is being held in Brazil concerning both the 430 MHz and the 1240 MHz Amateur Radio bands.

On March 23, 2020 the National Telecommunications Agency, ANATEL, published a Public Consultation proposal number 14/2020 on technical and operational requirements for the use of the frequency bands from 430 MHz to 440 MHz and from 1240 MHz to 1300 MHz by stations of the Private Limited Service (SLP) for radiolocation applications.

The national amateur radio society LABRE says “The Radio Amateur community is concerned about the possible occurrence of interference, especially in the 70 cm band.”

Read the translated LABRE post at: https://tinyurl.com/BrazilLABRE.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

From the Mountains to the Bay(CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02, 10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020

RJ, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to Vacaville, CA. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of the roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered include: CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass details will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter (https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL 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/

ARISS News

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates.

The following schools have now been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19:

Postponed:

  • SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via ZS9SPD
  • RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neam?, Romania, direct via YRØISS
  • McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA, prefer direct via KD4TGR
  • Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN, direct via N4FR
  • Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, CA, direct via AE6XM
  • Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR

Canceled:

  • Electromagnetic Field, Ledbury, United Kingdom, direct via GB4EMF

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, for the above information.]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Due to COVID-19, many hamfests and events around the United States have been canceled or postponed.  While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed.

Current schedule:

  • May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

  • April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Brainerd, MN
  • 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

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

Shorts from All Over

Fresh ISS Crew Arrives

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and two Russian cosmonauts arrived Thursday for their mission aboard the International Space Station, temporarily restoring the orbiting laboratory’s population to six people. The Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft carrying Cassidy, along with Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, docked to the station’s Poisk service module at 10:13 A.M. after a four-orbit, six-hour flight. Their Soyuz spacecraft launched at 4:05 A.M. EDT (0805Z, or 1:05 P.M. Kazakhstan time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]

Rocket Lab Rocket Recovery Test Video

Before New Zealand went into COVID-19 lockdown, the folks at Rocket Lab did a test to recover a first stage Electron rocket. You can see the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3CWGDhkmbs

[ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC, for the above information.]

Preparing for the Ultimate DXpedition? Read the Manual First!

For those of you who have been dreaming about operating from the moon or Mars, you can begin your preparations by reading SpaceX’s Starship User Guide Version 1.0.  No, it’s not a detailed flight manual but it will help you plan your provisions.  It’s light reading and can be seen at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-103-Starship

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM for the above information.]

First Transatlantic Contact on 70 Centimeters Reported

History appears to have been made on April 7, when AMSAT member Burt Demarcq, FG8OJ, on Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, and an operator at D4VHF in Cape Verde off the African Coast and , completed a contact on 70 centimeters using FT8 — a distance of 3,867 kilometers (2,398 miles). This would mark the first transatlantic contact on that band that did not involve satellites or moonbounce. The most likely mode of propagation was marine ducting, with the signal being trapped close to the ocean surface.

One day earlier, 9Y4D in Trinidad copied D4VHF over a distance of 4,006 kilometers (2,484 miles), but no contact was made. D4VHF is the VHF-UHF contest call sign of the Monteverde Contest Team (D4C).

Perhaps not coincidentally, FG8OJ was the first to span the Atlantic on 2 meters over the same path, when he worked D41CV in Cape Verde on June 16, 2019.

[ANS thanks the ARRL 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,

This week’s ANS Editor,

Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org

ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 5th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-096

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:

  • Ham Radio Book Featured in “Story Time From Space” on ISS
  •  NO-104 / PSAT2 Status
  •  VUCC Standings for April 2020
  • AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders
  • Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course
  • AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-096.01
ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 096.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE April 5, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-096.01

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/

Ham Radio Book Featured in “Story Time From Space” on ISS

In a collaborative initiative between the ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers, Story Time From Space, and ARISS, the recent book Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli, KD8PKR, was read by Astronaut Anne McClain for Story Time From Space. Anne read the book in three segments. The second segment features a tour of the ARISS radio station that includes details about ham radio and ARISS.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT VP Human Spaceflight, pointed out that at the end of the final segment, a video was included of Astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB talking about the impact of ham radio on both the ISS astronauts and the students participating in ARISS activities. Many schools and media outlets—and even the USA’s First Lady—have recommended that parents have housebound youth listen to McClain read the book.

The Vermont Community Newspaper Group‘s (Burlington) reporter wrote in part, “A great way to get out of the house—way out of the house—without leaving home…. In this installment Ada is trying to fix a ham radio. It’s a nice antidote to weighty issues, enjoying readings from weightlessness.”

A few posts recommending McClain’s YouTube thus far are: Los Angeles’s ABC TV7; Daily Times (Delaware County, PA); The Mercury (Berks County, PA); The Trentonian (NJ); The Barnstable Patriot (MA); and the Orange School District and Hamilton School District (NJ).

Find the video for your favorite future astronaut at: https://storytimefromspace.com/ada-lace-part-1/

[ANS thanks Rosalie White, K1STO, of the ARISS staff for the above information]

NO-104 / PSAT2 Status

The 2m/APRS side of the sat is still non operating for the unknown reasons. Any change or any packet heard would be welcomed.

The 435MHz side of the sat is still going strong. The PSK31 transponder is operating flawlessly with occasional activity seen over the US. If you are operating through transponder, you are asked to stay within 400-1000Hz of downlink frequency. Lower you can interfere with the tlm beacons and higher you will be wiped off by the SSTV signal.

The orbit is elliptical with apogee position period approximately 34 days.

The 435.350MHz downlink frequency is temperature dependent a bit so best reception with any kind of SDR, where in waterfall you can see actual downlink freq. The greatest offset is seen after eclipse when sat is coldest. The downlink is operating in Sun only, it switches off entering the eclipse and switches on coming from eclipse or after 30-minute timer.

The tlm beacons transmit every 4 minutes. The spectrum of the signal is narrow, so in SDR you can use just 2kHz bandwidth gaining SNR. Two minutes after tlm, the SSTV picture is transmitted in 4 minutes intervals also. For reception best bandwidth observed is around 9500Hz. Transmitted pictures are alternating prestored ones and pictures from camera memory stored on orbit.

Reception is possible on high passes with good omni antenna using the LNA in the quiet environment. But for the passes till horizon, directional antenna and LNA is needed.

We are still looking for any stations capable of regular downlink receptions with position between 40deg South and 40deg North. If you can make the receptions available in IQ format it would be greatly welcomed. Station capable of uplink in 29MHz to sat can be selected as commanding station and then can acquire pictures in real time or store them in sequence. So you can get pictures of your side of the globe, just contact us.

Further info and contacts can be found at https://github.com/alpov/PSAT-2/blob/master/README.md

[ANS thanks Tomáš Urbanec, OK2PNQ, 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

VUCC Standings for April 2020

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period March 1, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CallsignMarch 1April 1
N3GS624652
K9UO550565
KK4YEL413504
G0ABI453454
KB2YSI101450
AD0HJ405425
N7EGY351405
KC9VGG228310
N9FN207303
PT9BM225255
KC9UQR240252
WA9JBQ175225
W4ZXT150202
K5ZM135179
WD9EWK (DM41)148164
WD9EWK (DM22)131150
N4QX125138
XE2YWH102137
EA2AA101125
IZ1ERRNew112
N7JYNew106
KE4BKLNew101
AA7WBNew100
DP0GVNNew100

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

AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders

So, you are sitting at home waiting to go back to work. You are working some of the passes of a satellite. Logging as you go. What are you going to do with all those contacts in your log? Easy…

You apply for an AMSAT or ARRL award. The ARRL has Worked All States, DXCC and VUCC all with satellite endorsements. AMSAT has the Satellite Communicator Club for working your very first contact on a satellite. The easiest award to apply for. Go directly to the AMSAT Online store and purchase the award. In the comments enter the time/date, satellite and station worked. That’s it. No waiting for QSL cards, no waiting  for LoTW confirmation. Then send me an email that you have paid for the award so I know there is one waiting to be processed.

AMSAT has a few other awards. The AMSAT Satellite Communications Achievement Award for working 20 different contacts in different US States, VE Call Areas and DXCC entities. Adding 40 more, you earn the AMSAT Sexagesimal Award and adding another 40 earns the AMSAT Century Award.

Have you been keeping your log for a long time? You might already qualify for the AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. This award is for 1,000 contacts with anyone over a satellite. Endorsements for each 1,000 up to 4,000 and a special certificate at 5,000.

There is also the South Africa AMSAT Satellite Communications Achievement award. This award is for 25 contacts through a LEO satellite. As we have no HEO satellites at this time and only one GEO satellite you are pretty much good on almost any satellite you work.

And the final one, the AMSAT Rover award. A bit much to explain here.

You can get information on all the AMSAT Awards at http://www.amsat.org click on Services and click on the word Awards. You can also click on each of the individual awards to get information on each.

Submission is easy for the AMSAT awards. Scan your QSL cards or screen shot your LoTW for each contact. Place them in a ZIP file, Word Document, PDF document and email them to kk5do at amsat dot org. I will then take a look at your submission, complete my documentation and email you to go pay for the award/s at the AMSAT online store.

Remember, all satellites are COVID-19 free and you should have no hesitation making a contact through one.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards for the above information]

Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course

In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that it is introducing a new online Amateur Radio course so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

The RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course prepares stu dents for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and will start on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in mid-June. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

For more information please visit: https://www.rac.ca/basic-radio-course/

[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]

AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE

AMSATSA held its regular online progress meeting this past Wednesday. During the past few weeks, progress was made on all fronts. The transponder was tested on the air and an actual contact was made through the transponder. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP installed the transponder on the tower at his house and made a contact with Keith Laaks, ZS6TW. While it was only over a few kilometres distance, the importance of the contact was that there was no interference and the audio quality was good.

This past week Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC has worked on the software and through a complicated link managed to upload and install newer software remotely. “Anton connected to my computer and took over the machine using TeamViewer and then connected via Wi-Fi to the transponder on my tower,” Hannes, ZS6BZP said. “In normal times we would have simply exchanged a memory stick, but in abnormal times one has to resort to unconventional ways of doing things”.

Further updates will be uploaded this weekend with more testing of the transponder. The next step is to open the testing to local radio amateurs. Full details will be announced on SARL News and on the AMSAT SA Web. The full AfriCUBE development story is available on www.amsatsa.org.za.

The review meeting was also updated with the other components of AfriCUBE. The space frame is complete, the PC boards for the solar panels have been designed and will be manufactured as soon as the lockdown is over. Work is continuing on the antenna and solar panel deployment and a further prototype will be manufactured as soon as South Africa returns to normal work. The electronic power supply unit is complete. A new interface between the Raspberry Pi and the processor has been designed and the circuit board laid out.

[ANS thanks the South African Radio League for the above information]

ARISS News

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2020-03-30 21:00 UTC

Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:

TBD

Looking for some stay at home activities related to science and for when you are not playing on your radio? Check out these links:

Celestron, the telescope, microscope, and sports optics folks, now has something called #STEMINYOURBACKYARD that you can find on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. By the way, I don’t work for Celestron or have any business dealings with them and this is just something I saw. Apparently there are 10 free STEM activities covering Astronomy, nature and Wildlife, and The Microscopic World. Check out: https://www.celestron.com/blogs/news/discover-stem-in-your-backyard

NASA has a STEM page with fun activities to do at home. Check out https://www.nasa.gov/stem

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, I will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates.

The following schools have now been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19:

Postponed:

  • SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via ZS9SPD
  • RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamț, Romania, direct via YRØISS
  • McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA, prefer direct via KD4TGR
  • Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN, direct via N4FR
  • Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, CA, direct via AE6XM
  • Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR

Canceled:

  • Electromagnetic Field, Ledbury, United Kingdom, direct via GB4EMF

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

Watch for future COVID-19 related announcements here also.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, of the ARISS Operations Team, 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/

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.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been canceled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed.

We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule:

  • May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX
  • October 16-18, 2020, AMSAT Symposium and Annual General Meeting, Bloomington, MN

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

  • April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Brainerd, MN
  • 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

[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

From the Mountains to the Bay (CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020
RJ, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to Vacaville, CA. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of the roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered include: CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass details will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter (https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.

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

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • At 15:41 UTC on April 2nd, the thrusters of Progress MS-13 fired for 427.5 seconds to provide Δv 0.48. m/s and raise the ISS’s orbit height by about 0.9 km. (ANS thanks @Zarya_info on Twitter)
  •  New distance records have been claimed for XW-2B and EO-88. F4DXV reports working VO1FOG on XW-2B on April 1st and again on EO-88 on April 2nd. The 4,086 km trans-Atlantic QSOs are the longest claimed on either of these two satellites. For more records, check https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/
  • The Folding at home project is a distributed computing project that is currently running calculations to analyze protein structures on the COVID-19 virus. Donate your spare computer time to help this project and consider joining AMSAT’s team (#67910). More information at https://foldingathome.org/covid19/ AMSAT’s team standings can be found at https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/69710
  • The 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference has been canceled, so there will be no Proceedings published. All the papers submitted so far are now available online at: http://newsvhf.com/conference/2020papers.html (more papers may be coming – there is no hard deadline) (ANS thanks the 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference)
  • AMSAT-EA has applied for IARU coordination of the Hades satellite. Hades, a 1.5p Pocketqube will feature a V/U linear transponder, a regenerative transponder for FM/FSK/ASK and 0.05kbps-125kbps ASK/FSK/PSK telemetry, store & forward and data transmission from ground stations. (ANS thanks the IARU for the above information)
  • Bob Beatty, WB4SON, reported a successful “Satellites for Beginners” presentation via Zoom to the Rochester VHF Society on Saturday, April 4th. If your group would like to host a virtual AMSAT presentation, email ambassadors at amsat.org.
  • Happy First Contact Day! 43 years from today, Zefram Cochrane will break the warp barrier with the Phoenix and make first contact with the Vulcans.

/EX

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