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: email@example.com
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 Symposium Proceedings Now Available to AMSAT Members
- Ham Talk Live Episode on Satellite Etiquette
- ASEE Presentation on CubeSatSim
- CAS-6 Becomes TO-108, Added to AMSAT TLE Distribution
- AMSAT Announces Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors Election
- ARISS Volunteer VK5ZAI Named Member of the Order of Australia
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- ARISS News
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.01
ANS-180 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 June 28
To All RADIO AMATEURS
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/
AMSAT Symposium Proceedings Now Available to AMSAT Members
All editions of the AMSAT Symposium Proceedings dating back to 1986 are now available as a benefit of AMSAT membership via the Member Resources section of our new membership portal at launch.amsat.org.
If you’re a current member and have not yet logged on to the portal, please do so to ensure that your information is accurate in the database and check out the online resources we have made available to all members, including Proceedings, all issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014, and a printable frequency chart listing currently available amateur satellites.
If you’re not a current member, now is a great time to sign up. Visit https://launch.amsat.org/ today!
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President for the above information]
Ham Talk Live Episode on Satellite Etiquette
Popular internet podcast “Ham Talk Live!” this past week featured an episode on Satellite Etiquette. The podcast, which uses the format of a radio call-in show, streams live on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern Time (0100z in the current Daylight Time regimine), can be replayed on You- Tube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF1FnCczwUikw1aKsTqMR9g as Episode 218.
Podcast host, Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, conducted interviews with Kevin Zari, KK4YEL and Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – User Services about basic satellite operating etiquette as well as how to conduct satellite operations special event stations, such as roamers and during events such as Field Day.
[ANS thanks @HamTalkLive on Twitter 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.
CAS-6 Becomes TO-108, Added to AMSAT TLE Distribution
The CAS-6 (TQ-1) microsatellite was launched December 20, 2019 on a CZ-4B launch vehicle from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, China. CAS-6 (TQ-1) was developed by the Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) and in cooperation with China’s commercial satellite manufacturer. CAMSAT completed the design and manufacture of the amateur radio payload, and manages the on-orbit operation of the payload. The satellite carries CW and digital telemetry beacons and a linear transponder. The deployment of the amateur antennas was delayed due technical and COVID-19 issues, but was completed on June 20, 2020. Currently the beacons are carriers only, and the transponder operates with about 2 seconds on and 5 seconds off.
At the request of CAMSAT and the CAS-6 team, AMSAT hereby designates CAS-6 (TQ-1) as TQ-OSCAR 108 (TO-108). We congratulate the owners and operators of TO-108, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them continued success on this and future projects.
Frequencies for the intended radio amateur mission are:
- CW Telemetry Beacon: 145.910 MHz
- AX.25 4.8kbps GMSK Telemetry: 145.890 MHz
- U/V Linear Transponder Downlink: 145.925 MHz, 20 kHz bandwidth
- U/V Linear Transponder Uplink: 435.280 MHz, Inverted
Operator reports indicate that the transponder is active only for brief intervals of about 2 seconds, spaced approximately seconds apart. With patience, and quick transmissions, QSOs have been completed.
CAS-6 (NORAD Cat ID 44881) has been added to the AMSAT distributions of Two Line Element (TLE) sets beginning from June 25, 2020. Watch for possible future changes to the satellite name in future TLEs.
[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations & OSCAR Number Administrator; Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager; and Alan Kung, BA1DU, for the above information]
ASEE Presentation on CubeSatSim
At this week’s American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) virtual national conference, AMSAT’s VP of Educational Relations, Alan Johnston, Ph.D., KU2Y, presented a paper on the use of the AMSAT CubeSatSim in the classroom. His paper “The CubeSat Mini Project: Experiences with an Introductory Freshman Electrical and Computer Engineering Course” described the use of the CubeSatSim in the spring of 2019 at Villanova University.
In addition to building CubeSatSims, the students also built tape measure Yagi-Uda antennas, tracked amateur radio satellites, and listened to Morse code telemetry using SDRs. The CubeSatSim is a low cost satellite emulator that runs on solar panels and batteries, transmits UHF radio telemetry, has a 3D printed frame, and can be extended by additional sensors and modules. It can be built for about $200. Details about the design and use of the simulator are in a series of articles in the AMSAT Journal. More information on the AMSAT CubeSatSim is available at https://cubesatsim.org or by contacting Alan at ku2y at amsat dot org or on Twitter @alanbjohnston.
[ANS thanks Alan Johnston, KU2Y, AMSAT VP Educational Relations for the above information]
AMSAT Announces Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors Election
The nomination period for this year’s AMSAT Board of Directors election ended June 15. The following candidates have been found to have their membership in good standing and their nomination credentials in order:
- Howard DeFelice, AB2S
- Mark Hammond, N8MH
- Jeff Johns, WE4B
- Robert McGwier, N4HY
- Bruce Paige, KK5DO
- Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
This year, AMSAT will be electing three voting members of the Board of Directors. These will go to the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes. In addition, there will be two alternates chosen, based on the next highest number of votes received.
Further details regarding the mechanics of the election will appear in ANS in the near future. Ballots will be mailed to the AMSAT membership by July 15th based on a membership list that will be generated as early as July 1. Members are encouraged to use the AMSAT Membership Portal at launch.amsat.org to verify that their membership is in good standing and their mailing address is correct.
[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]
Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff from our Zazzle store!
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Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
ARISS Volunteer VK5ZAI Named Member of the Order of Australia
Veteran Amateur Radio on the International Radio Station (ARISS) volunteer Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, has been honored as a Member of the Order of Australia in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours List. Hutchison was recognized “For significant service to amateur radio, particularly to satellite and space communication.” The Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet noted that Hutchison is one of 10 official ARISS telebridge stations to the International Space Station, as well as a HamTV ground station.
Hutchison’s station has served as the ham radio contact point for ISS crew members to speak with schools and groups on Earth via ham radio, when a contact location is not within the footprint of an ISS pass. The students connect via a teleconference line from their school to the telebridge station, and then with the astronaut using ham radio.
Hutchison provided communication support for contacts with Australian astronaut Andy Thomas, VK5JAT/VK5MIR, during Thomas’s tour on the Russian Mir space station, and he enabled the first school contact with Mir in 1993. As part of ARISS, he helped 65 schools prepare for ARISS contacts and used his telebridge station for 58 ARISS contacts throughout the world. He is a member of AMSAT-VK.
“Tony’s been an ARISS mentor for years, and was lead of Australia’s mentors,” ARISS-International Secretary Rosalie White, K1STO, said. “He enjoyed talking to the Mir crews long before.” White said that Hutchison, who is in his early 80s, remains involved in the ARISS program. Licensed in 1960, Hutchison became interested in satellite communication in 1965 with OSCAR-3.
“Although I received the honour, I would like to share it with all team members I work with,” Hutchison said. “If it wasn’t for the work that all the ARISS-International volunteers do, this award would never have been given.”
An investiture ceremony is tentatively set for this fall.
[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information]
Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.
Largely due to summer school holidays, no contacts are currently scheduled.
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors 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
Upcoming Satellite Operations
Upcoming Roves: Quick Hits:
CM86, 6/26. W6KSR: Will be on a few passes on Friday from CM86,
EM19, 6/27 & 6/28 KE9AJ : Will be at the farm with FM and Linear gear.
FM25 and Maybe FM26, @KM4LAO Now though 6/28. Ruth will be at the beach, no schedule yet!
EM58/EM59, 6/29 @KX9X will be heading out to the grid line between 14:00 and 22:00. Watch his twitter feed for updates. <Updated
EM57 & EM67 (Saturday 7/11 & 7/12) N4DCW <-Change of grids!
FN45 & FN46, VE2FUA, 7/12 & 7/13: Chris is heading out to a little known state (to rovers at least) called Maine. Might want to get him while he is there.
@WY7AA is heading out again!!! Starting July 13th DN63 (Some Day passes) DN64 fir a few days of fly fishing then DN55 – DN68, and getting home on July 31st….
DL88: Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know they tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. Today the tentative date is Monday July 6th, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, 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.
* Shelby NC Hamfest (Contact N4HF for info or if you want to help.) Phil Jenkins, N4HF, is planning to present a forum – and set-up/man an info table – at the Shelby NC Hamfest Friday/Saturday Sept 4 & 5. (the ‘fest runs Sept 4-6, but he’ll probably only be there Friday and Saturday). Demos possible if additional volunteers step up.
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
+ Rohit Bokade, VU3OIR, has started a petition requesting a change to the Amateur Radio license in India to permit all grades of license to use the amateur radio satellites. In India, holders of the Restricted grade of license (VU3 prefix) are not permitted to use amateur radio satellites or communicate with the International Space Station. (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information)
+ NASA’s Perseverance rover is getting ready to launch to Mars in July, and it’ll carry some very special messages with it. We already knew about the 11 million names and the statement “explore as one” written in Morse code. NASA revealed last week it’ll also take a tribute to health care workers all the way to the red planet. The Perseverance team installed a small aluminum plate showing Earth on top of a serpent-wrapped rod, a nod to the ancient Rod of Asclepius symbol for medicine. NASA said the plaque commemorates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and pays tribute to the perseverance of health care workers around the world. (ANS thanks cnet.com for the above information)
+ NASA has agreed to allow its astronauts to fly on reused Crew Dragon spaceships and Falcon 9 boosters beginning as soon as SpaceX’s third launch of a crew to the International Space Station, a mission expec- ted to launch next year. The space agency has modified its contract with SpaceX to permit reuse of spacecraft and rocket hardware. NASA had not previously approved the use of previously-flown spacecraft and rockets on missions carrying the agency’s astronauts into orbit. NASA said the contract modification allows for the extension of the Crew Dragon’s Demo-2 test flight — which launched May 30 with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, KE5GGX — from two weeks to up to 119 days. (ANS thanks SpaceflightNOW for the above information)
+ NASA announced this week that it will rename its Washington headquarters after its first black female engineer, Mary Jackson, whose story was told in the hit film “Hidden Figures.” Jackson was a research mathematician who was later promoted to become the agency’s first black female engineer. The move by NASA comes as weeks of protests in the United States have sparked a national reckoning about systemic racism and racial inequality. (ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information)
+ Congratulations to Drew Blasbrenner, KO4MA, who has been awarded the first AMSAT issued GridMaster Award (#11)! The GridMaster award is available to all amateurs worldwide who submit proof with confirmation of contacts with each of the 488 maidenhead grids located within the contiguous United States of America. Contacts must be confirmed in writing, preferably in the form of QSL cards or via Logbook of the World (LoTW). This award was first introduced by Star Comm Group in 2014. AMSAT thanks Damon Runion, WA4HFN, and Rick Tillman, WA4NVM, for not only sponsoring this award since its inception, but, also, entrusting AMSAT with the honor of carrying on this important award for the benefit of the entire AMSAT community. (ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director, Contests & Awards, for the above information)
+ The San Diego Microwave Group will hold a Zoom meeting this Monday, June 29 at 7 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time (0200 UTC on June 30) with a presentation by Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, concerning challenges of placing an amateur microwave payload in space. Microwave on the ISS was raised as a possibility this past week from the ARISS/AREx hardware summit meetings. The San Diego Microwave Group meeting is a regular technical roundtable on amateur microwave activities, questions, operations, and experiments. Join Zoom Meeting ID: 819 2711 2936 using Password: 487697. (ANS thanks AMSAT Board Member Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, for the above information).
+ Congrats to Joe Werth, KE9AJ, and Burt Demarcq, FG8OJ, for setting a new distance record on XW-2B on June 20. This was also the longest QSO recorded on any of the XW-2 series of satellites. FG8OJ located at FK96ig17, to KE9AJ at DM79IQ47 is 4,978 km. (ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, AMSAT Executive Vice-President, 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, Mark D. Johns, K0JM
k0jm at amsat dot org