ANS-215 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for August 2nd

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.

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In this edition:

  • ISS MAI-75 SSTV Activity Planned For Aug 4-5
  • AMSAT Awards Update
  • How Many Satellite Awards Have Been Issued?
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for August 2020
  • First Demonstration Of Orbit Control On A 1U CubeSat
  • Burns Fisher, WB1JF, Featured Speaker at AMSAT SA Symposium
  • NASA to Provide Coverage of Astronauts’ Return from ISS on SpaceX
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-215.01
ANS-215 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 215.01
DATE 2020 August 02


ISS MAI-75 SSTV Activity Planned For Aug 4-5

Russian cosmonauts will transmit amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images from the International Space Station (ISS) during August 4-5 on 145.800 MHz FM (likely using PD-120).

On July 9, ESA Education had Tweeted: “We are expecting the ISS to transmit pictures in the next weeks for the 45th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz test project. This is a perfect opportunity to try this activity for yourself!”

Apollo–Soyuz was the first international space mission, carried out jointly by the United States and the Soviet Union in mid-July 1975.

An announcement made July 27 on the ARISS SSTV Blog says: The final crew schedule for the week of Aug 3-9 was released recently and it showed a MAI-75 activity scheduled for Aug 4 and 5. This is soon after the Space X Demo-2 undock so changes to that event could impact the schedule.

The current dates and times of the planned activity are as follows: Aug 4 (12:25-18:10 UTC) is setup and day 1 operations. Aug 5 (11:15-18:45 UTC) is day 2 operations and close out.

This is the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment that is active for orbital passes over Moscow, Russia. It has traditional been PD-180 or PD-120 and transmitting on 145.800 MHz.

Source ARISS STV Blog

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. Many FM mobile and base station rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the filter for wider deviation FM (25 kHz channel spacing). Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

The space agency ESA has released a video ‘How to get pictures from the International Space Station via Amateur Radio’ along with a collection of Tutorial videos explaining how to receive ISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) pictures for different computers and mobile devices

Read the Raspberry Pi article Pictures from space via ham radio

ISS SSTV info and links

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice. For details, please visit

AMSAT Awards Update

Here are the awards issued in the last two months.

The AMSAT Satellite Communicators Award is given to any operator for having made their first contact:

Anthony Rizi, NR1Z
Edward Hartzel, W3HMK
James Brooks, KB3EFH
Vilanova University ARC, W3YP
Robin Shelley, G8VVY


The Oscar Satellite Communications Achievement Award is for working 20 contacts on any satellite:

Anthony Rizi, NR1Z, #628
Angus Alexander, KJ7KOJ, #629


The AMSAT Sexagesimal Satellite Communications Achievement Award is given for 60 satellite contacts:

Stephan Greene, KS1G, #187
Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ, #188


The AMSAT South Africa Satellite Communications Achievement Award is for 25 different stations on Phase 2 (LEO) satellites:

Anthony Rizi, NR1Z, #US230
Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ, #US231
Angus Alexander, KJ7KOJ, #US232


The Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award is awarded for the submission of 1,000 satellite contacts on OSCAR-6 or later satellites:

W4AMI Award (1,000-4,000)

Mitchell Whitman, N4DCW, #110
Mark Johns, K0JM, #111
David Hoffman, KL1XI, #112
Phillip Sauvey, AK7DD, #113
Dennis Love, N7EGY, #114
Kell Bodholt, KI7UXT, upgrade to 2000


AMSAT Rover Award is based on a point system and is awarded to those who put grids on the air away from their home QTH:

Rover Call
===== ========
#054 N0TEL
#055 AK7DD
#056 KE0WPA


GridMaster Award is presented to those who confirm QSOs with all 488 grids in the Continental U.S.:

GridMaster Call
========== ========
#11 KO4MA
#12 N4UFO
#13 W5CBF

To see all the awards visit and click on Services then Awards.

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

How Many Satellite Awards Have Been Issued?

When Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, was asked by a ham last week how many awards he has issued, his response was, “You know, I really had no idea.” Paige took over doing the AMSAT awards in May, 2001. Most of the awards have computer records. However, the Satellite Communicator Club award, he did not start keeping track of until 2003.

So, you ask, how many awards has he issued? Paige says,
“Satellite Communicator 407+ but my records only go back to 2003
South Africa Satellite Communication Achievement 167
AMSAT Satellite Communication Achievement 273
Sexagesimal (60 QSOs) 64
Century (100 QSOs) 24
W4AMI (1,000 QSOs) 81
W4AMI endorsements (each additional 1,000 QSOs) 66
W4AMI 5000 (5,000 QSOs) 25
Rover 55
GridMaster 13

and if I added correctly, it comes out to 1,165 plus whatever Satellite Communicator awards were issued in 2001 and 2002. That’s a lot of certificate paper, a lot of ink and a bunch of envelopes and stiffeners to get them safely to their owners.”

Do you have one on your wall? If not, maybe you should submit for one or more so that one day I will hit 2,000 or 3,000 who knows. Visit the awards page at

[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.

VUCC Awards-Endorsements for August 2020

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

CALL July August

W7QL 478 510
WI4T 301 461
N7EGY 405 456
PS8ET 350 434
AF5CC New 425
N9FN 303 403
HP2VX 351 377
WB7VUF 319 370
KC9UQR 301 332
W4ZXT 252 327
WA9JBQ 326 326
W4DTA 263 275
AK7DD New 255
N1PEB * 138 255
K4RGK 175 214
VE6WK New 207
S57NML 179 205
AC9O 108 204
YV1DIG 146 200
AA4FL 181 187
N3CAL 160 171
WD9EWK (DM23) 137 152
N7AME 128 148
WB7QXU New 140
K3HPA 102 128
VE2NGO 100 128
HB9WDF New 114
N5EKO 102 108
KP4RV 100 105
XE1R New 105
KB9STR New 104
N2ZN New 103
IK1IYU New 101
KF6JOQ New 101
N5MIG New 101
LU3FCA New 100
M0KDS New 100
N6RVI New 100

* For some reason, this call dropped off the list from February to now.

If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at W5RKN at W5RKN dot com. This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned.

Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!

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

First Demonstration Of Orbit Control On A 1U CubeSat

The University Wuerzburg Experimental Satellite 4 (UWE-4) successfully used its propulsion system in order to conduct orbit control. The 1U CubeSat, developed and built at the Chair for Robotics and Telematics, is equipped with the electric propulsion system NanoFEEP which has been developed by TU Dresden.

Several manoeuvres have been performed within 11 days between June 23 and July 3, 2020 such that the altitude of the CubeSat was reduced by more than 100 meters, compared to an average of 21 meters with natural decay. This marks the first time in CubeSat history that a 1U CubeSat changed its orbit using an on-board propulsion system.

As chance would have it, the team of UWE-4 received a conjunction data message (CDM) in the morning of July 2, 2020 from the United States Air Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron. A conjunction of UWE-4 with a non- operational Iridium satellite (ID: 34147) in the morning of July 5, 2020 with a minimum range of about 800 meters was a threat to the safety of UWE-4. An analysis has shown that the altitude of UWE-4 would already be below the Iridium satellite at the time of conjunction. Thus the on-going altitude lowering manoeuvre could only improve the situation and can be considered as a collision avoidance manoeuvre. No further CDMs have been issued regarding this possible conjunction. An analysis of the orbit of the two spacecraft after July 5, 2020 results in a closest approach of more than 6000 meters.

Lowering the altitude of a spacecraft in low earth orbit (LEO) is equivalent to a reduction of its lifetime, since satellites in LEO usually burn up during re-entry due to the friction with the Earth’s atmosphere. Thus, this experiment is a concept demonstration of a de- orbiting manoeuvre shown at the smallest class of spacecraft in LEO. Today, there is no commitment to carry a propulsion system for space- craft. However, due to the vastly increasing number of satellites in mega constellations such obligations are being discussed in the space agencies of several space faring countries. The experiment of UWE-4 presents a de-orbiting solution for the fraction of space debris of operational but unused satellites of today and for the mega constellations of tomorrow.

[U.S. regulations make the ability to de-orbit a requirement for HEO amateur satellites in the future — Ed.]

Stay tuned for more updates on UWE-4 and the upcoming launch of NetSat, a formation flying nano-satellite mission from the Center for Telematics which is expected to be launched September 2020!

Kind regards, The UWE-4 Team

UWE-4: First NanoFEEP thruster ignition

UWE-4 435.600 MHz

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

Burns Fisher, WB1JF, Featured Speaker at AMSAT SA Symposium

AMSAT of South Africa (AMSAT SA) has converted its annual Space Symposium into a live online event to take place from 08:00z to 17:00z on Saturday 22 August with a lunch break to have your sandwiches at home.

Burns Fisher, WB1JF, IHU Software Engineer and key volunteer in the construction of the Fox1 series of satellites, will join the symposium from the USA with two presentations. In one of his papers Burns will present a small, easy-to-deploy telemetry station called Fox-in-a-Box, a good way for amateurs to get started in satellite telemetry collection with a modest investment.

There will be features about AMSAT OSCAR 7, the longest operating amateur satellite, as well as about SATNOGs and how to track and decode thousands of small satellites in orbit with simple hardware/software requiring minimal outlay. Dr. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, and his team will present the latest developments in the AfriCUBE project.

To book, visit Members of the SARL or AMSATSA and may register before 15 August for a cost of only R30. Non-members may register prior to this date for a cost of R100 (approximately $6 U.S.) but the AMSAT SA website only offers instructions for registration via postal mail. Contact AMSAT SA to explore other possible options.

[ANS thanks SARL News and JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, 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!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

NASA to Provide Coverage of Astronauts’ Return from ISS on SpaceX

NASA will provide live coverage of activities leading up to, during, and following the return of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with the agency’s astronauts Robert Behnken, KE5GGX, and Douglas Hurley from the International Space Station.

The duo arrived at the orbiting laboratory on May 31, following a successful launch on May 30 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 7:34 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 1, for undocking of the Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft from the space station and 2:42 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, for splashdown, which will be the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station.

Coverage on NASA TV and the agency’s website will begin at 20.30z on Aug. 1, with a short farewell ceremony on station and resume at 21.00z with departure preparations through splashdown and recovery at one of seven targeted water landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Watch at

[ANS thanks NASA 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.

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 cancella- tions or postponements of school contacts.

The most recent contact was with the American School of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Multi-point telebridge via ON4ISS on Thursday, 2020-07-30 at 16:41:42 UTC. The scheduled astronaut was Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact was successful, and the recording may be found at

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men- tors 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

Quick Hits:

Do you need Hawaii? NH7WN on AO-7 Most days. Reach out for a schedule.

EN57, EN56, EN67, 8/2 – 8/8: N8MR, will be in EN57 from August 2nd through August 8th. He may also activate EN56 and 67. Roving will be holiday style.

DM97/98 & EM08/09, 8/29 & 8/30: Super Rover @AD0DX is heading out for the Kansas QSO party and N0E. More to come.

Major Roves:

AD0HJ, is heading out again for the South Dakota Super Rove Part I Rove Map: Grids DN74, DN75, DN84, DN85, DN94, DN95, EN04, EN05, EN14, EN15, EN16, and EN17. July 31st through August 7th. See the Twitter post at to get passes and times.
Then as if that isn’t enough, there is more: South Dakota Super Rove Part II Rove Map: Grids DN73, DN82, DN83, DN92, DN93, EN02, EN03, EN12, EN24, and EN25. August 17th through August 21st.

Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at)

[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.

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: 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

+ Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), September 11 – 13. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s conference will be held online. Papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings; authors do not need to participate. Submit papers by August 15 via email to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB. (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

+ AMSAT-UK has announced the OSCAR Satellite QSO Party, aimed at encouraging radio amateurs around the world to get on the air and make contacts via satellite during summer in the Northern Hemisphere. While points are given per contact, AMSAT-UK says the OSCAR Satellite QSO Party is not a contest. The event starts at 0000 UTC on August 1 and continues until 2359 UTC on September 22. (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information)

+ W5KUB’s high-altitude balloon went down around July 21 between Green- land and Norway after 72 days aloft and more than three trips around Earth. “It got stuck in the Arctic for several weeks, making loops,” Tom Medlin, W5KUB, said. “We are getting ready to launch W5KUB-21, an SBS-13 balloon with lithium polymer (LiPo) battery. Testing on ground is showing that we are getting 24-hour tracking. We hope to launch that in the next week or two.” (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

+ NASA’s latest rover, Perseverance, launched to Mars on July 30 carry- chips with 10.9 million names submitted by people all over the world. Anyone can sign up to send their name on a future Mars mission at (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ Kerry Banke, N6IZW, was featured in an article published in the La Mesa Courier newspaper of La Mesa, Calif. on July 24. The article highlighted Kerry’s association with ARISS, particularly his work on the new special power supply that converts the space station power to the levels that are required by ham radio equipment aboard the ISS. See the full story at (ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, for the above information)

+ NASA and its international partners have assigned crew members for Crew-2, which will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA?s Commercial Crew Program. Crew-2 is targeted to launch in spring 2021. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, will join as mission specialists. (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ The 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference, SmallSat 2020, is going virtual, August 1-6, 2020. Admission is free of charge at: (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ The public disclosure copy of AMSAT’s 2019 IRS filing (Form 990) has been posted to the AMSAT website at:



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 stu- dent 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