ANS-005 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for January 5


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 publishes news of Amateur Radio in space as soon as our volunteers can post it. Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor at amsat dot org.  You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:

In this edition:

  • AMSAT Member KC9ZJX Receives 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 2, 2020
  • Space Fence nearing operational acceptance by U.S. Air Force
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 2020
  • Winter Field Day to Include Limited Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT Member KC9ZJX Receives 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Congratulations to AMSAT member Dhruv Rebba, KC9ZJX, winner of the Bloomington and Normal (Illinois) Human Relations Commissions 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. award. The commission chooses people who reflect the ideology of the late Dr. King.

Rebba is a sophomore at Normal Community High School. He is a volunteer and/or member of YMCA/YWCA, Illinois 4-H, Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP), National Computer Science Honor Society, and First Robotics. He is also Amateur Radio Newsline’s 2019 Young Ham Of The Year. Rebba gave the youth presentation at AMSAT 36th Annual Symposium Huntsville, Alabama in 2018 where is also received AMSAT’s Presidential Award.

The announcement is posted on-line at:

[ANS thanks, NPR Radio from Illinois State University, for the above information]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 2, 2020

Correction to the addition of FloripaSat 1 to last week’s TLE distribution:

  • FloripaSat 1 is NORAD CAT ID 44885.
  • Also the first part of the TLE distribution was left off the orb19360.2l.amsat file sent last week. The second file sent orb19361.2l.amsat contained the full list of satellites.
  • We are still awaiting the identification of CAS-6. Or… Use the keps for FloripaSat 1 (NORAD CAT ID 44885) for CAS-6 per suggestion of Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P. This, of course, assumes that CAS-6 is in fact transmitting???

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

Space Fence nearing operational acceptance by U.S. Air Force

According to NASA’s most recent Orbital Debris Quarterly News, NASA calculates about 17.6 million pounds of objects are in earth orbit. That number will only grow as more commercial space projects launch massive constellations with thousands of smallsats, presenting a huge problem for both U.S. government and commercial organizations.

That’s where the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence will play a crucial role. Using advanced solid-state S-band radar technology, the Space Fence radar located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, it will play a critical role in the everyday lives of Americans who are becoming more dependent on space-based technologies for everything from weather forecasting, banking, global communications to GPS navigation.

Today, these critical services are being threatened by hundreds of thousands of objects and space debris orbiting the Earth. Frequent collisions and deterioration of assets, such as defunct satellites and rocket boosters, have increased the amount of space debris and raised the risk of future collisions in space.

The Air Force Space Surveillance Network currently tracks about 25,000 objects. When Space Fence comes online, the catalog will experience significant growth and when fully operational, Space Fence will be the world’s largest and most advanced radar system, providing unprecedented space situational awareness.

Beyond cataloging objects, Space Fence will detect closely-spaced objects, breakups, maneuvers, launches and conjunction assessments from LEO through GEO.

Space Fence is currently in a trial period and expected to become fully operational in 2020.

[ANS thanks Milsat Magazine 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

VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 2020

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period December 3, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CallsignVUCC Standing December 2019VUCC Standing January 2020
WD9EWK (DM43)585597
W5CBF (EM21) New179
WD9EWK (DM41)127148
WD9EWK (DM23)104137

If you find errors or omissions. please contact W5RKN at 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]

Winter Field Day to Include Limited Satellite Operations

Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday. For 2020 the dates are January 25th and 26th. Station set-up may commence no earlier than 1900 UTC (2pm EST) on the Friday before. Station setup may consume no more than 12 hours total.

All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters. Any mode that can faithfully transmit the exchange intact without a conversion table… CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc… (note FT8 is excluded).

Satellite contacts do not count as a new mode/band multiplier. Satellite contacts are limited to ONE ONLY per entry so as to not tie up satellite frequencies with stations calling CQ WFD.

Three operating categories are available:

  • Indoor: Operation from inside a remote, insulated, heated, and weather-protected structure where an Amateur station is normally not available.
  • Outdoor: Operation from a location partly or fully exposed to the elements and at least 30 feet away from your normal station location and not using any part of a previously erected antenna system or station.
  • Home: Operation from inside a home or inside another structure attached to a home that could or would be the usual location of an Amateur station.

For additional information, see:

[ANS thanks the Winter Field Day Association 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.

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

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

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

Current schedule:

  • January 6, 2020 West Valley Amateur Radio Club, Sun City, AZ
  • January 11, 2020 Thunderbird ARC Hamfest, Glendale, AZ
  • January 17-18, 2020 Cowtown Hamfest, Fort Worth, TX
  • February 7-9, 2020 Hamcation, Orlando, FL
  • March 6, 2020 Irving Hamfest, Irving, TX
  • May 15-17, 2020 Hamvention, Xenia, OH
  • June 12-13, 2020 Ham-Con, Plano, TX

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

For additional information on the AMSAT Ambassador Program, see:

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, Director, AMSAT Ambassadors for the above information]

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

Upcoming Satellite Operations

  • Due to weather concerns, the W5M/MM satellite expedition to EL58 is being postponed to Sunday Jan 5th. For updates, follow on Twitter at
  • Lucas Gusher Special Event (EM20) January 11-12, 2020
    The Beaumont Amateur Radio Club will be operating using the callsign K5S on various HF bands including as many CAS-4A, CAS-4B, AO-91, AO-92 passes that we can. SO-50 and XW-2A also possible. More information about K5S can be found on
  • Labrador (GO11 +) January 19-27, 2020
    Chris VE3FU, Dave VE9CB, and Frank VO1HP will be active as VO2AC in the 2020 CQ160 CW contest, January 24-26, from Point Armour Lighthouse, in Labrador. If time permits before the contest, they may be active on FM satellites from GO11 as VO2AC or VO2AAA. Depending on weather and timing of passes, you might catch them on FM satellites as they make their way from FO93 to GO-11, passing through FO92, GO02, GO13, GO12, and GO22 along the way, but no promises. They will also make the reverse trek on January 27.
  • Big Bend National Park (DL88) March 16-17, 2020 
    Ron AD0DX, Doug N6UA, and Josh W3ARD will operate from Big Bend National Park to put grid DL88 on the air. Details will be added here, as they come available, but you are more than welcome to keep an eye on their individual Twitter feeds:,, and

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at)

[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 

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • TAPR PSR Digital Journal Winter 2020 Edition is available at:  (ANS thanks TAPR for the above information)
  • The January/February 2020 SARC Communicator newsletter is available at: This edition has 75 pages of projects, news, views, and reviews from the SW corner of Canada. Find out about the northernmost amateur radio station: “VY0ERC: What is life like at the farthest north Amateur Radio Club in Canada?” starting on page 14.  (ANS thanks Surrey Amateur Radio Communications for the above info)
  • A CBC Hamilton news feature on John David, VA3JHD, and his work with the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio Systems (CFARS), briefly mentions amateur satellites. See the article at:  (ANS thanks CBC Hamilton for the above information)
  • Work is going “smoothly” on the Chandrayaan-3 mission to put a rover probe on the moon’s surface, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K. Sivan told a press conference. India seeking to become only the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to put a mission on the moon’s surface and boost its credentials as a low-cost space power. The country’s Chandrayaan-2 module crashed on the moon’s surface in September.  (ANS thanks for the above information)
  • China has just released the first batch of #ChangE4 science data. The first ever mission to land on the the far side of the Moon. This is actually a really cool and user friendly website. To access in English visit:
  • E-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the December 2019 edition of OSCAR News, issue 228. For details, see:  Also, a video on a recent moonbounce and satellite expedition to Botswana may be found on the AMSAT-UK website:  (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and Trevor Essex, M5AKA, for the above information)
  • Congratulations to Chris Taron, NK1K, on the achievement of DXCC via LEO satellite! This is a remarkable achievement matched by few.  (ANS thanks Twitter @NK1K for the above information)
  • Congratulations to WA7FWF on uploading 1 million Fox Telemetry frames to the server. For more information on capturing telemetry from the Fox satellites, see:   (ANS thanks Mark Hammond, N8MH, AMSAT Board Member, for the above information)


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT office.

Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a maximum of six post-secondary years in this status. Contact Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student membership information.

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