ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan 17, 2021


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 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:

  • RadFxSat-2 Launch Delayed Until Sunday, January 17, 2021
  • November/December 2020 AMSAT Journal Now Online
  • UVSQsat Scheduled for January 21, 2021 Launch
  • Seven US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
  • CubeSat to Test Harnessing Earth’s Magnetic Field for Propulsion
  • CHESS CubeSat Constellation to Carry FUNcube Transponders
  • International Amateur Radio Union Preparing for WRC-23
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-017.01
ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 017.01
From AMSAT HQ Washington, DC
January 17, 2021
BID: $ANS-017.01

RadFxSat-2 Launch Delayed Until Sunday, January 17, 2021

Virgin Orbit announced a new launch date of No Earlier Than (NET) Sunday, January 17, 2021 with additional windows in January if needed. The specific window is 10:00 to 14:00 PST (1800 to 2200 UTC). Virgin Orbit seems to be using its Twitter account to make their public announcements, so that may be worth watching at

AMSAT does not have preliminary TLE for the upcoming launch. If you are hoping to snag the first contact, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP – Engineering suggests checking the nasabare.text TLE just prior to launch, maybe thirty-minutes after launch or until they are posted.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

November/December 2020 AMSAT Journal Now Online

AMSAT members can read the November/December 2020 edition of the AMSAT Journal online. This edition includes:

  • Apogee View – Robert Bankston, KE4AL
  • Engineering Update – Jerry Buxton, N0JY
  • Educational Relations Update – Alan Johnston, KU2Y
  • Development Update – Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
  • For Beginners – Amateur Radio Satellite Primer VIII – Keith Baker, KB1SF/VA3KSF
  • Working FalconSat-3 Packet BBS with the Kenwood TH-D72A – Brian Wilkins, KO4AQF
  • Testing a More Fade-resistant BPSK Demodulator for Fox Linear Transponder Spacecraft – Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ
  • The Success Story of SMOG-P, the World’s Smallest Satellite – Gabor Geczy
  • Starting My Adventure With Amateur Radio Satellites – James Johnson, VE7HJ

The AMSAT Journal is a bi-monthly magazine for amateur radio in space enthusiasts, published by the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). Each issue is your source for hardware and software projects, technical tips, STEM initiatives, operational activities, and news from around the world. Join AMSAT today to start receiving your bi-monthly issue of The AMSAT Journal. Members can access the latest issue of The AMSAT Journal as well as archived editions at

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

AMSAT’s GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it
all begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable
solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control. Come along for the
ride. The journey will be worth it!


UVSQsat Scheduled for January 21, 2021 Launch

The launch of UVSQsat is scheduled for January 21, 2021 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. UVSQ-SAT is a nanosatellite designed by LATMOS (Atmospheres Spatial Observation Laboratory) and developed at the Observatory of Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines.  Its scientific and technological goals are observing essential climate variables, namely shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere and UV solar spectral irradiance.

In addition to experimental and educational missions, it will provide the Amateur Radio community with a new FM transponder. AMSAT-Francophone and the radio club F6KRK have been involved throughout the project. AMSAT-Francophone offers software to interpret the data and send it to the AMSAT-F & Satnogs database. The software is in beta mode and available for testing and giving feedback for improvement. The software runs on both Windows and Linux platforms. Information for downloading is available at:

Two audio files are available for testing the software:
– 1200 bps (BPSK / G3RUH): SDRSharp_20201023_143925Z_437017790Hz_IQ—Beacon_1200.wav
– 9600 bps (BPSK / G3RUH): SDRSharp_20201023_144839Z_437011810Hz_IQ—Beacon_9600.wav

The satellite will transmit on the frequency: 437.020 MHz.

More information on the satellite frequencies:

More information on the project:

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

Seven US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process

January 7, 2021 – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the schools/host organizations selected for the July-December 2021 contact window. A total of seven of the submitted proposals during the recent proposal window have been accepted to move forward in the processes of planning to host a scheduled amateur radio contact with crew on the ISS. The primary goal of the ARISS program is to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities and raise their awareness of space communications, radio communications, space exploration, and related areas of study and career possibilities.

The ARISS program anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for the seven US host organizations during the July through December 2021 time period. They are now at work completing an acceptable equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by the ARISS Technical Mentors, the final selected schools/organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities offered by NASA.

The seven schools advancing in the selection process are:

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Tarwater Elementary, Chandler, AZ
Museum of Science & Technology, Syracuse, NY
SpaceKids Global and Girl Scouts of Citrus, Winter Park, FL
Civil Air Patrol – Illinois Wing, St Charles, IL
Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC
Savannah River Academy, Grovetown, GA

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

CubeSat to Test Harnessing Earth’s Magnetic Field for Propulsion

Although not an Amateur Radio satellite, a student-built CubeSat is of interest to the Amateur Radio Satellite Service. Built at the University of Michigan, it will investigate whether small satellites can be maintained in low Earth orbit without thrusters or propellant. Scheduled to launch from the Mojave Air and Space Port on Virgin Orbit’s Launch Demo 2 on January 10, 2020, the Miniature Tether Electrodynamics Experiment-1 (MiTEE-1) will test the concept of using the Earth’s magnetic field to generate thrust.

The usual way to overcome this is to use thrusters to boost the satellite into a higher orbit, but for smaller spacecraft, and especially CubeSats, this isn’t currently an option – although efforts like the ThermaSat design are looking to bring lightweight propulsion systems to CubeSats. The result is that many perfectly good pieces of hardware are destroyed prematurely, deorbiting in a matter of months or even days.

The MiTEE project will test the feasibility of using electromagnetism to provide propulsion by stringing a wire tether 33 to 100 feet (10 to 30 m) long between two CubeSats. The idea is that solar panels would provide electricity, which would run through the wire. As the satellite orbits the Earth, the ionosphere completes the circuit and, because a force is exerted on a wire when it conducts a current in a magnetic field, the tether generates thrust that can be used to boost the spacecraft into a higher orbit. As the force isn’t very great, such an approach wouldn’t be feasible for larger satellites, but the hope is it will be enough to allow small satellites to compensate for the drag of the atmosphere.

The result of two and half years of work, MiTEE-1 won’t actually produce any thrust. Instead, it will consist of a satellite about the size of a loaf of breadbox and another about the size of a smartphone that deploys on a one-meter (33-in) rigid boom. This will measure how much current can be drawn from the ionosphere under various conditions.
The data from the mission will be used for planning and building the next MiTEE satellite, which will demonstrate the electric propulsion system concept in operation.

More information is available at:

[ANS thanks Jeff Davis and 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.

CHESS CubeSat Constellation to Carry FUNcube Transponders

In 2020, a project between AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL and Swiss universities started with the aim of equipping two Swiss satellites with a linear transponder for Amateur Radio.

With a linear transponder, several QSOs can take place simultaneously. The satellites can be operated in CW/SSB with the simplest equipment. The satellites also include features for classroom demonstrations and experiments. In numerous teleconference discussions, the technical possibilities could be sounded out and the realization prepared.

The CHESS [Constellation of High Energy Swiss Satellites] project includes two satellites, which will be built simultaneously and later launched as a constellation. Both will provide a linear transponder for amateur radio use. The first satellite will have a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 400 km. The second will have an elliptical orbit with an altitude of 350×1000 km.

The satellites themselves are a project of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with support from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU – Institute of Electrical Engineering IET), the University of Bern, the Valais University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES-SO), the Haute École Neuchâtel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich. The amateur radio payload is a project of AMSAT-UK/-NL.

On 18 December 2020, the successful system requirements review took place. The project coordination between CHESS and AMSAT lies with the Amateur Radio Association of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Technology & Architecture, Horw.

The Swiss AMSAT Operators provide information about the CHESS project at

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

International Amateur Radio Union Preparing for WRC-23

Preparations are under way by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sponsors WRCs, typically every 4 years, to consider revisions to the international Radio Regulations that define frequency allocations for various radio services.

The next WRC is expected to be held in 2023. Potentially affected bands are 50 – 54 MHz (a new service has been proposed in an adjacent band); 1240 – 1300 MHz; 3300 – 3400 MHz; 10.0 – 10.5 GHz, and 241 – 250 GHz. In addition, studies are being conducted to identify protection requirements for space weather sensors that operate in frequency bands from 13 kHz to at least 15 GHz.

Read the complete story at:

[ANS thanks the ARRL 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

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo; March 13,14 2021
The second QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will be held on March 13-14, 2021.  There is an Amateur Radio speaker track and AMSAT will have a virtual booth during the event. Advance tickets are now on sale.

More information at:

[ANS thanks Virtual QSO Virtual Ham Expo for the above information.]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

EL86; January 17-18, 2021
@KK4YEL: is heading out to EL86 for two days starting this Sunday evening.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR 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


Upcoming Contacts

Hisagi Junior High School, Zushi, Japan
Direct via 8N1ZH
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz.
The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB.
Contact is go for Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 08:17:59 UTC. (70 deg)

Maine Regional School Unit #21, Kennebunk, ME
Multi-point telebridge via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS.
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz.
The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins KF5LJG.
Contact is go for Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 18:27:40 UTC. (52 deg)

Completed Contacts

Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School, Higashioumi, Japan,
Direct via 8N3SG
The ISS callsign was NA1SS.
The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz.
The astronaut was Shannon Walker KD5DXB.
Contact was successful on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 10:38:29 UTC.

A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at

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

Shorts from All Over

New Keplerian Element Set orb21007.2l.amsat Available
Updated Keplerian elements were released on January 7, 2021 and are available at:[email protected]/.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD for the above information.]

31st Anniversary of LO-19
Members of AMSAT Argentina will celebrate the 31st anniversary of the LUSAT (LO-19) satellite with the callsign LU7AA January 16-24, 2021. Stations will be QRV on HF on SSB, FT8, and CW. An award is also available. QSL via LU7AA direct or by eQSL.
More information is available at

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM 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 info at amsat dot org for additional student membership information.

This week’s ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org