ANS-044 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Feb. 13

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.

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In this edition:

  • AMSAT Volunteer RF and Mechanical Engineers Needed
  • APRS Developer Bob Bruninga, WB4APR (SK)
  • IARU Region 1 Working to Resolve Potential Amateur Interference to Satellite Navigation System
  • Geomagnetic Storm Dooms 40 Starlink Satellites
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

ANS-044 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2022 Feb 13

AMSAT Volunteer RF and Mechanical Engineers Needed

AMSAT Engineering is currently recruiting RF and mechanical engineers for its FOX-Plus and GOLF satellite programs.

AMSAT is looking for an EE with RF experience for its FOX-Plus program. You will have the opportunity to design and build the RF communications subsystems for a series of low earth orbit, 1U-3U CubeSats to support AMSAT’s educational and engineering objectives. You should have a working knowledge of analog and digital communications protocols (e.g., FM, PSK, FSK) to provide digitally synthesized audio for FM modulated VHF/UHF/SHF voice and telemetry channels. Development opportunities can begin with modification of previous FOX designs and/or by starting with a blank sheet for an original design.

AMSAT is looking for Mechanical Engineers to join its FOX-Plus and GOLF CubeSat teams. You will have the opportunity to use your structural design and analysis skills in the development of a series of low earth orbit and highly elliptical orbit, 1U-3U CubeSats to support AMSAT’s educational and engineering objectives. Your contribution may include a) the development of the spaceframe and deployable solar panel subsystem, b) the analysis of the thermal characteristics of the CubeSat and the design of the thermal management system, c) preparation and oversight of the environmental testing procedure, and/or d) management of documentation of the CubeSats adherence to the launch provider’s and space vehicle owner’s specifications.

You will collaborate with AMSAT’s all-volunteer teams of up to 12 electrical, mechanical, software and systems engineers. Our volunteers typically spend five hours per week on their project and attend a weekly online update meeting. An Amateur Radio license and CubeSat experience is helpful but not necessary. U.S. citizenship or proof of permanent residency is required.

Interested persons should send an email with their resume/curriculum vitae to:

volunteer (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY, VP Engineering and Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, Assistant VP Engineering for the above information.]

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APRS Developer Bob Bruninga, WB4APR (SK)

The creator of the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, died on February 7. An ARRL Life Member, Bruninga was 73. According to his daughter, Bruninga succumbed to cancer and the effects of COVID-19. Bruninga had announced his cancer diagnosis in 2020. Over the years, he readily shared his broad knowledge of and experience with APRS, among other topics in the amateur radio and electronics fields.

While best known for APRS, Bruninga was also a retired US Naval Academy (USNA) senior research engineer who had an abiding interest in alternative power sources, such as solar power. In 2018, he authored Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur, published by ARRL, which explores developing changes in the area of power and energy, and examines the choices radio amateurs and others can make regarding home solar power, heat pumps, and hybrid and electric vehicles. Bruninga drove an all-electric car and had experimented with a variety of electric-powered vehicles over the years.

APRS originated in 1982, when Bruninga wrote his first data map program that plotted the positions of US Navy ships for the Apple II platform. A couple of years later, he developed what he called the Connectionless Emergency Traffic System (CETS) on the VIC-20 and C64 platforms for digital packet communications to support an endurance race. The program was ported to the IBM PC platform in 1988, and was renamed APRS in 1992. The recognized North American APRS frequency is 144.39 MHz, and APRS is globally linked via the internet. Bruninga founded the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet (ATPG) event, which fields APRS nodes from Stone Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine each July.

ARRL Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, remembered Bruninga this way: “Bob kept pushing APRS beyond its origins as a position reporting system. He developed and helped implement numerous other uses of APRS in support of what has become the ‘Ham Radio of Things,’ with great potential for future amateur radio applications. Bob’s far-reaching vision and imagination were as good as it gets.”

Bruninga mentored USNA midshipmen in building and launching amateur radio satellites and CubeSats, beginning with PCsat in 2001. PCsat was the first satellite to directly report its precise position to users via its onboard GPS module. Subsequent USNA spacecraft included PSK31 capability (HF to UHF) and other innovations.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) ARRL liaison Rosalie White, K1STO, recalled that Bruninga attended many ARISS-International meetings and contributed “enormously” to ARISS APRS activities, leading a team in developing protocols and software for rapid message exchange via a packet “robot.”

White said APRS remains a key staple in the new ARISS InterOperable Radio System (IORS) that’s now on board the ISS. She added that Bruninga offered input for future NASA Lunar and Gateway opportunities in which ARISS hopes to take part.

Last year, ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, on behalf of ARRL, honored Bruninga with a brick in the ARRL Diamond Club Terrace at ARRL Headquarters. ARRL sent him a letter of appreciation along with a replica of the brick.

Bruninga held a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Bruninga was a 20-year US Navy veteran. Dayton Hamvention® honored him in 1998 with its Technical Excellence Award.

Bruninga authored and co-authored numerous academic papers over the years, and was frequently in demand as a speaker and presenter at amateur radio gatherings.

Survivors include his wife, Elise Albert; daughter, Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, WE4APR, and son A.J. Bruninga, WA4APR. Arrangements are pending, although his daughter said that a celebratory memorial service will be held this summer in Annapolis, Maryland.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information]

IARU Region 1 Working to Resolve Potential Amateur Interference to Satellite Navigation System

IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia) continues wrangling with the issue of interference potential to GALILEO global navigation satellite system (GNSS) sites in Europe from amateur radio operation in the 1240 – 1300 MHz (23-centimeter) band. Considerable work has gone into documenting an interference case on a single GALILEO channel between a “very local” Italian 23-centimeter repeater and receivers at the nearby European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, where GALILEO applications are developed and tested.

“This one case is often cited as the ‘proof’ that interference can occur,” said Barry Lewis, G4SJH, the chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs. As a consequence of this single instance of interference, the IARU has been engaged for several years in defending amateur interests on 23 centimeters. Considerable computer modeling has gone into the effort, in advance of World Radiocommunication Conference 23 (WRC-23).

In 2018, the FCC granted, in part, the European Commission’s request for a rules waiver so that non-federal devices in the US may access specific GALILEO signals to augment the US Global Positioning System. The two systems are interoperable and RF compatible. That Order permits access to two GALILEO satellite signals — the E1 signal in the 1559 – 1591 MHz portion of the 1559 – 1610 MHz Radionavigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) band, and the E5 signal in the 1164 – 1219 MHz portion of the 1164 – 1215 MHz and 1215 – 1240 MHz RNSS bands. The Order does not grant access to the Galileo E6 signal on 1278.750 MHz in the 1260 – 1300 MHz band, which is not allocated for such services in the US. Omitting that channel eliminates any need for US radio amateurs to protect GALILEO receivers from interference.

“The impact of traffic through this very local repeater (12.5 kilometers distant) on three different GALILEO receivers has been documented,” Lewis said. “This work suggests that while RNSS receiver bandwidth can have a part to play in enabling coexistence, beyond that nothing has been reported that could help develop any coexistence criteria.” IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, stated last year that IARU does not want the Amateur Service to affect GALILEO system operation in any way.

Lewis said the IARU has provided extensive information regarding amateur applications in the 1240 – 1300 MHz band as well as operational characteristics and data indicating the density of active transmitting stations and the busiest periods when these are most likely to be operational.

“Amateur transmissions virtually anywhere in the band will be co-frequency with the RNSS receivers from one system or another,” Lewis said. “It is therefore obvious that any RNSS receiver will be open to any co-frequency amateur transmission, and amateur operators have no way of knowing where or when a RNSS service user is active.” Lewis suggests that “some compromises will need be necessary” to develop a co-existence model.

[ANS thanks The ARRL Letter for the above information.]


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Geomagnetic Storm Dooms 40 Starlink Satellites

SpaceX is in the process of losing up to 40 brand-new Starlink internet satellites due to a geomagnetic storm that struck just a day after the fleet’s launch last week. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 49 Starlink satellites on Thursday (Feb. 3) from NASA’s historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A day later, a geomagnetic storm above Earth increased the density of the atmosphere slightly, increasing drag on the satellites and dooming most of them.

“Preliminary analysis show the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe mode to begin orbit-raising maneuvers, and up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere,” SpaceX wrote in an update Tuesday (Feb. 8).

The 49 satellites SpaceX launched last week were deployed in an initial orbit that skimmed as low as 130 miles (210 kilometers) above Earth at its lowest point. SpaceX has said it intentionally releases Starlink batches in a low orbit so that they can be disposed of swiftly in case of a failure just after launch. That orbit design, it turned out, left the fleet vulnerable to Friday’s geomagnetic storm.

“In fact, onboard GPS suggests the escalation speed and severity of the storm caused atmospheric drag to increase up to 50 percent higher than during previous launches,” SpaceX wrote in its update. The satellites were then placed in a protective “safe mode” and commanded to fly edge-on “like a sheet of paper” to minimize drag effects as the company worked with the U.S. Space Force and the company LeoLabs to track them with ground-based radar, it added. But for most of the new Starlink satellites, the drag was too much. Locked in their safe mode, up to 40 of them were expected to fall out of orbit like space debris just days after their launch.

“The deorbiting satellites pose zero collision risk with other satellites and by design demise upon atmospheric reentry — meaning no orbital debris is created and no satellite parts hit the ground,” SpaceX wrote of the satellites’ reentry. “This unique situation demonstrates the great lengths the Starlink team has gone to ensure the system is on the leading edge of on-orbit debris mitigation.”

[ANS thanks 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.

+ Upcoming Contacts

FH Aachen, University of Applied Sciences, Aachen, Germany, direct via DLØFHA.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz.
The scheduled crewmember is Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH.
Contact is go for Monday, February 14, 2022 at 11:40:36 UTC.

+ Completed Contacts

Gewerbliche Schulen Donaueschingen, Donaueschingen, Germany, direct via DN2FIS.
The ISS callsign was DPØISS.
The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz.
The crewmember is Matthias Maurer KI5KFH.
Contact was successful on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 10:00 UTC.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at

[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

4A90, MEXICO (Special Event). Members of the Federacion Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores (FMRE)[Mexican Society]are celebrating their 90th anniversary during January, February and March 2022 promoting each of the 31 States and Mexico City with the following 32 different special event callsigns and 4A90FMRE:

February 15-March 1: 4A90NLE, 4A90SLP, 4A90SIN, 4A90SON, 4A90TAM
March 2-16: 4A90CAM, 4A90CHI, 4A90GRO, 4A90OAX, 4A90QUI, 4A90TAB and 4A90YUC

Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8/FT4 and the satellites. Awards are available (see for details). For more details on the event, see:

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

+ CubeSat Developers Workshop
April 26-28, 2022
San Luis Obispo, CA

+ Hamvention 2022
May 20, 2022 to May 22, 2022
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
210 Fairground Road
Xenia, Ohio 45385

+ 2022 Rocky Mountain ARRL Division Convention
October 7, 2022 – October 9, 2022
Event Center at Archer
3921 Archer Pkwy
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82007

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information.]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Astra failed to deliver four satellites to orbit as planned today (Feb. 10) in the company’s first-ever orbital launch from the contiguous United States. The California startup’s 43-foot-tall (13 meters) Launch Vehicle 0008 (LV0008) launched the ELaNa 41 mission from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today, rising off the pad at 2000 GMT. The two-stage LV0008 performed well initially, soaring high into the Florida skies. But something appeared to go wrong about 3 minutes into flight, just after the rocket’s first and second stages separated. Footage from a camera onboard the second stage showed the rocket body spinning rather than cruising smoothly toward its intended destination, an orbit with an altitude of 310 miles. Read the full story at [ANS thanks for the above information.

+ The International Astronomical Union is establishing a new centre to focus the astronomy’s response to huge networks of spacecraft being launched into LEO to deliver broadband internet connections from space. Its work will be led by the U.S. National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) in Tucson, Arizona; and by the Square Kilometre Array Organisation (SKAO) in Manchester, UK. It will engage with, and encourage, satellite companies to make every effort to minimise the light pollution they are creating. But it will also pursue policy makers around the world to tighten the regulations on what is acceptable behavior in orbit. [ANS thanks for the above information.]

+ A video of the Voyager 1 presentation given by radio amateur Daniel Estevez M0HXM/EA4GPZ at the Fosdem 2022 event is now available. Voyager 1 is the furthest spacecraft and the first ever to exit the solar system. Fueled by its radioisotope generators, after more than 40 years of flight it is still sending data about the interstellar medium using its 3.7 metre dish antenna and 8.4 GHz transmitter. In this talk, Daniel reports two adventures regarding the reception of the Voyager 1 signal. Watch the video at [ANS thanks Southgate Amateur Radio News for the above information.]

+ NASA raised concerns about SpaceX’s new Starlink satellites, including an increase of the risk of collision in orbit, in a letter to the FCC. The five-page letter was submitted to the FCC Tuesday, February 8, 2022. SpaceX submitted a proposal to the FCC to put 30,000 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit as part of a “Gen 2” Starlink system. There are currently about 1,800 operational Starlink satellites in orbit and there have already been several near-misses in orbit; one study has suggested Starlinks are responsible for half of all close encounters in low-Earth orbit. NASA has “concerns with the potential for a significant increase in the frequency of conjunction events and possible impacts to NASA’s science and human spaceflight missions, Read the full story at {ANS thanks for the above information.]

Join AMSAT today at

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

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