AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
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: firstname.lastname@example.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: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/
In this edition:
- AMSAT’s GOLF-TEE CubeSat Manifested for Launch on ELaNa-46
- SMOG-1 Designated Magyar-OSCAR 110 (MO-110)
- AMSAT FTP Site Retired
- TO-108 Operational Update
- CAMSAT Applies for Frequency Coordination for CAS-9 (XW-3)
- Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for April 15, 2021
- ARISS News
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 108.01
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 Apr 18
Join the 2021 President’s Club!
Score your 2″ 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin with Polished Gold Finish,
Full Color Certificate and Embroidered “Remove Before Flight” Key Tag
By donating today at
You won’t want to miss it!
AMSAT’s GOLF-TEE CubeSat Manifested for Launch on ELaNa-46
AMSAT’s GOLF-TEE CubeSat has been manifested for launch on NASA’s ELaNa-46 mission.
GOLF-TEE is the first satellite in AMSAT’s “Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint” or GOLF program. The goal of the GOLF program is to work by steps through a series of increasingly capable spacecraft to learn to develop systems and skills needed to achieve successful high orbit missions. Among these are active attitude control and the ability to command attitude changes, deployable/steerable solar panels, radiation tolerance for commercial off the shelf (COTS) components in higher orbits, and propulsion. The eventual goal of the GOLF program is a satellite in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) similar to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40, but at a currently affordable cost combined with significantly enhanced capabilities, which in turn will allow the use of much less complex ground stations.
The -TEE designation in GOLF-TEE stands for “Technology Exploration Environment” reflecting GOLF-TEE’s mission testing two primary systems needed for higher orbits. First, an Attitude Determination and Control (ADAC) system will be tested to allow active pointing of the satellites antennas, which will have significant gain. The other primary goal of GOLF-TEE is to gain initial orbit and space radiation exposure for radiation event-induced fault tolerant systems designed using COTS components. GOLF-TEE will carry an Integrated Housekeeping Unit (IHU) / command transceiver designed using the Hercules line of ARM architecture-based microcontrollers.
GOLF-TEE will also evaluate a low-cost, deployable, fixed attitude, solar panel array design as part of AMSAT Engineering’s exploration of fixed panel arrays that allow for outfitting a variable number of “wings” in order to best match the power requirements of various CubeSat missions.
Additionally, GOLF-TEE will carry a modified commercial software-defined radio (SDR), the Ettus E310, as an experimental package to test high speed data downlink in the 10 GHz band.
GOLF-TEE will also be a fully-functional LEO VHF/UHF amateur satellite carrying conventional backup systems, including a linear transponder, similar to those flown on AO-109.
A significant amount of funding is necessary to complete the development and construction of the GOLF series of CubeSats. Please consider a donation today. Donations designated for the AMSAT GOLF program may be made at https://www.amsat.org/donations/amsat-golf-program-donations/
[ANS thanks AMSAT Engineering for the above information]
SMOG-1 Designated Magyar-OSCAR 110 (MO-110)
On March 22, 2021, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics SMOG-1 PocketQube was launched on a Soyuz-2-1a Fregat launch vehicle from the Baikonur, Kazakhstan. SMOG-1 carries RF spectrum monitoring and total ionizing radiation experiments. Further information is available at https://gnd.bme.hu/smog
At the request of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, AMSAT hereby designates SMOG-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 110 (MO-110). We congratulate the owners and operators, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them a long mission and continued success on this and future projects.
More information about OSCAR numbers can be found at https://www.amsat.org/oscar-numbers-policy/
[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, OSCAR Number Administrator, for the above information]
AMSAT FTP Site Retired
The AMSAT File Transport Protocol (FTP) server has been retired as of 15 April 2021. Content formerly hosted on that server is now available at https://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftp/
The FTP server provided an important service for distributing software, bulletins and other information going back to at least the early 1990’s when internet access started to become available to the general public. Over time the overwhelming success of the web and ubiquitous use of the web browser have evolved to provide the same capability, and today even heavy internet users are unfamiliar with FTP. The decision was made to stop spending scarce volunteer resources maintaining this seldom used service.
[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT IT Team Leader, 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.
TO-108 Operational Update
TO-108 (CAS-6) was launched in December 2019 and carries a 20 kHz wide UHF/VHF linear transponder. When originally made available for amateur radio use in June 2020, the transponder operated only intermittently, approximately 2 seconds on and 5 seconds off.
On April 12, 2021, EI2IP posted a video on Twitter where he calls CQ for a few minutes on the satellite. Later tests by European stations including SA2KNG and DO1AM showed that the transponder is still only operational intermittently, but now the transponder is on for minutes at a time instead of only a couple of seconds.
TO-108’s linear transponder’s uplink passband is 435.270 MHz – 435.290 MHz and the downlink passband is 145.915 MHz – 145.935 MHz. The CW beacon is at 145.910 MHz and 4.8k GMSK telemetry at 145.890 MHz. Observations indicate that the transponder is operational when the beacon is transmitting continuously.
[ANS thanks various sources for the above information]
CAMSAT Applies for Frequency Coordination for CAS-9 (XW-3)
CAMSAT has applied for frequency coordination for their CAS-9 satellite, also known as Hope-3 or XW-3. CAS-9 will be a 6U CubeSat carrying a 30 kHz VHF/UHF linear transponder.
In addition to the linear transponder, there will be a UHF CW beacon and UHF 4.8k/9.6k AX.25 GMSK telemetry downlink.
Launch is planned for December 15, 2021 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 770 km circular orbit with an inclination of 98.58 degrees.
Application details can be found at http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/formal_detail.php?serialnum=804
[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]
Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for April 15, 2021
The following satellites have been added to this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
GRIFEX – NORAD Cat ID 40379 (Reported as active and returned to TLE list.)
Orbicraft-Zorkiy – NORAD Cat ID 47960 (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO)
STECCO – NORAD Cat ID 47962. (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO)
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, 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!
Winmalee Public School, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, telebridge via ON4ISS
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
The scheduled astronaut is Victor Glover KI5BKC
Contact is go for: Tue 2021-04-20 08:28:39 UTC 81 deg
The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors, 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
Upcoming Satellite Operations
ND9M: I’m doing another tour on my merchant marine ship. We’ll be leaving the States (EM90) in a few days to head for the western Pacific by way of the Panama Canal. I’ve got my FT857 / FT817 with an Elk although I don’t hear RS-44’s downlink all that well. (AO-27’s downlink on the same band is great though.) I’m planning to be active on as many satellite passes that I can fit in around job duties; since I’m a staff of 1, working all seven days and being on call 24/7 can get in the way. My internet connection on board is marginal at best and will become virtually nil for several days as we approach Panama and then hit the Pacific. I’ll post likely grids a day or two in advance to the AMSAT-BB and will hit Twitter (@ND9M) when I’ve got a web connection.
WY7AA: April 17th – May 2 EM86 vacation style FM and SSB. I will have a day trip to EM85, but I will plan that and advertise when I get there.
CM93 Possibility: N6DNM Very long shot, but might want to put it on your calendar for May 15th, if you can figure out where it is and for SOTA folks, that would be W6/SC-336, Santa Rosa Island, activated only once before.
Loriano/IZ5RHU and the ARI section Grosseto commemorate the
Chernobyl disaster between April 18 and May 9 as II5RCH on 80-2m
(CW, SSB, digital modes) and via satellite. QSL via IZ5RHU (d/B).
(via DX Newsletter DXNL 2245 Apr 14, 2021)
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, reports these upcoming presentations scheduled for …
04/26 – Livonia, Michigan
05/18 – Puget Sound
05/26 – South New Jersey
06/01 – University of Arizona
06/09 – San Jose
06/15 – East Massachusetts
10/21 – Conejo Valley CA
… and dates for Roseland NJ, Austin TX, Maine, and NH to be firmed up!
Think a lively, entertaining, AND educational 75-minute presentation to YOUR club or organization on “Working the Easy Sateliites” would be appropriate for your club? Send me a message or call!
Clint Bradford K6LCS
AMSAT Ambassador, ARRL instructor
k6lcs AT work-sat DOT info
(909) 999-SATS (7287)
[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, AMSAT Ambassador, and Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events Page Manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Congratulations Kell Bodholt, KI7UXT, on completing the AMSAT GridMaster Award by working all 488 maidenhead grid squares in the continental United States. Kell is the 29th recipient of this award. More information on the AMSAT GridMaster award can be found at https://www.amsat.org/gridmaster/
+ A new distance record has been claimed on the ISS VHF digipeater. 9G5AR completed a 4,032 km QSO with EA3BAX on 11-Apr-2021 at 09:07 UTC. More records can be found at https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records
+ FG8OJ has developed a quick script to display your VUCC credits on a world map.
1/ Connect to LoTW
2/ Go to your VUCC favorite award page and select “All credits”
3/ Copy the page with CTRL+A and CTRL+C
4/ Go to https://fg8oj.com/lotwgrid2map/
5/ Paste in the form’s text area CTRL+V
+ The spring issue of OSCAR News is now available for download for AMSAT-UK members at https://amsat-uk.org/2021/04/13/spring-oscar-news-2/
+ Several new products are available on the AMSAT Zazzle store, including a set of coasters, a watch, a t-shirt featuring the AMSAT round logo, and more. Check out the new items! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space. https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear
+ All issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 are now available to AMSAT members on AMSAT’s new membership portal. The 1969-2013 archive will be added at a later date. All editions of AMSAT’s Symposium Proceedings are also available for members. If you’re a current AMSAT member, get logged on today. If you are not yet a member, consider joining today at https://launch.amsat.org/
+ The 2020 edition of AMSAT’s Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The book is presented in DRM-free PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite. The digital download is available for $15 at https://tinyurl.com/2020GettingStarted. The print edition is $30 plus shipping and is available at https://tinyurl.com/GS2020Print
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. President’s Club donations may be made at https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/
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.
Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org