ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for May 10th

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: ans-editor@amsat.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: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • 2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org
  • Call for Nominations – 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
  • New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September
  • Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available
  • Visual Observations Of RS-44 Underway
  • Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation
  • NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station
  • Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom
  • Satellite Distance Records Set
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-131.01
ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 131.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020-May-10
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-131.01

2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org

AMSAT’s new online member portal, launch.amsat.org, is up and running. All AMSAT members must log in and update their contact information to ensure continued, uninterrupted service. Full instructions for getting logged in are in the March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal, available for free download on amsat.org and launch.amsat.org. There is also separate instructions on each site.

Those interested in joining AMSAT can create an account, using the Join link on launch.amsat.org

IMPORTANT UPDATE: AMSAT’s Member Portal not only puts you in charge of your member account but gives you exclusive access to member-only content. Want to read back issues of The AMSAT Journal, in full color? We just posted all 2019 issues, plus the first two issues of 2020. We will continue to work on uploading prior years, so check back often.

Log in today!

(ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-Member Services for the above information)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Call for Nominations – 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election

AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2020 and will be filled by this year’s election: Tom Clark, K3IO; Mark Hammond, N8MH; and Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be elected for one-year terms.

A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators’ names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the AMSAT Secretary:

Brennan Price, N4QX
300 Locust St SE, Unit E
Vienna VA 22180-4869
brennanprice at verizon.net

A copy should be sent to AMSAT Manager, Martha Saragovitz, at martha at amsat.org.

The AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the form specified by the Secretary. In light of the ongoing pandemic and the resulting closure of the physical office, the Secretary has elected to accept written nomination materials in electronic form, including e-mail or electronic image of a paper document. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted due to the closure of the office.

No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qualifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as petitions are received, and will notify candidates whether their nominations are in order by the end of June.

[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]


New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September

Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are now expected to launch on September 15, 2020. The first of these satellites, CAS-7A, is a 27 kg microsat (750 mm x 650 mm x 260 mm) with three-axis stabilization and several transponders. The transponders include a 15m to 10m linear transponder (H/t), a 15m to 70cm linear transponder (H/u), and a 2m to 70cm linear transponder(V/u). The satellite also includes a 2m to 70cm (V/u) FM transponder. Several beacons and data downlinks are also featured, CW beacons on 10m and 70cm, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70cm, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3cm for the on board camera. IARU coordinated frequencies for the uplinks and downlinks are listed below.

This launch is also expected to carry CAS-7C, a 2U CubeSat with a V/u linear transponder and a CW beacon. Frequencies for CAS-7C have not been coordinated by the IARU at the time of this writing. CAS-7C will also deploy a 1 mm diameter 1080 meter long carbon fiber rope.

CAS-7A and CAS-7C will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 98 degrees.

Frequencies:

CAS-7A H/t Linear Transponder
Uplink – 21.245MHz through 21.275 MHz
Downlink – 29.435MHz through 29.465 MHz
CW Beacon 29.425 MHz

CAS-7A H/u Linear Transponder
Uplink – 21.3125 MHz through 21.3275 MHz
Downlink – 435.3575 MHz through 435.3725 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u Linear Transponder
Uplink – 145.865 MHz through 145.895 MHz
Downlink – 435.385 MHz through 435.415 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u FM Transponder
Uplink 145.950 MHz
Downlink 435.455 MHz

4.8k / 9.6k GMSK telemetry downlink – 435.480 MHz
1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink – 10460.00 MHz

[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]


Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available

Although we are not able to come together in San Luis Obispo for the CubeSat Developers Workshop today, we are excited to share some of the presentations that would have taken place with you online. Find the slide decks for these presentations on our archive <http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~workshop/archive/> as well as videos on our YouTube channel <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCENz0fNHsDR8Kz3jM6C_VWw/featured>.

You will also be able to find all of our previous Workshop presentations in NASA’s Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI) <https://www.nasa.gov/smallsat-institute>. We are excited to have our archives integrated into S3VI and hope you can use this tool to further your research and involvement with CubeSat.

If you were selected to present your abstract at this year’s Workshop and would still like your presentation to be included in our archive, email us at cubesat-workshop@calpoly.edu <mailto:cubesat-workshop@calpoly.edu>.

We also want to share some of our CDW Zoom backgrounds with you. Feel free to download and use them in your next meeting!

We look forward to welcoming you all back to San Luis Obispo from *April 27-29, 2021* for the next CubeSat Developers Workshop. We will continue to announce new deadlines and registration information via email and on our website <https://www.cubesat.org/workshop-information> as we continue to plan for 2021. Be sure to join the CubeSat Workshop mailing list <http://www.cubesat.org/mailinglist/> for future announcements.

We hope you continue working together (from home) to advance CubeSats

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


Visual Observations of RS-44 Underway

Visual observations of the payload and attached Briz-KM rocket body made whilst the object has been flying over the UK at night, indicated a rotation period of 19 seconds. Optically with binoculars, it appeared between magnitude +5 to invisible in hazy moonlit skies, on near zenithal transits. No flashes nor glints were observed, which could indicate the stack is in a slow roll along the longitudinal axis, rather than a tumbling motion.

On a radio aspect, it would appear the beacon signals are stronger as the payload approaches, declining thereafter upon passing TCA. Assuming RS-44 is mounted to the front and that some aerials have deployed, then this would account for the phenomenon, as receding away from the station would have the aerials blocked by the Briz rocket body – however, I have not seen any information released as to the physical condition of RS-44. It would be useful for the transmitters to remain on, to monitor over the long term if the nutation rate slows over time. The CW beacon was timed at 20 seconds between transmission, which fits with the optical work, but this may well just be coincidental as to how the beacon is programmed.

Later radio monitoring indicates the beacon repetition is 15-16 seconds on the callsign being transmitted. Whether this ties in with hopefully future optical work to see if the spin rate has slowed to the same, or we have a differential – we wait and see!

[ANS thanks Max White, M0VNG, for the above information]


Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation

I’ve put out the call for participation for the Hack-a-Sat competition in the past, and would like to bring you all up to date on the developments and opportunities that have developed since.

The website is here: https://www.hackasat.com/

Hack-a-Sat is an activity that was scheduled to happen at the in-person DEFCON event.

As of today, yes, it’s true. DEFCON has been cancelled.

Those of you that have volunteered at Ham Radio Village in the past are familiar with the event. For those of you that are not, it’s a long-running hacking and cybersecurity event that has enthusiastically adopted everything RF and amateur radio.

The United States Air Force, in conjunction with the Defense Digital Service, organized this year’s Space Security Challenge, called Hack-A-Sat. This challenge asks hackers from around the world to focus their skills and creativity on solving cybersecurity challenges on space systems. This competition is going to be held! It’s now a virtual event.

Security in the amateur radio sense of the word is fundamentally different from commercial and military applications. We have an advantage here, mainly due to the enormous leverage we have due to our context being completely different from what the Air Force and commercial interests assume. This is, essentially, a diversity advantage.

If you want to participate on an experienced Capture The Flag (CTF) team, then I am here to extend an invitation. Anyone that reads through the rules and can afford to spend some time during the event is invited to apply to join Vaporsec. This is a team that has a majority of information security professionals. There are some satellite industry people, some amateur involvement, and I’d like to make sure that anyone interested in competing from AMSAT gets a chance to join a competitive team.

The benefits to amateur radio are primarily technical, with policy and security a close second. The Air Force has some agendas here in terms of improving satellite security. Exposure to the challenges alone is a an excellent opportunity to learn more about modern satellite technology… and what a significant player in space wants to find out more about. Don’t assume that that the challenges in the competition are going to be “too hard.” What is trivial for one viewpoint is unsolvable for another.

I’ll be writing about the event and what we learned when it is over, so this sort of knowledge will not be secret. However, there is no replacement for participation, and you could very well have the practical knowledge, gained from operating real satellites, that wins the competition. As you can see from the website, there is some real money involved and opportunities for technical writing.

Let me know at w5nyv@arrl.net if you would like to talk more about joining a CTF team for this really neat and unique event. Know someone that you think should participate? Please forward to them.

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT Board Member for the above information]


NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station

Nearly three months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrup Grumman’s unpiloted Cygnus cargo craft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Monday, May 11.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 11:45 a.m. EDT, with release scheduled for noon.

Dubbed the “SS Robert H. Lawrence,” Cygnus arrived at the station on February 18. Within 24 hours of its release, Cygnus will begin its secondary mission, hosting the Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment – IV (Saffire-IV), which provides an environment to safely study fire in microgravity. It also will deploy a series of payloads. Northrop Grumman flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, will initiate Cygnus’ deorbit to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere Monday, May 25.

More information on Cygnus’ mission and the International Space Station can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]


Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom

Robin Moseley, G1MHU, will give a talk on Zoom titled “Introduction to amateur satellites, meteor scatter, EME and ISS” on Wednesday, May 13, at 1830z

The presentation is being organized by the Denby Dales Amateur Radio Society and being on Zoom it’ll be viewable on any Tablet or Smartphone with the Zoom App or from a Windows PC or Laptop.

The Zoom meeting ID is 278 609 9353 https://zoom.us/j/2786099353

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]


Satellite Distance Records Set

The DX record on RS-44 has fallen once again! EA4CYQ reports a QSO with UA0STM at 19:00 UTC on 06-May-2020. The distance between the two stations is 7,894 km.

Another claimed DX record was also claimed on May 6. This time it was on PO-101 (Diwata2PH). EA4SG reports working R9LR at 23:03 UTC. The distance between the two stations is 5,128 km.

Distance records for all satellites are maintained at: https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/

Please email n8hm [at] amsat.org if you wish to claim a new record, longer distance QSO not yet documented, or records for any other satellite/transponder not yet listed. Please note that if a satellite carries multiple transponders or supports multiple frequency bands, records on each transponder/band may be claimed, such as Mode A and B on AO-7 or Mode U/S, L/S, U/K, etc, on AO-40. This includes the ISS and records may be claimed for the packet digipeater and crossband repeater, but does not include different operating modes on the same transponder (such as CW or SSB on AO-7 Mode B).

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

Mitch, AD0HJ, has decided to “go check on the tree” in North Dakota. He has also said he will be activating a bunch of grids:

  • 5/20 UTC DN96/97
  • 5/21 UTC DN78/88
  • 5/22 UTC DN76/77
  • 5/23 UTC DN86/87
  • 5/24 UTC EN06/16

Details on his Twitter page, @ad0hj

Ron, AD0DX, and Doug, N6UA, are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, Texas. They tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. The tentative date is Sunday May 31, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr (at) gmail.com

[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, the *NEW* AMSAT rover page manager(!) for the above information. Welcome aboard, Paul.]


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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


ARISS News

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.

Airdrie Space Science Club, Airdrie, AB, Canada, Multi-point telebridge via ZS6JON. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is go for Friday 2020-05-15 15:10:28 UTC with 55 degrees over South Africa.

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 cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage: https://www.ariss.org/

[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 https://www.amsat.org/donate/


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.

Current schedule: No scheduled events

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV 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

+ Virgin Orbit tweets that it is celebrating a big win this week after the successful completion of a wet dress rehearsal with LauncherOne just in time for #NationalSpaceDay! Wet dress rehearsals with all commodities loaded is one of the last major events before launch.
(ANS thanks @Virgin_Orbit for the above information)

+ A new version of the North American Overlay Mapper program: v4.0.0.0 has been released for Windows 7 and 10, with many new features. The ‘NAOMI’ program can import ADIF logs, Cabrillo logs, and a variety of lists, and then georeference them from the latest FCC and ISED databases, and then plot North American QSOs, Grid Locators, and Counties, onto 47 maps at 1:2,000,000 scale, 2 North American over view maps at 1:20,000,000 scale, a zoomable Online Map with a choice of map-providers, a full-screen World Map, and a Great Circle Map with a choice of 16 different backgrounds. You can edit logs, check for errors, parse for counties, export data in different formats, search and browse the databases, overlay a variety of lists, export the maps for use in other applications, or to share online. NAOMI is available at: https://www.mapability.com/ei8ic/naomi/index.php
(ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ NASA will pay a staggering $146 million for each SLS rocket engine, with 4 needed per SLS flight. These Space Shuttle main engines were intended to be reused, but SLS will throw them away. Other things you could buy for $146 million: two basic Atlas V rocket launches, three Falcon 9 launches, or a fully expendable Falcon Heavy launch, with 2/3 the lift capacity at 1/20th the cost.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ A study has found that all 1,078 commercially-launched smallsats in the last five years experienced delays, with a median delay of 128 days. The largest delay categories: 11% of delays were administrative, 13% were ISS manifest changes (for ISS-deployed sats), 20% were due to delays in launch vehicle development, and 40% were due to primary payload delays affecting their rideshares. Full report at https://bit.ly/3fuw1Mz
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ A satellite built by Air Force Academy cadets will launch into space May 16 aboard the X-37B, Orbital Test Vehicle sponsored by the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and built by Boeing. This is the first time a satellite built and designed by cadets will catch a ride into space aboard the X-37B. Falcon sat-8 will carry five experimental payloads, and members of the Cadet Space Operations Squadron will operate it. There was no mention of amateur radio connected with this satellite, nor has there been a request for IARU frequency coordination in the amateur radio satellite service, although previous FalconSats have had amateur radio payloads.
(ANS thanks U.S. Air Force Academy for the above information)

+ When a new crew member arrives on the International Space Station, the population of humans living in space changes, of course. But so, too, does the population of microbes. As we have all learned in this time of Covid-19, countless types of microorganisms inhabit our bodies, inside and out, and when an astronaut arrives on the station, they bring their specific collection of microbial “hitch hikers” with them. A new study shows that the microorganisms living on surfaces inside the space station so closely resembled those on an astronaut’s skin that scientists could tell when this new crew member arrived and departed, just by looking at the microbes left behind. Many of the microorganisms living in and around us are harm less or even essential for good health, but some can cause disease or damage structures in built environments. https://bit.ly/3dlEobi
(ANS thanks spacedaily.com for the above information)

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/EX

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 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