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: [email protected]
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 Server Maintenance Scheduled for May 22
- URE Satellite Telecommand Station Automated
- Satellite Constellation Aimed At Next-Gen Connectivity For IoT Devices
- Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for May 13, 2021
- U.S. Schools/Groups Move Into Phase 2 of ARISS Selections
- ARISS News
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
ANS-136 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 136.01
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 May 16
AMSAT Server Maintenance Scheduled for May 22
As part of our modernization efforts, AMSAT will be moving its web server to a new vendor over the weekend of 22 May 2021. This move will result in greater operational flexibility, ensure continued flow of security updates and may result in lower costs for server rental and backup services.
End users may see service outages for www.amsat.org and the central telemetry server associated with FoxTelem but otherwise no observable changes are expected. Outages are expected to be brief, perhaps an hour or two, and are presently planned during the USA overnight hours, and we have confidence that we will be complete by the end of the weekend. FoxTelem users will find that any telemetry collected during an outage will be uploaded once the central telemetry server is established in its new home. Mailing lists and mail forwarding will not be affected, and the membership and events portal at launch.amsat.org will remain fully operational throughout the migration.
(ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT IT services team for the above information)
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URE Satellite Telecommand Station Automated
Spain’s national amateur radio society URE has announced their satellite ground station has been automated and is ready for the launch of GENESIS, EASAT-2 and Hades satellites.
A translation of the URE post reads:
The URE satellite monitoring and telecommand station, located at the Madrid headquarters, on Monte Igueldo street, has recently been completely automated, thanks to the efforts made in recent weeks.
These works, which began to be carried out before the confinements due to the pandemic, have consisted of the change of the lifting rotor, which due to its long time without maintenance had been unusable, the alignment of the antennas, both VHF and UHF, of circular polarization, the installation of a Linux computer, the configuration of the reception software with SDR and the emission software using Pluto hardware, acquired by URE, as well as the automation of the rotor control with the hardware provided by EA4TX (ARS).
This station will automatically record and analyze the telemetry of the twin GÉNESIS satellites, as well as EASAT-2 and Hades, all of them designed and built by AMSAT EA, as well as remote control in the event that actions are necessary on your computer from a on board, which, once in space, will be able to receive instructions from Earth to modify its operation, although the satellites themselves implement the intelligence necessary to adapt to adverse circumstances that may occur in space.
The GENESIS satellites should be launched soon, once Firefly, the American company that built the launch vehicle, completes the static tests of its Alpha rocket, which is already prepared at the Vanderberg space base in California. As for Hades and EASAT-2, both are currently at the Momentus space integrator facilities in Santa Clara, also in California, and it is expected that they can be launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket in late June from Cape Canaveral, once, overcome the problems of the Momentus company, which prevented its scheduled launch in January of this year.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK 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.
Satellite Constellation Aimed At Next-Gen Connectivity For IoT Devices
Another satellite constellation prepares for launch, this one aimed at next-gen connectivity for IoT devices. 5G IoT operator OQ Technology has inked a deal with satellite firm NanoAvionics to build what OQ boss Omar Qaise described as a “flying cell tower in orbit.”
Assuming that cell tower had a volume of 30cm x 20cm x 10cm and weighed 6kg.
The 6U satellite is the second mission for NanoAvionics with OQ Technology and will be the latest addition to the latter’s Low Earth Orbit constellation. The plan is to provide basic commercial IoT and Machine to Machine (M2M) services, using 5G connectivity, to customers with a focus initially on Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
The mission, dubbed Tiger-2, will feature two payloads onboard the diminutive spacecraft; a primary payload for satellite-based IoT and M2M services using low frequencies, and a secondary payload aimed at demonstrating the use of high frequencies for IoT radio links.
Qaise told The Register that three missions were expected this year, and the target was to eventually have more than 60 satellites at an altitude of 550-600km “for real-time coverage.” The spacecraft are expected to last five years and, if undisturbed, de-orbit within 25 years. “We can also actively bring them down,” he added.
Where the likes of Starlink and Oneweb are aimed squarely at broadband services and shovelling large amounts of data around for applications such as streaming, Tiger-2 and its siblings target IoT devices. Qaise cited hardware such as sensors or tracking devices that require only short messages. “So instead of having millions of users with large amounts of data, you have billions of devices with small amounts of data.”
Qaise also highlighted another key difference – rather than needing a router-like device to distribute the internet service, “we use the same existing mobile and cellular devices to connect to the satellite directly. The satellite acts as a flying cell tower in orbit.”
It’ll certainly be a challenge for 5G protestors to set on fire.
Two more missions are scheduled after Tiger-2, followed by a batch of six satellites. The plan is to eventually make the coverage global, and Qaise told us that customers would be able to use the service by Q3. The company also plans to secure frequency licences and partnerships in key countries.
For those groaning at the thought of yet another constellation (although one with considerably fewer satellites than something like Starlink) Qaise insisted that the chance of a collision in the selected orbits was low, and active monitoring and manoeuvring would be used if needed.
As for the ride to orbit, the mission will launch as part of the SXRS-5 rideshare aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 later this year.
Full article at: https://www.theregister.com/2021/05/12/oq_5g_iot/
[ANS thanks Southgate ARC 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!
Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for May 13, 2021
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA (OSCAR Number Administrator) announced May 9, 2021 in AMSAT News Service Bulletin ANS-129 that DIY-1 has been designated DIY-1-OSCAR 111 or DO-111.
Thus, DIY-1 (NORAD Cat ID 47963) is now shown as DO-111 in this week’s TLE distribution.
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, 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
U.S. Schools/Groups Move Into Phase 2 of ARISS Selections
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the schools/host organizations selected for the January-June 2022 contact window. A total of 9 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.
ARISS anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for these US host organizations. The candidates must now complete an equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by the ARISS technical team, the final selected schools / organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities.
The schools and organizations are:
- Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH
- Carter G. Woodson Middle School, Hopewell, VA
- Lewis Center for Educational Research, Apple Valley, CA
- Matinecock District, Suffolk County NY Boy Scouts, Medford, NY
- McBride High School, Long Beach, CA
- Old St. Mary’s School, Chicago, IL
- Salem-South Lyon District Library, South Lyon, MI
- Sussex County Charter School for Technology, Sparta, NJ
- Space Hardware Club, Huntsville, Alabama
[ANS thanks David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS PR, 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.
Monaro High School, Cooma, NSW, Australia, telebridge via NA7V
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Mark Vande Hei KG5GNP
Contact is go for: Wed 2021-05-19 09:25:43 UTC 61 deg
Watch for live stream at: https://www.facebook.com/monarohighschool/live/
Lycée Jean Moulin, Les Andelys, France, multi-point telebridge via NA7V
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG
Contact is go for: Thu 2021-05-20 08:38:15 UTC 88 deg
Ufa, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled astronaut is Oleg Novitskiy
Contact is go for Sat. 2021-05-29 13:45 UTC
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]
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/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
N6AJ: FROM DM05 TO EM04, I will be headed to OK from CA around May 17 , DM74 AND DM75 is on the list for sure. I will be on FM and SSB. As it closer I hope to have a schedule.
EN57/67: @SeanKutzko KX9X and @Nancy_N9NCY will celebrate Sean’s birthday in the Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula July 15-19. Look for them on FM and SSB satellites, with the possibility of some Parks On The Air activity as well.
W8LR: May 27. EM99/98_EM89/88 TENTATIVE schedule. Subject to change depending on obligations. Will post to twitter as needed if I have cell coverage.
W7LT: EN36/37/38/46/47/48/57/58 for late May is on my radar.
EA4M: : Hi guys later in June I’ll be in IN73 on holidays, probably for a week or so, I will try some birds stay tuned on tweeter for schedules Major Roves:
CM93 N6DNM Journey begins on Th with stop in CM95 and SOTA, then Fr morning departure and coming back on Su. Thurs 5/13 – On the way to Ventura – stop along the way to do W6/SC-028 (will see if any sat pass fits). Then few sat passes from CM95xa late in the day for few folks who need/want it, but all are welcome.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]
Members of AMSAT Italia commemorate Gagarin’s flight into space until the end of the year with the callsign II0SAT on HF and via satellite.
[ANS thanks DX Newsletter DXNL 2246 April 21, 2021, and JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
AMSAT Ambassador and ARRL registered instructor Clint Bradford, K6LCS, is certainly keeping busy! He reports an upcoming satellite presentation on 06/15 – East Massachusetts … and more being scheduled.
Think a 90-minute lively, informative, and fun “How to Work the Easy Satellites” Zoom presentation would be appropriate for your convention or club? Always includes are overviews of the ARRL, AMSAT, and ARISS and pre-presentation questions are solicited and welcome.
Send Clint an email or call!
Clint Bradford K6LCS
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ The RSGB has announced that their popular GB2RS news broadcast will now be available on the QO-100 amateur radio transponder on the geostationary satellite Es’hail-2. QO-100 provides continuous coverage from eastern Brazil to as far west as Thailand. There are two amateur transponders, one for Narrowband modes such as SSB and FT8 and the other for digital amateur television (DATV). (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and Southgate ARC for the above information)
+ The SpaceX SN15 flew, landed, and failed to explode, unlike its predecessors. Starship SN15 ascended through low lying cloud cover, performed a nominal climb to 10 km, then belly-flopped, and finally completed a successful two-Raptor soft landing. A small methane fire at the base of the vehicle was again visible after landing, possibly due to a thermal protection blanket coming loose and catching fire. But, unlike previous tests, the fire did not appear to be caused by structural damage and there was no unplanned return to flight. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ A few days ago, AMSAT’s web servers were under attack from multiple malicious IP addresses. This forced a shutdown of the Fox Telemetry server as well as general slowdowns of our web server. As a result, we upgraded to a paid premium version of Wordfence to better defend our web presence against attacks. Hopefully this will improve the reliability of the AMSAT website. (ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, Executive Vice President, for the above information)
+ SpaceX has revealed the flight plan for the first orbital test launch of the company’s huge stainless steel Starship rocket, a 90-minute, around-the-world mission that will originate from South Texas and culminate with a controlled re-entry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. When fully assembled, the gigantic reusable rocket will stand nearly 400 feet (120 meters) tall, making the Starship stack the largest launcher ever built.The company expects the un-crewed demonstration mission to occur some time between June 20 and Dec. 20.(ANS thanks Spaceflight Now for the above information)
+ A Rocket Lab Electron rocket failed to reach orbit May 15 when its second stage engine shut down seconds after ignition, the second launch failure in less than a year for the company. The Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 1111z. The liftoff was delayed by a little more than an hour because of upper-level winds. The first stage of the vehicle appeared to perform as expected. The second stage then separated and ignited its single Rutherford engine. However, video from the rocket broadcast on the company’s webcast of the mission showed that engine shutting down seconds later. (ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information)
+ Blue Origin plans to begin crew flights of its suborbital New Shepard spacecraft on July 20, launching the highest bidder in an online auction out of the atmosphere and into space for a few minutes of weightlessness and an out-of-this world view before returning to Earth. (ANS thanks Spaceflight Now for the above information)
+ The United States now has company on Mars. A Chinese spacecraft descended through the thin Martian atmosphere and landed safely on a large plain on Friday, May 14 at 2318z, state media reported, accomplishing a feat that only two other nations had before. The Tianwen-1 mission launched from Earth last July, consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The rover is intended roll off the lander, but China has not released a schedule for when that will occur. (ANS thanks The New York Times for the above information)
+ JAMSAT reports limited operation for the FO-99 transponder, primarily on weekend orbits over east Asia. See https://www.jamsat.or.jp/ for a schedule of operation. Email [email protected] with questions. (ANS thanks JAMSAT 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 Store.
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 info [at] amsat.org 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