AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
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 http://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 at amsat dot org.
In this edition:
- AMSAT Receives PPP Funds During COVID-19 Pandemic
- HuskySat-1 Transponder is Open
- HuskySat-1 Designated OSCAR 107 (HO-107)
- AMSAT Executive VP Congratulates HuskySat-1 Team
- New Satellite Frequency Chart Is Free to Members
- ARISS Continues Test of Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio
- 10th Annual GNU Radio Conference Goes Virtual
- AMSAT-EA Receives IARU Coordination for Two Satellites
- AO-7 Delivers Stunning Contact
- UN Launches Second Space4Youth Competition
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- ARISS News
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-138.01
ANS-138 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 138.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
May 17, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
AMSAT Receives PPP Funds During COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 31, 2020, AMSAT’s Board of Directors authorized the organization’s leadership team to pursue relief afforded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Pursuit of this relief was in accordance with the Directors’ fiduciary duty to pursue all funding sources available to sustain AMSAT’s operations.
AMSAT has received funds under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Participation in this program gives us certainty that AMSAT will be able to continue uninterrupted service to our members during these uncertain economic times. It helps AMSAT offset cash flow losses due to the pandemic and avoid dipping into our reserves. Using reserves at this time would incur substantial realized losses due to fluctuating investment market conditions. Receiving the PPP funds also allows AMSAT to continue paying Martha, AMSAT’s Office Manager of over 40 years, even though our physical office remains closed.
Although AMSAT remains in a healthy financial position with a strong balance of cash and reserves, the current economic situation and loss of events like Hamvention and Ham-Com will likely continue to negatively impact donations and membership renewals.
AMSAT’s senior leadership team continues to pursue avenues to reduce operational costs such as the recent successful roll out of the Wild Apricot membership management portal.
[ANS thanks Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, AMSAT President for the above information]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
HuskySat-1 Transponder is Open
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP – Operations reports that after a week of testing, the transponder on HuskySat-1 is enabled and open for use and testing. HuskySat-1 carries a V/u inverting transponder with a 145.910 to 145.940 uplink, 435.810 to 435.840 downlink. The telemetry beacon runs 1200 baud BPSK at 435.800.
It’s fairly sensitive, and 5-10 watts is plenty most of the time. There are some fades due to satellite orientation and some passes are definitely better than others. The operations and engineering teams are also watching a few anomalies. For those with spectrum scopes, lease keep an eye on the beacon during transponder operations. Strong signals may impact the beacon strength. Reports and observations are welcome to the amsat-bb mailing list.
HuskySat-1 is the Husky Satellite Lab at University of Washington’s first cubesat, and the first mission with AMSAT’s linear transponder module (LTM-1), a V/u transponder and integrated telemetry beacon and command receiver. UW recently completed their Part 5 operations and have graciously let AMSAT’s Part 97 transponder operations commence. This transponder module is available for use in educational cubesat missions willing to enable the transponder for worldwide use. Contact Drew Glasbrenner or Jerry Buxton, VP Engineering Jerry Buxton for additional details.
Congratulations to Husky Satellite Lab, and to the entire AMSAT Engineering team for keeping amateur radio in space. Thanks to Dr. Mark Hammond, N8MH for commissioning and operations support.
[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP – Operations for the above information]
HuskySat-1 Designated OSCAR 107 (HO-107)
On November 2, 2019, the HuskySat-1 cubesat launched on the Cygnus NG-12 mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, USA. The satellite was constructed by the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington, and utilizes an AMSAT-constructed radio system for primary communications. Deployed from the Cygnus vehicle on January 31, 2020 after departing the ISS, HuskySat-1 began a 3-month educational mission. Upon completion of that mission, the satellite began operation of a V/u linear transponder in Amateur Radio Service.
At the request of the Husky Satellite Lab and AMSAT teams, AMSAT hereby designates HuskySat-1 as HuskySat-OSCAR 107 (HO-107). We congratulate the Husky Satellite Lab, thank them for their contribution to the Amateur Radio satellite community, and wish them continued success on this and future projects.
[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP – Operations 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.
AMSAT Executive VP Congratulates HuskySat-1 Team
“The first of what will be many AMSAT Linear Transponder Modules in orbit was opened for amateur use worldwide Sunday morning. I wanted to offer my thanks and congratulations to the team that made this possible:
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
John Klingelhoeffer, WB4LNM
Marc Franco, N2UO
Dan Habecker, W9EQ
Bob Davis, KF4KSS
Burns Fisher, WB1FJ
Eric Skoog, K1TVV
Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
Mark Hammond, N8MH
“And, last, but certainly not least, the entire team at the Husky Satellite Lab at the University of Washington.
“The AMSAT Linear Transponder Module (LTM) is a crucial part of AMSAT’s mission. The GOLF program will fulfill the first part of our mission statement, to deploy satellite systems with the goal of providing wide-area and continuous coverage, while ARISS and AREx fulfill the second part of our mission statement to continue active participation in human space missions.
The LTM represents the primary work AMSAT is doing to “support a stream of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community and other amateur satellite groups”. Five Fox-1 satellites have been completed. HO-107 is just the first of many more missions that will help us to Keep Amateur Radio in Space at a low cost to AMSAT. The future is bright!
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP for the above information]
New Satellite Frequency Chart Is Free to Members
AMSAT just released its updated Amateur Satellite Frequency Guide. It is currently available only to AMSAT Members, in the new online member portal under Member Resources.
Archives of The AMSAT Journal are also available under Journal. Currently, 2018 and 2019 are available with more years soon.
If you are an AMSAT Member and have not signed up on the new AMSAT Member Portal, you are missing out. If you’re not an AMSAT Member, there’s no better time to join!
Visit launch.amsat.org today!
[ANS thanks AMSAT Member Services for the above information]
ARISS Continues Test of Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio
ARISS completed the second test of the new-style radio contact called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio. The concept was developed for distance learning when schools closed worldwide due to COVID-19. The virus eliminated all opportunities for ARISS radio contacts at education organizations.
The radio contact was completed on May 15 with ISS Commander Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. A new ARISS telebridge ground station was operated by John Sygo, ZS6JON located near Johannesburg, South Africa. The telebridge linked to the astronaut and each youth tied in from home via their telephones. Each student took a turn asking their question of the astronaut. Their families, faculty and the public could also listen from home.
The youth taking part in ARISS’s second test belong to the Airdrie Space Science Club in Airdrie, AB, Canada. Prior to COVID, the students had participated in space and radio communications lessons such as balloon launches with ham radio payloads and building model rockets to launch. Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ, one of the five club leaders related, “During this pandemic, our opportunities to develop kids’ interest in space has been interrupted. This ARISS contact gets them looking back up, towards the sky, and imagining themselves as an astronaut one day.”
[ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations for the above information]
10th Annual GNU Radio Conference Goes Virtual
GNU Radio Conference (GRCon) is a week-long conference that includes technical content and networking opportunities. It highlights design, implementation, and theory that has been practically applied in a useful way. GRCon attendees come from a large variety of backgrounds, including industry, academia, government, and hobbyists.
GRCon20 will be held starting September 14, 2020 online as a virtual event. Keynote speakers include Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, Managing Editor of QST magazine; Oona Räisänen (windytan) hacker of signals and computer programmer; and Jim St. Leger, Director Open Source, at Intel.
More information and registration is online at: https://www.gnuradio.org/grcon
[ANS thanks GNU Radio 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
AMSAT-EA Receives IARU Coordination for Two Satellites
AMSAT-EA recently received frequency coordination from the IARU for two pocketcube satellites expected to launch in 2020.
Hades is a 1.5 p pocketcube satellite offering radio amateurs a linear transponder for SSB/FM/CW and digital modes. It will also test the platform for future amateur satellites. A downlink on 436.888 MHz and an uplink on 145.925 MHz have been coordinated. A regenerative transponder for FM/FSK/ASK and 0.05kbps-125kbps ASK/FSK/PSK telemetry, store&forward and data transmission from ground stations is also planned. A camera is expected to fly as an experimental payload.
EASAT-2 satellite is Hades virtual twin with a downlink on 436.666 MHz and an uplink on 145.875 MHz. Both satellites will be launched into a 400/500 km polar orbit together with Sanosat-1 and others in a Alba Orbital cluster 3 launch.
More info at https://www.amsat-ea.org/
[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]
AO-7 Delivers Stunning Contact
On Sunday, May 4, 2020, AO-7, a forty year old satellite, produced a stunning contact. At 17:20 UTC a contact was completed between Diego Fiel, LW2DAF in Buenos Aires (GF05rk) and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA in Cape Town (JF95fx). The contact scanned a distance of 4329 miles (6927 km) across the South Atlantic with both stations aiming at only 2 to 3 degrees on the horizon.
Both stations had been watching the orbit predictions for several weeks and the suitable opportunities only occurred occasionally with both stations seeing the AO-7 satellite at the same time. Electrical noise particularly in Cape Town hampered the efforts with only small snatches being heard from time to time. That morning, however, the noise levels were low and a perfect contact was possible with full call signs and reports being exchanged.
[ANS thanks Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA for the above information]
UN Launches Second Space4Youth Competition
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) announced the second edition of its Space4Youth competition for young people worldwide to share their ideas on space policy and exploration.
The Space4Youth Competition strives to show how young people can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This edition focuses on SDG 13, Climate Action, which the United Nations Secretary-General called the defining issue of our time.
In order to participate, young people have to submit an essay on “Space as a tool to address climate challenges: examples from local communities”.
The selected winner and finalist(s) will be invited to present their essays at the 19th Space Generation Congress 2020. Winners will also have abstracts of their essays submitted to the 63rd session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
For more information and instructions on how to participate, see: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-138-Sp
[ANS thanks the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs 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
Mitch (@AD0HJ on Twitter) 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
Ron (@AD0DX on Twitter) and Doug (N6UA, @dtabor on Twitter) are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know they tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. Today 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.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information]
The following schools have now been postponed due to COVID-19:
- Srednja Skola Za Elektrotehniku I Racunalstvo, Rijeka, Croatia, direct via 9A5G
- Canadian Cub Jamboree, Guelph/Eramosa, ON, Canada, telebridge via TBD.
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- No scheduled events
The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:
- May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
- June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
Shorts from All Over
Doppler SQF Line Generator
It seems like new satellites are appearing over the horizon nearly every day. For those who want to roll their own Doppler SQF lines, you can use this generator developed by Mike Diehl, W8LID. Just enter the frequencies in the correct spot and presto! You will find this great tool at: https://www.amsat.org/doppler-
[ANS thanks Dave Webb, KB1PVH for the above information]
“There’s Nothing to Do, Dad (or Mom)!”
When the kids start getting bored around the house, check out NASA’s STEM Engagement Page. With activities sorted by age group, there’s plenty fun parents and kids can enjoy on their own or together. It’s all at https://www.nasa.gov/stem.
Also available from the European Space Agency is a series of weekly projects and challenges that run now through September. Enjoy these entertaining and educational projects at: https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multim
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N and ESA for the above information]
NASA Inks Deal with Roscosmos for Continued Rides to the ISS
With lingering uncertainty about when new U.S. commercial vehicles can regularly carry crews to the space station, NASA said Tuesday it will pay the Russian space agency more than $90 million for a round-trip ticket to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft later this year. According to NASA, the deal with Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, will ensure continuous U.S. presence on the ISS in case of additional delays in getting new U.S. crew capsules ready for operational missions. Read the complete story at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-138-NA
[ANS thanks SPACEFLIGHT NOW 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 Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student membership information.
This week’s ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org