ANS-166 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for June 14th


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 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:

  • 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Moving to Virtual Event
  •  15 Canadian CubeSats to launch from 2021
  •  AMSAT Member Portal Huge Success!
  •  BY70-2 with FM-to-Codec2 Transponder Scheduled for July Launch
  •  Two Satellites Receive Frequency Coordination from the IARU
  •  IARU Submits Paper on Increasing Noise from Digital Devices
  •  New Satellite Distance Records Claimed
  • ISS Runs 6558 Astro Pi Youth Programs in 2019/20
  •  Upcoming Satellite Operations
  •  Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires and Other Events
  •  ARISS News
  •  Satellite Shorts from All Over

ANS166 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 166.01
June 14, 2020
BID: $ANS166.01

38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Moving to Virtual Event

The 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting in-person event scheduled to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota has been canceled. The event will be shifted to a virtual, online platform. This comes after a decision made between AMSAT’s Senior Leadership and Board of Directors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While AMSAT recognizes the national challenges related to recent events in Minneapolis, they have no bearing on the Symposium decision whatsoever. We anticipate holding the 2021 Annual Space Symposium at the previously announced 2020 venue.

The in-person event was scheduled to occur Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18. As the 2020 virtual event plans are developed, they will be announced via the usual AMSAT channels.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]

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15 Canadian CubeSats to launch from 2021

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) report 15 CubeSat satellites are being built by students in Canada, all are expected to carry amateur radio payloads. The RAC post says:

“The Canadian Space Agency has been providing support and guidance to 15 teams of university and college students across Canada who are building satellites. These satellites are in the “CubeSat” format, based on a standardized architecture of 10 centimeter cubes. All 15 proposed satellites will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), possibly starting in 2021.

“RAC is involved in explaining how, and under what conditions, Amateur Radio can be used for communications with these spacecraft, and a requirement of the frequency coordination process with the International Amateur Radio Union is an endorsement from RAC.

“We were aware that the suspension of university classes due to the global pandemic could affect the teams’ progress, but I am pleased to report that all of the teams have chosen to use Amateur Radio communications and we continue to receive requests from them, although at a slower rate than in the past. About half of the teams have now received endorsements for their projects from RAC and have sent their proposals to the IARU for frequency coordination.

“Designing and constructing CubeSats is a complicated, multi-year process. These projects will develop the students’ skills in many facets of engineering, science, technology, business and project management. Once in orbit, the satellites will also assist pure and applied scientific research and some may offer facilities that Amateurs across Canada and around the world can use.”

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) for the above information.]

AMSAT Member Portal Huge Success!

It’s been 45 days since the launch of AMSAT’s online Member Portal. In that short time, 1,060 members have logged in, and 254 new and previously expired members were added to AMSAT ranks.

Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – User Services reports, “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into transitioning our old dBase4 database into our new online Member Portal. It has been a humbling experience to see everything come together and the expanded services we can now offer our Members.”

While the original plan was to spend the first couple of months getting members signed up, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President took the initiative to collect, capture and upload back issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 and make them accessible to AMSAT members. In addition, Paul also made added AMSAT’s latest Amateur Satellite Frequency Guide as a member-only benefit.

Robert adds, “This was a huge effort and added great value for AMSAT members. Be sure to thank Paul for making it happen. To all of the members who have already signed up on the new AMSAT Member Portal and those who I have exchanged emails with, I thank you. I hope the level of our service lives up to your expectations.”

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President adds, “It’s great to see the years of work behind this transition all finally come together. Robert was the key person implementing this system but, as with anything, it was a team effort involving several people, including:

– Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, now-President originally proposed a managed membership solution to resolve the problems we ran into for several years while attempting to build our own membership solution using open-source tools,

– Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P – AMSAT IT team lead who has provided an immense amount of support and leadership for our IT systems for many years,

– Matt Alberti, KM4EXS – An invaluable member of our IT team, and,

– Martha Saragovitz – Our long-time office manager.”

For those who have not signed up, it’s a fairly simple process and takes only a few minutes of your time.

It is important that each and every member logs in and MAKES SURE THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE.  While you’re there, take a moment to download the current satellite frequency guide and to browse The AMSAT Journal Archive.

If you not a member, there is no better time to join. Visit

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – User Services and Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President 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!

BY70-2 With FM-to-Codec2 Transponder Scheduled for July Launch

Wei Mingchaun, BG2BHC, reports on Twitter that BY70-2 is scheduled to launch in July. BY70-2 will serve as a replacement for BY70-1, a 2U CubeSat which launched on December 26, 2016. Due to a booster failure, BY70-1 was placed in an elliptical orbit with a low perigee and the satellite’s orbit decayed in February 2017.

Unlike BY70-1, which carried an FM transponder, BY70-2 will carry an FM-to-Codec2 transponder similar to the ones on board LO-90 and Taurus-1. More information about working this type of transponder can be found in an article entitled “Digital Voice on Amateur Satellites: Experiences with LilacSat-OSCAR 90” by Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, in the January/February 2019 issue of The AMSAT Journal. The article can also be found on the AMSAT website at

BY70-2 is scheduled to launch into a sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of approximately 500 km. As a replacement, the satellite is sharing BY70-1’s IARU coordination and ITU API notification. The uplink frequency will be 145.920 MHz and the downlink frequency will be 436.200 MHz.

[ANS thanks Wei Mingchaun, BG2BHC, for the above information]

Two Satellites Receive Frequency Coordination from the IARU

+ CAS-7C is planned by the Chinese Amateur Satellite Group – CAMSAT . A 2U CubeSat with a V/U transponder with a CW beacon will also deploy a carbon fibre rope with 1 mm diameter and 1080 meters length. Launch is planned on September 15 from Jiuquan Launch center into a 500km 97 degree inclination orbit together with CAS-5B and CAS-7A. Downlink for CW telemetry beacon is 435.715 MHz Downlink for a FM transponder is 435.690 MHz with an uplink on 145.900 MHz.

+ KITSUNE is planned by the Kyushu Institute of Technology. KITSUNE is a 6U CubeSat carrying four missions,1) a high resolution camera will capture 5 meter-class resolution images; 2) a C-band demonstration will demonstrate up to 20Mbps amateur high-speed data downlink; and 3) a C-band mobile ground station will uplink a command to take 2 megapixel compressed images and downlink immediately to demonstrate downlink speed up to 1Mbps. A fourth mission, to detect the time delay between uplink command sent from the ground station and receiving time on the satellite side is not Amateur Radio related.

Launch from the ISS is planned during 2020. A CW beacon will operate on 437.375 MHz CW beacon. HK data using 4k8 GMSK will operate at 5840.000 MHz.  More info is available at

[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information.]

IARU Submits Paper on Increasing Noise from Digital Devices

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) specialists Tore Worren, LA9QL, and Martin Sach, G8KDF, have submitted a paper to the International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) concerning the increasing impact of multiple digital devices on noise levels in the radio spectrum.

The paper was considered at the CISPR Steering Committee in late May and it was adopted for circulation to the CISPR National Committee for comment as a Committee Draft, with a view toward its becoming a CISPR Report.

“IARU hopes that the result of this will be amendments to the way in which standards are developed to recognize the need to properly consider the cumulative impact of multiple devices,” said IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, in an IARU news brief.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and the IARU for the above information.]

New Satellite Distance Records Claimed

A slew of new records have been claimed for old and new satellites alike!

First up is the new DX sensation, RS-44. It’s strong downlink and exceptional sensitivity has allowed for several QSOs beyond its theoretical 7,942 km maximum surface range. Hector Martinez, W5CBF, in Lake Charles, LA reports working Antonio Gutierrez, DL4EA, in Böblingen, Germany on May 26, 2020 at 23:07 UTC – a distance of 8,357km. The previous record of 8,314 km by KI7UNJ and EB1AO stood just nine days.

For the QSO, Hector used an Alaskan Arrow antenna and an Icom IC-9700 on the roof of the 310′ tall Capital One Tower in Lake Charles, LA, offering an exceptional view of the northern sky.

Next, Guillermo Guerra, OA4/XQ3SA, in Lima, Peru reports that he completed a QSO with Alex Diaz, XE1MEX, in Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico via AO-92 in Mode L/v on June 3, 2020 at 04:07 UTC. The 4,202 km distance this QSO covered exceeds the prior AO-92 Mode L/v record of 3,730 km, held by N7AGF and N1JEZ.

Since its revival last month, AO-27 has enjoyed considerable popularity despite only being active for approximately 4 minutes per orbit over mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Krissada Futrakul, E21EJC, in Bangkok, Thailand reports completing a QSO with Vladiir Vassiljev, R9LR, in Tyumen, Russia on June 9, 2020 at 23:35 UTC. The distance covered by this QSO was 5,682 km, eclipsing the previous record of 5,119 km held by WD9EWK and VO1ONE from February 2006.

Finally, record claims for satellites that are no longer in service are also welcome. Andre Van Deventer, then-ZS6UK (now ZS2BK), reports that he completed a QSO from his previous QTH near Johannesburg, South Africa with David Guimont, WB6LLO, in San Diego, California via AO-10 Mode B on September 2, 1983. This QSO covered a distance of 16,625 km. The previous record was claimed by W0RPK for a 15,242 km QSO with VK8OB in April 1984.

A claim has also been received for a QSO via AO-13 Mode B. Alejandro Alvarez, LU8YD, reports a QSO with Tetsuhiro Inoue, JE2VVN, on June 3, 1996. The distance between the two stations was 17,802 km, eclipsing the previous record held by AD7D (then-KA7LDN) and FR5DN of 17,097 km.

AMSAT’s list of distance records for amateur satellites can be found at Please email n8hm at if you wish to claim a new record, longer distance QSO not yet documented, or records for any other satellite/transponder not yet listed. Claims that exceed 5% beyond the theoretical maximum range of the satellite may require additional evidence, such as audio recordings of the QSO in order to be listed. Exceptional claims may be referred to a panel of experienced satellite operators for adjudication.

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

ISS Runs 6558 Astro Pi Youth Programs in 2019/20

The team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in collaboration with ESA Education, announced that all of this year’s successful Astro Pi programs have now run aboard the International Space Station.

This year, a record 6350 teams of students and young people from all 25 eligible countries successfully entered Mission Zero, and had their programs run on the Astro Pi computers on board the ISS for 30 seconds each.

The Mission Zero teams measured the temperature inside the ISS Columbus module and used the Astro Pi LED matrix to display the measurement together with a greeting to the astronauts, including Chris Cassidy, who oversaw this year’s experiments.

In addition, 208 teams of students and young people are currently in the final phase of Astro Pi Mission Space Lab. Over the last few weeks, each of these teams has had their scientific experiment run on either Astro Pi Ed or Astro Pi Izzy for 3 hours each.

Teams interested in life on Earth used Astro Pi Izzy’s near-infrared camera to capture images to investigate, for example, vegetation health and the impact of human life on our planet. Using Astro Pi Ed’s sensors, participants investigated life in space, measuring the conditions on the ISS and even mapping the magnetic field of Earth.

This year a problem was encountered during the deployment of some experiments investigating life on Earth. When it downloaded the first batch of data from the ISS, it was realized that Astro Pi Izzy had an incorrect setting, which resulted in some pictures turning pink. Not only that, the CANADARM was the middle of Izzy’s window view.

All Mission Space Lab teams have now received their data back from the ISS to analyse and summarized in their final scientific reports. So that they can write their reports while social distancing measures are in place, program managers are sharing special guidance and advice on how best to collaborate remotely and have extended the submission deadline to July 3, 2020.

The programs teams sent this year were outstanding in their quality, creativity, and technical skill. A jury of experts appointed by ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation will judge all of the Mission Space Lab reports and select the ten teams with the best reports as the winners of the European Astro Pi Challenge 2019/20. Each of the ten winning teams will receive a special prize. Every team that participated in Mission Zero or Mission Space Lab this year will receive a special certificate in celebration of their achievements during the European Astro Pi Challenge.

More information at:

[ANS thanks the Raspberry Pi Foundation 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.

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Quick Hits

EM58 (Saturday 7/11/20) N4DCW 15:00 – 18:00

Major Roves

DL88: Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) 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 Monday July 6, 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.]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires and Other Events

Shelby NC Hamfest – September 4-5, 2020

Philip Jenkins, N4HF is planning to set-up an information table and to present a forum at the Shelby NC Hamfest Friday and Saturday, Sept 4 and 5. (The hamfest runs September 4-6. but Philip
will probably only be there Friday and Saturday.) Demonstrations are possible if he can get others to help. For information or if you want to help, contact N4HF.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL for the above information.]


Upcoming School Contacts

I.E.S. Pedro de Valdivia, Villanueva de la Serena, Spain, Multi-point telebridge via ON4ISS
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS.
The scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR.
Contact is go for: Tuesday June 16, 2020, 12:25:27 UTC (84 deg).
Watch for live stream at:

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N  for the above information.]

Shorts from All Over

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI Honored

Congratulations to Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI in being recognized and awarded the Order of Australia medal (AM) in the June 8th Queens Birthday honors list. For those that don’t know what Tony has done, he has mentored 65 ARISS schools and been the telebridge station for 58 ARISS contacts.  Plus he was very involved with SAREX.  The actual announcement can be found on page 7 of 28 at:

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]

New Sun Clock Quantifies Extreme Space Weather Switch On/Off

Extreme space weather events can significantly impact systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation. The clock will help scientists to determine more precisely when the risk for solar storms is highest and help to plan the impacts of space weather on our space infrastructure, important since the next switch on of activity may be imminent as solar activity moves from its current minimum. Complete information at:

[ANS thanks for the above information.]

Back Issues of AMSAT Publications Needed

All issues of the AMSAT Journals and other publications from 2014 to the present are available for members via the AMSAT Membership Portal. However, AMSAT’s archives have a gap. If anyone has copies of The AMSAT Journal or its sister publications, The Amateur Satellite Report, or other AMSAT periodical from 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, or 1992, please let Paul Stoetzer, N8HM know. AMSAT will reimburse for mailing costs both ways for use of these publications if electronic copies are not available. In the short term, members should expect to see other resources made available in the Membership Portal very soon.

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President 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