ANS-229 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for August 16th


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:

  • Two-Minute Engineering Video Update Available
  • Announced CubeSat Design Specification Rev.14
  • US Department of Defense to Share 3450 – 3550 MHz with 5G Commercial Operations
  • QSO Today Virtual Expo Satellite Presentations Still Available
  • Chinese Mars probe Tianwen-1 successfully received by AMSAT-DL
  • SmallSat 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings Available Online
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

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ANS-229 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 229.01
August 16, 2020
BID: $ANS-229.01

Two-Minute Engineering Video Update Available

Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Vice President-Engineering has published a two-minute video update on the progress of AMSAT projects. Among the highlights are:

  • The RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E satellite is ready for delivery and integration and is expected to launch by the end of the year.
  • The University of Maine will use an AMSAT LTM-1 module for command and control of their upcoming CubeSat mission, MESAT-1. The LTM-1 also provides a linear transponder for amateur radio use. AMSAT is in discussions with additional partners about flying LTM-1 modules.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vendors have been delayed in supplying printed circuit boards for the GOLF-TEE project. The impact of the pandemic has also affected the amount of time AMSAT’s volunteer engineers have for their hobby work. Completion of GOLF-TEE is expected by the end of June 2021.
  • Dependent on fulfilling its primary mission, the GOLF-TEE satellite may include a X-band downlink parrot of the V-band uplink and L/S band uplinks which are planned for GOLF-1.
  • Research is underway to place GOLF-1 into a higher orbit while meeting regulatory requirements.
  • GOLF-TEE is a candidate for a launch on an upcoming DoD mission.

You can view Jerry’s update at:

[ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Vice President-Engineering for the above information] Announced CubeSat Design Specification Rev.14

The Cal Poly CubeSat Lab has announced that a draft version of the newest CubeSat Design Specification (CDS) is available. Feedback before the official release of the 14th revision is welcome.

There are a number of changes, which are detailed in the Appendix of the document. But overall, the document has been updated to act as more of a guide for CubeSat designers, rather than a how-to” manual.

The original CDS introduced the CubeSat Standard to the world almost two decades ago. It defined the physical and electrical characteristics for a 1U and 3U size CubeSat and included requirements for interfacing with the only CubeSat dispenser available at the time, the Poly-Pico Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Since then the industry has expanded to include more standard sizes and additional dispensers with more available options.

To accommodate these new advancements, the CDS has been retooled to be more flexible and inclusive of developments within the industry. Requirements that were originally written specifically for the P-POD will encompass requirements for all dispensers currently available. It is also the intention for the new revision of the CDS to identify the available options on dispensers that are widely available for use. Currently that list is limited to dispensers that publish their specifications online, but can be updated as dispenser companies make that information available to us. The CDS will also define all U configurations in one document with one set of requirements for ease of reference.

The new CDS should be the first stop for any developer beginning their CubeSat design.

A complete copy of the revised specification can be seen at:

[ANS thanks Cal Poly CubeSat Lab for the above information.]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit

US Department of Defense to Share 3450 – 3550 MHz with 5G Commercial Operations

The FCC will auction sharing rights to the upper 50 MHz of the 3300 – 3500 MHz secondary amateur radio allocation to commercial 5G interests in the wake of the Department of Defense (DoD) agreement to share spectrum at 3450 – 3550 MHz. The entire band currently supports a variety of military operations, and amateur radio has a long history of peaceful coexistence with the Department of Defense as a secondary user of this spectrum.

Late last year, the FCC proposed to delete the amateur secondary 3300 – 3500 MHz secondary allocation as well as the amateur-satellite allocation at 3400 – 3410 MHz. The FCC could auction the 100 MHz of spectrum in early 2022. This latest move makes a contiguous band of spectrum from 3450 – 3980 MHz available for commercial 5G networks.

“For a number of years, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and FCC have focused on the 3450 – 3550 MHz band as the spectrum most conducive to sharing with commercial users,” said ARRL Washington Counsel David Siddall, K3ZJ. “Monday’s statements announced that a framework for sharing has been worked out.”

In December 2019, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348 proposing to delete the 3300 – 3500 MHz secondary amateur band. ARRL strongly opposed the move in its comments on the NPRM, which put forward the FCC’s plans to remove “existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations” in the 3300 – 3500 MHz band and to consider options for relocating incumbent non-federal operations.

Siddall said the spectrum below 3450 MHz presents a more difficult government/commercial sharing scenario, and that future sharing there remains uncertain. “We continue to argue that the amateur secondary allocation should not be deleted in this band,” he said. “We recognize that our access is secondary, and ask only to be given a chance to use our considerable technical skills to work around whatever future uses may be implemented in this spectrum.”

The complete article can be seen at:

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

QSO Today Virtual Expo Satellite Presentations Still Available

Congratulations to Tom Schuessler, N5HYP of Irving, Texas for his outstanding presentation, “Getting Started with Amateur Radio Satellites.”  Tom’s thirty-three minute presentation provided an excellent review of the basics needed to enjoy this aspect of the hobby, on-the-air-demonstrations, and prominent promotion of AMSAT as the center of Amateur Radio Satellite activity.

Also presented at the Virtual Expo was 4Z1ZV, Zvi Segal’s overview of the Qatar-OSCAR 100 Satellite running seventeen minutes.

Watch the presentations at Even if you didn’t register for the original event, you can still register to watch the presentations which will be available until September 9, 2020.

With over 14,000 participants each day of the August event, organizers are already the next QSO Today Virtual Expo for March 13-14, 2021.

[ANS thanks QSO Today 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!

Chinese Mars probe Tianwen-1 successfully received by AMSAT-DL

Soon after its launch on July 23rd, the Chinese Mars mission Tianwen-1 has been received by AMSAT-DL with its 20m ground station in Bochum, Germany. Amateur radio observers Paul Marsh M0EYT and his #hearsat group have been tracking Tianwen-1 since its launch from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. As no trajectory data was published Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ used the coordinated observations to generate an estimated trajectory which allows narrowing down the search area.

After some reformatting of the data by James Miller G3RUH, AMSAT-DL gave it a first try during on July 24th and 25th with successful detection of the Tianwen-1 telemetry on 8430.911 MHz. An initial guess suggests a BPSK modulation with residual carrier and data modulated on a subcarrier. More than 2 GB of baseband data have been recorded and are being analyzed by the #hearsat group.

This report not only demonstrates the capabilities of Amateur Radio operators when it comes to deep space missions but also the flexibility and performance of the AMSAT-DL 20m ground station in Bochum which (except for scheduled maintenance on site) can be operated fully remotely.

The complete story can be seen at:

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

SmallSat 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings Available Online

The 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference was a virtual event hosted by and Utah State University, Logan, Utah.  The event attracted 8,100 participants over three days August 1-3, 2020. With the conference theme, “Space Mission Architectures – Infinite Possibilities”, the conference explored the realm of possible space mission architectures and how they can be practically achieved to support the diverse needs of the global space community.

Organized along twelve technical tracks, all 162 presentations are available to the public.  Additionally, literally hundreds of posters can be downloaded for viewing. Especially useful is a search function on the site that can search keywords to help find presentation and posters that deal with specific topics.

For those interested in the future of small satellites, including those in the Amateur Satellite Service, there is one especially pertinent presentation entitled ” Small Satellite Regulation in 2020″
with attorneys Lynne Montgomery and Christopher Bair of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP. In this twelve minute presentation, Ms. Montgomery thoroughly covers the range of regulations affecting small satellite operations, the agencies involved, licensing procedures and what future legal burdens are looming for small satellite operators.

The complete collection of presentations and posters can be seen at:

[ANS thanks 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:

DM97/98 & EM08/09, 8/29 & 8/30: Super Rover @ADoDX is heading out for the Kansas QSO party and N0E. More to come.

IL38 EA8/EA4NF 8/10-8/17 IL38/39

Major Roves:

@AD0HJ, is heading out again for the South Dakota Super Rove Part II Rove: Grids DN73, DN82, DN83, DN92, DN93, EN02, EN03, EN12, EN24, and EN25. August 17th through August 21st.

@WA9JBQ is heading out to Idaho DN24,DN25,DN26 DN34, DN16, DN15, and DN14 starting August 15th. Then moving into Montana for DN35,DN36, DN37, DN38 DN49 DN47. He will be out a total of 5-6 weeks. Mostly FM some linear. Will post to twitter details.

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


Upcoming Contacts:

Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, NY, direct via K2ZRO.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR.
Contact is go for Friday, August 21, 2020 at 18:23:40 UTC. 29 deg.
Watch for live stream starting about 20 to 30 minutes ahead of AOS at:

NOTE: AS of August 14, 2021, this contact has been rescheduled again due to ISS hatch closures for leak detection activity.

Completed Contacts:

GAGARIN FROM SPACE. Performing a radio amateur session with school children of Tatarstan, Russia, direct via RZ4PXO.
The ISS callsign was RSØISS.
The scheduled astronaut was Ivan Vagner.
Contact was successful on  August 7, 2020 at 11:18 UTC.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N  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

Shorts from All Over

NASA At Home Offerings Updated Regularly

As was reported before, NASA continually offers a variety of videos, podcasts, virtual tours, e-books and activities.  This service has offerings that are of interest to adults as well as students with an
interest in space exploration.  The lineup changes weekly so, if you haven’t been back in a while, take a moment to see the current assortment at:

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]

Build a Simple ISS Tracker with Raspberry Pi

Fancy tracking the ISS’s trajectory? Looking for a project beyond using your smart phone app? All you need is a Raspberry Pi, an e-paper display, an enclosure, and a little Python code. Check out
The MagPi Magazine issue #96.  The download is free and can be found at:

[ANS thanks for the above information.]

Another Distance Record Claimed

Another distance record claimed by Jerome LeCuyer, F4DXV this time on AO-92 (U/v). Jerome worked Dana Rushton, VE1VOX in Nova Scotia at 12:54 UTC on August 10, 2020, a distance of 5,011 km.

[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