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 https://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. 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://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans
In this edition:
- Request for cooperation in receiving Fuji 3 (FO-29)
- NO-104 Camera Will be ‘Live’ This Week
- Chinese Taurus-1 Amateur Satellite Launched
- Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Awards Grant to ARISS
- IARU Region 3 Approves New 15m Satellite Allocation
- Improvements to the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page
- Volunteer Opportunity – AMSAT Looking for Graphics Designer
- Nine US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
- AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, October 12-13
- Final Steps Taken Toward ELaNa 25 Amateur Satellite Launch
- AMSAT Academy at the Albuquerque Duke City Hamfest
- Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
- DM02 Satellite Expedition Sunday, September 22 – N6O/MM
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
Don’t miss the 50th Anniversary AMSAT Space Symposium
October 18-20 in Arlington, VA.
Request for cooperation in receiving Fuji 3 (FO-29)
The amateur satellite “Fuji 3” has been unable to confirm the operation of CW telemetry and heterodyne repeaters after 21:45 (UTC) on July 9, 2019, but is more unstable than yesterday. However, while confirming the operation of CW telemetry and heterodyne repeaters, we continue to test for stable operation.
Therefore, those who can receive CW telemetry of Fuji No. 3 (FO-29) will try to start with a command during the next pass through Japan, so please report the reception report to the following address.
(Time of pass through Japan)
- 2019/09/14 06:40 16:45 (UTC)
- 2019/09/15 05:40 17:35 (UTC)
[Send email address of received report] firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask for your cooperation in collecting information on Fuji 3 of many users.
[ANS thanks JARL Secretariat Member Section “Fuji 3” Telemetry]
NO-104 Camera Will be ‘Live’ This Week
Controllers for NO-104 (PSAT-2) announced on September 13 that they have commanded the camera to take a picture and store it into memory every 10 minutes. This mode should last for 7 days or at least to next commanding session on Monday.
The transmitting counter, which selects picture for downlink is not synchronized with the camera, so there is uncertain delay between acquiring a picture and its transmission up to a maximum of 64 minutes. Every picture will be downlinked just once so every reception counts. The downlink is not operating during eclipse. Further info on https://github.com/alpov/PSAT-2/blob/master/README.md
[ANS thanks Ales Povalac, OK2ALP, and Tomas Urbanec, OK2PNQ, for the above information]
Chinese Taurus-1 Amateur Satellite Launched
BG2BHC reported on Twitter that Taurus-1 launched on Thursday, Sept. 12 on the CZ-4B launch from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Taurus-1 carries an FM to Codec2 repeater that operates using the same protocol as LO-90 (LilacSat-1) and can use the same software (after frequencies are changed). According to BG2BHC the satellite FM uplink is on 145.820 MHz and is using 435.840 MHz for telemetry and codec audio with a separate downlink on 436 for backup.
Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, reports that Doppler measurements suggest that Taurus 1 is object 44530 (2019-059C), and the actual measured telemetry downlink frequency: 435.8387 MHz. TLEs can be found at https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt
Multiple reports show the telemetry downlink active on 435.840 MHz, but the FM to Codec2 repeater does not appear to be active yet.
For more information about this unique analog uplink, digital downlink system, see the AMSAT Journal article / Symposium paper about LO-90 at https://tinyurl.com/y6jzoful
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, for the above information]
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Awards Grant to ARISS
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has awarded a very generous grant to ARISS for the Next Generation radio system. ARDC is the owner and manager of the Internet network known as the AMPRNet. In June of 2019, ARDC initiated a philanthropic endeavor to provide monetary grants to organizations, groups, projects, and scholarships which have significant potential to advance the state of the art of Amateur Radio, and digital communications in general.
The ARISS Next Generation radio system (or Inter Operable Radio System – IORS) will support easier radio mode transition, to enable new, exciting capabilities for hams, students and the general public including:
- New amateur radio communication and experimentation capabilities, including an enhanced voice repeater and updated digital packet radio (APRS) capabilities.
- Slow Scan TV (picture up and downlinks) in both the US and Russian segments of ISS.
- New multi-voltage power supply will support present and future radio capabilities and allow wireless experiments to be conducted.
In July, the Inter Operable Radio System successfully completed a battery of stressful tests required as part of the final certification of the hardware for launch to and operation on the International Space Station. Final assembly of the flight safety certification in preparation for launch is now underway and ARISS is working towards launch ready status by the end of the year.
For more information on the award please see: https://www.ampr.org/g2019-09-01a/
To contribute to ARISS and the IORS please see: https://www.ariss.org/donate.html
ARISS and AMSAT thank ARDC for their generosity in supporting this important project.
[ANS thanks ARISS, the AMSAT office, and ARDC for the above information.]
Symposium Papers Due September 23rd!
Final copies of papers must be submitted by September 23rd
for inclusion in the printed proceedings. Abstracts and papers
should be sent to Dan Schultz at n8fgv(at)amsat.org
IARU Region 3 Approves New 15m Satellite Allocation
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) – Region 3 (Asia-Pacific Region) Directors meeting was held in Tokyo September 2-3. A modified interim Region 3 bandplan was approved which included an Amateur-Satellite Service allocation in the 15m band. The modified interim Region 3 bandplan proposed by the Region 3 Bandplan Committee was approved. A notable change was addition of a satellite portion in 15m Band as agreed at the last Region 3 Conference. The interim IARU Region 3 bandplan is available at: https://tinyurl.com/y637aw47 A complete report of the Region 3 Directors meeting may be found at: https://amsat-uk.org/2019/09/12/iaru-r3-bandplan/
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
AMSAT and ARISS are currently supporting a FundRazr campaign to raise
$150,000 for critical radio infrastructure upgrades on ISS. The upgrades are
necessary to enable students to continue to talk to astronauts in space via
Amateur Radio. We have reached a great milestone with $33,250 raised or about
17% towards our goal. This would not have been possible without your
For more information and to DONATE TODAY visit:
Improvements to the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page
Thanks to the efforts of new member Ed Little, KN6DBC, improvements have been made to https://www.amsat.org/status/ specifically, some filtering of the “Your Callsign” field has been added in an effort to reject the occasional nonsense report. The entry must look like a callsign, for example it must have at least one digit, it must not end with a digit etc.
As a bonus, the “Your Grid Square” field has been added. Separate entries are now preferred instead of workarounds like KM1P-FN42.
AMSAT maintains this page to give a single global reference point for all users in the Amateur Satellite Service to show the most up-to-date status of all satellites as actually reported in real time by users around the world. Please help others and keep it current every time you access a bird.
[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, 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
Volunteer Opportunity – AMSAT Looking for Graphics Designer
AMSAT has a need for a volunteer graphics designer to occasionally assist with page layout of our in-house advertising panels for the AMSAT Journal. The Journal uses Adobe InDesign software to publish but our software can import and place PDF and JPG formatted pages that you create with the graphics tools of your choice.
If you can fill this need contact Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services at ke4al (at) amsat.org.
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
Nine US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has announced the schools/host organizations selected for amateur radio contacts with the ISS during the first half of 2020. 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.
The ARISS program anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for the 9 US host organizations during the January to June 2020 time period. They are now at work completing an acceptable equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by the ARISS Technical Mentors, the final selected schools/organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities offered by NASA.
The schools and host organizations are:
|Celia Hays Elementary School||Rockwall, Texas|
|Golden Gate Middle School||Naples, Fla.|
|J.P. McConnell Middle School||Loganville, Ga.|
|Kittredge Magnet School||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Maple Dale Elementary School||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Oakwood School||Morgan Hill, Calif.|
|Ramona Lutheran School||Ramona, Calif.|
|River Ridge High School||New Port Richey, Fla.|
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio.
For more information, see www.ariss.org.
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, October 12-13
The AMSAT-UK Colloquium, incorporated into the RSGB Convention, will take place October 12-13 at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ.
A webstream of the Colloquium talks will be available at https://batc.org.uk/live/
Booking for the RSGB Convention which includes the AMSAT-UK Colloquium is at https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/
The weekend event attracts an international audience that ranges from those involved in building and operating Amateur Radio satellites to beginners who wish to find out more about this fascinating branch of the hobby.
Included will be a roundup of a number of new live and potential spacecraft projects that are under investigation and/or development, plus all the usual networking opportunities, the gala dinner, auction and raffle.
Travel Information http://kentshillpark.com/how-to-find-us
The full schedule for both the AMSAT-UK Colloquium and RSGB Convention talks is at https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Final Steps Taken Toward ELaNa 25 Amateur Satellite Launch
The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Hawaii has applied to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) for frequency coordination for the amateur radio payloads aboard its Neutron-1 spacecraft. This is a step toward launch of the satellite aboard the upcoming NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission 25. This same launch is also scheduled to boost several other new satellites carrying amateur radio into space this fall.
A 3U CubeSat, the science experiment of Neutron-1 is a precursor mission for instrument validation for the ASU neutron detector flying on the later LunaH-Map mission to the moon in 2020. Following an initial checkout and startup period, Neutron-1 will operate a neutron detector counting neutrons escaping the earth’s atmosphere.
The amateur payload will provide a V/U FM voice repeater for amateur and educational purposes. Proposing 1k2-9k6 AX telemetry and FM voice UHF downlink and a VHF FM uplink. The access of functionality will be provided on the Neutron-1 website: https://www.hsfl.hawaii.edu/web/neutron1/
Neutron-1 is planned for deployment from the ISS as part of the ELaNa 25 mission now scheduled for this fall. Neutron-1 will fly with 14 other spacecraft, including two satellites of particular interest to amateurs:
- TJREVERB – Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, Va. will carry a 145.825 MHz APRS digipeater. Information on TJREVERB may be found at https://activities.tjhsst.edu/cubesat/index.php
- HuskySat – University of Washington, Seattle will be boosted into a higher, 500km orbit via the Cygnus external deployment device, and will carry a V/U linear transponder provided in cooperation with AMSAT. The HuskySat web page is: https://sites.google.com/uw.edu/huskysatellitelab/huskysat-1
In addition to these, satellites scheduled for the ELaNa 25 launch that have already secured IARU coordination are:
- Argus – St. Louis University, Mo. (437 MHz telemetry)
- AzTechSat-1 – NASA Ames Research Center, Calif. (437 MHz telemetry)
- CySat – Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (436 MHz telemetry)
- Phoenix – Arizona State University, Tempe (437 & 2400 MHz telemetry)
- RadSat-U – Montana State University, Bozeman (437 MHz telemetry)
- SPOC – University of Georgia, Athens (437 & 2400 MHz telemetry)
- SwampSat II – University of Florida, Gainesville (437 & 2400 MHz telemetry)
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
2019 marks AMSAT’s 50th Anniversary of Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
To help celebrate, we are sponsoring the AMSAT 50th Anniversary Awards Program.
Full details are available at
AMSAT Academy at the Albuquerque Duke City Hamfest
AMSAT® Academy 2.0, which builds on last year’s day-long course to include: guidance on how to set up a portable satellite ground station; guidance on how to join a growing network of stations that capture, record, and submit amateur-radio satellite telemetry to a central repository; and practical tips for breaking the ice with local schools in order to fold amateur-radio satellite and Amateur Radio in the International Space Station (ARISS) activities into STEM education efforts.
This year’s AMSAT® Academy instructors include Robert Bankston, KE4AL, vice-president, User Services, Amateur Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), Ron Bondy, AD0DX, an AMSAT® Ambassador, and long-time satellite enthusiasts Dan Eggert, AC9E, and Bill Ripley, KY5Q, an embedded-systems architect. The course fee is $30, and includes breakfast and a copy of the organization’s “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites.”
[ANS thanks Bill Ripley, KY5Q, for the above information]
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
- Templestowe College, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, telebridge via VK6MJ. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The scheduled astronaut is Nick Hague KG5TMV. Contact is go for: Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 at 08:06:32 UTC 42 deg
- Boys and Girls Club, Ft. Meade, MD., telebridge via VK4KHZ. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The scheduled astronaut is Nick Hague KG5TMV. Contact is go for: Friday, 20 September, 2019 at 19:58:23 UTC 54 deg
- School in Bulgaria, direct via TBD. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS. The scheduled astronaut is TBD. Contact is go for Tuesday, 24 September at 16:10 UTC.
[ANS thanks ARISS team member Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, for the above information]
DM02 Satellite Expedition Sunday, September 22 – N6O/MM
Alex, N7AGF, and Ron, AD0DX, are planning to activate DM02 on Sunday, September 22, 2019 on FM and Linear satellites.
It’s a 5 or 6 hour boat trip to anchor off San Clemente Island. We will be on the water for 22 hours and operating around 10 hours beginning around 3:00 AM PDT (1000Z) on Sunday, September 22. The cost of the boat is $2500 and we would appreciate contributions to help offset this cost. In the 24 hours after posting to Twitter we have received around $1300 which Alex and I are very thankful for. The island has Verizon and AT&T and Alex has a Garmin InReach so we should be able to tweet passes. The plan is to make as many passes as possible once we start operating around 3:00 AM PDT. We may skip some of the low western passes.
We will be using N6O/mm and we have a qrz.com page with all the details: https://www.qrz.com/db/N6O
If you need the grid please give us a call! Of course this is dependent on the weather, but the captain says it has been a good September so far. If you are able to contribute financially we really appreciate the help to offset some of our costs. Details to contribute are on the N6O QRZ.com webpage.
[ANS thanks Ron, AD0DX, and Alex, N7AGF, for the above information.]
Upcoming Satellite Operations
- EN54/EN64 September 13-15
Brad Smith, KC9UQR, will be active on AO-91 and AO-92 while traveling this weekend in Wisconsin.
- DN11/DN12 + DN03 September 17, 2019
Casey, KI7UNJ is heading to the DN11/DN12 line, September 17th. Look for him on SO-50, AO-92, and AO-91, between 1657z and 1812z. On the way back, Casey will make a quick stop in DN03 to catch te 2043z PO-101 pass. Watch Casey’s Twitter feed for further updates https://twitter.com/KI7UNJ
- DM02/mm (need we say more) September 22, 2019
Ron, AD0DX, and Alex, N7AGF, are chartering a boat to the ultra-rare DM02 grid square. They will use the special event call sign November 6. Ocean/Maritime Mobile. Expected window of operation is from 1000z to 1900z, Sunday, September 22nd. More information is available on QRZ https://www.qrz.com/db/N6O to include how you can help support this monumental operation. Ron and Alex are expected to have cellular service out there, so keep an eye on their Twitter feeds https://twitter.com/ad0dx and https://twitter.com/N7AGF
- FP, ST. PIERRE & MIQUELON (GN17) September 24 to October 8, 2019
Eric, KV1J, will once again be oper ating from the Island of Miquelon (NA-032, DIFO FP-002 WLOTA 1417, Grid GN17) as FP/KV1J between September 24th and October 8th. This is his 13th trip to the island. Activity will be on 160-6 meters (no 60M – not author ized) using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8 (but primarily SSB, RTTY and FT8) and the satellites. He will generally be on the highest frequency band that is open (favoring 12/10m). He will be active in the CQWW DX RTTY Contest (September 28-29th). ADDED NOTE: Eric will usually try to be on as many Satellite passes as he can when the WX is good, generally favoring the FO-29, XW-2x, AO-7, and possibly the FM birds. Eric states, “Equipment is two FT-817s and an Arrow dual band yagi. I’ll favor the SSB birds usually higher in the passband, but will also try FM if they do not get too busy. Satellite logging is by paper so may not get loaded to LoTW until the week after I return to the USA.” Weekends may be limited since he will be concentrating on the low(er) bands and contests. QSL via KV1J, direct or by the Bureau. Also eQSL, ClubLog and LoTW. For more details and updates, check out his Web page at: http://www.kv1j.com/fp/Sep19.html
- Remember to check out W3ZM On the Road for additional upcoming activations! https://www.amsat.org/events/was-w3zm/
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
- The AMSAT-LU WSPR Picoballoon on 14.0956 USB released August 31 is about to complete its first circumnavigation of the globe after traveling 33,000 km in 12 days. AMSAT-LU appreciate any WSPR stations that help to receive it, AMSAT-LU will recognize with a certificate to stations that capture its 25 mW beacon. Also the APRS PicoBalloon (145.825 via Sat 1W) will be returning to South America. Full story with links at https://tinyurl.com/y5xkbrbr (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information)
- For Flashback Friday, AMSAT released disk images of Bob McGwier, N4HY’s QUIKTRAK for both the Commodore 64 and Apple II to provide a fun look back at the state-of-the art in satellite tracking in the mid-1980s. Check them out at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-258-FBF
- The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Hawaii has applied to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) for frequency coordination for the amateur radio payloads aboard its Neutron-1 spacecraft. The amateur payload will provide a V/U FM voice repeater for amateur and educational purposes. Proposed are 1k2-9k6 AX telemetry and FM voice UHF downlink and a VHF FM uplink. The Neutron-1 website is: https://www.hsfl.hawaii.edu/web/neutron1/ (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information)
- Japan called off a planned cargo ship launch to the International Space Station on September 10 after a fire erupted on the launch platform for the mission’s rocket. (ANS thanks Space.com for the above information)
- The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has signed a 5-year agreement to keep Dayton Hamvention® at the Greene County Expo Center. The agreement was announced on September 9. (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)
- After years of construction, China’s new radio telescope is in action. The telescope, called FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope) has double the collecting power of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which has a 305 meter dish. Until now, Arecibo was the world’s largest radio dish of its type. (ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)
- The College of Engineering at Villanova University has published a very nice feature story about the University’s involvement with ham satellites. The article, titled, “They May be Building Nanosatellites, but there’s Nothing Small about Villanova’s CubeSat Club,” may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/yytj6vsj Dr.Alan Johnston,KU2Y, VP-Educational Relations is the faculty advisor.
- An article by Karl-Heinz Krawczyk, DL1GKK, describes how to install amateur radio software on the Raspberry Pi to provide the popular data modes, SSTV, satellite tracking, SDR, rig control and logbook. The English language article is available on the site of Indonesia’s national amateur radio society ORARI: https://tinyurl.com/y4gb82hb (ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)
- An interesting article on Satellite collisions has been published this week in SatNews Daily: https://tinyurl.com/yyk3f2q2 (ANS thanks Christy Hunter, KB6LTY, for the above information)
- Help AMSAT return to Greater Orbits with Larger Footprints with exciting technologies like attitude control and determination and software-defined transponders utilizing microwave bands. Consider a one-time or recurring donation today: https://tinyurl.com/y5kupb55
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,
K0JM at amsat dot org