ANS-276 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Oct. 3


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 publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

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In this edition:

  • Past AMSAT President and Director, and Amateur Satellite Pioneer Tom Clark, K3IO, SK
  • 2021 AMSAT Space Symposium to Honor the Late Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for October 1, 2021
  • Call for Papers for the AMSAT Space Symposium
  • October 1st JAXA Epsilon Launch Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Scrubbed, Launch Now October 3rd
  • Apogee View – From the July/August 2021 AMSAT Journal
  • Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for September 30, 2021
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

ANS-276 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2021 Oct 3

Past AMSAT President and Director, and Amateur Satellite Pioneer Tom Clark, K3IO, SK

AMSAT-NA Past President and ham radio satellite and digital pioneer Tom Clark, K3IO (ex-W3IWI), of Columbia, Maryland, died on September 28 after a short illness and hospital stay. An ARRL Life Member, he was 82. Clark’s accomplishments are legendary, and he left a lasting footprint in the worlds of amateur radio satellites and digital techniques.

“His long-time technical achievements, mentoring to others, and technical leadership will be missed by his many peers and friends the world over,” said Bob McGwier, N4HY.

To honor Clark, AMSAT has rebranded its upcoming annual gathering as the 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting. It will take place on October 30 via Zoom. (AMSAT members may register to attend via AMSAT’s Membership and Event portal.) The event will be livestreamed on AMSAT’s YouTube channel.

A founding member of Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR), Clark was a co-founder of the TAPR/AMSAT DSP Project, which led to software-defined radio (SDR). He was a leader in the development of the AX.25 packet radio protocol. Clark served as AMSAT’s second President, from 1980 until 1987. He also served on the AMSAT and TAPR Boards.

In concert with McGwier, Clark developed the first amateur Digital Signal Processing (DSP) hardware, including a number of modems. He developed the uplink receivers and the spacecraft LAN (local area network) architecture used on all the Microsats (AMSAT-OSCAR 16, Dove-OSCAR 17, WEBERSAT-OSCAR 18, LUSAT-OSCAR 19, Italy-OSCAR 26, AMRAD-OSCAR 27, and TMSAT-OSCAR 31). McGwier said it was Clark who convinced him in 1985 that the future lay in DSP.

“We started the TAPR/AMSAT DSP [digital signal processing] project, and it was announced in 1987,” McGwier recounted. “We showed in our efforts that small stations with small antennas could bounce signals off the moon, and, using the power of DSP, we could see the signals in our computer displays.” This led to the software-defined transponder (SDX) for satellite work, including ARISSat and AMSAT’s Phase 3E.

Clark received a doctorate in astrogeophysics from the University of Colorado. He went on to serve as Chief of the Astronomy Branch at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and was a Senior Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he was principal investigator for the Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) activity there.

In 2005, Clark became the first non-Russian to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences for his contributions to the international VLBI network. He is a member of the 2001 class of CQ magazine’s Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.

In 2016, ARRL awarded Clark with its President’s Award, to recognize his 60 years of advancing amateur radio technology. On that occasion, McGwier said, “There would be no AMSAT to inspire all of this work without Tom Clark. Tom…saved the organization and inspired all of us to look to the future and aim for the stars.”

Clark was a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the International Association of Geodesy.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information]

Join the 2021 President’s Club!
Score your 2″ 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin.
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2021 AMSAT Space Symposium to Honor the Late Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO

The 2021 AMSAT 39th Annual Space Symposium and General Meeting has been renamed in honor of Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO (SK), Director Emeritus and President Emeritus of AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellite pioneer. Clark died on September 28th. He was 82.

The 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on Zoom on October 30th. AMSAT members may register to attend via AMSAT’s Member Portal,

The 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium will also be available to the general public as a livestream event on AMSAT’s YouTube channel,

Please join us to celebrate the many contributions of Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, and the exciting opportunities of Amateur Radio in space.

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

VUCC Awards-Endorsements for October 1,2021

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period September 1, 2021 through October 1, 2021. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

Congratulations to Douglas Tabor N6UA on achieving the AMSAT GridMaster

CALL Sept. October

K8DP 1262 1275 ex-KD8CAO
N8RO 1105 1111
N0JE 675 681
ND0C 531 555
KF6JOQ 503 553
N4DCW 476 525
VE1VOX 507 510
WA4HFN 454 505
K5TA 479 500
W8LR 479 500
KX9X 302 420
DF2ET 300 400
VE4MM 361 376
EA2AA 346 375
KX9X (EN50) 250 363
KQ4DO 306 353
KA9P 259 301
AD5JK 102 263
KD0ZW New 216
XE2YWH 187 205
VE3KY 182 201
XE1MYO 100 200
N8MR 154 175
DG7RO New 172
KN4ZUJ 100 170
KC1MEB 102 168
N8URE (EL95) 134 163
N0RC 104 151
N1DM New 151
WD9EWK (DM25) New 120
XE2YWH (DL82) New 110
OE7BJT New 107
XE2YWH (DL82) New 105
9M2CQC New 104
JH0BBE New 100
W3VHF New 100
XE2HWB New 100

If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at <mycall>@<mycall>.com and I’ll revise the announcement.This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned. Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing a lot of the work!

[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN, 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.


Call for Papers for the AMSAT Space Symposium Proceedings

This is a call for papers for the 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting to be held virtually on the weekend of October 29-31, 2021.

Proposals for symposium presentations are invited on any topic of interest to the amateur satellite community. We request a tentative title of your presentation as soon as possible, with final copy submitted by October 18 for inclusion in the symposium proceedings. Abstracts and papers should be sent to Dan Schultz, N8FGV at n8fgv at

[ANS thanks Dan Schultz, N8FGV, 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, now manifested for launch on
NASA’s ELaNa 46 mission. Come along for the ride. The journey will be
worth it!


October 1st JAXA Epsilon Launch Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Scrubbed, Launch Now October 3rd

The fifth launch of JAXA’s Epsilon rocket was scheduled to take place on October 1st at 00:51 UTC. Due to ground equipment problems, the launch was scrubbed. The launch is now scheduled to occur at the time of release of this bulletin (00:00 UTC on October 3rd)

This launch carries four amateur radio satellites: TeikyoSat-4(TS-4), Z-Sat, KOSEN-1, and NanoDragon.

Information about these satellites can be found at the links that follow:

Freq: 437.450 CW

Freq: 145.875MHz CW

Komaki Amateur SATCOM Club has an amateur radio station in Komaki City, Japan.

The 50 kg class infrared observation microsatellite “Z-Sat” developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will be launched by the Epsilon rocket on October 1st.

After satellite separation, Z-Sat will start transmitting CW beacon of VHF band. The beacon signal is in Morse code and contains information such as satellite battery voltage. This information is very important as survival information immediately after the satellite is put into orbit.

Therefore, if you can receive the beacon signal from the satellite immediately after the satellite launch, we would appreciate it if you could report it.

Komaki Amateur SATCOM Club’s twitter is open at the following address:

Information on Z-Sat transmission frequency, data format, orbit TLE, etc. will be released in the future.


Freq: 435.525MHz CW

Freq: 437.365MHz 1.2k BPSK

[ANS thanks Akira Kaneko, JA1OGZ, and Yasutaka Narusawa, JR2XEA, for the above information]

Apogee View – From the July/August 2021 AMSAT Journal

A Sustained FM Presence in LEO

While our volunteer engineers focus their efforts on GOLF, developing the systems and technologies necessary for our path upward to HEO, we must not forget our responsibility to promote amateur radio satellites and encourage the next generation of operators and builders.

Advancing the art and science is not enough. We also need to provide an easy entry point to amateur radio satellite communications to support of our space education and outreach activities.

The Importance of EasySats

AMSAT’s Echo (AO-51) and Fox-1 (AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92) satellites, as well as SaudiSat-1C (SO-50) have been the most widely used amateur satellites. What makes them so popular is their ability to provide basic radio communications, with very simple ground station equipment, and their ease of use. An FM repeater, even in a low Earth orbit (LEO), allows amateur radio operators to communicate over substantial distances using just a handheld transceiver (an HT) and a small handheld directional antenna. Cross-continental and, if you are lucky enough to live near the coast, transcontinental communications are possible.

These so called “EasySats” have provided countless hours of enjoyment to thousands and thousands of amateur radio satellite operators around the world, making QSOs, chasing grids, and even just a chance to send out a casual hello to an old friend. More importantly, FM satellites are extremely valuable in providing an introduction to satellite communications and often used for demonstrations given at schools and public events.

With AO-85’s battery failure and AO-91 and AO-92 on borrowed time, AMSAT will soon find itself without an FM satellite in space. The time to act is now.

The Proposal

AMSAT’s Strategic Plan, Objective 4.1, FM Operations gives us fairly specific guidance: Develop, deploy, and support a series of 1u spacecraft to support continued FM amateur satellite operations in low Earth orbit. As such, any proposal must include a sustained FM presence in LEO.

The Fox-1 CubeSat series taught us some valuable lessons. First, batteries in in a 1U CubeSat are more likely to have a three-year life span, rather than the expected five years. Keeping battery levels above the minimal voltage rating is critical. The popularity of AMSAT’s FOX-1 series, especially at night, when the satellite was in eclipse, was the primary cause of their shortened battery life. Any proposal must include both battery management and battery failsafe. The design must include provisions that automatically switch the satellite to Low Power Mode (beacon and telemetry only), when the battery voltage drops to a cautionary level, and then automatically return to normal operations, when sufficient battery power is restored. In addition, the satellite must be designed so that when the battery fails, the transponder can continue to operate when the satellite is in sunlight. Similarly, the design should include an autonomous capability so that the FM repeater can operate without relying on ground control or a functioning processor in the command, control, and telemetry module. These safeguards and failsafes should extend the usable life of our satellites.

Second, it is impossible to keep a strict schedule, when relying on a “free ride” under NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ElaNa) initiative. Once accepted into the program and manifested on a launch, you are at the mercy of the launch provider, and things don’t always go as scheduled. Case in point, Fox-1D (AO-92) launched before Fox-1C (AO-95). To ensure the launch of one satellite every three years, we will need to purchase launches. In addition, we need to have a “flight spare” on standby in case there is an integration inspection issue with the primary satellite or a subsequent launch failure.

The Challenges

Every satellite project requires both people and funding. As mentioned already, all of our engineers are consumed by our GOLF program. This leaves us with either open-sourcing the project or purchasing a commercial, off-the-shelf satellite. Open-sourcing would work for the initial design process; however, there is no current precedent to allow the open-source building of a satellite under U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

While there are many commercial companies that offer complete off-the-shelf 1U CubeSat platforms, only one includes an FM repeater that meets our mission requirements. Purchasing a ready-to-fly CubeSat seems to be our best course of action, given AMSAT engineers’ focus on GOLF, but it comes at a cost.

Two 1U FM CubeSats (flight model and flight spare), a 1U FM CubeSat engineering model (without solar panels) and a 500 KM, Sun-synchronous orbit launch will cost just over $283,000. Each additional launch, one every three years, will cost approximately $138,000, as we would only need to purchase one CubeSat and the launch.

So that leaves us with the big question – How are we going to pay for it? An FM satellite provides a world-wide benefit. Therefore, we need to conduct an international fundraising campaign, partner with other AMSAT organizations, and request funding from other organizations.

The benefits of providing a sustained FM presence in LEO to promote and support amateur radio in space far outweighs the costs, especially when we implement a plan that allows our AMSAT engineers to continue their efforts on our path Onward & Upward.

If approved by our Board of Directors, I hope you will support us.

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

Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for September 30, 2021

The following satellite has been added to this week’s AMSAT TLE Distribution:

CUTE – NORAD Cat ID 49263 (Thanks to Nico Janssen, PA0DLO for the identification. Downlink frequencies of 437.24997 MHz and 2402.000 MHz have been IARU coordinated.)

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Keplerian Elements Manager, for the above information]


Lycée Pierre Paul Riquet, St Orens De Gameville, France and CSUT University Space Center of Toulouse, Toulouse, France, Multi-point telebridge via IK1SLD

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be FXØISS
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
The scheduled astronaut is Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG

Contact is go for: Sat 2021-10-02 12:40:14 UTC 34 deg

Watch for Livestream at and

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.

Columbus Module radios:
IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS – Configured. Supporting cross band repeater (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). Next mode change is to packet operation (145.825 MHz up & down) after the school contact on October 2.​​
Power down for upcoming Soyuz docking on Oct. 05. Turning OFF Oct. 05 about 07:45 UTC. Back ON Oct. 05 about 18:50 UTC
Power down for upcoming Soyuz undocking on Oct. 17.
Power down for upcoming Progress relocate on Oct. 22-23.
Supporting USOS scheduled voice contacts, packet and voice repeater ops.

Service Module radios:
Kenwood D710E – STATUS – Radio usually off.​ ​​
Power down for upcoming Soyuz docking on Oct. 05. Turning OFF Oct. 05 about 07:45 UTC.
Power down for upcoming Soyuz undocking on Oct. 17.
Power down for upcoming Progress relocate on Oct. 22-23.
Supporting ROS scheduled voice contacts and SSTV.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at

[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


Upcoming Satellite Operations

K8BL: I’ll be going back to FN01, 02 & EN92 soon. Looking to do FN14 this Fall.

N4DCW: Looking like I’ll be in EM90 all next week 10/3-10

N4DCW: Sunday, Oct 3, 2021 – EM85 Sat passes 1230Z-1400Z W4C/CM-036, Max Patch Mountain (8 pts) *Little/No cell coverage*

VY0ERC in Nunavut (ER60) will be returning to the air between October 12, 2021 and November 22, 2021, weather permitting.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, 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.

2021 Wyoming ARRL Section Convention – Saturday, October 9, 2021

Event Center at Archer
3921 Archer Pkwy
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82007

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page 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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ JARL has released the FO-29 operation schedule for September. It can be found at

+ JAMSAT has released the FO-99 operation schedule for October. It can be found at

+ Congratulations to Doug Tabor, N6UA, on receiving the 34th AMSAT GridMaster Award. The GridMaster Award is issued to amateurs who work and confirm QSOs via satellite with all 488 grid squares in the continental United States. More information at (Thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards)

+ An acrylic GridMaster desk plaque is now available on the AMSAT store for GridMaster Award recipients.


Join AMSAT today at

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org