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 http://www.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.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://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/
In this edition:
- AMSAT Board of Directors Meets, Officers Elected
- AMSAT Board of Directors Hears Various Reports
- AMSAT Board of Directors Considers Proposals
- 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium a Success
- New Version of WSJT-X Available
- FO-29 operation schedule for Nov. 2021
- ARISS News
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
ANS-304 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 Oct 31
AMSAT Board of Directors Meets, Officers Elected
The AMSAT Board of Directors, including newly elected Board members, met via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 29. The day-long meeting included the election of officers for the 2022 year. Elected were:
- President, Robert Bankston, KE4AL
- Executive Vice President, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
- Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY
- Vice-President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
- Vice-President of User Services, vacant
- Vice-President Educational Relations, Alan Johnston, KU2Y
- Vice-President Development, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
- Secretary, vacant
- Treasurer, Steve Belter, N9IP
The Board Meeting was livestreamed on YouTube and open to public view.
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
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AMSAT Board of Directors Hears Various Reports
The AMSAT Board of Directors, including newly elected Board members, met via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 29. The day-long meeting included hearing reports on a vast array of projects and initiatives from officers and team leaders:
- President Robert Bankston, KE4EL, reported that membersip numbers are holding strong, and that recent administrative modernization has reduced overhead costs by more than 30%.
- Treasurer Steve Belter, N9IP, affirmed the good news about finances. AMSAT is operating “in the black,” and new electronic systems for handling transactions are working well.
- VP Development, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, noted that, despite AMSAT’s solid financial standing, additional funds are needed to design, build, and launch satellites. Thus, an effort to apply for grants from philanthropic organizations and corporate sponsors is underway. He also updated plans for the AMSAT Youth Initiative to launch in early 2022.
- VP Educational Relations, Alan Johnston, KU2Y, reported on the CubeSat Simulator and High Altitude Balloon projects that have been utilized in classrooms and school amateur radio clubs. Volunteers are being sought to develop lesson plans and curriculum for junior high and high school students.
- David Taylor, W8AAS, AMSAT Delegate to ARISS-International, updated the Board on ARISS school contacts, classroom lessons and hardware kits, as well as the on-board equipment on the space station.
- Executive Vice President, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, reported on regulatory issues, including loss of the 3.3-3.5 GHz band and new leadership at the FCC.
- Vice-President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, provided a recap of current AMSAT satellites and their status. It was noted that AO-91 and AO-92 are in the “end of life” mode, and users are implored to avoid accessing these satellites during eclipse.
- Following a recess for lunch, AMSAT Journal editor, Joe Kornowski, KB6IGK, previewed ong-range plans to move the Journal from Adobe Acrobat format to a fully digital format that would allow live links to resources both on and beyond the member portal.
- Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Website and IT Manager, updated the Board on the past year’s transition to a new email platform and highlighted the demands for more expertise as web and IT services become more critical to the organization.
- AMSAT Contests and Awards, and the AMSAT Store, are both managed by Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Ways of promoting awards and store items were discussed.
- VP Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, reported on future satellite projects:
– Linear Transponder Module currently being provided to the University of Maine for their MESAT1 to be launched next year.
– GOLF-TEE is under construction and has been added to a launch manifest, tentatively for summer of 2022. Supply chain issues are impacting construction.
– GOLF-1 is planned for delivery one year after completion of GOLF-TEE. Much about this and future GOLF satellites will depend on what is learned from GOLF-TEE.
– Orbital Debris Assessment Regulations (ODAR) complicate the design and licensing of the GOLF 3-U platforms. NASA/FCC assessments assume a worst-case scenario in which everything fails. If everything works, the service life of the satellite is drastically reduced.
– Current projects are stretching the available human resources, and additional volunteers are needed to assist in the building of satellite hardware.
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
AMSAT Board of Directors Considers Proposals
At an online Zoom meeting held on Friday, Oct. 29, the AMSAT Board of Directors considered a list of proposals. Adopted were…
* Resolved, that the Board of Directors authorizes the senior officers to acquire a commercially-built FM satellite, including a launch, contingent on funding being received from external sources covering at least 90% of the total cost.
* To authorize the creation of a working group to evaluate opportunities for a flight to a High Earth Orbit / Highly Elliptical Orbit.
* That the President be instructed to create an ITAR/EAR/Open Source policy and that he be authorized to expend up to $10,000 for the retention of legal counsel to assist in the effort.
[ANS thanks AMSAT 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.
2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium a Success
The AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium a Success was held online on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMSAT changed plans for its 39th Annual Symposium and General Meeting from an in-person event to a virtual event. Additionally, the 2021 AMSAT 39th Annual Space Symposium and General Meeting was 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.
Highlights of the event included:
- Bob McGwier, N4HY, presented a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO
- Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, with Mark Hammond, N8MH, presented a summary of the efforts to recover AO-109
- Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T/NB2T, IARU Satellite Advisor, provided an update on the work of the IARU Satellite Panel
- Mike Parker, KT7D, University of Arizona, gave a briefing on the CatSat project
- Nick Pugh, K5QXJ, presented on the University of Louisiana CAPE satellite program
- Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, presented on Open Source Flight Software Frameworks from NASA
- Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Jim McLaughlin, KI6ZUM, and David White, WD6DRI provided a briefing on the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator and CubeSatSim Lite
- David White, WD6DRI, Jim McLaughlin, KI6ZUM, Bernadette Lally, and Alan Johnston, KU2Y presented on the use of high-altitude balloon transponders as tools for STEM education
- Dave Taylor, W8AAS, and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, provided an overview and update on ARISS
- VP Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, provided updates on the Fox and GOLF programs
The day ended with the AMSAT Annual General Meeting, at which public announcement was made of some of the proposals approved by the AMSAT Board of Directors the previous day.
The 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be available to the general public on AMSAT’s YouTube channel, https://youtu.be/RTvcceM7Tz0 at no cost.
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
New Version of WSJT-X Available
The WSJT-X development team has announced the general availability release of WSJT-X version 2.5.1. This release mainly contains improvements and repairs defects related to Q65 and JT65 when used with nonstandard and compound call signs. Those planning to use Q65 or JT65 to make weak-signal contacts involving a nonstandard call sign should upgrade to this version. Also included is a new feature for microwave aircraft scatter, as well as repairs for bugs detected since the general availability release of version 2.5.0. A complete listing of changes is available in the Release Notes. Links to WSJT-X 2.5.1 installation packages for Windows, Linux, and Mac are available.
[Amateurs using FT4 or other digital modes on linear satellites are reminded to reduce power to the absolute minimum necessary for communication in order to avoid taxing the transponder power budget. In FT4, it is seldom necessary to run more than a watt or so to achieve perfect copy through RS-44 or other satellites.]
[ANS thanks ARRL 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
FO-29 operation schedule for Nov. 2021
The FO-29 transponder will be switched on as the satellite passes over Japan on the following dates and times. It will remain on until the onboard low voltage safety circuit triggers shutdown. Thus, the satellite may or may not be active when passing over areas in eclipse. All dates and times are UTC:
6th 00:05- 10:23- 23:10-
13th 00:40- 10:58- 23:45-
21st 00:20- 10:35-
27th 00:05- 10:21- 23:10-
Also, schedules for FO-99 are published periodically at https://www.jamsat.or.jp/?p=1627
[ANS thanks Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU, and JAMSAT 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
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.
A successful school contact was completed on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 18:31z between astronaut Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Tarwater Elementary School, Chandler, AZ, using a multi-point telebridge via W7MRF. Congratulations to the Tarwater Elementary School students and Shane! The contact was livestreamed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPilOdNyB3F9NG8F8TTK_Bw
The next schedule contact is with Ural State University of Railways and Communications, Yekaterinburg, Russia, direct via TBD. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS and the scheduled astronaut is Pyotr Dubrov. Contact is go for 2021-11-11 at 16 00 UTC.
The next ARISS mode change is expected to occur at the end of October.
The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
[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 https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
Galapagos Islands: HD8, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. Members of the Tifariti Gang/DX Friends will be active as HD8R from Galapagos Islands (SA-004) between October 26th and November 7th. Operators mentioned are Toni/EA5RM (Team Leader), Alberto/EA1SA, Gen/EA5EL, Raul/EA5KA, Javier/EA5KM, Manuel/EA7R, Jose Ramón/EA7X, Flo/F5CWU, Jean Jacques/F5NKX, Tony/F8ATS, Fausto/HC5VF, Faber/HK6F, Simone/IK5RUN and Fabrizio/IN3ZNR. The pilot station will be Tony, EC7ZK. Activity will be on 160-6 meters, including 60m, using CW, SSB, the Digital modes and low orbit satellites, with at least 4 stations that include Spiderbeams, verticals, Inverted “Ls” and beverages. Check with K9JKM for details.
NA-008. (Zone 2) After being silent for 18 months, operators Alex/VE1RUS and Pierre/VE3TKB will once again be active as VY0ERC from the Eureka Weather station this October. This station is operated by the Eureka Amateur Radio Club [probably the most northerly located amateur radio club in the world] from Eureka, Nunavut. The VY0ERC team (VE1RUS and VE3KTB) is now in preparation to be active from the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory between October 12th and November 22nd, (time and weather conditions permitting). They plan to participate in CQWW DX SSB and the ARRL Sweepstakes Contests. Outside of the contests, the suggested bands are 40 and 20 meters (possibly 80m), as well as FM satellites (from ER60, EQ79) using SSB, the Digital modes (FT8 and RTTY) and very slow CW. Activity will be limited to their spare time. QSL via M0OXO, OQRS or direct. For updates, see: https://twitter.com/vy0erc
[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.
None currently scheduled.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ A video of the talks given at the 36th annual AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium on October 24, 2021, is now available on YouTube, see https://amsat-uk.org/2021/10/25/video-of-amsat-uk-space-colloquium-talks/ (ANS thanks Trevor Essex, M5AKA, and AMSAT-UK for the above information)
+ The Philippines’ second microsatellite, Diwata-2, marked its third year in space on Thursday, Oct. 29. The 57-kilogram satellite was launched into space on Oct. 29, 2018 hitching a ride via H-IIA F4 rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 04:08z, and started orbiting in space at 04:51. (ANS thanks the Manila Bulletin for the above information)
+ A distance record has been claimed on AO-109. K8YSE in EN91dh reported completing a CW QSO with AA5PK in DM91sk on 26-Oct-2021 at 01:22 UTC. Also, a new distance record has been set on PO-101 (@Diwata2PH ). F4DXV in JN04or70cl and A65GC in LL74el99hm completed a 5,256 km QSO on 10-Oct-2021. Congratulations to all! Distance records for all satellites are recorded at https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/ (ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information)
+ Due to weather, lift off for SpaceX’s newest Dragon spaceship “Endurance” has been postponed to Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 05:10z. The launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will carry Raja Chari, KI5LIU, Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC, Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, and Kayla Barron, KI5LAL. Watch continuous coverage of their entire ride on NASA TV at https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive. (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)
+ A TV meteorologist in Louisville, KY, Bryce Jones, did a Halloween feature story on “Zombie Satellites.” You can read his spooky story at https://bit.ly/314td61 (ANS thanks WDRB.com for the above information)
+ AMSAT’s December 2020 Financial Review has been posted to the AMSAT website at https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Financial_Statement_Review_2020.pdf
+ The minutes of the June 1, 2021 AMSAT Board of Directors Teleconference have been posted to the AMSAT website at https://bit.ly/2ZzCvGm
Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/
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] amsat.org for additional membership information.
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
This week’s ANS Editor, Mark Johns, K0JM
k0jm at amsat dot org