ANS-363 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 29


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. 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:

In this edition:

  • First Element of ARISS Next Generation Radio System Readied for Launch on SpaceX CRS-20
  • ARISS SSTV Event Planned for December 28 – January 1
  • Reminder: AMSAT CW Day on January 1
  • Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for December 26
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

First Element of ARISS Next Generation Radio System Readied for Launch on SpaceX CRS-20

IORS with TM-D710GA

During this Holiday Season, when the spirit of giving and receiving gifts reigns high, ARISS received a special gift and delivered a phenomenal gift to the international community. This occurred on Thursday December 19, 2019.

Our international gift to all—students, STEM education, the public and the amateur radio community—was the historic transfer of the first Interoperable Radio System (IORS) flight unit, serial number 1001, to NASA Johnson Space Center for launch on SpaceX CRS-20. The special gift received by ARISS was the approval from NASA Safety to launch the IORS on SpaceX CRS-20 and stow the radio system on the International Space Station. December 19, 2019 was truly a banner day for ARISS!

The IORS is a foundational element of the ARISS next generation radio system and is an incredible engineering achievement by the ARISS hardware team. This first element delivery will support easier radio mode transitions and enable new, exciting capabilities for hams, students and the general public. The IORS will include a higher power radio, an enhanced voice repeater, updated digital packet radio (APRS) capabilities and slow scan television (SSTV) capabilities for both the US and Russian segments. The IORS consists of a special, modified JVC Kenwood TM-D710GA transceiver, an AMSAT-developed multi voltage power supply and interconnecting cables.

This first flight IORS will be installed in the ISS Columbus module. A second flight unit is expected to be launched sometime in 2020 for installation in the Russian Service module. A total of 4 flight units and 10 total units will be built by the ARISS hardware team to support on-board flight operations, training, operations planning and hardware testing. Future upgrades and enhancements to the next generation system are in various stages of design & development. These include a repaired Ham Video system (currently planned for launch in mid-to-late 2020), L-band (uplink) repeater, ground command operations capability, LimeSDR signal reception, a microwave “Ham Communicator” and Lunar Gateway prototype experiment.

While yesterday was truly an historic milestone, it should be noted that there is still much “heavy lifting” work to be done to prepare the IORS for Operations on ISS. ARISS has 92 engineering requirements and our operations Phase III safety review to complete. The space agencies take a position of “Trust but Verify.” Thus, these engineering and safety “verifications” all need to be closed out before the IORS can be unstowed and turned on. This will be the ARISS hardware team’s focus over the next few months.

Also, please remember that ARISS is almost entirely run by volunteers. So donations to the ARISS program for next generation hardware developments, operations, education and administrative functions are always welcome. Please go to if you want to contribute to our efforts!

In closing, ARISS would like to thank the outstanding contributions of the IORS hardware development team on an incredible radio system. ARISS would like to thank our sponsors and donors for helping us realize the IORS hardware systems. On behalf of the ARISS team, we would like to wish you all a joyful and prosperous Holiday Season — Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!!

Ad Astra! To the Stars!

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs

[ANS thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT Vice President – Human Spaceflight and ARISS International Chair for the above information]

Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

ARISS SSTV Event Planned for December 28 – January 1

ARISS is planning an SSTV event featuring commemorative images. This event is currently scheduled to begin on December 28, 2019 at 11:00 UTC and ends at 18:20 UTC on January 1, 2020. Please make note that sometimes changes may occur in the crew work schedule that could affect our SSTV transmission dates and times, so frequently check our ARISS Facebook and Twitter accounts shown below for any updates before and throughout the event.

Transmissions will be sent at 145.800 MHz FM in the SSTV mode PD-120. Once received, images can be posted and viewed by the public at and you can receive a special SSTV ARISS Award for posting your image. See for details. Also for simplicity, we have added a new information tab for SSTV events, under the General Contacts pulldown menu at .

[ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations for the above information]

Reminder: AMSAT CW Day on January 1

You are cordially invited to take part in AMSAT CW Activity Day 2020 sponsored by AMSAT for all radio amateurs throughout the world. The 2020 event will be held in memory of Larry Brown, W7LB, and Keith Pugh, W5IU. Among their many contributions to AMSAT, they were the AMSAT 20-meter net for many years.

Participation is easy. Just operate CW through any Amateur Radio satellite on 1 January 2020. Use of straight keys or bugs is encouraged but not required. If you use AO-7, please observe the QRP rules currently in effect for that 45-year-old satellite. May it be with us for many years to come!

[ANS thanks Raphael Soifer, W2RS, AMSAT Senior Advisor for the above information.]

The digital download version of the 2019 edition of
Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available
as a DRM-free PDF from the AMSAT Store. Get yours today!

Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for December 26

This week’s AMSAT TLE distribution reflects the following two satellite name changes per ANS Bulletin 356.01 dated December 22, 2019:

  • SMOG-P (Cat. ID 44832) is now MO-105 (Magyar-OSCAR 105) and ATL-1 (Cat. ID 44830) is now MO-106 (Magyar-OSCAR 106).
    (Per Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator)
  • The following Amateur Radio satellite has been added to this week’s TLE distribution:
  • FloripaSat 1 – NORAD CAT ID 44830 (Taiyuan Space Center launch, 12/20/2019).
    (Thanks to Nico Janseen, PA0DLO, for satellite identification.)
  • CAS-6 was launched as a piggyback satellite on TIANQIN-1 on December 20, 2019 via a CZ-4B launch vehicle from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Still awaiting a satellite signal, thus the CAT ID has not been positively identified as yet. More later.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager 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.

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to
encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Satellite Shorts:

  • Dec 27-30 EM90 N4DCW – vacation style (Twitter: @MWimages)
  • Dec 27-30 EL86 K4WPX FM
  • Dec 30 EM94 (overnight) – vacation style (Twitter: @MWimages)
  • Dec 30-Jan 01 EL87/88 K4WPX FM
  • Jan 02 EM58/68 WB9VPG Midday passes on AO-91/92

Rover Activations:

  • Wyoming (DN71,DN72,DN81,DN82) December 31, 2019
    Doug, N6UA, and RJ, WY7AA are teaming up with special guest operator Ron, AD0DX, to activate the DN71, DN72, DN81, DN82 grid corner on December 31st. Plan is to be there for the morning FM passes and stay until they get bored. FM and SSB.
  • Mississippi River Delta (EL58) January 4, 2019
    Ron AD0DX, Brian KG5GJT, and Robert KE4AL will operate as W5M/mm from the mouth of the Mississippi River (EL58) on January 4th. This will be a 6-hour activation from approximately 1430z to 2030z, on FM and linear satellites. Further information will be posted as it comes available.
  • Labrador (GO11 +) January 19-27, 2019
    Chris VE3FU, Dave VE9CB, and Frank VO1HP will be active as VO2AC in the 2020 CQ160 CW contest, January 24-26, from Point Armour Lighthouse, in Labrador. If time permits before the contest, they may be active on FM satellites from GO11 as VO2AC or VO2AAA. Depending on weather and timing of passes, you might catch them on FM satellites as they make their way from FO93 to GO-11, passing through FO92, GO02, GO13, GO12, and GO22 along the way, but no promises. They will also make the reverse trek on January 27.
  • Big Bend National Park (DL88) March 16-17, 2020
    Ron AD0DX, Doug N6UA, and Josh W3ARD will operate from Big Bend National Park to put grid DL88 on the air. Details will be added here as they come available, but you are more than welcome to keep an eye on their individual Twitter feeds:,, and

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at)

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP – User Services, 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 

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • (@Zarya_Info) reports that on Dec 18 at ~01:00 UTC, the Meteor M2-2 meteorological satellite collided with an item of space debris and entered a tumble. This event reduced orbit SMA by 1 km and height from 813 x 815 km to 811 x 814 km. The satellite is now stabilized and communicating. Damage is being assessed.
  • Mike Thomas, KB8BMY, has made a video for those of you wanting to take the next step to Linear Ham Radio Satellites. He shows how he put his station together: My Linear Satellite Setup / KB8BMY / How to Set Up a Portable Linear Station:
  • Satellite antennas don’t need to be very high, but tower safety is always a good topic for amateurs:
  • Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1445 listed these two satellite activations:
  • 7X, ALGERIA. Members of the “Association des Radio Amateurs Tunisiens” (ARAT) are traveling to Algeria to conduct a joint Low Bands DXpedition with five members of the “Amateurs Radio Algeriens” (ARA) between December 28th and January 2nd (2020). The team is led by Afif/7X2RO and Ash/3V8SS/KF5EYY, and will also includes Ahmed/3V1B/KG5OUE (22 years), Marwa/3V8CB (24 years, YL), Mohamed/7X3TL (27 years), Mohamed/7X5FG, Redha/7X5QB and Abdelghani/7X2TT/M0NPT. The operators will be focusing on working as many stations as possible on 160 and 80 meters as well as the other HF bands and Satellites. Modes will be CW/SSB/FT8. QSL via 7X2RO and LoTW. There will be ClubLog Live Streaming. For more details on how to help and/or LF skeds, E-mail Ash at: ash.kf5eyy at  Your financial support will be used to cover youngsters’ costs.
  • VO2, CANADA (Zone 2). Operators Chris/VE3FU (VO2AC), Frank/VO1HP and Dave/VE9CB (VO2AAA) will be active as VO2AC during the 2020 CQWW 160M CW Contest (January 24-26th) from the Point Amour Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada, on the south coast of the rare Labrador (LB) multiplier. Point Amour is located in the southeast part of CQ Zone 2, and has a salt water path from NE clockwise through SW. The team will be putting in a serious Multi-Op/High-Power effort as VO2AC. Expect some pre contest activity as VO2AC, VO1HP/VO2 and VO2AAA on 160m as they get their wire vertical array and beverage working; they will especially be looking for JA/Asia on CW and FT8. If time permits, they may also be active before the contest on 80m, 60m, 40m and the FM satellites (AO-85, AO-91 and AO-92) from Grid GO11.


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.

73 and remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org