ANS-152 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for May 31st

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@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: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day
  • IARU-R2 Workshop Videos Available
  • Digital Mode Experiments Conducted on Linear Satellites
  • SpaceX Launches Successfully Toward ISS
  • Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First
  • Mid-Altitude Balloon Race Planned for June 1
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All

Over SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-152.01
ANS-152 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 152.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 May 31
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-152.01

Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL/AMSAT Field Days

ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the 2020 ARRL Field Day to adjust for Covid-19 restrictions. An AMSAT parallel event is held at the same time, and the rules for that have been adjusted, as well.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from 3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, be- cause many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class. The waivers may be found at: https://bit.ly/3de5AJt

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) promotes its own version of Field Day for operation via the amateur satellites, held con- currently with the ARRL event. The rules for the AMSAT Field Day may be found at: https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020fd.pdf

This will mean that there will be another group of certificates for AMSAT Field Day: The top three stations operating from home with commercial power.

The problem is with those operating from home attaching their scores to a club. Because AMSAT only allows one satellite station to be operating at a time, if you are going to attach your satellite contact to a club, only ONE home station can attach per club. This will keep the playing field rather equal as there are areas where there is only one satellite op around and other areas where there are dozens of satellite ops. It would be unfair for an area with a dozen satellite ops to pool all their home contacts towards one club.

Even if satellite operators took turns operating in shifts, it would make it very difficult to score entries correctly. That is why AMSAT has chosen to allow only one satellite home station could be attached to a single club. CLUB NAME MUST BE IDENTIFIED IN THE ENTRY.

There will also be no duplicate certificates. If you are attaching your score to a club, then it goes towards club rankings and not home rankings. Nothing needs to be changed on the submission form. If you are operating 1D and the name of your attached club is included, the club score will be calculated appropriately.

This is new and uncharted waters and hope everyone enjoys AMSAT Field Day. A much larger number of entries is anticipated with this change, so patience is appreciated.

(ANS thanks ARRL and Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards for the above information)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice.
For details, please visit https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


IARU-R2 Workshop Videos Available

IARU Region 2 (IARU-R2) is hosting workshops covering different facets
of amateur radio. Last Wednesday (27 May) was the “Satellite Communica-
tions 101″ workshop. Due to technical glitches, this workshop was not
available in real time, but the video of Wednesday’s presentation is
now available on YouTube. The direct link to the video of last Wednes-
day’s workshop is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f61uwo5Qy6A

One week earlier, on 20 May, Matias LU9CBL and Guillermo OA4/XQ3SA
hosted the Spanish-language version of this workshop, titled
“Comunicaciones por Satelite 101”. The video of their presentation is
available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69D1dJEfGDc

IARU-R2 plans more workshops covering other topics, in English and
Spanish. Information on upcoming workshops is available at:
https://www.iaru-r2.org/en/news-and-events/workshops/

Videos of past workshops are available from the IARU-R2 Workshops
channel on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG2Srz0bsKmTbF2r3YNneQ

[ANS thanks Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, for the above information]


Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift?
AMSAT t-shirts are currently 40% off with promo code BESTDADGIFTS.
Other items are 15% off. 25% of the purchase price of each product goes towards
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Digital Mode Experiments Conducted on Linear Satellites

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Be aware that the experiments described below utilize very narrow AFSK modulation with fairly advanced computer control for Doppler correction and frequency stabilization. They do NOT involve use of narrowband FM signals such as those used for terrestrial APRS or dedicated APRS satellites. So please, NEVER transmit FM on the uplink to a linear satellite. ALSO, in should be emphasized that power levels must be kept very low, as all the WSJT modes are 100% duty cycle.]

Recently a group of regular satellite-using amateurs conducted experiments with FT-8 and FT-4 on a variety of linear satellites.  Alan (WA6DNR), Carlos (W7QL), Dave (W0DHB) and Ron (W5RKN) were involved and made many satisfactory QSOs.   The primary results and observations from these tests are:

  • Digital modes can successfully be employed on the linear birds while not interfering with concurrent users by operating close to the bottom end of the passband, using the lowest power practicable and using very narrow signals.
  • We avoided the satellites known to be power-sensitive, FO-29 and AO-7. Testing was conducted with CAS-4A, CAS-4B, RS-44, XW-2A, XW-2B, XW-2C and XW-2F.
  • FT-4 was the most robust signal format, compared to FT-8. Other of Joe Taylor’s digital signal modes should be investigated.
  • The rate of change of Doppler just before and after TCA is high on the lower-orbit satellites and must have compensation. 200 Millisecond Doppler updates allowed 100% copy of FT-4 transmissions throughout several passes of different linear satellites.  This can be accomplished in SatPC32 by setting the “SSB/CW Interval” in the CAT menu to zero and checking the 5X box.  Note that this setting is not retained when SatPC32 is shut down.
  • Very little power is needed for QSOs throughout the duration of the pass, from AOS to LOS. W7QL set IC-9700 power to “zero” (roughly 500 milli- Watts, with over 3 dB cable/connector loss to a Leo-Pack antenna pair) and copied every packet on several satellites.
  • FT-4 is very tolerant of voice signals which might drop on top of an ongoing FT-4 QSO. However, an FT-4 signal dropping in the middle of an SSB QSO would be quite annoying to the SSB operators.
  • According to Joe Taylor, the occupied bandwidth of an FT-4 signal is 90 Hz. So theoretically over 200 such signals could be present on a 20 KHz channel.   Obviously that will not, and should not happen.   But a dozen closely spaced FT-4 QSOs at the bottom of the band, each running very low power should hardly be noticeable to current voice and CW traffic.

We invite other Satellite operators to join us in this expanded utilization of the linear satellite resources available to us.  We recommend using FT-4 at very low power, in the bottom few KHz of the downlink frequency range, with appropriate Doppler compensation, as described above.  We hope to have a digital QSO with you sometime soon on the linear birds.

[ANS thanks Carlos Cardon, W7QL, for the above information]


SpaceX Launches Successfully Toward ISS

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, and Doug Hurley boarded a Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of a Falcon 9 rocket once again on Saturday, May 30. At 19:22 UTC they were successfully launched on their way to the International Space Station. This was the first launch of astronauts from U.S. territory since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011 and the first launch of humans by a private contractor, SpaceX.

The first attempt for the launch, on Wednesday, May 27, scrubbed due to stormy weather near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS about 19 hours after liftoff.

[ANS thanks Spaceflight Now for the above information]


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Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First

FT8 co-developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, has reported what is possibly the first FT8 contact via moonbouce (Earth-Moon-Earth or EME) on May 21 between Paul Andrews, W2HRO, in New York, and Peter Gouweleeuw, PA2V, in Netherlands. The contact was made possible using the currently available beta-release candidate of WSJT-X, version 2.2-rc1.

“Why might you want to use FT8 instead of ‘Old Reliable JT65’ for EME QSOs?” Taylor asked in a subsequent Moon-Net post. “FT8 is about 4 dB less sensitive than JT65, but with 15-second T/R [transmit/receive] sequences it’s four times faster, and it doesn’t use Deep Search,” he said, answering his own question.

The FT8 protocol included in the beta version of WSJT-X has an optional user setting to work around the 2.5-second path delay. “For terrestrial use, the FT8 decoder searches over the range -2.5 to +2.4 seconds for clock offset DT between transmitting and receiving stations,” Taylor explained. “DT” represents the difference between the transmission time and actual time. “When ‘Decode after EME delay’ is checked on the WSJT-X ‘Settings’ screen, the accessible DT range becomes -0.5 to +4.4 seconds. Just right for EME.”

As Taylor explained in his post, FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation with tones separated by 6.25 Hz. At the time of the contact, the expected Doppler spread on the W2HRO – PA2V EME path was 8 Hz, which would cause some additional loss in sensitivity. Despite the path losses, however, copy between W2HRO and PA2V was “solid in both directions,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that when he was active in EME contests on 144 MHz, he was always frustrated that, even with reasonably strong signals, the maximum JT65 contact rate is about 12 per hour. “With FT8, you can do 40 per hour, as long as workable stations are available,” he said.

As for using FT8 for EME contacts on 1296 MHz, Taylor said it “might sometimes work, but Doppler spread will probably make standard FT8 a problem.” Given sufficient interest, however, he said the WSJT-X development team could design an FT8B or FT8C with wider tone spacing. He encouraged the use of FT8 for moonbounce on 144, 432, and 1296 MHz and asked users to report their results to the development team.

“A ‘slow FT8’ mode is indeed a sensitivity winner on suitable propagation paths,” he said in a later Moon-Net post. “We are busy implementing such a mode, but with particular emphasis on its use on the LF and MF bands.”

Taylor said FT8 has the operational advantage of putting all users in one (or a few) narrow spectral slices on each band. “So, it’s easy to find QSO partners without skeds or chat rooms,” he said. “Everything is done over the air, with no ‘side channels’ needed.”

Taylor also remarked in response to posts from those who, like him, “love CW.”

“I agree it’s a thrill to hear your own lunar echo, and to make CW EME QSOs,” he said. “Sometimes I pine for the bygone world of commercial sailing ships, which happen to be very much a part of my family’s his- tory,” Taylor concluded. “But I know that technologies evolve, and the world does not stand still.”

[ANS thanks ARRL News for the above information]


Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store.
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Mid-Altitude Balloon Race Planned for June 1

Three Space Station Explorer teams will participate in an exciting distance learning—social distanced balloon race to beheld during the Pandemic.

ARISS educator, Joanne Michaelis, KM6BWB, is a science coach at the Wiseburn Unified School District in Los Angeles, California where she leads her students in several balloon launch attempts from the Los Angeles area each year. With this year different because of the pandemic, Joanne wanted to “shake things up a bit” and give students world-wide, a unique distance learning treat while keeping all safe during the pandemic. So Joanne challenged Ted Tagami, KK6UUQ, from Magnitude.io to a mid-altitude cross-continent balloon race and Ted accepted the challenge!

Ted plans to launch his balloon from Oakland, California. ISS Above inventor, Liam Kennedy, KN6EQU, from Pasadena, California, got “wind” of the idea and he asked to participate, too. All three organizations: ARISS, Magnitude.io and ISS Above are ISS National Lab Space Station Explorer (SSE) partners that work to inspire, engage, and educate students in Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) topics and to pursue STEAM careers.

The three SSE teams plan to launch their balloons simultaneously on June 1. The winner will be the first one to cross the“Finish Line”—the Eastern Time zone. Launch time is planned for 15:00 UTC (11:00 EDT, 10:00 CDT, 9:00 MDT, or 8:00 PDT. A live video feed of the launch is planned to start approximately 5 minutes prior to the event.

Once the balloons are airborne, students can track each balloon’s location, altitude, and temperature via amateur radio APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) which is fed automatically to the aprs.fi web site. Educators and parents around the globe can excite at-home youth with this initiative. Students can tally and track the states each balloon travels through and plot altitude versus temperature, etc. Also, by researching weather patterns, students can make assumptions from their own data. This could include speed variations due to weather.

They also can predict each balloon’s flight path and when they might cross the finish line!

For more information on the balloon launch, lesson plans, and the livestream video link (when the livestream URL is available), please go to: https://www.ariss.org/mid-altitude-balloon-race.html

Enjoy the Race! May the best ballooner win!!

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]


ARISS News

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.

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage: https://www.ariss.org/

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men- tors 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

W8LR: (@W8LR) May 30 and May 31 he will attempt to activate a dual grids contact. The grid line will be EM79/EM89.

Hey you guys from the EU: @N4DCW will be in EM56 June 5-7 with a semi- decent N-E horizon from his sister-in-law’s house. He will be on RS-44 and AO-7 looking for y’all.

AD0DX: (@AD0DX) DM77 and maybe DM76 on Saturday May 30.

An interesting email from ND9M/KH2: I’m finishing up my current tour on a U.S. merchant marine ship cur- rently anchored at Guam. I’ve been QRV from the anchorage which is at Apra Harbor. We’ll be taking a one-night run on June 2-3 to give the engines a chance to stretch their muscles. I expect to be QRV on sever- al passes on the evening of June 2 when we should be in QK13 for a few hours. Once we return to “the hook,” I’ll start packing up for my trip back to the States that weekend and should be doing some roving in the eastern states (MD, PA, VA, MD) once I get my body re-adjusted to the the 14-hour time change. Major Roves:

Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know they tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. Today the tentative date is Sunday May 31, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.

FP, ST. PIERRE & MIQUELON (Rescheduled). Eric, KV1J, will once again be operating from the Island of Miquelon (NA-032, DIFO FP-002 WLOTA 1417, Grid GN17) as FP/KV1J between September 22nd and October 6th. This oper- ation was originally scheduled for July, but was postponed due to trav- el restrictions. It will be Eric’s 14th trip to the island. Activity will be on 160-10 meters, including 60m , using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8/FT4 (but primarily SSB, RTTY and FT8/FT4) and the SSB/FM satellites. He will generally be on the highest frequency band that is open (favoring 60/12/10/6m). He will be active in the CQWW DX RTTY Contest (September 26-27). ADDED NOTE: Eric will usually try to be on as many Satellite passes as he can when the WX is good, generally favoring the XW-2x, AO-7, RS-44, CA-4x, and possibly the FM birds. 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 and LoTW. For more details and updates, check out his Web page at: http://www.kv1j.com/fp/July20.html

Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com

[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meet- ings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule: No scheduled events

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • @Virgin_Orbit tweeted on May 25 that its initial test flight of the LauncherOne rocket was “a major step forward,” even though the craft did not achieve orbit as intended. In a follow-up tweet the next day, Virgin added “We said the main product of this flight would be data, and wow, did we get a lot of it! After diving into our early anal- yses, we wanted to share more about the flight — including both the many things that went well and what we know about the areas where we’ll need to improve.” (ANS thanks @Virgin_Orbit on Twitter for the above information)
  • Planning to build some space hardware in your basement during your Covid-19 quarantine? Better get your handbook! A newly revised version of the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook can be downloaded at: https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/nasa-systems-engineering-handbook (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
  • Russia plans to build a new space station because the current Inter- national Space Station will last only another decade at most, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in an interview pub- lished on Monday. “It’s still unclear whether it (the new station) will be international or national,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in comments to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. (ANS thanks n2yo.com for the above information)
  • Michael Wyrick, N3UC, has announced that AO-27 is now running on a schedule that places the FM repeater on for 8 minutes per orbit: 4 minutes ascending pass and 4 minutes descending pass. (ANS thanks Stephen DeVience, N8URE, for the above information)

/EX

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 addi- tional 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 stu- dent rate for a maximum of 6 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, Mark D. Johns, K0JM

k0jm at amsat dot org

ANS-145 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for May 24th

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@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: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • AMSAT Announces 2020 Field Day Rules
  • AMSAT Awards Update
  • AO-27 Returns from the Dead
  • Updated GOLF Project Information Available
  • Changing HuskySat-1 Keps Name in FoxTelem
  • Hack-a-Sat Team Boasts Exceptional Participation
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-145.01
ANS-145 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 145.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020-May-24
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-145.01

AMSAT Announces 2020 Field Day Rules

It’s that time of year again; summer and Field Day! Each year the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sponsors Field Day as a “picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!” The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) promotes its own version of Field Day for operation via the amateur satellites, held concurrently with the ARRL event.

For 2020, the event takes place during a 27-hour period from 1800 UTC on Saturday June 27, 2020 through 2100 UTC on Sunday June 28, 2020. Those who set up prior to 1800 UTC on June 27 can operate only 24 hours.

AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards Bruce Paige, KK5DO, has an- nounced the rules for the 2020 event.

Paige notes that “AMSAT has followed the ARRL when it comes to the date, times and most rules with regard to Field Day. [ARRL has made some modifications due to COVID-19]. With that in mind, AMSAT is going to have to adapt as well.”

Paige further elaborates, “What we will do for AMSAT Field Day is con- centrate on rovers and operating from home.” In line with this new concentration, the awards issued this year will be modified. The top three club stations will receive certificates as will the top three stations overall (instead of the top three home operators on emergency power). AMSAT will also award certificates to the top three roving stations.

The 2020 rules can be found at https://www.amsat.org/field-day/.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards, for the above information]


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


AMSAT Awards Update

This is my first update on the awards for 2020. They used to slowly trickle in. However, over the last two months, there have been a lot of submissions.

AMSAT Satellite Communicators Award for making their first satellite QSO

  • Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
  • Hiroto Miura, JI8UCI
  • Jason Davis, N8PDX
  • Andrew Stamp, N2YQO
  • Cameron Zotter, K4DCA
  • Angus Alexander, KJ7KOJ
  • Gustavo Schwartz, PR8KW
  • Richard Cutrer, KF5TQT
  • Kurt Melden, K1SEA
  • William McDermott, KM6MCH
  • Robert Smith, KO4CCD
  • Bernd Scholer, DL6IAN

——

AMSAT Communications Achievement Award

  • Russel Kinner, WA8ZID #624
  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #625 EM30
  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #626 EM21
  • Stephan Greene, KS1G #627

——

AMSAT Sexagesimal Satellite Communications Achievement Award

  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #185 EM30
  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #186 EM21
  • Stephan Greene, KS1G #187

——

AMSAT Century Club Award Hector

  • Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #55 EM30

——

AMSAT South Africa Satellite Communications Achievement Award

  • Russel Kinner, WA8ZID #US225
  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #US226 EM30
  • Hector Luis Martinez Sis, W5CBF #US227 EM21
  • Wade Stuart, N0TEL #US228
  • Stephan Greene, KS1G #US229

——

AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award (1,000-4,000)

  • John Stone, KC9VGG #98
  • Christy Hunter, KB6LTY, #99 (4,000)
  • Mitchell Ahrenstorff, AD0HJ #100 (2,000)
  • Dave Chasey, N9FN #101
  • Paul Overn, KE0PBR #102 (3,000)
  • Robert Sours, K9UO #103 (2,000)
  • Kell Bodholt, KI7UXT #104 (2,000)
  • Wade Stuart, N0TEL #105 (2,000)
  • Michael Frazier, KJ5Z #106
  • Nicholas Mahr, KE8AKW #107
  • Jerod Speck, W4ZXT #108
  • Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ #109

——

AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award (5,000)

  • Adrian Liggins, VA3NNA #35
  • Christy Hunter, KB6LTY #37

——

AMSAT Rover Award Rover Call

  • #051 PR8KW
  • #052 LW2DAF
  • #053 N0TEL

To see all the awards visit http://www.amsat.org and click on Services then Awards.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards for the above information]


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AO-27 Returns from the Dead

A number of amateurs have reported that the FM repeater of AO-27 has been active for brief intervals in recent weeks. When commanded on by control operators, the transponder is active for about two minutes before reverting to telemetry transmissions only.

Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, remarks that AO-27 wasn’t originally intended to be an FM satellite. It lacks the audio filtering normally seen with a n FM receiver, since its uplink receiver was going to be used for data. With the lack of audio filtering on the uplink receiver, AO-27 was used for tests with D-Star radios.

The Wayback Machine has captures of the former ao27.org web site, detailing how those tests were done. Two radios were used for those D- Star QSOs, one for uplink and the other for downlink).

Many are hopeful that control stations will eventually be able to recover the satellite sufficiently to provide more regular operation. In the meantime, if you hear the satellite active, make your contacts quickly!

[ANS thanks Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, AMSAT Board Member, for the above information]


Updated GOLF Project Information Available

The AMSAT website has posted updated information on the next series of satellites, intended to succeed the current Fox satellites. AMSAT is developing a satellite program that should see amateur transponders in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and eventually High Earth Orbit (HEO)

GOLF is an acronym for “Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint”

The goal of the GOLF program is to work by steps through a series of increasingly capable spacecraft to learn skills and systems for which we do not yet have any low-risk experience. Among these are active attitude control, deployable/steerable solar panels, radiation tolerance for Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) components in higher orbits, and propulsion.

The first step is to be one or more Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites similar to the existing AO-91 and AO-92, but with technologies needed for higher orbits. With proven technologies, an interim high LEO or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite would follow on.

The eventual goal is a High Earth Orbit (HEO) similar to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40, but at a currently affordable cost combined with significantly enhanced capabilities which in turn will allow the use of much less complex ground stations.

Read the AMSAT GOLF article at: https://bit.ly/2WPV9WN

[ANS thanks @amsat and Southgate ARC 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


Changing HuskySat-1 Keps Name in FoxTelem

Instructions for updating FoxTelem (including Fox-in-a-box) so that HuskySat-1 keps are now downloaded as HO-107.

Go to the Spacecraft menu and select Husky (or something else if you have changed the name). In the upper left is a section that says “Name (for Keps)” and the box to the right should say “HuskySat-1”. Just change that to HO-107. Done.

Note that HuskySat-1 is no longer in the downloaded keps, so the one you have will get older and more out-of-date until you change the name. Don’t forget you will need to do something similar with MacDoppler or SatPC32 or any other tracking program you have.

[ANS thanks Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, for the above information]


Hack-a-Sat Team Boasts Exceptional Participation

The Vaporsec “Capture The Flag” (CTF) team, specifically open to amateur radio operators, has seen the largest turnout for a CTF competition in team history, for this satellite-themed event. We have over 20 signed up for the qualifications event this coming weekend. We believe that based on the diversity, quality, and positive can-do spirit, that we have a chance at being competitive and moving on to the final round in late summer.

We had a successful team organizational meeting last night are are looking forward to a Friday 5pm Pacific start time. I’m looking forward to being able to share how amateur radio operators and practical experience carried the day!

The point of the competition seems to be the Air Force wanting to see that the current level of competence is out there with respect to satellite operations and security. Hints have included backgrounders on ADAC, Satellite IoT platform security, protocols, ground control, and more. Rules and link to the Hack-a-Sat website are at: https://www.hackasat.com/

Something that we noticed is that an unsolved challenge in last weekend’s DEFCON CTF qualifier round was from the same team that is putting on Hack-a-Sat CTF.

So! If you are wondering what kind of challenges are posed to participants in a CTF, here is that satellite-themed challenge. We expect this sort of thing to be the starting point for an entire weekend of satellite reverse engineering, puzzle solving, and rogue-craft-wrangling.

There are two files related to the challenge. The challenge text and the two files can be found at: https://bit.ly/2yrFlQM

See you on the other side of the CTF! We will have a write-up of the event and share any and everything we learn along the way.

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT Board Member, for the above information]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

WY7AA is still in planning stages but on Monday the 26, DN82/DN72 and maybe later DN73/DN74, please watch his twitter page @WY7AA for more details.

Mitch, AD0HJ, has decided to “go check on the tree” in North Dakota. He will be finishing his circuit as this issue is published, but he may still be available on 5/24 UTC in EN06/16 Details on his Twitter page, @ad0hj

Ron, AD0DX, and Doug, N6UA, are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, Texas. They tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. The tentative date is Sunday May 31, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr (at) gmail.com

[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover 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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


ARISS News

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.

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage: https://www.ariss.org/

[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/


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule: No scheduled events

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:

  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Radio amateur and Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, has recorded a series of home videos from Coronavirus lockdown to record answers to the questions he is most frequently asked. In a recent episode he talks about his inspiration for pioneering the original SmallSats revolution and reveals two of his favourite SSTL missions. Watch Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO – Early Years & Favourite Missions at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV9gQmfmvME
(ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP-Operations, and Doug Shook’s page, www.kc4mcq.us, for the above information)

+ Thailand’s regulator the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has issued a special callsign to The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST), founded under the royal patronage of the King of Thailand. The call is E2STAYHOME. RAST will be operating using this callsign on all bands and in all modes, including on NB mode for Es’hail 2 QO-100 geostationary satellite.
(ANS thanks Tanan Rangseeprom, HS1JAN, for the above information)

+ NASA astronauts Robert Behnken Douglas Hurley arrived at the Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, ahead of SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission. This will be the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to launch at 4:33 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 27, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA is inviting the public to help celebrate a historic milestone by participating in NASA’s virtual launch experience at: https://www.nasa.gov/beourguest
(ANS thanks spaceref.com for the above information)

+ According to a new release of Union of Concerned Scientists’ operational satellite database, AMSAT-OSCAR 7 remains the oldest operating satellite in Earth orbit. The next oldest operating satellite is NASA’s TDRS-3, launched 14 years after AO-7 in 1988. Details at: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/satellite-database

+ All issues of The AMSAT Journal from 2017 to the present are now available for AMSAT members on our new membership portal. More years coming soon. Get logged on today! https://launch.amsat.org/The_AMSAT_Journal

+ Virgin Orbit has announced that the window for its Launch Demo, the first orbital test flight with LauncherOne, opens this weekend on May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (1700 to 2100z). A backup window for launch is on May 25 during the same time frame.
(ANS thanks Twitter account @Virgin_Orbit for the above information)

+ Another record-shattering QSO was made via RS-44 last night! @KI7UNJ in Oregon worked EB1AO in Spain – a distance of 8,314 km. Both sta- tions had negative elevation! Satellite distance records are maintained at:
https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/
(ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information)

———————————————————————

/EX

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 addi- tional 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 stu- dent rate for a maximum of 6 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, Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ

ki7unj at amsat dot org

HuskySat-1 Transponder is Open

After a week of testing, the transponder on HuskySat-1 is enabled and open for use and testing. It’s fairly sensitive, and 5-10 watts is plenty most of the time. There are some fades due to satellite orientation, and some passes are definitely better than others. The operations and engineering teams are also watching a few anomalies. Please keep an eye on the beacon during transponder ops, for those with spectrum scopes. Strong signals may impact the beacon strength.

HuskySat-1 is the Husky Satellite Lab at University of Washington’s first cubesat, and the first mission with AMSAT’s linear transponder module (LTM-1), a V/u transponder and integrated telemetry beacon and command receiver. UW recently completed their Part 5 operations and have graciously let AMSAT’s Part 97 transponder operations commence. This transponder module is available for use in educational cubesat missions willing to enable the transponder for worldwide use. Contact myself or VP Engineering Jerry Buxton for additional details.

Reports and observations are welcome to the AMSAT-BB.

Congratulations to Husky Satellite Lab, and to the entire AMSAT Engineering team for keeping amateur radio in space. Thanks to Dr. Mark Hammond, N8MH for commissioning and operations support.

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations

HuskySat-1 – V/u Inverting Analog SSB/CW
Uplink LSB 145.910 MHz through 145.940 MHz
Downlink USB 435.810 MHz through 435.840 MHz
1k2 BPSK telemetry 435.800 MHz. 1 mbps BPSK telemetry 24029.00 MHz.

[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT Vice President – Operations, for the above information]

ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for May 10th

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@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: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • 2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org
  • Call for Nominations – 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
  • New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September
  • Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available
  • Visual Observations Of RS-44 Underway
  • Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation
  • NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station
  • Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom
  • Satellite Distance Records Set
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-131.01
ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 131.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020-May-10
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-131.01

2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org

AMSAT’s new online member portal, launch.amsat.org, is up and running. All AMSAT members must log in and update their contact information to ensure continued, uninterrupted service. Full instructions for getting logged in are in the March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal, available for free download on amsat.org and launch.amsat.org. There is also separate instructions on each site.

Those interested in joining AMSAT can create an account, using the Join link on launch.amsat.org

IMPORTANT UPDATE: AMSAT’s Member Portal not only puts you in charge of your member account but gives you exclusive access to member-only content. Want to read back issues of The AMSAT Journal, in full color? We just posted all 2019 issues, plus the first two issues of 2020. We will continue to work on uploading prior years, so check back often.

Log in today!

(ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-Member Services for the above information)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/


Call for Nominations – 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election

AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2020 and will be filled by this year’s election: Tom Clark, K3IO; Mark Hammond, N8MH; and Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be elected for one-year terms.

A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators’ names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the AMSAT Secretary:

Brennan Price, N4QX
300 Locust St SE, Unit E
Vienna VA 22180-4869
brennanprice at verizon.net

A copy should be sent to AMSAT Manager, Martha Saragovitz, at martha at amsat.org.

The AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the form specified by the Secretary. In light of the ongoing pandemic and the resulting closure of the physical office, the Secretary has elected to accept written nomination materials in electronic form, including e-mail or electronic image of a paper document. Fax transmissions cannot be accepted due to the closure of the office.

No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qualifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as petitions are received, and will notify candidates whether their nominations are in order by the end of June.

[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]


New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September

Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are now expected to launch on September 15, 2020. The first of these satellites, CAS-7A, is a 27 kg microsat (750 mm x 650 mm x 260 mm) with three-axis stabilization and several transponders. The transponders include a 15m to 10m linear transponder (H/t), a 15m to 70cm linear transponder (H/u), and a 2m to 70cm linear transponder(V/u). The satellite also includes a 2m to 70cm (V/u) FM transponder. Several beacons and data downlinks are also featured, CW beacons on 10m and 70cm, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70cm, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3cm for the on board camera. IARU coordinated frequencies for the uplinks and downlinks are listed below.

This launch is also expected to carry CAS-7C, a 2U CubeSat with a V/u linear transponder and a CW beacon. Frequencies for CAS-7C have not been coordinated by the IARU at the time of this writing. CAS-7C will also deploy a 1 mm diameter 1080 meter long carbon fiber rope.

CAS-7A and CAS-7C will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 98 degrees.

Frequencies:

CAS-7A H/t Linear Transponder
Uplink – 21.245MHz through 21.275 MHz
Downlink – 29.435MHz through 29.465 MHz
CW Beacon 29.425 MHz

CAS-7A H/u Linear Transponder
Uplink – 21.3125 MHz through 21.3275 MHz
Downlink – 435.3575 MHz through 435.3725 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u Linear Transponder
Uplink – 145.865 MHz through 145.895 MHz
Downlink – 435.385 MHz through 435.415 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz

CAS-7A V/u FM Transponder
Uplink 145.950 MHz
Downlink 435.455 MHz

4.8k / 9.6k GMSK telemetry downlink – 435.480 MHz
1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink – 10460.00 MHz

[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]


Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available

Although we are not able to come together in San Luis Obispo for the CubeSat Developers Workshop today, we are excited to share some of the presentations that would have taken place with you online. Find the slide decks for these presentations on our archive <http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~workshop/archive/> as well as videos on our YouTube channel <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCENz0fNHsDR8Kz3jM6C_VWw/featured>.

You will also be able to find all of our previous Workshop presentations in NASA’s Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI) <https://www.nasa.gov/smallsat-institute>. We are excited to have our archives integrated into S3VI and hope you can use this tool to further your research and involvement with CubeSat.

If you were selected to present your abstract at this year’s Workshop and would still like your presentation to be included in our archive, email us at cubesat-workshop@calpoly.edu <mailto:cubesat-workshop@calpoly.edu>.

We also want to share some of our CDW Zoom backgrounds with you. Feel free to download and use them in your next meeting!

We look forward to welcoming you all back to San Luis Obispo from *April 27-29, 2021* for the next CubeSat Developers Workshop. We will continue to announce new deadlines and registration information via email and on our website <https://www.cubesat.org/workshop-information> as we continue to plan for 2021. Be sure to join the CubeSat Workshop mailing list <http://www.cubesat.org/mailinglist/> for future announcements.

We hope you continue working together (from home) to advance CubeSats

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/


Visual Observations of RS-44 Underway

Visual observations of the payload and attached Briz-KM rocket body made whilst the object has been flying over the UK at night, indicated a rotation period of 19 seconds. Optically with binoculars, it appeared between magnitude +5 to invisible in hazy moonlit skies, on near zenithal transits. No flashes nor glints were observed, which could indicate the stack is in a slow roll along the longitudinal axis, rather than a tumbling motion.

On a radio aspect, it would appear the beacon signals are stronger as the payload approaches, declining thereafter upon passing TCA. Assuming RS-44 is mounted to the front and that some aerials have deployed, then this would account for the phenomenon, as receding away from the station would have the aerials blocked by the Briz rocket body – however, I have not seen any information released as to the physical condition of RS-44. It would be useful for the transmitters to remain on, to monitor over the long term if the nutation rate slows over time. The CW beacon was timed at 20 seconds between transmission, which fits with the optical work, but this may well just be coincidental as to how the beacon is programmed.

Later radio monitoring indicates the beacon repetition is 15-16 seconds on the callsign being transmitted. Whether this ties in with hopefully future optical work to see if the spin rate has slowed to the same, or we have a differential – we wait and see!

[ANS thanks Max White, M0VNG, for the above information]


Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation

I’ve put out the call for participation for the Hack-a-Sat competition in the past, and would like to bring you all up to date on the developments and opportunities that have developed since.

The website is here: https://www.hackasat.com/

Hack-a-Sat is an activity that was scheduled to happen at the in-person DEFCON event.

As of today, yes, it’s true. DEFCON has been cancelled.

Those of you that have volunteered at Ham Radio Village in the past are familiar with the event. For those of you that are not, it’s a long-running hacking and cybersecurity event that has enthusiastically adopted everything RF and amateur radio.

The United States Air Force, in conjunction with the Defense Digital Service, organized this year’s Space Security Challenge, called Hack-A-Sat. This challenge asks hackers from around the world to focus their skills and creativity on solving cybersecurity challenges on space systems. This competition is going to be held! It’s now a virtual event.

Security in the amateur radio sense of the word is fundamentally different from commercial and military applications. We have an advantage here, mainly due to the enormous leverage we have due to our context being completely different from what the Air Force and commercial interests assume. This is, essentially, a diversity advantage.

If you want to participate on an experienced Capture The Flag (CTF) team, then I am here to extend an invitation. Anyone that reads through the rules and can afford to spend some time during the event is invited to apply to join Vaporsec. This is a team that has a majority of information security professionals. There are some satellite industry people, some amateur involvement, and I’d like to make sure that anyone interested in competing from AMSAT gets a chance to join a competitive team.

The benefits to amateur radio are primarily technical, with policy and security a close second. The Air Force has some agendas here in terms of improving satellite security. Exposure to the challenges alone is a an excellent opportunity to learn more about modern satellite technology… and what a significant player in space wants to find out more about. Don’t assume that that the challenges in the competition are going to be “too hard.” What is trivial for one viewpoint is unsolvable for another.

I’ll be writing about the event and what we learned when it is over, so this sort of knowledge will not be secret. However, there is no replacement for participation, and you could very well have the practical knowledge, gained from operating real satellites, that wins the competition. As you can see from the website, there is some real money involved and opportunities for technical writing.

Let me know at w5nyv@arrl.net if you would like to talk more about joining a CTF team for this really neat and unique event. Know someone that you think should participate? Please forward to them.

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT Board Member for the above information]


NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station

Nearly three months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrup Grumman’s unpiloted Cygnus cargo craft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Monday, May 11.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 11:45 a.m. EDT, with release scheduled for noon.

Dubbed the “SS Robert H. Lawrence,” Cygnus arrived at the station on February 18. Within 24 hours of its release, Cygnus will begin its secondary mission, hosting the Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment – IV (Saffire-IV), which provides an environment to safely study fire in microgravity. It also will deploy a series of payloads. Northrop Grumman flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, will initiate Cygnus’ deorbit to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere Monday, May 25.

More information on Cygnus’ mission and the International Space Station can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]


Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom

Robin Moseley, G1MHU, will give a talk on Zoom titled “Introduction to amateur satellites, meteor scatter, EME and ISS” on Wednesday, May 13, at 1830z

The presentation is being organized by the Denby Dales Amateur Radio Society and being on Zoom it’ll be viewable on any Tablet or Smartphone with the Zoom App or from a Windows PC or Laptop.

The Zoom meeting ID is 278 609 9353 https://zoom.us/j/2786099353

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]


Satellite Distance Records Set

The DX record on RS-44 has fallen once again! EA4CYQ reports a QSO with UA0STM at 19:00 UTC on 06-May-2020. The distance between the two stations is 7,894 km.

Another claimed DX record was also claimed on May 6. This time it was on PO-101 (Diwata2PH). EA4SG reports working R9LR at 23:03 UTC. The distance between the two stations is 5,128 km.

Distance records for all satellites are maintained at: https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/

Please email n8hm [at] amsat.org if you wish to claim a new record, longer distance QSO not yet documented, or records for any other satellite/transponder not yet listed. Please note that if a satellite carries multiple transponders or supports multiple frequency bands, records on each transponder/band may be claimed, such as Mode A and B on AO-7 or Mode U/S, L/S, U/K, etc, on AO-40. This includes the ISS and records may be claimed for the packet digipeater and crossband repeater, but does not include different operating modes on the same transponder (such as CW or SSB on AO-7 Mode B).

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above information]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

Mitch, AD0HJ, has decided to “go check on the tree” in North Dakota. He has also said he will be activating a bunch of grids:

  • 5/20 UTC DN96/97
  • 5/21 UTC DN78/88
  • 5/22 UTC DN76/77
  • 5/23 UTC DN86/87
  • 5/24 UTC EN06/16

Details on his Twitter page, @ad0hj

Ron, AD0DX, and Doug, N6UA, are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, Texas. They tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. The tentative date is Sunday May 31, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr (at) gmail.com

[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, the *NEW* AMSAT rover page manager(!) for the above information. Welcome aboard, Paul.]


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
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear


ARISS News

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.

Airdrie Space Science Club, Airdrie, AB, Canada, Multi-point telebridge via ZS6JON. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is go for Friday 2020-05-15 15:10:28 UTC with 55 degrees over South Africa.

ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage: https://www.ariss.org/

[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/


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

Current schedule: No scheduled events

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been CANCELED:
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Virgin Orbit tweets that it is celebrating a big win this week after the successful completion of a wet dress rehearsal with LauncherOne just in time for #NationalSpaceDay! Wet dress rehearsals with all commodities loaded is one of the last major events before launch.
(ANS thanks @Virgin_Orbit for the above information)

+ A new version of the North American Overlay Mapper program: v4.0.0.0 has been released for Windows 7 and 10, with many new features. The ‘NAOMI’ program can import ADIF logs, Cabrillo logs, and a variety of lists, and then georeference them from the latest FCC and ISED databases, and then plot North American QSOs, Grid Locators, and Counties, onto 47 maps at 1:2,000,000 scale, 2 North American over view maps at 1:20,000,000 scale, a zoomable Online Map with a choice of map-providers, a full-screen World Map, and a Great Circle Map with a choice of 16 different backgrounds. You can edit logs, check for errors, parse for counties, export data in different formats, search and browse the databases, overlay a variety of lists, export the maps for use in other applications, or to share online. NAOMI is available at: https://www.mapability.com/ei8ic/naomi/index.php
(ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)

+ NASA will pay a staggering $146 million for each SLS rocket engine, with 4 needed per SLS flight. These Space Shuttle main engines were intended to be reused, but SLS will throw them away. Other things you could buy for $146 million: two basic Atlas V rocket launches, three Falcon 9 launches, or a fully expendable Falcon Heavy launch, with 2/3 the lift capacity at 1/20th the cost.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ A study has found that all 1,078 commercially-launched smallsats in the last five years experienced delays, with a median delay of 128 days. The largest delay categories: 11% of delays were administrative, 13% were ISS manifest changes (for ISS-deployed sats), 20% were due to delays in launch vehicle development, and 40% were due to primary payload delays affecting their rideshares. Full report at https://bit.ly/3fuw1Mz
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ A satellite built by Air Force Academy cadets will launch into space May 16 aboard the X-37B, Orbital Test Vehicle sponsored by the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and built by Boeing. This is the first time a satellite built and designed by cadets will catch a ride into space aboard the X-37B. Falcon sat-8 will carry five experimental payloads, and members of the Cadet Space Operations Squadron will operate it. There was no mention of amateur radio connected with this satellite, nor has there been a request for IARU frequency coordination in the amateur radio satellite service, although previous FalconSats have had amateur radio payloads.
(ANS thanks U.S. Air Force Academy for the above information)

+ When a new crew member arrives on the International Space Station, the population of humans living in space changes, of course. But so, too, does the population of microbes. As we have all learned in this time of Covid-19, countless types of microorganisms inhabit our bodies, inside and out, and when an astronaut arrives on the station, they bring their specific collection of microbial “hitch hikers” with them. A new study shows that the microorganisms living on surfaces inside the space station so closely resembled those on an astronaut’s skin that scientists could tell when this new crew member arrived and departed, just by looking at the microbes left behind. Many of the microorganisms living in and around us are harm less or even essential for good health, but some can cause disease or damage structures in built environments. https://bit.ly/3dlEobi
(ANS thanks spacedaily.com for the above information)

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/EX

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 6 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, Mark D. Johns, K0JM

k0jm at amsat dot org