ANS-019 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for January 19

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-019

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 https://amsat.org publishes news of Amateur Radio in space as soon as our volunteers can post it. Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor at amsat dot org.  You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:  https://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • GOLF-TEE Reaches Major Milestone
  • ARISS Contact Opportunity Call for Proposals February 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020
  • Satellite Status and Tracking APIs Added to AMSAT Website
  • Qarman Beacon Telemetry Information Released
  • China Telecoms Regulator Proposing to Delete Some Current Amateur Allocations
  • Memorial Service for Brian Kantor, WB6CYT
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

GOLF-TEE Reaches Major Milestone

A group of GOLF-TEE (Greater Orbit Larger Footprint – Technology Evaluation Environment) satellite prototype boards transmitted telemetry for the first time on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The boards are laid out on a bench as a “flat-sat” with interconnecting wires, bench power supplies, and a dummy load on the transmitter. The interconnected boards include:

  • An early RT-IHU (Radiation Tolerant Internal Housekeeping Unit (i.e. computer) prototype,
  • A CIU (Control Interface Unit) prototype, and
  • A set of spare boards from HuskySat-1 that act as prototypes for the LIHU (Legacy IHU) and legacy VHF/UHF RF components.

Now that we have reached this point, we have RF to use as a basis for developing a GOLF-TEE decoder for FoxTelem, our ground telemetry receiver software.

Thousands of hours of work by many AMSAT volunteers have gone into the hardware and software that got us this far, with much work yet to be done before we reach flight units.

GOLF-TEE is designed as a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) testbed for technologies necessary for a successful CubeSat mission to a wide variety of orbits, including MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) and HEO (High Earth Orbit).

To help support the GOLF program, please consider volunteering or donating today.

Volunteer For AMSAT

AMSAT GOLF Program Donations

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Billing Details

Donation Total: $25.00 One Time

[ANS thanks Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, AMSAT Flight Software, and the entire GOLF team 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/

ARISS Contact Opportunity Call for Proposals February 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS is happy to announce a proposal window which will open February 1, 2020 for contacts that would be held between January 2021 and June 2021. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The proposal window for contacts between January 2021. and June 2021 will open on February 1, 2020 and close on March 31. 2020. Proposal information and documents can be found at www.ariss.org. Two ARISS Introductory Webinar sessions will be held on two different date and times. The first is at January 23 at 2100 ET and the second is at January 27 at 1800 ET. The same material will be covered during both sessions, so choose the session that best fits your schedule. The Eventbrite link to sign up is https://ariss-proposal-webinar-spring-2020.eventbrite.com

The Opportunity

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world with the support of NASA and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe present educational organizations with this opportunity. The ham radio organizations’ volunteer efforts provide the equipment and operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world using Amateur Radio.

For More Information

For proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of Information Webinars, go to www.ariss.org.

Please direct any questions to ariss.us.education@gmail.com.

[ANS thanks ARISS 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!
https://tinyurl.com/ANS-237-Getting-Started

Satellite Status and Tracking APIs Added to AMSAT Website

Thanks to an initiative by Heimir, W1ANT, AMSAT added Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to the AMSAT web site to make it easy for developers to write apps for mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, the satellite status page www.amsat.org/status does not work well on small screens. By accessing the status data directly developers can easily present the
data in a way appropriate for their screens. These APIs also make it easy for IoT homebrewers to do things like build next pass reminder gizmos so they can beep out notices in CW. We have set a goal of February 15, 2020 to finalize the APIs, and consider them operational on March 1, 2020. Developers are encouraged to send suggestions or questions to www.amsat.org/webmaster-contact/

For details of API use visit www.amsat.org/status/api/ and www.amsat.org/track/api/

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P for the above information.]

Qarman Beacon Telemetry Information Released

QARMAN, a nano-satellite designed and built at VKI, was launched to the International Space Station on December 5, 2019. Deployment is expected to take place in the week of February 12, 2020.

QARMAN (Qubesat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on AblatioN) is the world’s first CubeSat designed to survive atmospheric re-entry. Work on it started in 2013 at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI).

The aim of the QARMAN mission is to demonstrate the usability of a CubeSat platform as an atmospheric entry vehicle. Spacecraft descending towards a planet with an atmosphere experience very harsh environment including extreme temperatures (several thousand degrees).

Information about Qarman’s 437.350 MHz 9600 bps GMSK AX.25 beacon has now been released by the team.

Download the Qarman Beacon Definition QARMAN_BCNdef_v1.1 at https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/qarman_bcndef_v1.1.pdf

Download the Beacon Decoder spreadsheet QARMAN_BCNdecoder at https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/qarman_bcndecoder.xlsx

Reports can be sent to operations@qarman.eu

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK 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/ 

China Telecoms Regulator Proposing to Delete Some Current Amateur Allocations

China’s telecommunications regulator has proposed amending the Measures for the Administration of Amateur Radio Stations, and some amateur bands are in danger of being eliminated. Lide Zhang, BI8CKU, told ARRL that the proposal would prohibit amateur operation on the 2200-meter band as well as on 146 – 148 MHz, 1260 – 1300 MHz, 3400 – 3500 MHz, 5650 – 5725 MHz, and all bands above 10 GHz.

Radio communications engineer and Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, told ARRL that government efforts to eliminate some amateur bands are nothing new, but proposals that have been aired for a while now are on the regulatory agency’s schedule. Kung said he does not anticipate that all of the bands proposed will be taken away, but he conceded that the climate will “undoubtedly” become increasingly more dangerous for China’s amateur radio community.

“The attempt to crowd out the amateur radio bands has a long history throughout the world,” he said, “but it may never have become so urgent for the amateur radio community as it is today. We all understand that radio spectrum resources have become a bottleneck for further development.” He said today’s radio communication industry “is working hard to share spectrum resources.” Kung characterized spectrum as “the soil on which amateur radio depends.”

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

Memorial Service for Brian Kantor, WB6CYT

Phil Karn, KA9Q shares the following announcement:

“As you know, Brian Kantor, WB6CYT passed away suddenly on November 21, 2019. We will hold a memorial service for Brian on Saturday, Feb 1 2020 at 1:30 PM in La Jolla, CA (part of San Diego). Please see this link for details: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-019-Kantor-Memorial”

“Please bring any photos, mementos and (above all) stories and anecdotes about Brian to share. Brian wasn’t exactly a highly formal person who stood on ceremony, so we’ll keep this informal. If you have a story to tell, it’s up to you whether you stand up and relate it to the whole group or just a few others at a time. There will be plenty of time for both.”

“Everyone who knew Brian is welcome. His friendships spanned at least three distinct social circles, and I know he’d be very happy to see everyone meet and enjoy everyone else’s company. Even if he’d be a little embarrassed that we were doing it in his honor.”

“Free snacks and refreshments will be provided, so please RSVP through the evite link so we can tell the hotel how much to make available. If you have special dietary needs, please say so; the hotel has a menu we can choose from.”

“Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. Hope to see you on the 1st.”

[ANS thanks Phil Karn, KA9Q 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
 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

Upcoming Satellite Operations

  • New Orleans, LA (EL49, EL58, EM59, EM40, EM50, EM60) January 14 – February 1, 2020
    Adam, KC3OBS, will be roving EM40, EM50, EL49, EL59, January 14 – Feb 1. In between, Adam will be EL58, January 18 or 19 depending on weather, and in EM60 January 29. Adam will announce passes and updates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sparky_husky
  • 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.
  • Montserrat (FK86) January 26 – February 2, 2020
    Mel, W8MV, will be in Montserrat 26 January until 2 February, operating under the call sign VP2MCV on FM Sats. QSL via LOTW.
  • Antigua (FK97) February 2 – 9, 2020
    Mel, W8MV, will be in Antigua 2-9 February. Mel is waiting for his operating license. Will update as soon as it arrives. FM only. QSL via LOTW
  • Isla Perez, Mexico (EL52, EL50, EL51) February 11 – 17, 2020
    Members of Radio Club Puebla DX will be active as 6F3A from Isla Perez, Mexico, between February 11-17. The operators mentioned are Patricia/XE1SPM (Team Leader), Ismael/XE1AY, Rey/XE1SRD and Ricardo/XE1SY. Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters, and include the ARRL DX CW Contest (February 15-16). QSL via XE1SY. Ismael, XE1AY, reports that he doing CW and the satellites, and will also TX from EL50 and XE1AY/mm from EL51.
  • 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: https://twitter.com/ad0dx, https://twitter.com/dtabor, and https://twitter.com/W3ARDstroke5

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al@amsat.org

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

ARISS News

Editor’s Note: See school contact opportunity story above.

Upcoming Contacts

  • Morita Junior High School, Fukui, Japan, direct via 8J9MO
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Wed 2020-01-22 08:00:46 UTC 27 deg
  • Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada, telebridge via IK1SLD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Wed 2020-01-22 17:21:36 UTC 32 deg

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N for the above information.]

Satellite Shorts from All Over

ARISS-US Educators Review Processes for US Proposal Window

A team of educators who are members of the ARISS-US Education Committee is finalizing the last few processes related to the late 2019 ARISS-US Proposal Window. The team had ranked the education proposals and then sent a list to the ARISS-US leaders of the top schools and education groups recommended for hosting an ARISS contact. A news release is in draft stage. The organizations selected will be in the queue for scheduled ARISS contacts during the second half of 2020. A new ARISS-US Proposal Window will open soon and details on this will be forthcoming.

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information.]

WIA 2020 Annual Conference Presentations

The Wireless Institute of Australia Annual Conference will be held in Hobart, Tasmania May 8-10 2020 and registrations are open.

On the Saturday afternoon a wide range of presentations are organized to showcase the conference theme which is the “Antarctic Gateway”.

Following lunch there will be two presentation streams which can be categorized as the “Antarctic” stream and the “Radio” stream.

Complete information can be viewed at:
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2020/20200111-3/index.php

[ANS thanks the Wireless Institute of Australia for the above information.]

AMSAT Argentina Celebrates LO-19 30th Anniversary

On Feb-22-1990 LUSAT/LO-19 was launched along with AO-16, DO-17, WO-18, UO-14 & UO-15. It was the first Argentina Satellite, and one of first to use PACSAT protocol. LUSAT is still calling home with its carrier at +/-437.125.

Members of AMSAT Argentina (LU7AA) celebrate the 30th anniversary of the LUSAT (LO-19) satellite between Jan. 18 and 26 on HF on SSB, FT8, CW. An award is available as well. QSL via LU7AA (d), eQSL.

Find complete information at:
http://lu4aao.org/lu7aa/cert_30_aniv_lusat_2020.htm and http://amsat.org.ar/certlusat30.htm

[ANS thanks the DARC DX Newsletter and AMSAT-LU for the above information.]

AMSAT-SA Announces A New Date For Their Space Symposium

The annual AMSAT SA Space symposium date has changed to Saturday 11 July 2020. While the call for papers is ongoing till the end of February, AMSAT SA is pleased to announce that Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, of AMSAT NA will delivery two papers at the symposium: Fox-in-a-box: Fox telemetry reception using an inexpensive Raspberry Pi and a J-pole antenna including a discussion on the optimal positioning for a J-pole antenna for satellite reception and an overview of what is in orbit currently and expected in the near future and their features. Prospective authors are invited to propose other papers by submitting a brief synopsis to admin@amsatsa.org.za before 28 February 2020.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-SA for the above information.]

Cardiff Microwave Roundtable Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Cardiff University ARS will host a meeting of the UK Microwave Group on Saturday March 7, 2020 at our campus in Cardiff. This one day event is a mix of talks, measurements, and socializing about activities in the GHz frequencies.

GNU Radio Workshop

On the following day, Sunday March 8, there will be a hands on Introduction to GNU Radio and Software Defined Radio. More info coming soon, please send an email to officers@cardiffars.org.uk
if you are interested.

[ANS thanks the UK Microwave Group for the above information.]

Lockheed Martin Launches First Smart Satellite Enabling Space Mesh Networking

Recently, Lockheed Martin launched the Pony Express 1 mission as a hosted payload on Tyvak-0129, a next-generation Tyvak 6U spacecraft. Pony Express 1, an example of rapid prototyping, was developed, built and integrated in nine months. Some of the key technologies being flight-tested include:

  • Software validates advanced adaptive mesh communications between
    satellites, shared processing capabilities, and can take advantage,
    of sensors aboard other smart satellites,
  • A software-defined radio that allows for high-bandwidth hosting of
    multiple RF applications, store-and-forward RF collection, data
    compression, digital signal processing and waveform transmission,
  • 3D-printed wideband antenna housing.

Read the full story at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=55121

[ANS thanks Spaceref.com for the above information.]

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,

Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw@amsat.org

CAMSAT CAS-6 Satellite to Launch December 20th

CAMSAT’s CAS-6 satellite is scheduled to launch at 03:21 UTC on December 20, 2019. CAS-6 is a payload on the technology test satellite Tianqin-1, which will launch on a CZ-4B launch vehicle from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The primary payload on this launch is the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS-4A).

CAS-6 will be launched to a sun-synchronous orbit at 629 km with an inclination of 97.89 degrees. The satellite carries a 20 kHz wide U/v linear transponder with an uplink of 435.270 MHz –  435.290 MHz and a downlink of 145.915 MHz – 145.935 MHz. The satellite also carries a CW telemetry beacon at 145.910 MHz and a 4k8 GMSK telemetry downlink at 145.890 MHz.

Telemetry downlink specifications and further technical information can be found in the following documents:

 

 

CAS-6 / Tianqin-1
CAS-6 / Tianqin-1
CAMSAT News Release for CAS-6 Satellie
CAS-6 CW Telemetry Encoding Format
CAS-6 Satellites Digital Telemetry Description

SMOG-P and ATL-1 Designated Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106)

On December 6, 2019, the Technical University of Budapest SMOG-P and ATL-1 PocketQubes were launched on an Electron launch vehicle from the Mahia Launch Complex in New Zealand. SMOG-P and ATL-1 were developed as part of the university curriculum and operated in cooperation with the HA5MRC Technical University amateur radio club. The satellites carry spectrum monitoring payloads and are currently active.

At the request of the Technical University of Budapest, AMSAT hereby designates SMOG-P as Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105), and ATL-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106). We congratulate the owners and operators, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them a long mission and continued success on this and future projects.

73,
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator

SMOG-P
MO-105 (SMOG-P)
ATL-1
MO-106 (ATL-1)

Flashback Friday: Satellite Tracking with QUIKTRAK for the Commodore 64 and Apple II

For Flashback Friday, AMSAT is releasing disk images of QUIKTRAK for both the Commodore 64 and Apple II. These disk images should work in any emulator for the platforms, such as VICE for the Commodore 64 and AppleWin or LinApple for the Apple II.  They can also be imaged to floppy disk or used with a floppy emulator on real vintage hardware. These disk images have AMSAT’s club call, W3ZM, and Washington, DC set as the default callsign and QTH. Current Keplerian elements for AO-7 (as of September 13, 2019) are included. These programs provide a fun look back at the state of the art in satellite tracking in the mid-1980s.

QUIKTRAK.DSK (Apple II)

QUIKTRAK.D64 (Commodore 64/128)

QUIKTRAK was written by Bob McGwier, N4HY, utilizing tracking routines originally developed by Tom Clark, W3IWI (now K3IO). While the Commodore 64 version is in compiled BASIC (Blitz), the AppleSoft BASIC source code for the Apple II version is included on the disk image and can be LISTed.

Additionally, Paul Williamson, KB5MU, recently made the InstantTrack program for the IBM PCs and PC compatibles freely available on his website.

If anyone has any copies of additional historic tracking programs, please email n8hm at amsat.org to arrange preserving this portion of AMSAT’s history.

AO-7 with MAPTRAK
Tracking AO-7 with MAPTRAK for the Commodore 64 in VICE.

 

AO-7 QUI
Showing the next AO-7 passes in Washington, DC using QUIKTRAK for the Apple II in LinApple.