Diwata-2 Designated Philippines-OSCAR 101 (PO-101)

On October 29, 2018, the Diwata-2 microsatellite was launched on a H-IIA launch vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center, Tanegashima, Japan. Diwata-2 was developed by the University of the Philippines Dillman (UPD) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) under the PHL-Microsat program (now succeeded by the STAMINA4Space program), and in cooperation with Tohoku University and Hokkaido University.  The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and monitored by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). The satellite carries an amateur radio payload that has been tested and is now ready for service.

At the request of the STAMINA4Space program, AMSAT hereby designates Diwata-2 as Philippines-OSCAR 101 (PO-101). We congratulate the owners and operators of PO-101, thank them for their contribution to the amateur satellite community, and wish them continued success on this and future projects.

73,

Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator

PO-101

AMSAT Files Comments in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed several rules changes related to the amateur satellite service as part of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the mitigation of orbital debris. AMSAT believes several of these rule changes would have an extremely detrimental effect on the amateur satellite service and AMSAT’s ability to launch and operate new satellites, including AMSAT’s upcoming GOLF satellites.

Today, AMSAT filed comments on the proposed rulemaking. In the comments, AMSAT argues that amateur satellites often have longer mission lifespans than other small satellite missions and that the Commission should take a mission duration of 5 to 10 years into account when determining whether or not an amateur satellite will meet the orbital debris regulations by transferring to a parking orbit or re-entering the atmosphere within 25 years of mission completion. The current practice is to assume a “zero year” mission and to require that amateur satellites either transfer to a parking orbit or re-enter within 25 years following launch.

AMSAT also urged the Commission to consider alternatives to a proposed rule that would restrict satellites in Low Earth Orbit that plan to meet the orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry to altitudes of 650 km or less. AMSAT noted that, had this rule been in place, AO-85 and AO-91 would not have been able to be deployed in their current ellipitcal orbits with apogees of approximately 800 km, despite the fact that both of these satellites will re-enter within 25 years due to their low perigees. Additionally, AMSAT noted that current plans for the GOLF-1 satellite are to meet orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry by deploying a drag device that will ensure re-entry within 25 years despite deployment at an altitude of above 1,000 km. This proposed rule would prohibit GOLF-1’s deployment at that altitude.

The Commission’s proposed rules would also require that amateur satellite licensees indemnify the government against any claims made against the United States due to the operation of the satellite. AMSAT believes this proposal would end the ability of AMSAT, or any other entity in the United States, to launch and operate amateur satellites and urges the Commission to consider alternatives, such as establishing a fund to pay any such claims, noting that the likelihood of such a claim is low.

For amateur satellites with propulsion, the Commission proposes a rule that would require any command links as well as satellite telemetry be encrypted. While AMSAT understands and agrees that a satellite carrying a propulsion system must have an encrypted command link, the proposal to require all satellite telemetry be encrypted is unnecessary and counter to the spirit of the amateur service. AMSAT notes that open access to telemetry is expected of amateur satellites and is critical to the educational component of amateur radio satellites.

Finally, AMSAT proposes that the Commission exempt amateur space stations co-located on other spacecraft from the orbital debris mitigation regulations, including any indemnification rule. Noting that AMSAT has pursued opportunities to fly a payload as a rideshare aboard government or commercial satellites, AMSAT argues that, as the satellite’s owner will need to meet orbital debris mitigation requirements to obtain the license in the primary mission’s service, requiring the amateur licensee to meet the orbital debris mitigation requirements as well is redundant. AMSAT proposes that Part 97 be amended to state that amateur space stations co-located on spacecraft with space stations authorized under Part 25 of the Commission’s regulations (for commercial spacecraft) or by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (for government spacecraft) are exempt from these regulations.

AMSAT’s comments as filed may be read in their entirety below.

Comments of Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation - IB Docket No 18-313

The comments may be downloaded at https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Comments-of-Radio-Amateur-Satellite-Corporation-IB-Docket-No-18-313.pdf.

The NPRM is International Bureau Docket #18-313 and is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-18-159A1.pdf.

Interested parties may file reply comments by May 5th at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/

AMSAT Academy to be Held Prior to Dayton Hamvention

Come join us the day before Hamvention, for AMSAT Academy – a unique opportunity to learn all about amateur radio in space and working the FM, linear transponder, and digital satellites currently in orbit.

AMSAT Academy will be held Thursday, May 16, 2019, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, at the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) Clubhouse, located at 6619 Bellefontaine Rd, Dayton, Ohio.

Registration Fee includes:

Full day of instruction, designed for both beginners and advanced amateur radio satellite operators, and taught by some of the most accomplished AMSAT operators.
Digital copy of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites, 2019 Edition ($15 value)
One-Year, AMSAT Basic Membership ($44 value)
Pizza Buffet Lunch.
Invitation to the Thursday night AMSAT get together at Ticket Pub and Eatery in Fairborn.

AMSAT Academy 2019 Registration Fee: $85.00. Registration closes May 10, 2019. No sign ups at the door. No refunds, No cancellations.

Registration may be purchased on the AMSAT Store.

Details about AMSAT’s other activities at the 2019 Hamvention, including the TAPR/AMSAT Banquet may be found here.

Out of This World Auction Sponsored by ARISS

The ARISS-US team (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) will auction two very unusual items in its first-ever auction!  Picture yourself as the winning bidder and proud owner of a unique JVC Kenwood TS-890S signed by astronauts!  Or, you could be top bidder on a special astronaut-signed 6-volume boxed set 2019 ARRL Handbook!

Bidding starts April 8th at 12:00 UTC and ends April 14th at 22:00 UTC.

You could own this one-of-a-kind beautiful Kenwood TS-890S; your ham station would boast the only Kenwood in the world showcasing astronaut signatures.  Your top bid on the limited edition boxed-set 2019 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications would mean your bookshelf includes astronaut signatures among your book collection.

JVC Kenwood, a proud supporter of ARISS, generously gave a brand new TS-890S for ARISS to auction.  They first offered the radio for sale in the US in the last half of 2018.  Kenwood has been a super supporter of ARISS for years, and it was the company’s idea for this radio, with astronaut signatures, to be an exclusive that just one ham operator could own! The company hopes you’ll be a bidder who wants to support ARISS.

The limited edition 2019 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications sold out fast once ARRL posted their ad.  It was the first time that ARRL divided the Handbook into volumes, which nestle in a hard slipcase.  ARRL, an ARISS sponsor along with AMSAT and NASA, saved back one boxed set to give ARISS for the fund-raiser auction.

When you bid in this auction you could be the crucial person who helps ARISS launch its new custom-built higher-power radio system in 2019 with its voice repeater and improved packet APRS and SSTV capability that thousands of hams enjoy. The new system will replace the aging, problematic units currently on the ISS.  You may be the winning bidder who helps ARISS continue introducing ham radio to thousands of students, teachers, parents, and whole communities—and inspiring students about science, technology, engineering, math, and radio!

Don’t forget; set yourself a reminder: bidding starts April 8th at 12:00 UTC and ends April 14th at 22:00 UTC.

Be the winning bidder for one or both of these two exclusive offerings and you’ll own a rare article that makes your ham station a classic!  More auction details will soon be posted at www.ariss.orgincluding that winning bidders will be responsible for shipping costs and for handling any required customs paperwork.  ARISS thanked JVC Kenwood and ARRL for their generous support.

And if you don’t do auctions, please contribute a donation to help ARISS launch its new radio system into space—look for the Donate button near the top right corner of the www.ariss.org page. Thank you!                                                                                                                      

About ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS).  In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.

Also join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS PR

aa4kn@amsat.org