ANS-355 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Dec. 20

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor [at] amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

  • SSTV Event to Mark 20 Years of Ham Radio Operation in Space
  • Launch for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Delayed by Covid-19
  • AMSAT-NA Mailman Upgrades
  • Upcoming Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution
  • AMSAT CW Activity Day 2021
  • Amateur Satellite Operation From Wales During Covid-19 Restriction
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 17
  • Satellite Podcast Available
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-355.01
ANS-355 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 355.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 December 20
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-355.01

SSTV Event to Mark 20 Years of Ham Radio Operation in Space

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) will continue its year-long 20th anniversary celebration of continuous ham radio operation from the ISS this month, with a slow-scan television (SSTV) event over the holidays. The first ARISS school contact took place in December 2000, not long after the first ISS crew arrived on station a month earlier and had made test contacts. The commemorative late-December SSTV event will be held December 24 through December 31, although dates are subject to change. The frequency will be 145.800 MHz, using SSTV PD-120 mode. Over its 20 years, ARISS has supported nearly 1,400 scheduled ham radio contacts with schools, student groups, and other education organizations.

“ARISS would not be the complex and growing program of education, operations, and hardware were it not for ARRL, AMSAT, NASA, and the ISS National Lab (INL),” said Rosalie White, K1STO, ARISS-US Delegate representing ARRL. “For these past 20 years and for the years to come, when we grow into lunar ham radio opportunities and more, the ARISS team will continue to be grateful to ARRL and all our sponsors. We could not do it without you!”

The ARISS ham radio gear, for what would become NA1SS on board the station, arrived ahead of the Expedition 1 crew, headed by Bill Shep- herd, KD5GSL. Shepherd made the first ARISS school contact with students at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Illinois on December 21, 2000. NASA has marked the ARISS milestone with an infographic highlighting the educational contacts via amateur radio between astronaut crew members aboard the ISS and students.

ARISS will continue to sponsor various commemorative events through November 2021, including more of the very popular ARISS SSTV sessions. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of ham radio on the space station, ARISS took part in the ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) panel session, “20 Years of STEM Experiments on the ISS.” A video developed for the session describes the program, conveys some key lessons learned over the past 20 years, and describes the ARISS team’s vision for the future.

“Twenty years of continuous operations is a phenomenal accomplishment,” said ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, who’s been with the program from the start. “But what makes it even more extraordinary is that ARISS has achieved this through hundreds of volunteers who are passionate in paying it forward to our youth and ham radio community. On behalf of the ARISS International team, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to every volunteer who has made ARISS such an amazing success over the past 20 years. Your passion, drive, creativity, and spirit made it happen.”

In September, ARISS announced that the initial element of its next-generation Interoperable Radio System (IORS) had been installed in the ISS Columbus module, replacing outmoded and problematic station gear.

A helpful addition to the ARISS website is a “Current Status of ISS Stations,” which reports the present or coming operating mode of ARISS radios in the Columbus and Service modules. Click on General Contacts and then Current Status of ISS Stations on the drop-down menu of the ARISS website to access the reports.

(ANS thanks ARRL 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/


Launch for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Delayed by Covid-19

Virgin Orbit has announced that all launch operations have been put on hold due to a large number of staff either testing positive or requiring quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19. The launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission had been scheduled to open on December 19. When it is rescheduled, this launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat / Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology.

RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for amateur radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.

RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies:

Telemetry Downlink – 435.750 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink – 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink – 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]


AMSAT-NA Mailman Upgrades

AMSAT’s IT team has been working to upgrade the Mailman software that supports mailing lists (aka reflectors, listserv, BB, etc). This up- grade became necessary for several reasons, one of which was the re- lease of a new major revision of the Mailman software itself. The new version of Mailman has many improvements, including: an updated web UI, management of all list memberships with a single account, and a web UI for searching and browsing archives.

The upgrade requires existing mail list users to sign up for a “new” account, which will be used to manage their existing list subscriptions and preferences. This will also require everyone to validate their preferences, aliases (if any), etc. Most existing preferences from the previous version of Mailman did not migrate. Please see the procedures below. Please contact postmaster@amsat.org with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Procedures to Signup for New Mailman List Service

  1. Visit https://mailman.amsat.org
  2. Click “Signup” in the top right corner.
  3. Fill out the form. For username, it is recommended that you use your e-mail address.
  4. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in the e-mail, and then click the “Confirm” button.
  5. Login with your new AMSAT-NA Mailman account.
  6. Navigate to the User Profile/Settings area by clicking the drop- down at the top right, and selecting “Account.”
  7. Fill in your First Name, Last Name, time zone and click the “Update” button.
  8. If you have alternate e-mail addresses you use to subscribe to lists, they can be added using the “E-mail Addresses” tab.

Notable Changes from Previous Version of Mailman

  • A single account is used to manage your subscription and preferences (and list settings if you are a list owner). Delivery preferences, account updates, and subscription changes can all be made for any list you are a member of, with a single account.
  • All archives are now searchable in a web-based interface. See https://mailman.amsat.org/hyperkitty or click the Archives link at the top of the site.
  • All e-mails from the Mailman system are encrypted in transit.
  • The mail server itself has an updated SPAM detection infrastructure, and improved validation of inbound and outbound messages. This should result in more reliable SPAM detection, and also improved “whitelisting” of legitimate AMSAT-NA e-mails.

[ANS thanks Matthew Alberti, KM4EXS, AMSAT IT Team, for the above information]


Upcoming Changes to AMSAT News Service Bulletins Distribution

Due in part to the e-mail system upgrades and ongoing changes in technology more generally, distribution of the AMSAT New Service (ANS) bulletins (the bulletins you are reading right now) will change slightly in the new year.

Beginning January 1, 2021, ANS bulletins will no longer be sent with hard returns (CR/LF) inserted at 72 characters or fewer. Line length has traditionally been delineated for transmission on packet networks. However, few such networks remain operational, and most users receive the bulletins via a computer or mobile device.

For the time being, ANS bulletins will continue to be sent in plain text, and most users will notice no change. A few may have to turn on or adjust the “word wrap” feature in their email client, but for the vast majority, bulletins will display on their devices as they always have. The only difference most might notice is fewer hyphens breaking words in the various news stories.

This is a first step toward moving to an HTML format that will eventual- ly allow bulletins to be sent with color and photo illustrations, much as bulletins from ARRL and other sources have been for some time. AMSAT News Service is moving slowly toward this change, so users may expect the plain text distribution to continue for some months yet.

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, ANS Senior Editor 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/


AMSAT CW Activity Day 2021

You are cordially invited to participate in CW Activity Day 2021, sponsored by AMSAT-NA for amateurs around the world. Operate CW through any amateur satellite on 1 January 2021 UTC.Straight keys and bugs are encouraged but not required. You need not send in a log, but are encouraged to post a brief report of your activity on the amsat-bb bulletin board, amsat-bb@amsat.org. You need not be an AMSAT member.

Protect your satellites!Please remember to use the minimum power needed to complete your QSOs.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, for the above information]


Amateur Satellite Operation From Wales During Covid-19 Restriction

Barry Amateur Radio Society (BARS), located in South Wales-UK, usually operates from its club station at his time of the year using our call signs and extend seasons greetings from Wales to other operators and families throughout the world.

Sadly due to the lock down and restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 virus we are unable to gain access to operate from our club station.

Fortunately we have had confirmed that our club members can operate using the call CC4BRS/A(A is alternative) from their own QTH and the rules being adhered to.

During the period Sunday, December 20 through Saturday, December 25, two of the club members plan to operate via radio amateur satellites. With the success and coverage of QO-100 this will be the prime operation and we hopefully can extend our greetings to many other operators.

Ken, GW1FKY, will operate using the allocated call GC4BRS/A from his QTH in South Wales – grid locator IO81em. Bernard, MW0GBW, will also operate the club call from his QTH – grid locator IO81jkbut not at the same time of course unless he can perhaps operate in digital mode. To keep things simple an exchange of confirmation of call sign – name – signal report and grid locator will make it easier in the event of multiple operators calling on the operating frequency. QSL Manager for the event is Glyn Jones ( GW0ANA )

[ANS thanks Ken Eaton, GW1FKY, 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


Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 17

The following satellites have decayed from orbit and have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

SiriusSat 1 – NORAD Cat ID 43595 (Decayed on December 9, 2020 per Space-Track).

SiriusSat 2 – NORAD Cat ID 43596 (Decayed on December 9, 2020 per Space-Track).

To subscribe to the weekly email distribution of fresh Keplerian Two-Line Elements (TLE) login at https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]


Satellite Podcast Available

AMSAT Board of Directors member Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, was the recent guest of Eric Guth on his “QSO Today” amateur radio podcast.

Michelle is a third generation amateur, beginning her ham radio journey in elementary school. Her interest in microwave circuit design and computers led her to a successful engineering career and now she is board member of AMSAT. Michelle is an advocate for open source applied to satellite design, fueling future generations of amateur spacecraft.

The podcast is available at https://qsotoday.com/podcasts/w5nyv

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, and QSO Today 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.

Oregon Charter Academy, Mill City, OR, telebridge via VK4KHZ (A telebridge contact means that the contact was audible near Australia and students connected to the Australian ground station via the inter- net). The ISS callsign was scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut was Shannon Walker, KD5DXB. The contact was successful: Tue 2020-12-15 19:00:49 UTC 32 degrees maximum elevation.

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 tries to provide everyone with near-real-time updates. Watch for future COVID- 19 related announcements at https://www.ariss.org/

The latest information on ARISS operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

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

Upcoming Roves: ****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately****

@AD7DB: DM22 : Dec 17-20 Maybe DM13,23,32 Holiday Style on FM sats.

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

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


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to Covid 19, no events are currently scheduled.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have selected three astronauts to serve as crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2021. All three astronauts are licensed amateur radio operators. The trio will consist of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, KI5LIU, and Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC, who will serve as commander and pilot, respectively, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, who will serve as a mission specialist. A fourth crew member will be added at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners. (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ China has recovered precious lunar samples after a successful reentry and landing of the Chang’e-5 return capsule. The roughly 300-kilogram (660-pound) Chang’e-5 return capsule performed a ballistic skip re- entry at 12:33 p.m. Eastern (1733z) on Dec. 16, effectively bouncing off the atmosphere over the Arabian Sea. The capsule containing around 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of drilled and scooped lunar material landed in the grasslands of Siziwang Banner at 12:59 p.m. Recovery vehicles located the capsule shortly after. (ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information)

+ NASA has released the first iteration of its Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment and Collision Avoidance Best Practices Handbook to share information on best practices for coordinating in-orbit activity in a safe and responsible manner. The agency aims for these best practices to bolster stability, reduce current and future operational risks, and contribute to a sustainable space environment for future public and private sector activities. The best practices handbook is available for download at: https://go.nasa.gov/34f9ijM (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ Whenever Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction — that is, when they appear from earth to be very close together in the sky — it is referred to as a “Great Conjunction,” primarily because unlike conjunctions with the other bright planets, these two don’t get together very often. The last time these two planets appeared so close was on July 16, 1623, when they were only 5 arc minutes apart. We will get another 6-arc minute separation on March 15, 2080. If you’ve had a clear view to the southwest for the past few weeks you may have noticed them, two “stars,” one much brighter than the other, approaching each other night after night just after sunset. (ANS thanks Space.com for the above information)

+ Santa Claus will be performing a ceremonial fly-by of the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 24. The visit will honor the 20th anniversary of continuous life on the ISS, a milestone achieved in November. The official NORAD Santa Tracker at NoradSanta.org will allow users to track Santa’s journey all day on Dec. 24. New for this year, visitors will be able to see the ISS orbiting the planet in its precise real-time location by zooming out on the 3D Santa Tracker app. Other updates include additions to Santa’s traditional garb, including a face mask and space helmet. (ANS thanks N2YO.com for the above information)

+ NASA will not repair a faulty electronics unit on the Orion space- craft recently completed for the Artemis 1 mission after concluding there was sufficient redundancy in the overall system. In a Dec. 17 statement, NASA said it had decided to “use as is” one of eight power and data units (PDU) on the Orion spacecraft, which provide communications between the spacecraft’s computers and other components. One of two redundant channels in one of two communications cards in that PDU is not working. NASA said that the risks of damaging the spacecraft during the PDU repair outweighed any loss of data should the unit completely malfunction. (ANS thanks SpaceNews.com 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 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

 

ANS-348 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Dec. 13th

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-BB has migrated email server
  • Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Opens December 19th
  • Robots Dominate Space News This Week
  • SpaceX’s Starship SN8 soars on test launch with explosive landing
  • The Great Conjunction is coming on December 21, 2020
  • ARISS News * Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over
  • Tips for the New Operator Mobile Apps 2

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-348.01
ANS-348 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 348.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 December 13
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-348.01


AMSAT-BB has migrated email server

AMSAT’s IT team has been working to upgrade the Mailman software that supports mailing lists (aka reflectors, listserv, BB, etc). This upgrade became necessary for several reasons, one of which was the release of a new major revision of the Mailman software itself. The new version of Mailman has many improvements, including: an updated web UI, management of all list memberships with a single account, and a web UI for searching and browsing archives.

The upgrade requires existing mail list users to sign up for a “new” account, which will be used to manage their existing list subscriptions and preferences. This will also require everyone to validate their preferences, aliases (if any), etc. Most existing preferences from the previous version of Mailman did not migrate. Please see the procedures below. Please contact postmaster@amsat.org with any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade.

Procedures to to sign up for the new Mailman service were sent to all AMSAT-BB subscribers. Please read the PDF attached to the email. Matt, KM4EXS adds this reminder in a follow up email: Please use the “Sign Up” option, using the email address that you use for your subscriptions. That process will link the “new” account to all your existing subscriptions. You can then set your digest preferences as you like.

[ANS thanks Matt Alberti / KM4EXS / AMSAT-IT Volunteer for the above information]


Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Opens December 19th December 2, 2020

Virgin Orbit has announced that the launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission opens on December 19th. This launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat / Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology. RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for amateur radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at: https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.
Uplink LSB 145.860 MHz through 145.890 MHz
Downlink USB 435.760 MHz through 435.790 MHz
1.2kbps BPSK telemetry 435.750 MHz

Launches on ELaNa XX – Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Launch Demo 2.

[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, Contributing Editor ANS News Service for the above information]


Robots Dominate Space News This Week

Two groundbreaking robotic sample return missions dominated much of the space news this week. A capsule holding grains of rock and dust sampled from asteroid Ryugu hit the Earth’s atmosphere at 11.6 km/s and safely parachuted into the Australian outback. Hayabusa2 launched on Dec. 3, 2014, took four years to reach Ryugu, then did a bunch of science (including shooting it with a tantalum bullet and dropping numerous deployables on the body—here’s a detailed PDF about the mission), before returning with ~100 mg of samples, having covered a total of 5.24 billion kilometers. The mission isn’t over for Hayabusa2 though—it’s now headed toward asteroid 1998KY26 for humanity’s first rendezvous with a fast rotating asteroid in 2031 and a flyby of 2001CC21 along the way.

After 19 hours of drilling and scooping samples, Chang’e 5’s ascent vehicle spring-launched and then blasted off, returning to lunar orbit carrying ~2 kg of regolith. It successfully rendezvoused with the return vehicle, transferred the sample, and the return vehicle has embarked on its multi-day return trip. These will be the first lunar samples returned since the 70s and the first sample return mission for China. The rendezvous of the ascent vehicle and the return segment used microwave radar that was accurate down to 0.1° and able to lock on to a circle with a 3.33 cm radius.

The cost to train deep neural networks is decreasing at 50x Moore’s Law, leading many to believe that machine learning, while very much in its infancy, will see many more space applications in the near future. Cutting edge applications, such as making autonomous decisions because throughput or speed-of-light delay prevent humans from doing so, have already been demonstrated, and more are on the horizon.

[ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information]


SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype soars on epic test launch, with explosive landing

SpaceX’s Starship spaceflight system just took a big step on its path to Mars. The latest Starship prototype, a shiny silver vehicle known as SN8, launched on an epic high-altitude test flight today (Dec. 9), taking off at 5:45 p.m. EST (2245 GMT) from SpaceX’s facility near the South Texas village of Boca Chica.

The goal was to soar about 7.8 miles (12.5 kilometers) into the sky, perform some complex aerial maneuvers — including a “belly flop” like the one the final Starship will perform when coming back to Earth on operational flights — and then land safely near the launch stand. The 165-foot-tall (50 meters) SN8 appeared to notch all of these big milestones, except for the final one: The vehicle hit its landing mark but came in too fast, exploding in a dramatic fireball 6 minutes and 42 seconds after liftoff. Additional information and video available
at: https://bit.ly/3n7KLV1

[ANS thanks Mike Wall of Space.com for the above information]


The Great Conjunction is coming on December 21, 2020

In their closest encounter since 1623, Jupiter and Saturn appear as a single star in the evening sky next month. All through the summer and into the fall, the two gas giants of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, have been calling attention to themselves in the southern evening sky. Jupiter of course, always appears brilliant and is usually one of the brightest nighttime objects, but in recent months it has stood out even more than usual because of the presence of bright Saturn trailing just off to its left (east). Appearing about one-twelfth as bright, Saturn has, in a way, served as Jupiter’s “lieutenant” in this year of 2020. This will be the first time since 1623 that this event will be seen. Additional information is on: https://bit.ly/3m4ot5j [ANS thanks Joe Rao of Space.com 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/


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/


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 for the week of 9 December, 2020

ARISS has posted a special anniversary message and a video celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the ARISS Web Page:
<http://www.ariss.org>.

An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) event is scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS) for late December. This will be a special SSTV event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ARISS. The event is scheduled to begin on December 24 and continue through December 31. Dates are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at
https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at
https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
Upcoming Contacts:

Oregon Charter Academy, Mill City, OR, telebridge via VK4KHZ (Shannon
Walker KD5DXB) Tue 2020-12-15 19:00:49 UTC 32 deg
——————————————————————–
The following schools have now been postponed/cancelled due to COVID-19:

Postponed: No new schools
Cancelled: RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamț, Romania, direct via YRØISS

Note, all times are approximate.  It is recommended that you do your own
orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed
time.

All dates and times listed follow International Standard ISO 8601 date
and time format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS
The complete schedule page has been updated as of 2020-12-08 16:00 UTC.
Here you will find a listing of all scheduled school contacts, and
questions, other ISS related websites, IRLP and Echolink websites, and
instructions for any contact that may be streamed live.
https://www.amsat.org/amsat/ariss/news/arissnews.rtf
https://www.amsat.org/amsat/ariss/news/arissnews.txt

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N and David Jordan AA4KN, of the ARISS operation team mentor group 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

Note from  KE0PBR ****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves hap-
pening lately, and I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

@N4DCW will be working passes from EM87 Dec 10-13. Click link to check
for details: https://bit.ly/36V2SYM

@KL7TN: DM67/68: If my plans still hold up, Dec 12-13 for DM67/68 is on
my radar.

@AD7DB: DM22 : Dec 17-20 Maybe DM13,23,32 Holiday Style on FM sats.

No Major Roves are listed.

Please submit any additions or corrections to KE0PBR (at) gmail.com

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


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

<No update listed this week>

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6CLS for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

Happy birthday to OSCAR 1 -Age 59!
+ The first amateur satellite, simply named OSCAR (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio), was launched on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of the world’s first satellite of any kind, Sputnik I. The satellite had to be built in a very specific shape and weight, so it could be used in place of one of the weights necessary for balancing the payload in the rocket stage. OSCAR 1 was the first satellite to be ejected as a secondary payload (the primary payload was Discoverer 36) and to subsequently enter a separate orbit. Its orbit decayed quickly, yet despite orbiting for only 22 days, OSCAR 1 was an immediate success. More than 570 amateur radio opera tors in 28 countries forwarded observations to Project OSCAR (predecessor organization to AMSAT). (ANS thanks The Year in Space for the above information)

+ SpaceX won $885.5 million in broadband subsidies the FCC awarded pro viders Dec. 7 under its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase 1 auction. SpaceX’s share of the funding is one of the largest among the 180 winning bidders. The FCC will distribute the $9.2 billion in RDOF funding over the next 10 years to help the winning providers bring broadband service to some 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in rural parts of the United States. (ANS thanks SpaceNews.com for the above information)

+ SpaceX launched its upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft on Dec. 6. Based on Crew Dragon (basically stripped of seats, life support equipment, abort motors, and navigation interfaces), this was their 21st commercial ISS resupply mission. This version of Cargo Dragon is certified for five flights compared to its predecessor’s three, and it conducts automated docking instead of Canadarm-captured berthing. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ There may still be time to participate in the last part of the 2020 Open Source CubeSat Workshop. The workshop provides a forum for Cube Sat developers and CubeSat mission operators to meet and join forces on open source projects. The focus of this year’s workshop is on sharing of ideas and open collaboration, even when confined at home. The target audience is academia, research institutes, companies, and individuals. The event takes place 12 and 13 December, 13:00 17:00 UTC each day: https://events.libre.space/event/4/ (ANS thanks Libre Space Community for the above information)

+ Surprisingly clear videos of the Arecibo Observatory collapse are now available, one from a drone that was actively inspecting a cable dur ing the event and the other from a camera in the control room. A de tailed frame-by-frame analysis is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59WQIRvezzI (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ GEOMAGNETIC STORM December 10, 2020
A coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred heading for Earth early in the week., and geomagnetic storms were forecast to occur when it arrived on December 9th and 10th. NOAA forecasters downgraded their possible G3 warning. Unfortunately for Skywatchers, auroras that were could originally thought possible as far south as Illinois and Oregon were not seen farther south than the northern tier. On the other hand satellite surface charging issues and HF propagation have remained unaffected without the blackouts typical of these disturbances. An interesting discussion of the reasons for this “non-event” is on Dr. Tamitha Skov’s YouTube/Patreon channel at:  https://bit.ly/38113ce  (ANS thanks Spaceweather.com and Dr. Skov for the above information)

+ Next Rocket Lab launch delayed due to weather
Due to weather over the range this week at LC-1 RocketLab are now targeting no earlier than Monday, 14 December UTC for #TheOwlsNightBegins mission. Terry ads in a follow up note: “There is a solar eclipse on Monday that may affect the mission so the launch is delayed until Tuesday.”  See: https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1337329320876904450
Target lift-off: UTC | 09:00 –  10:59
(ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC for the above information)

+ Samples of asteroid Ryugu arrive in Japan after successful Hayabusa2 capsule landing on Dec. 5  Japanese scientists are thrilled to finally have asteroid samples  arrive Monday (Dec. 7) after a long flight from Australia — and a  much longer journey through the solar system.  An aerial shot of the Hayabusa2 return capsule and parachute after  its landing on a bush in the Woomera Prohibited Area, Australia.  Those rocks originate on a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu; the  Hayabusa2 spacecraft snagged them in 2019 before a yearlong journey  to deliver them to Earth in a small sample-return capsule. The capsule landed on Dec. 5 in the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia, creating a stunning fireball in the pre-dawn skies.
Japanese scientists on site successfully tracked down the capsule  and collected the precious cosmic delivery to begin the final leg of  its journey. See additional information and photos at:   https://bit.ly/379wPnV
(ANS thanks Meghan Bartels and Space.com for the above information)


Tips for the New Satellite Operator Mobile Apps 2

This is the third of a what I hope to be a monthly New Satellite Operators Corner. I will offer AMSAT New Operator tips and links to AMSAT resources for new operators and posts from various interest groups where useful info is published. This weeks tip comes from Rick, WA6NDR via TH-D74A@groups.io. I hope you find this as useful as I have. Jack, KD4IZ, Editor, AMSAT News Service. <Mini-Reviews of two apps: SpaceLaunchNow and Orbitrack (ANS thanks ___ for sharing this 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 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, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ

kd4iz at amsat dot org

ANS-341 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for December 6th

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America, 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://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.

In this edition:

  • Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E Opens December 19, 2020
  • FoxTelem 1.09 Released
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for December 2020
  • FO-29 operation schedule for December 2020 and January 2021
  • IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Three Satellites in November
  • Orbital Mechanics for Dummies
  • Brandmeister DMR Network Announces Password Implementation
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-341.01
ANS-341 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 341.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
December 06, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-341.01

Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E Opens December 19, 2020

Virgin Orbit has announced that the launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission opens on December 19. This launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat/Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology.

RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for Amateur Radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.

RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies:
Telemetry Downlink 435.750 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink 435.760 – MHz 435.790 MHz

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]


FoxTelem 1.09 Released

Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ announced the availability of FoxTelem 1.09. This release provides several enhancements and needed changes for RadFxSat-2/FOX-1E. This new spacecraft sends 1200bps BPSK telemetry in parallel with a linear transponder. Downloading telemetry and sending it to the server will assist AMSAT and the Radiation tolerance experiments from Vanderbilt University.

You can download FoxTelem 1.09 at:
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/windows/FoxTelem_1.09n3_windows.zip
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/linux/FoxTelem_1.09n3_linux.tar.gz
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/mac/FoxTelem_1.09n3_mac.tar.gz

  • The changes from 1.08 to 1.09 are as follows:
  • Performance improvements on the telemetry tabs. This uses less CPU than 1.08.
  • Clearer display of historical records on the telemetry tabs for RT, MAX, MIN and WOD.
  • Bug fixes for Fox-1E decode and display of diagnostic tables, Whole Orbit Data, and formatting of telemetry.
  • Ignore extra commas in conversion curve comments.
  • Allow a single spacecraft to be downloaded from the Fox Server, even if FoxTelem stores many spacecraft.
  • Latest Golf-T layouts for development.
  • BPSK CRC checksum calculation for GOLF-T.
  • Another new way to decode and display the mode.
  • More generic tab layouts to allow future expansion through soft coding.
  • Throttle the DDE requests when decoder stopped.
  • Many other bug fixes

See the complete list on github at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-FoxTelem

On Saturday, December 5, 2020, Chris added the following information:

“If you are having difficulty upgrading to FoxTelem 1.09 because it says that it can not write some files, then I have put together a procedure to migrate your data. If in frustration you reset the FoxTelem properties file and now you don’t have your old telemetry from 1.08, then this will still likely work and recover the data. Details are at:
https://www.g0kla.com/foxtelem/tutorial_moving_foxtelem_logfiles.php

“Many thanks to Frank K6FW who helped work out this procedure. Feel free to reach out to me for help.”

Burns Fisher, WB1FJ adds, “For those of you with Fox-In-A-Box telemetry stations (Fun Cube Dongle in a Raspberry Pi with FoxTelem software), FoxTelem 1.09 has been successfully tested on an FIAB.

“It is easy to update your FIAB with the new FoxTelem version. Some time ago, I provided the instructions for upgrading to a new FoxTelem and they will not have changed significantly other than the version numbers. You can view the instructions at:
https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-FIAB-Upgrade.

“In any case, over the next few days, I will update and post the instructions as well as making the new version available on the FIAB SD cards sold in the AMSAT store and (a bit after that) on the free download.”

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ and Burns Fisher,WB1FJ 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


VUCC Awards-Endorsements for December 2020

Ron Parsons, W5RKN reports the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period November 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CALL Nov Dec
WC7V 1218 1229
W5CBF 657 723
AA8CH 702 718
NS3L 600 625
N9FN 486 499
K5IX 402 450
W0NBC 176 435
AB1OC 215 261
AA2HJ 100 253
W8LR 200 225
DL4ZAB 178 201
NA1ME 126 150
W9TTY 100 114
N8URE 101 104
AD5JK New 102
DL6KBG New 101
KC2BBU New 101
AI4IC New 100

Ron adds,”If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at <mycall>@<mycall>.com and I’ll revise the announcement. This list was developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It’s a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call was not mentioned. Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!”

[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN for the above information.]


FO-29 operation schedule for December 2020 and January 2021

The Japan Amateur Radio League has released the FO-29 operation schedule for December 2020 and January 2021. Times are in UTC. The operation runs until the UVC (lower limit voltage control) activates.

December 2020
5 01:52, 03:35
6 02:45, 04:30
12 02:25, 04:15
13 03:20, 05:05
14 02:25, 04:10
19 01:20, 03:05
20 02:10, 03:55
26 01:55, 03:40
27 02:45
30 01:45
31 02:35

January 2021
1 01:40, 03:25
3 01:35, 03:20
9 01:20, 03:05
10 02:10, 03:55
11 01:15, 03:00

[ANS thanks Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU for the above information.]


AMSAT’s GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits,
and it all begins with GOLF-TEE a technology demonstrator
for deployable solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control.
Come along for the ride. The journey will be worth it!

https://tinyurl.com/ANS-GOLF


IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Three Satellites in November

During the month of November the IARU coordinated frequencies for three upcoming Amateur Radio satellites:

+ GASPACS The primary mission is to deploy a one meter long inflatable UV curable boom (AeroBoom) from a 1U CubeSat in low-Earth orbit and to photograph the deployed AeroBoom and transmit a clear picture back to earth. GASPACS will also operate an AX.25 automatic digipeater for Amateur Radio testing and communication purposes.

All of the code that the satellite and ground station runs will be open source and published to Github (except telecommand encryption) allowing Amateurs to use the knowledge and code for their own projects. The UHF downlink uses 9k6 2GSK with AX25. Planning a CSLI deployment from the ISS in Q1 2022. A downlink on 437.365 MHz has been coordinated More info at http://gas.usu.edu and https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-GASPACS

The link to the Github documentation can be found at: github.com/SmallSatGasTeam/CubeWorks.

+ SMOG-2 SMOG-2 is a 3p PocketQube continuation of SMOG-P and SMOG-1 spectrum monitoring pocketqube class satellites with wider monitored spectrum range focused on HAM, ISM and broadcasting bands. Worldwide Amateur Radio stations can receive its spectrum monitoring data to help create a global electromagnetic pollution map to be published at http://gnd.bme.hu. The UHF downlink uses 5kb GMSK. Planning a RocketLab launch from New Zealand into a 600 km SSO in 2021. A downlink on 437.150 MHz has been coordinated.

+ D3 The mission is a 2U CubeSat intended to demonstrate the performance of a novel drag-based targeted point re-entry algorithm using repeatedly deployable/retractable drag surfaces to perform orbital maneuvers that guarantee spacecraft re-entry at a pre-defined location. If successful, the D3 module can be adapted to other Amateur Radio satellites to ensure consistent re-entry and help reduce the concentration of space debris. The mission is run solely by Amateurs with the purpose of helping future Amateur missions. The UHF downlink uses 9k6 GMSK downlink for AX25 telemetry and data and 1k2 AFSK for a beacon. Planning a launch to the ISS in September 2021. Downlinks on 437.080 MHz and 2432.000 MHz have been coordinated. More info from http://adamus-d3-website.herokuapp.com/.

[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information.]


Orbital Mechanics for Dummies

Orbital Mechanics has been around since well before artificial satellites were even remotely possible. (Remember that Johannes Kepler — who gave us Keplerian elements we use in tracking satellites today — published his book, The Cosmographic Mystery, in 1596! And Walter Hohmann first described transfer orbits in 1929.)

Rendezvousing with another object in the same orbit is perhaps the most counter-intuitive, as you must adjust your orbital period by leaving the shared orbit and later re-entering it. To “slow down” you accelerate to increase the height of your orbit, lengthening your orbital period relative to the other craft, let time pass, and then re-enter the original orbit once they’ve caught up. Conversely, to catch up, you decrease velocity to achieve a smaller, more eccentric orbit, which has a shorter orbital period.

There are tons of resources out there for diving into the math of orbital mechanics. Surprisingly, one of the easiest to read comes from the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine as part of their “Advanced Aerospace Medicine On-line” course at: https://bit.ly/3oaOSzM.

You can also play with orbits in a simulator at: https://orbitalmechanics.info/.

Or, if you really want to develop a more intuitive sense of two-body orbital mechanics while having a blast (pun very much intended), play the Kerbal Space Program (not a free game) at:
https://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/game/kerbal-space-program/.

[ANS thanks The Orbital Index 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/


Brandmeister DMR Network Announces Password Implementation

The AMSAT DMR talkgroup is 98006 on the Brandmeister Network. Walter Holmes, K5WH, has received notice of changes coming to Brandmeister from the network administrators:

“Due to issues that have been happening recently, we are going to need to start requiring users to set a hotspot security pass-word to gain access to the US Masters. If you already have a hot spot security password set on the BM portal, you can ignore this post. We are going to start requiring this on master these US master servers:

  • 3101 changes on December 1
  • 3102 changes on December 4
  • 3103 changes on December 11

“This is already implemented on the RU masters, and other Master Servers will follow. At this time this will just be for hotspots. The API is being worked on to allow repeater owners to make this change as well, but it is not quite ready to go.”

Walter noted, “Since we all use the US DMR Master servers, 3101, 3102, or 3103, they will be changed starting as early as December 1, 2020, requiring a HotSpot PASSWORD be set, or you will no longer be able to use DMR. Whether you have a Hotspot, BlueDV, DudeStar, DroidStar, or ANY of the other applications to access DMR, these change is required.”

Be sure to log into the Brandmeister site, and create an account right away if you don’t already have one, as it may take a few days to get that authorized: https://brandmeister.network/

For instructions on how to set your hotspot security on the Brandmeister portal visit https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-DMR.

In conclusion Walter said, “If you’re not comfortable with these steps, help is available via a Zoom channel. Reach me at k5wh@k5wh.net for the link.”

[ANS thanks Walter Holmes, K5WH, and the Brandmeister Network for the above information.]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

CN96/97, DN06/07 December 6, 2020 @KI7UXT is planning to activate CN96/97 line (priority CN97) and DN06/07 line (priority DN07) on Sunday, December 6, 2020. His son’s football event is in Ellensburg, WA. All subject to change. All normal disclaimers apply.

EM87 December 10-13, 2020 @N4DCW will be working passes.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information.]


ARISS News

+ Upcoming Contacts

Athlone Community College, Athlone, Ireland, direct via EI1ISS. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Watch for live stream at: https://youtu.be/viVQBI4WzKs. Contact is go for: Mon 2020-12-07 14:50:49 UTC.

Turkish State Meteorological Service; Mehmet Zakir Ekni High School, Yenimahalle, Turkey; Kuyubasi Sehit Oguzhan Duyar Secondary School, Keçiören, Turkey; Ted Ankara College Foundation High School, Gölbasi, Turkey; Maya Anatolian High School, Gölbasi, Turkey; Direct via TC2TSC The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Contact is go for: Mon 2020-12-07 14:50:49 UTC.

Kursk, Russia, direct via Kursk, Russia, direct via RKØJ. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. Contact is go for 2020-12-09 11:45 UTC.

RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamt, Romania, direct via YRØISS The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins KF5LJG. Contact is go for: Sat 2020-12-12 12:35:56 UTC.

+ Completed Contacts

Amur State University, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via RKØJ. The ISS callsign was RSØISS. The astronaut was Sergey Ryzhikov. Contact was successful on Thu 2020-12-03 08:45 UTC.

Scuola Secondaria di I grado “Anna Frank”, Pistoia, Italy, multi-point telebridge via IK1SLD. The ISS callsign was OR4ISS. The astronaut was Victor Glover KI5BKC. Contact was successful on Fri 2020-12-04 12:25:22 UTC.

Tecumseh High School Electronics and Amateur Radio, Tecumseh, OK, direct via K5THS. The ISS callsign was NA1SS. The astronaut was Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Contact was successful on Fri 2020-12-04 18:33:30 UTC.

Note: A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at: https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html

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


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

+ January 9, 2021 Ham Radio University 2021 With Covid-19 restrictions precluding in-person gatherings, the 22nd annual Ham Radio University (HRU) educational conference will be held as a virtual event on Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM as a GoToWebinar on-line video conference.

HRU 2021 will feature 14 informational presentations by local experts in a broad range of Amateur Radio activities including: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications; Basics of HF Operating; Communicating Through Amateur Radio Earth Satellites; Remote Station Operating Over the Internet; Software Defined Radios; HF and UHF Digital Communications; and Using RaspberryPi Computers in Amateur Radio. In addition to viewing the presentations, on-line attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

Presented in memory of Ham Radio University’s founder, Phil Lewis, N2MUN, who passed away in March, HRU 2021 also will be the on-line convention of the ARRL’s NYC-Long Island Section.

As in years past, participation in HRU 2021 will be free of charge, with an optional suggested donation of $5.00, but advance registration starting December 15, 2020, will be required for each presentation.

Further information, including the schedule of forums and advance registration starting December 15, 2020, is on line at: http://www.HamRadioUniversity.org

[ANS thanks Peter Portanova, W2JV 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/


Satellite Shorts from All Over

+ FCC to Require Email Addresses on Applications

Amateur radio licensees and candidates will have to provide the FCC with an email address on applications, effective sometime in mid-2021. If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as defective.

The FCC is fully transitioning to electronic correspondence and will no longer print or provide wireless licensees with hard-copy authorizations or registrations by mail. Read the complete story at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-FCC

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

+ New IARU VHF Handbook (v9.00) Now available as Free PDF

A new edition (v9.00) of the free IARU VHF Handbook covering the bands at VHF and Above is now available for download. It contains all the decisions regarding the bands at VHF and Above that were made at the 2020 IARU Region 1 virtual General Conference.

The band plan on page 46 (PDF 47) covers the 145 satellite allocation and page 50 (PDF 51) shows the changes to 436-438 MHz. Download the free PDF at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-Handbook.

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

+ New SDRUno Plug-in Video Demo for SSTV

Earlier this year SDRplay updated their SDRuno software to have plug-in functionality. This allows third party programmers to implement their own decoders and software which interfaces with SDRuno directly. One plug-in that may be of interest to ISS-SSTV fans who own SDRPlay radios is a SSTV decoder. View the demo at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-341-Plug-in.

[ANS thanks rtl-sdr.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, This week’s ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas,
N1UW n1uw at amsat dot org

 

 

Launch Window for AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Opens December 19th

Virgin Orbit has announced that the launch window for their LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 mission opens on December 19th. This launch will carry AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E to orbit.

RadFxSat-2, like RadFxSat / Fox-1B, now AMSAT-OSCAR 91, is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology.

RadFxSat-2 is the fifth and final Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus is built on the Fox-1 series but features a linear transponder “upgrade” to replace the standard FM transponder in Fox-1A through D. In addition, the uplink and downlink bands are reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/u (J) configuration using a 2 meter uplink and 70 cm downlink. The downlink features a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30 kHz wide transponder for amateur radio use. Telemetry and experiment data can be decoded using FoxTelem version 1.09 or later. FoxTelem is available at https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space. AMSAT will send a commemorative 3D printed QSL card to the first station capturing telemetry from RadFxSat-2.

 

RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) – Launch Window Opens December 19th
Uplink LSB 145.860 MHz through 145.890 MHz
Downlink USB 435.760 MHz through 435.790 MHz
Launches on ELaNa XX – Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Launch Demo 2. 1.2kbps BPSK telemetry 435.750 MHz