On June 25, 2019, the United States Naval Academy PSAT2 and BRICSAT2 cubesats were launched on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. PSAT2 and BRICSAT2 were developed by Naval Academy students in the USNA Satellite Lab and operated in cooperation with the USNA Amateur Radio Club. PSAT2 carries a PSK31 transponder, digipeater, SSTV-downlinked camera images, and a DTMF to voice/APRS system. BRICSAT2 carries a digipeater and thruster experiment. Both satellites are currently active.
At the request of the Naval Academy Amateur Radio Club, AMSAT hereby designates BRICSAT2 as Navy-OSCAR 103 (NO-103), and PSAT2 as Navy-OSCAR 104 (NO-104). 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.
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator
On June 18th, the AMSAT Board of Directors elected Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, Vice President – Development. This position carries the responsibility for fund raising, marketing and public relations for AMSAT programs. In addition to enhancing the AMSAT and ARISS brands within their traditional spheres, this position is expected to broaden the appeal of its activities to a wider market. This includes the educational, corporate and philanthropic sectors.
AMSAT President Joe Spier explains, “The cost of planning, building and launching satellites has risen exponentially over the past years. It is essential that we not only raise the Amateur Radio community’s financial participation in these programs, we need to enlist the support of outside entities. We can only do this by demonstrating the value that Amateur Radio satellites bring to society’s best interests. This is especially true for youth and educational programs where AMSAT’s and ARISS’s growth lies.”
Frank comes to this position with a forty-five year career as a sales and marketing executive in the consumer and industrial markets. He was first licensed in 1963 and has been a long-term member of AMSAT and the ARRL. Frank also contributes to AMSAT as an AMSAT News Service Rotating Editor.
AMSAT President and ARRL Life Member Joe Spier, K6WAO, has been awarded the Russian E.T. Krenkel Medal, a prestigious award granted to individuals and organizations for outstanding global contributions to Amateur Radio.
Joe Spier, K6WAO is a long time supporter of Amateur Radio in Space and international cooperation. K6WAO is the President of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). He has also served AMSAT as Executive Vice President, and Vice President, Educational Relations.
He is a long term supporter of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) and scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics education. Spier is an AMSAT Life Member. He also is a Life Member of American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA).
The award’s namesake, Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel, was a radio amateur who, over the years, used the call signs RAEM, U3AA, and UA3AA. Born in Poland, Krenkel was an Arctic explorer who took part in the first Soviet “drifting station,” North Pole-1. He was made a “Hero of the Soviet Union” in 1938 for his exploits.
Krenkel’s son, T.E. Krenkel, is among the four signatories to the award certificate. The younger Krenkel, a professor at the Moscow Technical College of Telecommunication and Informatics, said his father was an avid radio amateur who served as the first chairman of the Central Radio Club in the USSR.
Krenkel’s image appears on postage stamps from the USSR and Russia, and he authored a biography entitled My Callsign is RAEM. In the era when all radio amateurs received QSL cards via Box 88, Moscow, Krenkel was allowed to have his own postal address on his QSLs and was issued the non-standard RAEM call sign.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ARISS team member Keith Pugh, W5IU. Keith spent his life on Earth as a true gentlemen…serving others, enjoying friendship and relationships, and supporting his passions…amateur radio, flying and most importantly his love of God and all the great things on this Earth.
Those that knew Keith considered him a Texan through and through. But truth be told, he was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas. After college, he left Kansas and settled permanently in the Fort Worth, Texas area where picked up that Texas accent and welcomed us into his world. And it is in Texas where he passed away on May 24, 2019.
Active with AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellites since the 1980’s, Keith jump-started his passion for amateur radio on human spaceflight missions in 1991, when the Space Station Mir was in orbit and Soviet ham radio operators were talking to the world-wide amateur radio community. Keith helped install a Soviet Space Exhibit in Fort Worth in 1991 and he hosted Musa Manarov U2MIR’s visit to the USA. Ultimately, Keith joined the ARISS team in 2004, where he has provided support as one of our operations leaders, technical mentoring numerous schools and ARISS contact organizations and providing his warm friendship and guidance to all in our team. Keith also attended several of our ARISS International meetings, including our 2008 ARISS-I meeting in Moscow and Kaluga.
Many of us were aware of Keith’s cancer. But, Keith being Keith, he kept most of his pain and suffering to himself. He remained joyful and humble until his death. In fact, just a few days before his death–this past Tuesday, Keith signed into the ARISS International teleconference, apologizing that he came in late. None of us knew this would be our last dialog with such a close friend and outstanding member of our team.
As I stated, one of Keith’s passions was flying as a private pilot. In fact for one of his vacations he flew a Cessna aircraft around Australia. As a fellow pilot, I know that Keith must have been an avid fan of the poem “High Flight” written by John Gillespie Magee Jr. Paraphrasing this poem:
While we mourn the loss of our good friend, Keith Pugh, let us joyfully reflect on the fact that Keith has
Slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Topped the windswept heights with easy grace
And, while with silent lifting mind, Keith has trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of Space,
Put out his hand and touched the face of God.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Keith Pugh, W5IU SK as he touches the face of God.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, in the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church with a reception following. First Presbyterian Church is located at 1000 Penn St, Fort Worth, TX 76102.