FalconSAT-3 is Now Open for Amateur Radio Use

The Air Force Academy satellite FalconSAT-3 is now open for amateur radio use as a digital store-and-forward system. FalconSAT-3 was built in 2005 and 2006 by cadets and faculty in the Space Systems Research Center at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and launched in 2007 on an Atlas V.

After serving in scientific and training roles, the Academy has now made the satellite available for Amateur radio use.

The satellite is in a 35.4 degree inclination orbit, with an approximate altitude of 465 to 476 km. The Packet Bulletin Board System is operating at 9600 baud with a 145.840 uplink, and 435.103 downlink. Output power is 1 watt, and the downlink is continuously on. Digipeating is enabled for live QSOs, but unattended digipeating operations is not authorized at this time. Current Keplerian elements can be found in the AMSAT distributed Keplerian elements.

More information can be found at https://www.amsat.org/falconsat-3/ and further operational inquiries should be directed to AMSAT Vice President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA (ko4ma@amsat.org).

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

AMSAT-NA Elects Executive Vice President

AMSAT-NA Vice President, Educational Relations, Joe Spier, K6WAO of Reno, NV, has been elected by the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors as Executive Vice President during a Board Meeting via a conference call that took place on August 8, 2017. Joe’s new duties will include implementation of AMSAT-NA’s Strategic Planning. He will continue in his other duties as 2017 Space Symposium Chairman, AMSAT News Service Co-Editor, ARISS-NA Education, and Educational Relations until new personnel can be appointed or the task assigned is completed.

Joe Spier, K6WAO (left) conducting the ARISS contact during Pacificon 2012

Under the AMSAT ByLaws, the position of Executive Vice President is one of seven senior officer positions that are approved by the AMSAT Board of Directors.

Included in the ByLaw stated duties, “the Executive Vice President shall act in the place of the President in the President’s absence, and shall have such other duties as the Board may determine.” [Bylaws, Article II, Section 5B].

In addition, the Executive VP is assigned the responsibility of AMSAT External Relations team leader and as acting director of any team leader position that is not filled.

Joe is a Life Member of AMSAT-NA and has served in Educational Relations during the past six years. He also has Life Memberships in the ARRL, SARA (Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers) and the AFA (Air Force Association). He holds an Extra Class license as well Commercial licenses.

AMSAT-NA President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW said, “I extend my congratulations to Joe on his new position of leadership in AMSAT-NA. As EVP, he will be working closely with me on a variety of matters involving various AMSAT departments as we move forward on our strategic planning process as well as day-to-day management of the organization. Joe’s dedication to the strategic planning process will enhance the future of AMSAT-NA.”

[ANS thanks the AMSAT-NA BOD for the above information]

Return of Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85

With the recent popularity of Slow Scan Television (SSTV) from the ISS, AMSAT Operations is bringing back Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85.

On a trial basis, we invite users to exchange pictures using Robot36 SSTV mode via the FM repeater on AO-85 during UTC Wednesdays. Please identify prior to beginning transmissions, and only send when the uplink is clear.

SSTV image received via AO-85 by N8HM during an AMSAT test

Stations are requested to only uplink if they have a reasonable expectation of maintaining a full-quieting signal for the duration of the image transmission. Smaller stations are encouraged to focus on receiving the images.

Please don’t send questionable or provocative images. If in doubt, pick another one. Expect all ages to be participating.

Feedback is encouraged, and comments may be directed via email to me at ko4ma@amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Drew KO4MA for the above information]

UKube-1 CubeSat Completes Mission

From AMSAT News Service:

UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first national spacecraft, has now completed
its nominal mission following over 14 months of operations. Discussion is
underway with AMSAT-UK about the possibility of taking over UKube-1 operations
to continue its educational and outreach activities.

Launched in July 2014, UKube-1 is a technology demonstration mission with a
broad set of objectives aimed at attracting and training future generations of
engineers, encouraging collaboration across sectors and institutions, fast
tracking space technology development and engaging with students.

As a 3 unit CubeSat (30x30x10cm), flying 4 main payloads, with all the key
subsystems of much larger satellites, UKube-1 remains one of the most advanced
CubeSats ever built. Despite some technical challenges in orbit, the mission
has achieved a range of milestones including:

• delivery into the correct planned orbit (around 650km, sun-synchronous)
• successful deployment of solar panels and antenna
• good battery health
• slow spin rate measured
• uplink and downlink capabilities checked, including Large Data Transfer,
downlink at 3 speeds, and redundant communications mode
• all core payloads commissioned and data collected for each
• on-board camera technology successfully tested
• data downlinked from multiple ground stations across the globe

UKube-1 has also helped maintain the UK’s leading position in the CubeSat
sector. Participation in the mission placed Clyde Space in an excellent
position to capitalize on the fast growing global nanosatellite market. The
company has experienced 100% year on year growth, both in turnover and
employees, as a direct result from involvement in UKube-1, and is firmly
established as a global leader.

Mark McCrum, Bright Ascension Ltd, said:
“UKube-1 provided us with an invaluable opportunity to gain flight heritage
for our software technology and to get deeply involved in the operation of a
complex CubeSat mission. It gave a huge boost to our credibility as a space
software provider and has been instrumental in winning further work.”

Craig Clark, CEO Clyde Space Ltd, said:
“UKube-1 represents a pivotal achievement in the development and growth of
Clyde Space. The project moved the company from being a spacecraft subsystems
supplier to providing full missions for our customers. To give some context to
the extent that Ukube-1 has had to our business, Clyde Space has more than
quadrupled in size in the last 3 years and there are currently over 60 CubeSats
planned through production here in Glasgow over the next 18 months. The return
on investment for Ukube-1 in terms of jobs and export sales for the UK has been
outstanding and is a great example of industry and the UK Space Agency working
together to put the UK at the forefront of global space technology.”

Professor Andrew Holland, Open University, added:
“Involvement in the UKube-1 mission, though our C3D instrument, has had a
positive effect on our research and technology program within the Space
Instrumentation Group at the Open University, as well as a positive effect on
our technology partners in the project; XCAM Ltd and e2v Ltd. The project has
helped the OU to build a new strand of instrument development within the group,
raised awareness of the CubeSat platform as a potential vehicle to accelerate
the development of scientific space instrumentation, and has provided early in-
orbit-demonstration of technologies. The mission introduced us to new academic
and industrial collaborators operating in the space sector and supported the
career development of the young engineers and scientists working on the
project.”

STFC’s RAL Space provided the Ground Station for the mission at Chilbolton
Observatory in Hampshire UK, and UKube-1 operations were commanded from there.

Mission Manager Dr Helen Walker said:
“It has been a very exciting time, made possible only with the great support
from all the teams involved.”

Although the Agency-supported mission phase has ended, discussion is underway
with AMSAT-UK about the possibility of taking over UKube-1 operations to
continue its educational and outreach activities until the satellite orbit
naturally degrades.

More information about UKube-1 can be found in the missions section of the UK
Space Agency website
https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/ukube-1

Source
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukube-1-completes-mission

UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which provide an educational
beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio
communications.

UKube-1 nominal frequencies:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting SSB/CW linear transponder
– 435.080-435.060 MHz Uplink
– 145.930-145.950 MHz Downlink

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]