ANS-005 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for January 5

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-005

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:

  • AMSAT Member KC9ZJX Receives 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 2, 2020
  • Space Fence nearing operational acceptance by U.S. Air Force
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for January 2020
  • Winter Field Day to Include Limited Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT Member KC9ZJX Receives 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Congratulations to AMSAT member Dhruv Rebba, KC9ZJX, winner of the Bloomington and Normal (Illinois) Human Relations Commissions 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. award. The commission chooses people who reflect the ideology of the late Dr. King.

Rebba is a sophomore at Normal Community High School. He is a volunteer and/or member of YMCA/YWCA, Illinois 4-H, Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP), National Computer Science Honor Society, and First Robotics. He is also Amateur Radio Newsline’s 2019 Young Ham Of The Year. Rebba gave the youth presentation at AMSAT 36th Annual Symposium Huntsville, Alabama in 2018 where is also received AMSAT’s Presidential Award.

The announcement is posted on-line at: https://www.wglt.org/post/bloomington-normal-mlk-awards-announced

[ANS thanks WGLT.org, NPR Radio from Illinois State University, for the above information]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 2, 2020

Correction to the addition of FloripaSat 1 to last week’s TLE distribution:

  • FloripaSat 1 is NORAD CAT ID 44885.
  • Also the first part of the TLE distribution was left off the orb19360.2l.amsat file sent last week. The second file sent orb19361.2l.amsat contained the full list of satellites.
  • We are still awaiting the identification of CAS-6. Or… Use the keps for FloripaSat 1 (NORAD CAT ID 44885) for CAS-6 per suggestion of Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P. This, of course, assumes that CAS-6 is in fact transmitting???

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

Space Fence nearing operational acceptance by U.S. Air Force

According to NASA’s most recent Orbital Debris Quarterly News, NASA calculates about 17.6 million pounds of objects are in earth orbit. That number will only grow as more commercial space projects launch massive constellations with thousands of smallsats, presenting a huge problem for both U.S. government and commercial organizations.

That’s where the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence will play a crucial role. Using advanced solid-state S-band radar technology, the Space Fence radar located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, it will play a critical role in the everyday lives of Americans who are becoming more dependent on space-based technologies for everything from weather forecasting, banking, global communications to GPS navigation.

Today, these critical services are being threatened by hundreds of thousands of objects and space debris orbiting the Earth. Frequent collisions and deterioration of assets, such as defunct satellites and rocket boosters, have increased the amount of space debris and raised the risk of future collisions in space.

The Air Force Space Surveillance Network currently tracks about 25,000 objects. When Space Fence comes online, the catalog will experience significant growth and when fully operational, Space Fence will be the world’s largest and most advanced radar system, providing unprecedented space situational awareness.

Beyond cataloging objects, Space Fence will detect closely-spaced objects, breakups, maneuvers, launches and conjunction assessments from LEO through GEO.

Space Fence is currently in a trial period and expected to become fully operational in 2020.

[ANS thanks Milsat Magazine 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 January 2020

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period December 3, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CallsignVUCC Standing December 2019VUCC Standing January 2020
AA5PK10641074
AA8CH620641
N3GS601624
WD9EWK (DM43)585597
NS3L526551
W5CBF179533
K9UO500528
AA9LC416514
W7QL451478
PS8ET303326
G0ABI306320
WB7VUF206319
AA4QE204305
KC9VGG200228
KC9UQR172196
N9FN103194
W4AQT153179
W5CBF (EM21) New179
W0NBC152176
KJ4M102170
W9VNENew169
VE1VOX126155
W4DFU116151
AI9IN125150
WD9EWK (DM41)127148
WD9EWK (DM23)104137
N7AME127128
WA9JBQ104125
VU2LBW100114
KC8AMHNew101
N3CALNew100
YO2CMINew100

If you find errors or omissions. please contact W5RKN at w5krn.com. 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]

Winter Field Day to Include Limited Satellite Operations

Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday. For 2020 the dates are January 25th and 26th. Station set-up may commence no earlier than 1900 UTC (2pm EST) on the Friday before. Station setup may consume no more than 12 hours total.

All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters. Any mode that can faithfully transmit the exchange intact without a conversion table… CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc… (note FT8 is excluded).

Satellite contacts do not count as a new mode/band multiplier. Satellite contacts are limited to ONE ONLY per entry so as to not tie up satellite frequencies with stations calling CQ WFD.

Three operating categories are available:

  • Indoor: Operation from inside a remote, insulated, heated, and weather-protected structure where an Amateur station is normally not available.
  • Outdoor: Operation from a location partly or fully exposed to the elements and at least 30 feet away from your normal station location and not using any part of a previously erected antenna system or station.
  • Home: Operation from inside a home or inside another structure attached to a home that could or would be the usual location of an Amateur station.

For additional information, see: https://www.winterfieldday.com/

[ANS thanks the Winter Field Day Association 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/

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space?

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

Current schedule:

  • January 6, 2020 West Valley Amateur Radio Club, Sun City, AZ
  • January 11, 2020 Thunderbird ARC Hamfest, Glendale, AZ
  • January 17-18, 2020 Cowtown Hamfest, Fort Worth, TX
  • February 7-9, 2020 Hamcation, Orlando, FL
  • March 6, 2020 Irving Hamfest, Irving, TX
  • May 15-17, 2020 Hamvention, Xenia, OH
  • June 12-13, 2020 Ham-Con, Plano, TX

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download at: https://tinyurl.com/yx7lc7m8   This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

For additional information on the AMSAT Ambassador Program, see:  https://www.amsat.org/ambassador/

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, Director, AMSAT Ambassadors 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

Upcoming Satellite Operations

  • Due to weather concerns, the W5M/MM satellite expedition to EL58 is being postponed to Sunday Jan 5th. For updates, follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ad0dx
  • Lucas Gusher Special Event (EM20) January 11-12, 2020
    The Beaumont Amateur Radio Club will be operating using the callsign K5S on various HF bands including as many CAS-4A, CAS-4B, AO-91, AO-92 passes that we can. SO-50 and XW-2A also possible. More information about K5S can be found on qrz.com.
  • Labrador (GO11 +) January 19-27, 2020
    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.
  • 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 (at) amsat.org

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP User Services 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

  • TAPR PSR Digital Journal Winter 2020 Edition is available at: http://tapr.org/psr/psr143.pdf  (ANS thanks TAPR for the above information)
  • The January/February 2020 SARC Communicator newsletter is available at: http://bit.ly/SARC20JanFeb This edition has 75 pages of projects, news, views, and reviews from the SW corner of Canada. Find out about the northernmost amateur radio station: “VY0ERC: What is life like at the farthest north Amateur Radio Club in Canada?” starting on page 14.  (ANS thanks Surrey Amateur Radio Communications for the above info)
  • A CBC Hamilton news feature on John David, VA3JHD, and his work with the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio Systems (CFARS), briefly mentions amateur satellites. See the article at: https://tinyurl.com/rmbpfxa  (ANS thanks CBC Hamilton for the above information)
  • Work is going “smoothly” on the Chandrayaan-3 mission to put a rover probe on the moon’s surface, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K. Sivan told a press conference. India seeking to become only the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to put a mission on the moon’s surface and boost its credentials as a low-cost space power. The country’s Chandrayaan-2 module crashed on the moon’s surface in September.  (ANS thanks spacedaily.com for the above information)
  • China has just released the first batch of #ChangE4 science data. The first ever mission to land on the the far side of the Moon. This is actually a really cool and user friendly website. To access in English visit: http://moon.bao.ac.cn/index_en.jsp
  • E-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the December 2019 edition of OSCAR News, issue 228. For details, see: https://amsat-uk.org/2019/12/31/december-2019-oscar-news/  Also, a video on a recent moonbounce and satellite expedition to Botswana may be found on the AMSAT-UK website:  https://amsat-uk.org/2019/12/27/a21eme-moonbounce-qo100/  (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and Trevor Essex, M5AKA, for the above information)
  • Congratulations to Chris Taron, NK1K, on the achievement of DXCC via LEO satellite! This is a remarkable achievement matched by few.  (ANS thanks Twitter @NK1K for the above information)
  • Congratulations to WA7FWF on uploading 1 million Fox Telemetry frames to the server. For more information on capturing telemetry from the Fox satellites, see: https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/   (ANS thanks Mark Hammond, N8MH, AMSAT Board Member, 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,
Mark Johns, K0JM
K0JM at amsat dot org

 

ANS-356 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 22

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-356

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:

  • SMOG-P and ATL-1 Designated Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106)
  • CAMSAT CAS-6 Satellite Launched
  • FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band, Invites Comments
  • FCC Considers NPRM for 5.9 GHz Band Rules
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 19, 2019
  • AztechSat-1 CubeSat to Demonstrate Intra-Satellite Communication
  • AMSAT CW Day, January 1, 2020 is Just Ahead!
  • ESA’s OPS-SAT Flying Laboratory Launched
  • AMSAT-LU – Dec-15 AMSAT-LU NEMO-1 Buoy Report
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

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

SMOG-P
MO-105 (SMOG-P)

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). AMSAT congratulates 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.

[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations / OSCAR Number Administrator for the above information.]

CAMSAT CAS-6 Satellite Launched

CAS-6 / Tianqin-1
CAS-6 / Tianqin-1

CAMSAT’s amateur radio payload CAS-6 piggybacked on a technology test satellite TIANQIN-1 was successfully launched on December 20, 2019 at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center of China using a CZ-4B launch vehicle. The primary payload of this launch is China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite CBERS-4A. Specifications for the satellite are as follows:

Satellite NameCAS-6/TIANQIN-1
Orbit TypeSun Synchronous
Apogee629 km
Inclination97.89 degrees
Period97 minutes
Satellite ArchitectureMicro-satellit
Mass35 kg
Stabilization3-axis
Amateur Radio CallsignBJ1SO
VHF Antenna1/4 wavelength monopole
UHF Antenna1/4 wavelength monopole
CW Telemetry Beacon145.910 MHz 17 dBm
AX.25 4.8K Baud GMSK Telemetry145.890 MHz 20 dBm
U/V Linear Transponder Downlink145.925 MHz 20 dBm
U/V Linear Transponder Uplink435.280 MHz
U/V Linear Transponder Bandwidth20 KHz Inverting

 

The satellite is currently in orbit testing, the amateur radio payload is expected to be operational in about three days.

[ANS thanks Alan Kung, BA1DU 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/

FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band, Invites Comments

At its December 12 meeting, the FCC formally adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348 and invited comments on its plan to remove “existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations” in the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations. The FCC said it’s seeking comment on appropriate “transition mechanisms” to make that happen. ARRL has indicated that it will file comments in opposition to the proposal. The amateur 9-meter allocation is 3.3 – 3.5 GHz. The NPRM comes in response to the MOBILE NOW [Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless] Act, approved by the 115th Congress to make available new spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use.

“By proposing to delete the existing non-federal secondary allocations from the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band, we are taking an important initial step towards satisfying Congress’s directives and making as
much as 250 megahertz of spectrum potentially available for advanced wireless services, including 5G,” the FCC said in the Introduction to its NPRM.

Currently, the entire 3.1 – 3.55 GHz band is allocated for both federal and non-federal radiolocation services, with non-federal users operating on a secondary basis to federal radiolocation services, which have a primary allocation, the NPRM explains.

The FCC said it is seeking comment on relocating non-federal licensees to another band. With respect to amateur operations, the FCC invited comments on whether sufficient amateur spectrum exists in other bands that can support the operations currently conducted at 3.3 – 3.5 GHz. The 3.40 – 3.41 GHz segment is earmarked for amateur satellite communication. “We seek comment on the extent to which the band is used for this purpose, whether existing satellites can operate on other amateur satellite bands, and on an appropriate timeframe for terminating these operations in this band,” the FCC said. If non-federal licensees are relocated to 3.1 – 3.3 GHz band, the FCC proposes that they continue to operate on a secondary basis to federal operations, consistent with current band allocations.

Some comments began to arrive before the FCC formally adopted the NPRM, as it points out in a footnote. Kevin Milner, KD0MA, the secretary/treasurer of the Ski Country Amateur Radio Club in Colorado, has argued that the club’s equipment cannot be re-channeled below 3.4 GHz, and the club is seeking relocation costs. Devin Ulibarri, W7ND, told the FCC that amateur networks in the current band cannot move easily into other amateur allocations because there is no readily available commercial equipment to support the bandwidth, the FCC recounted.

In the event the proposed amendments are adopted, the FCC “seeks comment on relocation options and on transition and protection mechanisms for incumbent non-federal operations.”

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

FCC Considers NPRM for 5.9 GHz Band Rules

Also at its December 12 meeting, the FCC considered another NPRM in WT Docket 19-138 that would “take a fresh and comprehensive look” at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band and propose, among other things, to make the lower 45 MHz of the band available for unlicensed operations and to permit “cellular vehicle-to-everything” (C-V2X) operations in the upper 20 MHz of the band. The FCC is not proposing to delete or otherwise amend the amateur allocation, which would continue as a secondary allocation.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) has offered its voice in challenging the FCC proposals on the two bands, saying their adoption would “eliminate our use of the most-effective resource hams have to build its networks.”

“The AREDN Project is able to leverage low-cost commercial devices solely because they are designed to operate on adjacent allocations, AREDN said on its website. “Moving to other allocations would be difficult if not impossible without a complete redesign, manufacture, purchase, and installation of new custom amateur hardware and software…, raising the price out of reach for the typical ham.”

Interested parties may file short comments on WT Docket 19-348 via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express). Visit the FCC “How to Comment on FCC Proceedings” page for information on filing extended comments.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 19, 2019

The following Amateur Radio satellites have been added to this week’s TLE distribution:

  • ATL 1 – NORAD CAT ID 44830 (Rocket Lab launch, 12/06/2019).
  • TRSI-Sat – NORAD CAT ID 44831 (Rocket Lab launch, 12/06/2019). [2]
  • Duchifat 3 – NORAD CAT ID 44854 (ISRO launch, 12/11/2019). [1]
  • OPS-SAT – NORAD CAT ID 44878 (ESA launch, 12/18/2019).

Thanks to Nico Janseen, PA0DLO, for satellite identifications.

Note:
1. Duchifat 3 is being used as the TLE name. Duchifat 3 is the name used by the students who built it, per the university website.
2. TRSI-Sat is not transmitting at the present time. TLEs will be provided until it is determined that it has failed.

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

AztechSat-1 CubeSat to Demonstrate Intra-Satellite Communication

The AztechSat-1 CubeSat, which traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) last weekend on the 19th Space-X Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-19) mission for NASA, will listen for emergency messages in the 439 MHz range and retransmit them for amateur radio operators to copy on the 437.300 MHz downlink using the Winlink protocol, once the CubeSat has been placed into orbit. The satellite is a project of Mexico’s Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP). Aztechsat-1 is set for deployment from the International Space Station in late January.

“The primary objective of the project is to establish communication with the commercial GlobalStar satellites in order to improve data transmission to Earth,” a UPAEP news release said.  AztechSat-1 will create a saturation map of 435 – 438 MHz by listening for the whole orbit and returning captured data to the ground station on the 437.300 MHz amateur radio downlink (9k6 GMSK or FSK) plus a 1600-MHz Global-Star link. Emergency messages received via Globalstar to the AztechSat-1 ground station will be shared on the project’s website. A certificate will be available for amateur stations receiving the emergency message(s) and reporting these for confirmation by the AztechSat-1 team.

Details are on the AztechSat-1 website and on the IARU Amateur Radio  Satellite Communication page.

The project is part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, which offers universities, high schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to fly small satellites. “Innovative technology
partnerships keep down the cost, providing students a way to obtain hands-on experience developing flight hardware,” a NASA report said.

NASA explained, “The investigation demonstrates communication within a satellite network in low-Earth orbit. Such intra-satellite communication could reduce the need for ground stations, lowering the cost and increasing the number of data downloads possible for satellite applications.”

[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.]

AMSAT CW Day, January 1, 2020 is Just Ahead!

You are cordially invited to take part in AMSAT CW Activity Day 2020 sponsored by AMSAT for all radio amateurs throughout the world. The 2020 event will be held in memory of Larry Brown, W7LB, and Keith Pugh, W5IU. Among their many contributions to AMSAT, they were the AMSAT 20-meter net for many years.

Participation is easy. Just operate CW through any Amateur Radio satellite on 1 January 2020. Use of straight keys or bugs is encouraged but not required. If you use AO-7, please observe the QRP rules currently in effect for that 45-year-old satellite. May it be with us for many years to come!

[ANS thanks Raphael Soifer, W2RS, AMSAT Senior Advisor for the above information.]

ESA’s OPS-SAT Flying Laboratory Launched

On December 18 2019 ESA launched a first-of-its-kind space laboratory, OPS-SAT. The satellite lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana aboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket. The small, low-cost, test satellite has been specifically designed for operational experimentation in space, and includes the most powerful flight computer on-board any current ESA spacecraft.

Consumer electronics have gone through a revolution over the last 30 years with computers becoming ever faster, smaller and better. But when it comes to million- or even billion-euro satellites, their on-board hardware and software have not seen this revolution due to the risk of testing new technology in flight.

As spacecraft managers dare to fly only tried-and-tested hard and software in the harsh conditions of space, innovation on the operational side of satellites is a very slow-moving process. This is where OPS-SAT steps in, bringing down the barriers to spacecraft operations it provides a chance to safely test out new mission control techniques.

Anyone can apply to become an ‘experimenter’ and test their innovative software and new mission operations techniques in space. OP-SAT provides technology for future missions and paves the way for satellites to further evolve with minimum risk. Complete information is available at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-356-OPS-SAT.

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information.]

AMSAT-LU – Dec-15 AMSAT-LU NEMO-1 Buoy Report

On Tuesday 10-Dec at 5AM in the Port of Mar del Plata, Argentina, an AMSAT-LU team started the Buoy NEMO-1 operation.

There were LU1ESY and LU3ATZ (land-sea communications), and embarked on the ship ‘Porteño’ LU1DCX, LU2AOP, LU6EI and LU4BMG. Photo: http://amsat.org.ar/nemolanz.jpg

Communications were made thru the ‘Repelata’ (RepeCan), an effective FM VU repeater made by LU9ATJ, that was raised at 450m height by a captive balloon on the coast.

El Porteño sailed 70 km offshore, finding severe sea conditions and impressive waves. However, NEMO-1 was active and between 0800 and 0900 hours there were WSPR reports from 14 stations around the world: LU3DEI W4DZC LU1KCQ OE5FGL DP0GVN PY1EME PY2GN ZL1RS ZL1ROT DK8FT OE9GHV DK0ABT IW2NKE ZL2005.

Later, a ship maneuver, hit the buoy damaging one of the solar panels. The AMSAT team, helped by ship personnel, recovered the buoy and boarded it on board. After checking the damage, it was decided to abort the mission. NEMO-1 returned home and is in Buenos Aires for repairs, spare parts and reinforcements. Conversations have already been established in Mar del Plata to, once the work is finished, repeat and conclude this adventure.

AMSAT thanks the ‘NEMO Group’, the more than 119 people who helped realize this dream http://amsat.org.ar/certboyae.htm and the Menendez Beety family, who selflessly facilitated accommodation in their house in Mar del Plata.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-LU 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

Shorts:

  • Dec 27-30 EM90 N4DCW – vacation style (Twitter: @MWimages)
  • Dec 27-30 EL86 K4WPX FM
  • Dec 30 EM94 (overnight) – vacation style (Twitter: @MWimages)
  • Dec 30-Jan 01 EL87/88 K4WPX FM

Operations Announcements:

  • PNW (CN90, CM99, DM09, DN00, DN10, DN20, DN22, DN13, DN23) December 20-23, 2019
    Casey, KI7UNJ, is about to embark on 9-grid roving trip through the Pacific Northwest. FM & Linears. Pass schedules posted at https://twitter.com/KI7UNJ/status/1206626476377772032?s=20. Be sure to watch Casey’s Twitter feed for further updates.
  • Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019
    Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special emphasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF
  • NW Iowa XMAS Rove (EN12, EN13, EN22, EN23) December 23-24, 2019
    Mitch, AD0HJ, will be visiting his parents in Iowa for Christmas. While there, Mitch will take an extra day to put some Northwest Iowa grids on the air. For a full pass schedule, check https://twitter.com/AD0HJ/status/1207099665465978880. As always, keep an eye on Mitch’s Twitter feed for further announcements at https://twitter.com/AD0HJ
  • Mississippi River Delta (EL58) January 4, 2019.
    Ron AD0DX, Brian KG5GJT, and Robert KE4AL will operate as W5M/mm from the mouth of the Mississippi River (EL58) on January 4th. This will be a 6-hour activation from approximately 1430z to 2030z, on FM and linear satellites. Further information will be posted as it comes available.
  • 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.
  • 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 (at) amsat.org

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL for the above information.]

ARISS News

No school contacts will be scheduled until 2020.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N 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/ 

Shorts from All Over

  • Your AmazonSmile Purchases Matter!
    AMSAT recently received a quarterly donation of $369.69 thanks to customers shopping at smile.amazon.com. To date, AmazonSmile has donated a total of $4,563.90 to AMSAT. The next time you buy that new radio, toaster, socks, or anything for that matter, make sure you’ve name AMSAT at the beneficiary for your AmazonSmile purchases!  [ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, AMSAT Executive Vice President for the above information.]
  • Ham Radio Day Aboard the Queen Mary May 2019 Pictures Online
    In case you didn’t work W6RO aboard the Queen Mary in Long Island, California, you can still see pictures of the day’s festivities on the Associated Radio Amateurs of Long Beach Facebook page. Enjoy the fun at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-356-W6RO  [ANS thanks the Associated Radio Amateurs of Long Beach 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 at amsat dot org

ANS-349 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 15

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-349

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:

  • Calling All Radio Amateurs: Help Find OPS-SAT!
  • FCC Moves to Remove 3.4 GHz Amateur Satellite Allocation
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • FoxTelem version 1.08w Released
  • AMSAT-EA works against the clock on GÉNESIS satellites
  • New NASA eBook Reveals Insights of Earth Seen at Night from Space
  • Israel Applauds Successful Launch of Duchifat3
  • Ham Radio University Satellite Operations Forum on January 4
  • Possible ARISS SSTV Operation Before Year’s End
  • Recent ARISS Contacts
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

Calling All Radio Amateurs: Help Find OPS-SAT!

Calling all radio amateurs! The European Space Agency (ESA) is challenging anyone with amateur radio equipment to catch the first signals from OPS-SAT, ESA’s brand new space software laboratory. On 17 December, OPS-SAT will be launched into low-Earth orbit on a Soyuz rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, together with ESA’s Cheops exoplanet-tracker.

Once launched, the satellite will deploy its solar panels and ultrahigh frequency antenna, and then start to send signals back home.

Could you be the first on Earth to catch them? ESA’s mission control team in Darmstadt are asking for your help to find the fledgling CubeSat.

OPS-SAT is a first-of-its-kind CubeSat dedicated purely to experimentation. It carries a wide variety of advanced payloads allowing ‘Experimenters’ to deploy and test their software and apps in space.

Anyone can apply to be an Experimenter! Find out more about the mission, and how to apply here: http://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Operations/OPS-SAT_your_flying_laboratory

Lift-off is scheduled for 08:54:20 UTC on 17 December. Deployment will begin 15044.6 seconds later (T+15044.6 seconds), expected to be at 13:05:04 UTC. OPS-SAT will begin transmitting 15 minutes after satellite deployment and after ultra-high frequency (UHF) antenna and solar array deployment have been confirmed. The first two passes over Europe are expected on the same evening. To track OPS-SAT, a preliminary launch TLE is available here, and will be updated as soon as new orbital information is available.

Main downlink characteristics:

  • Space segment transceiver GomSpace NanoCOM AX10
  • Frequency UHF – 437.2 MHz
  • Modulation GMSK
  • Occupied Bandwidth 25 kHz
  • Baudrate 9k6
  • Modulation Index 0.5

More information can be found at: https://github.com/esa/gr-opssat/blob/master/docs/os-uhf-specs.pdf

[ANS thanks ESA 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/

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

FCC Moves to Remove 3.4 GHz Amateur Satellite Allocation

AMSAT (@AMSAT) tweeted at 11:51 AM on Thu, Dec 12, 2019: “At today’s Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission passed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to delete the amateur allocation at 3.3-3.5 GHz, including the amateur satellite service allocation at 3.4-3.41 GHz.”

Later, @AMSAT tweeted: “Noting the importance of microwave spectrum for future amateur satellites in HEO and/or GEO orbits and beyond, AMSAT will file comments in this proceeding opposing the deletion of this amateur satellite service allocation.”

Watch ANS bulletins for future developments.

[ANS thanks @AMSAT for the above information]

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution

The following Amateur Radio satellite has been added to this week’s TLE distribution:

SMOG-P – NORAD CAT ID 44832 (per Nico Janssen, PA0DLO).
1 44832U 19084J 19346.85910300 .00001000 00000-0 50000-4 0 05
2 44832 97.0009 211.0657 0089111 218.3064 289.3286 15.64885322 06
Frequency: 437.1497 MHz.

The Israeli student satellite Duchifat3 was successfully placed in orbit by ISRO (India) on December 11, 2019 along with several other satellites. Therefore, it will take a while for those objects to separate enough to accurately identify Duchifat3. The following is a set of preliminary TLEs supplied by Nicholas Mahr, KE8AKW (via AMSAT-BB) on December 12, 2019 for your use:

Duchifat3
1 84101U 19345.41319444 .00000000 00000-0 50000-4 0 08
2 84101 37.0000 148.0000 0001442 0.0000 140.0000 15.02563222 03

On Dec. 13, Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, verified Doppler measurements showing that Duchifat 3 is object 44854 (2019-089C). The telemetry downlink frequency is 436.400 MHz.

Another PocketQube on this launch (only 5 cm on a side!0 has been identified as ATL 1
1 44830U 19084G 19346.85945000 .00001000 00000-0 50000-4 0 08
2 44830 96.9998 211.0781 0044791 228.7076 277.5196 15.64736264 09
Frequency: 437.1741 MHz.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, Orbital Elements Manager, and Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, for the above information.]

FoxTelem version 1.08w Released

Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA, has announced the release of version 1.08w of the FoxTelem software. This is a bug fix release to FoxTelem. If you have been seeing issues then you should upgrade to this new version.

Primarily it addresses the following:

  • Crashes seen at run time
  • Issue with DDE transmission to SatPC32 which can hang FoxTelem or another program using DDE
  • Some minor issues with HuskySat graphs and display

It is available as usual here:

Thanks to all who reported bugs and issues. Keep them coming. Please advise Chris if you see any other issues via g0kla <at> arrl.net

Fox-in-a-box orders from the AMSAT Store after December 13, 12:01 UTC (that is, by the time you see this) will also ship with FoxTelem V1.08w. The FIAB download directory has not yet been upgraded, but a downloaded SD card as well as existing cards are very easy to upgrade. Please see previous articles here and in the ANS for how to do it.

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA, and Burns Fisher, WB1FJ for the above information]

AMSAT-EA works against the clock on GÉNESIS satellites

AMSAT EA is workin against the clock, together with students from the European university, in the development of the GENESIS satellites. The 1.5 P pico sats, measuring 7.5x5x5cm are expected to be launched from the United States in February 2020. These satellites are based on the designs of EASAT-2 engineering and will allow testings of the EASAT-2 subsytems.

The estimated time in orbit of the GENESIS is estimated at around a month. They incorporate the linear transponder receiver module designed for EASAT-2 and an Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) transmitter. They will offer functionality of a regenerative repeater in ASK and CW and also incorporate the ionic motor experimental for pocketqubes developed by Applied Ion Systems.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-EA for the above information]

New NASA eBook Reveals Insights of Earth Seen at Night from Space

Earth has many stories to tell, even in the dark of night. Earth at Night, NASA’s new 200-page ebook, is now available online and includes more than 150 images of our planet in darkness as captured from space by Earth-observing satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station over the past 25 years. The book is free for download in Kindle, ePub, and PDF formats at https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/earthatnight_detail.html

“Earth at Night” shows how scientists use images such as this astronaut photo of the Gulf of Mexico taken from the International Space Station over the southern United States to study our changing planet.

The images reveal how human activity and natural phenomena light up the darkness around the world, depicting the intricate structure of cities, wildfires and volcanoes raging, auroras dancing across the polar skies, moonlight reflecting off snow and deserts, and other dramatic earthly scenes.

“Earth at Night explores the brilliance of our planet when it is in darkness,” wrote Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in the book’s foreword. “The book is a compilation of stories depicting the interactions between science and wonder. I am pleased to share this visually stunning and captivating exploration of our home planet.”

In addition to the images, the book tells how scientists use these observations to study our changing planet and aid decision makers in such areas as sustainable energy use and disaster response.

NASA brings together technology, science, and unique global Earth observations to provide societal benefits and strengthen our nation. The agency makes its Earth observations freely and openly available to everyone for use in developing solutions to important global issues such as changing freshwater availability, food security and human health.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

Israel Applauds Successful Launch of Duchifat3

Israel has applauded the successful launch of Isro’s PSLV-C48 rocket that put an experimental satellite built by students of its country into orbit on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The Cuchifat-3 Israeli satellite was among nine foreign customer satellites piggybacking on India’s primary payload Risat-2BR1, a military radar imaging satellite. The launch occurred at 09:55 UTC. Full article at https://tinyurl.com/uz7p35u

Duchifat3 was built by high school students supported by Herzliya Science Center in Israel and carries an on-board camera for earth imaging. The V/u FM transponder has an uplink of 145.970 MHz and a downlink of 436.400 MHz — however some reports indicate that the FM repeater downlink may actually be at 436.420 MHz.

[ANS thanks The Times of India and AMSAT-UK for the above information]

Ham Radio University Satellite Operations Forum on January 4

The 21st annual Ham Radio University, on Saturday, January 4, 2020 is a “A day of education to share ideas, experiences, knowledge and fellowship among Amateur Radio operators.” The event will be held at:

LIU / Post
Hillwood Commons Student Center
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548
Web: http://hamradiouniversity.org/

The suggested donation $5 – no preregistration is required! Doors open at 7:30 AM with first forums at 8:30 AM.

Satellite operation is a part of the learning experience: 11:00 a.m. Satellite Operations for Beginners by Frank Garofalo WA2NDV

[ANS thanks the Ham Radio University 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/ 

Possible ARISS SSTV Operation Before Year’s End

ARISS reports the possibility of a worldwide commemorative SSTV operation from the International Space Station on Friday, Dec. 27 or Saturday, Dec. 28 and following days. The SSTV downlink frequency is 145.800 MHz. ARISS will provide more information as it becomes available. Watch the amsat-bb and follow @ARISS_status on Twitter for updates.

An SSTV system is an integral part of one of the ARISS ham radio stations, NA1SS/ RS0ISS in the Service Module. It transmits and receives JPEG still images.This system utilizes the Kenwood D700 and D710 radios and the ARISS antennas mounted on the Service Module. The SSTV equipment also includes SpaceCam and MMSSTV software, a radio/computer interface module and data cables. A Kenwood VC-H1 is also used to provide near real-time automatically transmitted images once every 3 minutes, when active.

A Kenwood D710 radio located in the Service Module was deployed by the Russian Space Agency, Energia to provide extended support of imaging experiments using various SSTV formats. It employs SpaceCam and MMSSTV software to transmit stored images.

The current Expedition 61 crew aboard the ISS includes Dr. Andrew “Drew” Morgan, KI5AAA, an emergency physician in the U.S. Army; veteran pilot Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, RK6ATR; Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, an Italian Air Force officer, pilot, and engineer; pilot Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka; biologist Dr. Jessica Meir; and electrical engineer Christina Koch.

[ANS thanks ARISS and NASA for the above information]

Recent ARISS Contacts

Istituto Comprensivo “Japigia 1 – Verga”, Bari, Italy, direct via IZ7RTN and Istituto Comprensivo “Caporizzi – Lucarelli”, Bari, Italy, direct via IZ7RTN. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS, The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP. Contact is go: Fri 2019-12-20 12:35:30 UTC

There are few upcoming ARISS school contacts due to school holiday vacations around the world. Recent contacts were:

A contact with About Gagarin From Cosmos, City of Kursk, Russia and City of Ufa, Russia, direct via RZ9WWB was successful on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The ISS callsign was scheduled to be RSØISS, and the scheduled astronaut was Alexander Skvortsov, RK6ATR.

A contact with Woodridge Middle School, High Ridge, MO, direct via NØKBA was successful on Thursday, Dec. 12. The ISS callsign was scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP.

The ARISS contact with Council Rock High School South students at the Northampton, Pennsylvania school on Thursday, December 5 received local press coverage in the Bucks County Courier Times newspaper: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-349-ARISS-CouncilRock

[ANS thanks ARISS 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

For “Ham Radio Day Aboard the Queen Mary” on Saturday, 14 December 2019. Endaf Buckley, N6UTC, and Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, will work passes as W6RO between 1700 UTC and 0100 UTC (9am-5pm Pacific time) from the Sports Deck on the RMS Queen Mary, next to the W6RO Wireless Room. More information about this event is available at: https://amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/2019-November/075512.html  and at https://www.queenmary.com/calendar-of-events/ham-radio-day/home/

On Sunday, 15 December 2019, N6UTC and WD9EWK will go north of the Los Angeles area to the DM04/DM05/DM14/DM15 (35.0 N 118.0 W) grid intersection. They plan on working passes for a few hours there, starting with an AO-92 pass around 1740 UTC.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Board member Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, for the above information]

South Florida (EL95, EL96) December 11-15, 2019 James, K4WPX, will be in EL96/95 December 11th-15th, vacation style, mostly evening passes, FM only. James will be staying in EM96 but ~1mile from the EM95 line, so he can skip over there for some passes, too. Pass announcements via Twitter: https://twitter.com/k4wpx

Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019 Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special empahasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF

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

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

XT2, BURKINA FASO (Reminder). Harald, DF2WO, is once again active as XT2AW from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, until December 20th. Activity is usually holiday style on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. He states that he works mostly on the Digital modes (FT8, PSK31, JT65 and RTTY) and slow CW. He will concentrate on 160/80/60 meters. “PLS Skeds for 80 and 160.” He will also be active on the Satellites (including 3W into 85cm dish for QO-100) See QRZ.com more details. QSL via M0OXO, direct or by M0OXO’s OQRS  (www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/).

ZZ, BRAZIL (WFF Op). Operators Joao Carlos/PU4GOD, Leo/PY1CC, Aldir, PY1SAD and Eduardo/PU1REC will be active from the headquarters of the Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park (PYFF0226) with special callsign ZZ1F between December 12-15th. This is during the first weekend of the Brazilian Parks event, under the coordination of Ronaldo (PS8RV). Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters including VHF using CW, SSB, Satellites and the Digital modes. QSL via LoTW or QRZ.com.

[ANS thanks Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin No. 1443 for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • Some observers have reported that satellite JY1 is, at least occasionally, transmitting image data from its on-board camera. (ANS thanks Hasan Schiers, N0AN, for the above information)
  • Want to build a satellite? A scholarly book, “Low Earth Orbit Satellite Design” by Dr. George Sebestyen, Steve Fujikawa, Alex Chuchra, and Nick Galassi, was recently published by Springer, Inc. This book offers an in-depth guide to engineers and professionals seeking to understand the technologies behind Low Earth Orbit satellites. At $139.99 for the hardcover edition, it might be a pricey stockingstuffer, but paperback and ebook editions are cheaper, and Springer is running a holiday book special: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319683140#aboutBook  (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
  • ESA’s short film, The Burn, takes us into the heart of Europe’s mission control during a critical moment in the life of a future mission. Filmed on site in Darmstadt, Germany, with the help of volunteers (many of whom are real-life spacecraft controllers), The Burn illustrates the critical importance of decades of investment in state-of-the-art mission operations infrastructure and highly trained teams to flying Europe’s most daring space missions. View the film at: https://tinyurl.com/yxxewnjt  (ANS thanks ESA for the above information)
  • NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, aims to carry astronauts to the moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis project, and has been described as “the most powerful rocket ever built.” The SLS has just completed its latest round of testing: a “test to failure” pressure test of the main liquid hydrogen tank. The tank withstood more than 260% of expected flight loads before buckling and rupturing! The tank was pushed to its limit and failed at the point predicted by the analysts, which is good news for the models used by NASA. (ANS thanks engadget.com and NASA for the above information)
  • Meade Instruments, a company familiar to backyard astronomers, has filed for bankruptcy. The company has fallen on hard times in recent years, as they’ve faced increasing competition. Meade also recently lost a lawsuit, which pushed them over the edge into bankruptcy. The company is based in Irvine, California, and was founded in 1972. They started out selling small refracting telescopes. They expanded and now sell telescope models worth up to $10,000.  (ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)
  • The Orbital Index blog (orbitalindex.com) maintains a directory of free space-related software resources for space hobbiests at: https://github.com/orbitalindex/awesome-space  (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
  • + The Orbital Flight Test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 6:36 a.m. EST. The uncrewed flight test will be Starliner’s maiden mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (ANS thanks NASA 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,
Mark Johns, K0JM
k0jm@amsat.org

ANS-342 AMSAT News Service Bulletins for December 8

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-342

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:

  • AMSAT Member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, Named 2020 Carole Perry Educator of the Year
  • AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Participates in Hackaday Hack Chat
  • AMSAT to Join ARRL in Opposition to FCC Proposal to Eliminate 3.3 – 3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation
  • Chris Taron, NK1K, Completes Satellite DXCC Via LEO Satellites
  • Duchifat3 with V/u FM Transponder To Launch December 11
  • Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA
  • AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat to Transmit Emergency Traffic using WINLINK
  • AMSAT-SA to Shift Main Focus to AfriCUBE, a Digital SDR CubeSat
  • LSF Heads Back to Orbit with the Qubik Mission
  • VUCC Awards And Endorsements for November 2019
  • Upcoming ARISS Activities
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT Member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, Named 2020 Carole Perry Educator of the Year

The Orlando HamCation has announced that AMSAT member Melissa Pore, KM4CZN, is the 2020 receipient of the Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award. This award is bestowed upon an individual who has made an outstanding contribution educating and advancing youth in Amateur Radio. It was first awarded in 2018 to its namesake, Carole Perry, WB2MGP, in honor of her work as an educator teaching students about ham radio.

Melissa has been an educational professional for over 20 years and currently teaches at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. Along with teaching engineering and computer scienve, she is also involved in the school’s amateur radio and engineering clubs. Her students held demonstrations at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Innovation Day. Some of her other educational endeavors include working on the first satellite to be launched and built by an elementary school and co-facilitating a workshop at Space Port Area Conference for Educators 2019. Melissa has a Technician Class radio license and is a member of AMSAT, NASA Goddard Amateur Radio Club and ARRL. She is involved in ARISS as an Ambassador on the US Education Team. She will be presenting an
ARISS Workshop at the Space Exploration Educators Conference 2020.

AMSAT congratulations Melissa on this well-deserved honor!

[ANS thanks the Orlando HamCation for the above information]

AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Participates in Hackaday Hack Chat

AMSAT Vice President – Educational Relations Alan Johnston, KU2Y, participated in a Hackaday Hack Chat on December 4, 2019. Built for about $300 using mostly off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts, the simulator lets satellite builders work the bugs out of their designs before committing them to the Final Frontier.

Logs from the chat are available at: https://hackaday.io/event/168230-amsat-cubesat-simulator-hack-chat

More information about the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator project can be found at http://cubesatsim.com/.

Dr. Johnston also recently presented at the Radio Club of America’s Technical Symposium. His presentation, entitled “Designing the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator: A Functional Satellite Model for the Classroom” is available at: https://tinyurl.com/ANS-342-KU2Y

[ANS thanks Hackaday and Alan Johnston, KU2Y, for the above information]

AMSAT to Join ARRL in Opposition to FCC Proposal to Eliminate 3.3 – 3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation

At its December 12th open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to remove the amateur allocation at 3.3 – 3.5 GHz, including the amateur satellite service allocation at 3.4 – 3.401 GHz.

The ARRL plans to file comments opposing the deletion of the amateur allocation. AMSAT also plans to file comments in opposition to this proposal and we are coordinating our efforts with the ARRL. More information on the FCC proposal can be found on the ARRL’s website at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-342-ARRL.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and the ARRL 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

Chris Taron, NK1K, Completes Satellite DXCC Via LEO Satellites

Chris Taron, NK1K, recently completed his satellite DXCC award with all QSOs made using LEO satellites. His 100th DXCC entity worked came courtesy of Phillipe Chateau, EA4NF, who was operating as EA9/EA4NF in Melilla, on November 19th. Chris posted a recording of his QSO via AO-7 at https://chirb.it/90xpzx. The LoTW confirmation a few days later left him at 99 DXCCs confirmed. A QSL card received from VP2V/DL7VTX on December 5th put him over the top with 100 DXCC entities confirmed.

AMSAT congratulates Chris on his great achievement!

[ANS thanks Chris Taron, NK1K, for the above information]

Duchifat3 with V/u FM Transponder To Launch December 11

Duchifat3, carrying a V/u FM transponder, will launch on the PSLV-C48 mission, currently scheduled for launch at 09:55 UTC on December 11, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR in India. The planned orbit is 576 km circular with an inclination of 37 degrees.

Duchifat3 was built by high school students supported by Herzliya Science Center in Israel and carries an on-board camera for earth imaging. The V/u FM transponder has an uplink of 145.970 MHz and a downlink of 436.400 MHz. Telemetry will be transmitted using 9k6 BPSK with AX.25.

http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=586

[ANS thanks the IARU 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/

Donate to AMSAT Tax-Free From Your IRA

Are you over 70-1/2 years of age and need to meet your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution for 2019? Consider making a donation to AMSAT!

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, individuals over 70-1/2 years of age may make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA to an eligible charity without increasing their taxable income. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to make certain you are eligible.

AMSAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. AMSAT’s federal tax ID is 52-0888529.

AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat to Transmit Emergency Traffic using WINLINK

The AZTECHSAT-1 Cubesat travels to the space station on the 19th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-19) contract mission for NASA integrated within a NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) and launches from the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD). The J-SSOD is handled by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) outside the space station.

AZTECHSAT-1 has received IARU coordination for a downlink frequency of 437.300 MHz using 9k6 GMSK or FSK. The cubesat will also carry a Globalstar radio. The cubesat will listen for emergency messages in the 439 MHz frequency range and then retransmit these messages for amateur radio operators to copy on the 437.300 MHz downlink using the WinLink protocol.

AZTECHSAT-1 will create a Saturation Map of 435-438 MHz by listening for the whole orbit and returning captured data to the ground station using the 437.300 MHz amateur radio downlink plus a 1600 MHz Globalstar link.

The emergency messages received via globalstar to the AZTECHSAT-1 ground station will be shared on the project’s website. A certificate will be available for amateur stations receiving the emergency message(s) submitted via their website and confirmed by the AZTECHSAT-1 team.

Full details are posted on the AZTECHSAT-1 web:
https://upaep.mx//aztechsat
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=661

[ANS thanks the IARU and the AZTECHSAT-1 at Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla]

AMSAT-SA to Shift Main Focus to AfriCUBE, a Digital SDR CubeSat

The AMSAT-SA CubeSat development team has shifted their CubeSat development focus from an analogue transponder to a digital SDR based unit. The development of the AfriCUBE digital SDR transponder under the leadership of Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC has reached an advanced stage and will soon be ready to undergo its first field trials.

The team is not abandoning the development of the KLETSKous analogue transponder, which performed well during the BACAR 7 flight on 12 October 2019. Leon Lessing, ZS6LMG has taken the development to this point but unfortunately, due to personal commitments, cannot continue to work on Kletskous. “I would like to thank Leon for his support and wish him well in his future endeavours,” Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, AMSAT -SA CubeSat project leader said.

During the BACAR flight test it showed that some further development is needed to improve the transponder’s receiver sensitivity. “Here is a great opportunity for young enthusiastic engineers in the amateur radio community to take on the challenge. I invite interested persons with RF experience to contact me and become part of the team. While there is no financial reward, the experience and achieving something great that will fly in space outweighs this many times. It will certainly look good on anyone’s CV”, Hannes said.

The EPS (electronic power system), space frame and stabilisation system are complete. The development of the solar panel and antenna deployment systems are making good progress. Frik Wolf, ZS6FZ said he will be ready by mid-January 2020 for project review and field testing.

Currently work on a new onboard control system has been paused while Fritz Sutherland, ZS6FSJ is working with Anton Janovsky to get AfricaCUBE ready for on-the-air trials.

Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL will continue work on the documentation crucial to secure a launch opportunity and Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV will work on frequency allocations and explore launch opportunities and the marketing of the project.

AMSAT-SA is continuing its dialogue with SANSA and its contractor to place a transponder on EOSAT-1, a planned high performance earth-observation satellite designed to produce data for a broad range of earth observation applications. The development of AfriCUBE will enhance this opportunity.

JOIN THE AMSAT SA CUBESAT TEAM

AMSAT SA invites radio amateurs with RF, electronic and software experience to join the Satellite Development team and contribute to technology and human capital development in South Africa. The team meets every alternate Monday on a Skype conference and quarterly face-to-face. Send your contact details and your main interest in the CubeSat project to admin@amsatsa.org.za. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP or another team member will contact you.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-SA and the South African Radio League for the above information]

LSF Heads Back to Orbit with the Qubik Mission

Libre Space Foundation is proud to announce that it is currently developing and integrating 2 pocketqube satellites (QUBIK-1 & QUBIK-2) and supplying a pocketqube deployer (PICOBUS) to be flown as part of the DREAM payloads program on the inaugural Firefly Alpha launch from Firefly Aerospace.

The project consists of two 50x50x50mm Pocketcubes each of approx. 250g. The project mission is for the satellites to conduct a series of telecommunications related experiments, while at the same time, ground station analysis of the received signals will try to exploit doppler variations in order to perform orbit determination and satellite identification from radio amateur stations around the world. The telecommunication experiments will use several different modulation, coding and framing schemes, with the intention to provide insights about their performance at nano-pico-satellite missions. In addition the frame itself will be organized in such a way so spacecraft identification can be performed as early as possible from the PHY (using orthogonal or PN sequences). Proposing UHF downlinks using either GFSK, GMSK or BPKS at 9k6 or 19k2 bps with QPSK at bit rates of 19k2 or 38k4 bps. Planning a Firefly launch from Vandenberg in March 2020 into a circular 300km 97 degree orbit together with GENESIS-N, GENESIS-L, FOSSASAT-1B and FOSSASAT-2 More info at https://libre.space

Frequency coordination is pending with the IARU:
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/formal_detail.php?serialnum=703

[ANS thanks LibreSpace for the above information]

VUCC Awards And Endorsements for November 2019

Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the ARRL for the period November 1, 2019 through December 1, 2019. Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!

CallsignOctober 2019 VUCC StandingNovember 2019 VUCC Standing
KO4MA16941701
WA5KBH738744
W5RKN694702
N3GS597601
VE7CEW478501
KK4YEL400413
AD0HJ353375
N7EGY300351
W5CBFNew179
N0RSRNew154
N0RC100104
EA8CXNNew101
VE2NGONew100
VU2LBWNew100

If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at w5rkn at w5rkn dot 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]

ARISS Activities

  • About Gagarin From Space Conducting an amateur radio session with students of “Amur State University Blagoveshchensk”, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via R?ØJ
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS The scheduled astronaut is Oleg Skripochka Contact is go for Thu 2019-12-05 08:52 UTC
  • Council Rock High School South, Holland, PA, direct via KC3NGG
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
    Contact was successful: Thu 2019-12-05 17:56:31 UTC
  • B. Pascal Institute – Public School, Rome, Italy, direct via IKØMGA and Istituto Comprensivo Lipari “S. Lucia”, Lipari, Italy, direct via ID9GKS
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be IRØISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Sat 2019-12-07 11:44:00 UTC
  • Greenwood Primary School, Greenwood, Western Australia, Australia, telebridge via IK1SLD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Drew Morgan KI5AAA
    Contact is go for: Tue 2019-12-10 10:55:14 UTC
  • City of Kursk, Russia and City of Ufa, Russia, direct via TBD
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
    The scheduled astronaut is Alexander Skvortsov
    Contact is go for: Tue 2019-12-11 10:10 UTC
  • Woodridge Middle School, High Ridge, MO, direct via NØKBA
    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
    The scheduled astronaut is Luca Parmitano KF5KDP
    Contact is go for: Thu 2019-12-12 15:29:16 UTC

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, and David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS operation team members, 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

Satellite Shorts:

  • Dec 12th ND0C EM09 – 1647z on AO-91 & 1708z on AO-92
  • Dec 12th ND0C EN00 – 1821z on AO-91 & 1843z on AO-92
  • South Florida (EL95, EL96) December 11-15, 2019
    James, K4WPX, will be in EL96/95 December 11th-15th, vacation style, mostly evening passes, FM only. James will be staying in EM96 but ~1 mile from the EM95 line, so he can skip over there for some passes, too. Pass announcements via Twitter: https://twitter.com/k4wpx
  • Hawaii (BK19, BK28, BK29, BL20) December 21-28, 2019
    Alex, N7AGF, is heading back to Hawaii over Christmas. This will be a holiday-style activation, with special empahasis on the grid that got away – BK28. Keep an eye on Alex’s Twitter feed for further announcements: https://twitter.com/N7AGF
  • 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 (at) amsat.org

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP – User Services, 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

  • Albert “Al” Noe (81), KL7NO, from Fairbanks Alaska, passed away Monday evening, November 25, 21 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. Al was an avid 6 meter operator just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska in grid BP54. He was still active on 6 meters up until the very end. For over 40 years Al provided EME, AMSAT, and many other contacts on 6, 2, 1.25 meters, 70 & 23 centimeters from his Alaska QTH just outside of Fairbanks. Blanchard Family Funeral Home in Fairbanks will be handling Al’s services and an obituary will be published at a later date. https://www.blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com/  (Via the Central States VHF Society)
  • John Toscano, W0JT, passed away Wednesday, November 27, in San Antonio. He fought a long battle against many health problems during the last several years. Since moving to Texas, he had almost completed his dream station (6-m through 10 GHz) at a great location (20 dB hilltop) and participated in both AMSAT and RMG club activities. Previously, while in Minnesota, he was a very active NLRS member on the VHF/UHF/SHF bands with fixed, rover and portable stations. As a retired pharmacist and U of MN assistant professor, John will be remembered for his programming contributions with his 10 GHz contest logging/scoring program and his on-line contest activity spreadsheets. He also had many interests in astronomy and astrophysics.  (Via the Central States VHF Society)
  • From Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1442: FP, ST. PIERRE & MIQUELON (Early Announcement). Eric, KV1J, will once again be operating from the Island of Miquelon (NA-032, DIFO FP-002 WLOTA 1417, Grid GN17) as FP/KV1J between June 30th and July 14th, 2020. This is his 14th trip to the island. Activity will be on 160-10 meters (no 60m – not authorized) using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8/FT4 (but primarily SSB, RTTY and FT8/FT4) and the satellites. He will generally be on the highest frequency band that is open (favoring 12/10m). He will be active in the IARU HF World Championship (July 11-12th). ADDED NOTE: Eric will usually try to be on as many Satellite passes as he can when the WX is good, generally favoring the FO-29, XW-2x, AO-7, and possibly the FM birds. Weekends may be limited since he will be concentrating on the low(er) bands and contests. QSL via KV1J, direct or by the Bureau. Also eQSL and LoTW. For more details and updates, check out his Web page at: http://www.kv1j.com/fp/July20.html
  • Issue 78 of CQ DATV is now available at https://cq-datv.mobi/78.php.

 

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,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm@amsat.org