[ans] ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
Mark D. Johns
mjohns+K0JM at luther.edu
Sun May 10 00:00:00 UTC 2020
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation 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 commun-
icating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org
You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service
Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:
In this edition:
* 2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org
* Call for Nominations - 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
* New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September
* Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available
* Visual Observations Of RS-44 Underway
* Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation
* NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station
* Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom
* Satellite Distance Records Set
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* ARISS News
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-131.01
ANS-131 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 131.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
To All RADIO AMATEURS
2019 Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal on launch.amsat.org
AMSAT's new online member portal, launch.amsat.org, is up and running.
All AMSAT members must log in and update their contact information to
ensure continued, uniterrupted service. Full instructions for getting
logged in are in the March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal, avail-
able for free download on amsat.org and launch.amsat.org. There is
also separate instructions on each site.
Those interested in joining AMSAT can create an account, using the
Join link on launch.amsat.org
IMPORTANT UPDATE: AMSAT's Member Portal not only puts you in charge
of your member account but gives you exclusive access to member-only
content. Want to read back issues of The AMSAT Journal, in full color?
We just posted all 2019 issues, plus the first two issues of 2020. We
will continue to work on uploading prior years, so check back often.
Log in today!
(ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-Member Services for the
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Call for Nominations - 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors Election
AMSAT solicits nominations for the 2020 AMSAT Board of Directors
election, to be held in the third quarter of the year. The seats of
the following three incumbent Directors expire in 2020 and will be
filled by this year's election: Tom Clark, K3IO; Mark Hammond, N8MH;
and Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Further, up to two Alternate Directors may be
elected for one-year terms.
A valid nomination for Director must be written and requires either
one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing
to nominate an AMSAT member. Written nominations, with the nominee’s
name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators'
names, call signs, and contact information, should be sent to the
Brennan Price, N4QX
300 Locust St SE, Unit E
Vienna VA 22180-4869
brennanprice at verizon.net
A copy should be sent to AMSAT Manager, Martha Saragovitz, at
martha at amsat.org.
The AMSAT bylaws require that the nomination be written and in the
form specified by the Secretary. In light of the ongoing pandemic and
the resulting closure of the physical office, the Secretary has
elected to accept written nomination materials in electronic form,
including e-mail or electronic image of a paper document. Fax trans-
missions cannot be accepted due to the closure of the office.
No matter what means are used, petitions MUST be received by the
Secretary no later than June 15th. The Secretary will verify the qual-
ifications of candidates and nominating members or Member Societies as
petitions are received, and will notify candidates whether their nom-
inations are in order by the end of June.
[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary, for the above
New Chinese Amateur Satellites Expected to Launch in September
Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are now expected to launch on
September 15, 2020. The first of these satellites, CAS-7A, is a 27 kg
microsat (750 mm x 650 mm x 260 mm) with three-axis stabilization and
several transponders. The transponders include a 15m to 10m linear
transponder (H/t), a 15m to 70cm linear transponder (H/u), and a 2m to
70cm linear transponder(V/u). The satellite also includes a 2m to 70cm
(V/u) FM transponder. Several beacons and data downlinks are also feat-
ured, CW beacons on 10m and 70cm, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70cm,
and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3cm for the on board camera.
IARU coordinated frequencies for the uplinks and downlinks are listed
This launch is also expected to carry CAS-7C, a 2U CubeSat with a V/u
linear transponder and a CW beacon. Frequencies for CAS-7C have not
been coordinated by the IARU at the time of this writing. CAS-7C will
also deploy a 1 mm diameter 1080 meter long carbon fiber rope.
CAS-7A and CAS-7C will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 98 degrees.
CAS-7A H/t Linear Transponder
Uplink - 21.245MHz through 21.275 MHz
Downlink - 29.435MHz through 29.465 MHz
CW Beacon 29.425 MHz
CAS-7A H/u Linear Transponder
Uplink - 21.3125 MHz through 21.3275 MHz
Downlink - 435.3575 MHz through 435.3725 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz
CAS-7A V/u Linear Transponder
Uplink - 145.865 MHz through 145.895 MHz
Downlink - 435.385 MHz through 435.415 MHz
CW Beacon 435.430MHz
CAS-7A V/u FM Transponder
Uplink 145.950 MHz
Downlink 435.455 MHz
4.8k / 9.6k GMSK telemetry downlink - 435.480 MHz
1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink - 10460.00 MHz
[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information]
Cubesat Developers Workshop Presentations Available
Although we are not able to come together in San Luis Obispo for the
CubeSat Developers Workshop today, we are excited to share some of the
presentations that would have taken place with you online. Find the
slide decks for these presentations on our archive
<http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~workshop/archive/> as well as videos on
our YouTube channel
You will also be able to find all of our previous Workshop presentations
in NASA's Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI)
<https://www.nasa.gov/smallsat-institute>. We are excited to have our
archives integrated into S3VI and hope you can use this tool to further
your research and involvement with CubeSat.
If you were selected to present your abstract at this year's Workshop
and would still like your presentation to be included in our archive,
email us at cubesat-workshop at calpoly.edu
<mailto:cubesat-workshop at calpoly.edu>.
We also want to share some of our CDW Zoom backgrounds with you. Feel
free to download and use them in your next meeting!
We look forward to welcoming you all back to San Luis Obispo from *April
27-29, 2021* for the next CubeSat Developers Workshop. We will continue
to announce new deadlines and registration information via email and on
our website <https://www.cubesat.org/workshop-information> as we
continue to plan for 2021. Be sure to join the CubeSat Workshop mailing
list <http://www.cubesat.org/mailinglist/> for future announcements.
We hope you continue working together (from home) to advance CubeSats
[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, 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.
Visual Observations Of RS-44 Underway
Visual observations of the payload and attached Briz-KM rocket body
made whilst the object has been flying over the UK at night, indica-
ted a rotation period of 19 seconds. Optically with binoculars, it
appeared between magnitude +5 to invisible in hazy moonlit skies, on
near zenithal transits. No flashes nor glints were observed, which
could indicate the stack is in a slow roll along the longitudinal
axis, rather than a tumbling motion.
On a radio aspect, it would appear the beacon signals are stronger
as the payload approaches, declining thereafter upon passing TCA.
Assuming RS-44 is mounted to the front and that some aerials have
deployed, then this would account for the phenomenon, as receding
away from the station would have the aerials blocked by the Briz
rocket body - however, I have not seen any information released as to
the physical condition of RS-44. It would be useful for the transmit-
ters to remain on, to monitor over the long term if the nutation rate
slows over time. The CW beacon was timed at 20 seconds between trans-
mission, which fits with the optical work, but this may well just be
coincidental as to how the beacon is programmed.
Later radio monitoring indicates the beacon repetition is 15-16 sec-
onds on the callsign being transmitted. Whether this ties in with
hopefully future optical work to see if the spin rate has slowed to
the same, or we have a differential - we wait and see!
[ANS thanks Max White, M0VNG, for the above information]
Hack-a-Sat Call for Participation
I've put out the call for participation for the Hack-a-Sat competition
in the past, and would like to bring you all up to date on the devel-
opments and opportunities that have developed since.
The website is here: https://www.hackasat.com/
Hack-a-Sat is an activity that was scheduled to happen at the in-per-
son DEFCON event.
As of today, yes, it's true. DEFCON has been cancelled.
Those of you that have volunteered at Ham Radio Village in the past
are familiar with the event. For those of you that are not, it's a
long-running hacking and cybersecurity event that has enthusiastical-
ly adopted everything RF and amateur radio.
The United States Air Force, in conjunction with the Defense Digital
Service, organized this year’s Space Security Challenge, called Hack-
A-Sat. This challenge asks hackers from around the world to focus
their skills and creativity on solving cybersecurity challenges on
space systems. This competition is going to be held! It's now a vir-
Security in the amateur radio sense of the word is fundamentally dif-
ferent from commercial and military applications. We have an advan-
tage here, mainly due to the enormous leverage we have due to our con-
text being completely different from what the Air Force and commercial
interests assume. This is, essentially, a diversity advantage.
If you want to participate on an experienced Capture The Flag (CTF)
team, then I am here to extend an invitation. Anyone that reads
through the rules and can afford to spend some time during the event
is invited to apply to join Vaporsec. This is a team that has a major-
ity of information security professionals. There are some satellite
industry people, some amateur involvement, and I'd like to make sure
that anyone interested in competing from AMSAT-BB gets a chance to
join a competitive team.
The benefits to amateur radio are primarily technical, with policy and
security a close second. The Air Force has some agendas here in terms
of improving satellite security. Exposure to the challenges alone is a
an excellent opportunity to learn more about modern satellite technol-
ogy...and what a significant player in space wants to find out more
about. Don't assume that that the challenges in the competition are
going to be "too hard." What is trivial for one viewpoint is unsolv-
able for another.
I'll be writing about the event and what we learned when it is over,
so this sort of knowledge will not be secret. However, there is no
replacement for participation, and you could very well have the prac-
tical knowledge, gained from operating real satellites, that wins the
competition. As you can see from the website, there is some real money
involved and opportunities for technical writing.
Let me know at w5nyv at arrl.net if you would like to talk more about
joining a CTF team for this really neat and unique event. Know someone
that you think should participate? Please forward to them.
[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, AMSAT Board Member for the
NASA TV To Air Cygnus Departure From Space Station
Nearly three months after delivering several tons of supplies and sci-
entific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrup Grum-
man’s unpiloted Cygnus cargo craft is scheduled to depart the Inter-
national Space Station on Monday, May 11.
Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will air on NASA Television
and the agency’s website beginning at 11:45 a.m. EDT, with release
scheduled for noon.
Dubbed the “SS Robert H. Lawrence,” Cygnus arrived at the station on
February 18. Within 24 hours of its release, Cygnus will begin its
secondary mission, hosting the Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment – IV
(Saffire-IV), which provides an environment to safely study fire in
microgravity. It also will deploy a series of payloads. Northrop Grum-
man flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, will initiate Cygnus’ de-
orbit to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere Monday, May 25.
More information on Cygnus’ mission and the International Space Sta-
tion can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/station
[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]
Online Amateur Radio Satellite Talk on Zoom
Robin Moseley, G1MHU, will give a talk on Zoom titled “Introduction
to amateur satellites, meteor scatter, EME and ISS” on Wednesday,
May 13, at 1830z
The presentation is being organised by the Denby Dales Amateur Radio
Society and being on Zoom it’ll be viewable on any Tablet or Smartphone
with the Zoom App or from a Windows PC or Laptop.
The Zoom meeting ID is 278 609 9353 https://zoom.us/j/2786099353
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Satellite Distance Records Set
Satellite operators are rapidly pushing towards the 7,942 km theoret-
ical maximum range on RS-44. The 7,859 km record held by KI7UNJ and
JA0CAW was eclipsed on 06-May-2020 at 19:00 UTC with a QSO between
EA4CYQ and UA0STM, a distance of 7,894 km. On 09-May-2020, this record
fell again when W5CBF in Louisiana, USA worked LA7XK in Norway, a
distance of 7,916 km.
Another claimed DX record was also claimed on May 6. This time it was
on PO-101 (Diwata2PH). EA4SG reports working R9LR at 23:03 UTC. The
distance between the two stations is 5,128 km.
Distance records for all satellites are maintained at:
Please email n8hm [at] amsat.org if you wish to claim a new record,
longer distance QSO not yet documented, or records for any other sat-
ellite/transponder not yet listed. Please note that if a satellite
carries multiple transponders or supports multiple frequency bands,
records on each transponder/band may be claimed, such as Mode A and B
on AO-7 or Mode U/S, L/S, U/K, etc, on AO-40. This includes the ISS
and records may be claimed for the packet digipeater and crossband re-
peater, but does not include different operating modes on the same
transponder (such as CW or SSB on AO-7 Mode B).
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above
Upcoming Satellite Operations
Mitch, AD0HJ, has decided to "go check on the tree" in North Dakota.
He has also said he will be activating a bunch of grids:
5/20 UTC DN96/97
5/21 UTC DN78/88
5/22 UTC DN76/77
5/23 UTC DN86/87
5/24 UTC EN06/16
Details on his Twitter page, @ad0hj
Ron, AD0DX, and Doug, N6UA, are making another run at the elusive DL88
in Big Bend National Park, Texas. They tried this grid back in March,
and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off
they go again. The tentative date is Sunday May 31, 2020. They will be
using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ
Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overnfor, KE0PBR, the *NEW* AMSAT rover page manager(!)
for the above information. Welcome aboard, Paul.]
Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
from our Zazzle store!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between
amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with
astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The
downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.
Airdrie Space Science Club, Airdrie, AB, Canada, Multi-point tele-
bridge via ZS6JON. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
and the scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is
go for Friday 2020-05-15 15:10:28 UTC with 55 degrees over South
ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools
and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancella-
tions or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS will try
to provide everyone with near-real-time updates at the ARISS webpage:
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men-
tors for the above information]
AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.
Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
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 meet-
ings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have
been cancelled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the
information contained below is correct, there may be some that we
missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest
near you soon.
No scheduled events
The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from:
https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV 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.
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Virgin Orbit tweets that it is celebrating a big win this week after
the successful completion of a wet dress rehearsal with LauncherOne
just in time for #NationalSpaceDay! Wet dress rehearsals with all
commodities loaded is one of the last major events before launch.
(ANS thanks @Virgin_Orbit for the above information)
+ A new version of the North American Overlay Mapper program: v220.127.116.11
has been released for Windows 7 and 10, with many new features. The
'NAOMI' program can import ADIF logs, Cabrillo logs, and a variety
of lists, and then georeference them from the latest FCC and ISED
databases, and then plot North American QSOs, Grid Locators, and
Counties, onto 47 maps at 1:2,000,000 scale, 2 North American over-
view maps at 1:20,000,000 scale, a zoomable Online Map with a choice
of map-providers, a full-screen World Map, and a Great Circle Map
with a choice of 16 different backgrounds. You can edit logs, check
for errors, parse for counties, export data in different formats,
search and browse the databases, overlay a variety of lists, export
the maps for use in other applications, or to share online. NAOMI is
available at: https://www.mapability.com/ei8ic/naomi/index.php
(ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)
+ NASA will pay a staggering $146 million for each SLS rocket engine,
with 4 needed per SLS flight. These Space Shuttle main engines were
intended to be reused, but SLS will throw them away. Other things
you could buy for $146 million: two basic Atlas V rocket launches,
three Falcon 9 launches, or a fully expendable Falcon Heavy launch,
with 2/3 the lift capacity at 1/20th the cost.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ A study has found that all 1,078 commercially-launched smallsats in
the last five years experienced delays, with a median delay of 128
days. The largest delay categories: 11% of delays were administra-
tive, 13% were ISS manifest changes (for ISS-deployed sats), 20%
were due to delays in launch vehicle development, and 40% were due
to primary payload delays affecting their rideshares. Full report
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ A satellite built by Air Force Academy cadets will launch into space
May 16 aboard the X-37B, Orbital Test Vehicle sponsored by the De-
partment of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and built by
Boeing. This is the first time a satellite built and designed by ca-
dets will catch a ride into space aboard the X-37B. FalconSAT-8 will
carry five experimental payloads, and members of the Cadet Space
Operations Squadron will operate it. There was no mention of amateur
radio connected with this satellite, nor has there been a request
for IARU frequency coordination in the amateur radio satellite ser-
vice, although previous FalconSats have had amateur radio payloads.
(ANS thanks U.S. Air Force Academy for the above information)
+ When a new crew member arrives on the International Space Sta-
tion, the population of humans living in space changes, of course.
But so, too, does the population of microbes. As we have all learned
in this time of Covid-19, countless types of microorganisms inhabit
our bodies, inside and out, and when an astronaut arrives on the
station, they bring their specific collection of microbial "hitch-
hikers" with them. A new study shows that the microorganisms living
on surfaces inside the space station so closely resembled those on
an astronaut's skin that scientists could tell when this new crew
member arrived and departed, just by looking at the microbes left
behind. Many of the microorganisms living in and around us are harm-
less or even essential for good health, but some can cause disease
or damage structures in built environments. https://bit.ly/3dlEobi
(ANS thanks spacedaily.com for the above information)
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
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 stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week's ANS Editor, Mark D. Johns, K0JM
k0jm at amsat dot org
More information about the ANS