[ans] ANS-152 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Mark Johns, K0JM k0jm.mark at gmail.com
Sun May 31 00:00:00 UTC 2020


AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-152

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:
http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

In this edition:

* Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL Field Day
* IARU-R2 Workshop Videos Available
* Digital Mode Experiments Conducted on Linear Satellites
* SpaceX Launches Successfully Toward ISS
* Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First
* Mid-Altitude Balloon Race Planned for June 1
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-152.01
ANS-152 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 152.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 May 31
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-152.01


Temporary Rule Waivers Announced for 2020 ARRL/AMSAT Field Days

ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary
rule waivers for the 2020 ARRL Field Day to adjust for Covid-19 re-
strictions. An AMSAT parallel event is held at the same time, and the
rules for that have been adjusted, as well.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio cal-
endar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from
3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years,
Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, be-
cause many radio clubs organize their participation in public places
such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to
cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to
public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly
modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The
temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the
value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.
The waivers may be found at: https://bit.ly/3de5AJt

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) promotes its own ver-
sion of Field Day for operation via the amateur satellites, held con-
currently with the ARRL event. The rules for the AMSAT Field Day may
be found at:
https://www.amsat.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020fd.pdf

This will mean that there will be another group of certificates for
AMSAT Field Day: The top three stations operating from home with com-
mercial power.

The problem is with those operating from home attaching their scores
to a club. Because AMSAT only allows one satellite station to be oper-
ating at a time, if you are going to attach your satellite contact to
a club, only ONE home station can attach per club. This will keep the
playing field rather equal as there are areas where there is only one
satellite op around and other areas where there are dozens of satellite
ops. It would be unfair for an area with a dozen satellite ops to pool
all their home contacts towards one club.

Even if satellite operators took turns operating in shifts, it would
make it very difficult to score entries correctly. That is why AMSAT
has chosen to allow only one satellite home station could be attached
to a single club. CLUB NAME MUST BE IDENTIFIED IN THE ENTRY.

There will also be no duplicate certificates. If you are attaching your
score to a club, then it goes towards club rankings and not home
rankings. Nothing needs to be changed on the submission form. If you
are operating 1D and the name of your attached club is included, the
club score will be calculated appropriately.

This is new and uncharted waters and hope everyone enjoys AMSAT Field
Day. A much larger number of entries is anticipated with this change,
so patience is appreciated.

(ANS thanks ARRL and Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and
Awardsfor the above information)


+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

         Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
    is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
  https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+


IARU-R2 Workshop Videos Available

IARU Region 2 (IARU-R2) is hosting workshops covering different facets
of amateur radio. Last Wednesday (27 May) was the "Satellite Communica-
tions 101" workshop. Due to technical glitches, this workshop was not
available in real time, but the video of Wednesday's presentation is
now available on YouTube. The direct link to the video of last Wednes-
day's workshop is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f61uwo5Qy6A

One week earlier, on 20 May, Matias LU9CBL and Guillermo OA4/XQ3SA
hosted the Spanish-language version of this workshop, titled
"Comunicaciones por Satelite 101". The video of their presentation is
available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69D1dJEfGDc

IARU-R2 plans more workshops covering other topics, in English and
Spanish. Information on upcoming workshops is available at:
https://www.iaru-r2.org/en/news-and-events/workshops/

Videos of past workshops are available from the IARU-R2 Workshops
channel on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG2Srz0bsKmTbF2r3YNneQ

[ANS thanks Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, for the above information]


+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

           Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift?
        AMSAT t-shirts are currently 40% off with promo
     code BESTDADGIFTS. Other items are 15% off.
          25% of the purchase price of each product goes
            towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
              https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Digital Mode Experiments Conducted on Linear Satellites

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Be aware that the experiments described below utilize
very narrow AFSK modulation with fairly advanced computer control for
Doppler correction and frequency stabilization. They do NOT involve
use of narrowband FM signals such as those used for terrestrial APRS or
dedicated APRS satellites. So please, NEVER transmit FM on the uplink
to a linear satellite. ALSO, in should be emphasized that power levels
must be kept very low, as all the WSJT modes are 100% duty cycle.]

Recently a group of regular satellite-using amateurs conducted experi-
ments with FT-8 and FT-4 on a variety of linear satellites. Alan
(WA6DNR), Carlos (W7QL), Dave (W0DHB) and Ron (W5RKN) were involved and
made many satisfactory QSOs. The primary results and observations from
these tests are:
• Digital modes can successfully be employed on the linear birds
  while not interfering with concurrent users by operating close to
  the bottom end of the passband, using the lowest power practicable
  and using very narrow signals.

• We avoided the satellites known to be power-sensitive, FO-29 and
  AO-7. Testing was conducted with CAS-4A, CAS-4B, RS-44, XW-2A, XW-2B,
  XW-2C and XW-2F.

• FT-4 was the most robust signal format, compared to FT-8.  Other
  of Joe Taylor’s digital signal modes should be investigated.

• The rate of change of Doppler just before and after TCA is high on
  the lower-orbit satellites and must have compensation. 200 Milli-
  second Doppler updates allowed 100% copy of FT-4 transmissions
  throughout several passes of different linear satellites. This can be
  accomplished in SatPC32 by setting the “SSB/CW Interval” in the CAT
  menu to zero and checking the 5X box.  Note that this setting is not
  retained when SatPC32 is shut down.

• Very little power is needed for QSOs throughout the duration of the
  pass, from AOS to LOS. W7QL set IC-9700 power to “zero” (roughly 500
  milli-Watts, with over 3 dB cable/connector loss to a Leo-Pack anten-
  na pair) and copied every packet on several satellites.

• FT-4 is very tolerant of voice signals which might drop on top of
  an ongoing FT-4 QSO. However, an FT-4 signal dropping in the middle
  of an SSB QSO would be quite annoying to the SSB operators.

• According to Joe Taylor, the occupied bandwidth of an FT-4 signal
  is 90 Hz. So theoretically over 200 such signals could be present on
  a 20 KHz channel. Obviously that will not, and should not happen. But
  a dozen closely spaced FT-4 QSOs at the bottom of the band, each run-
  ning very low power should hardly be noticeable to current voice and
  CW traffic.

We invite other Satellite operators to join us in this expanded utili-
zation of the linear satellite resources available to us.  We recommend
using FT-4 AT VERY LOW POWER, in the bottom few KHz of the downlink
frequency range, with appropriate Doppler compensation, as described
above.  We hope to have a digital QSO with you sometime soon on the
linear birds.

[ANS thanks Carlos Cardon, W7QL, for the above information]

---------------------------------------------------------------------

SpaceX Launches Successfully Toward ISS

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, and Doug Hurley boarded a Crew
Dragon spacecraft on top of a Falcon 9 rocket once again on Saturday,
May 30. At 19:22 UTC they were successfully launched on their way to
the International Space Station. This was the first launch of astro-
nauts from U.S. territory since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011
and the first launch of humans by a private contractor, SpaceX.

The first attempt for the launch, on Wednesday, May 27, scrubbed due to
stormy weather near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dra-
gon spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS about 19 hours after
liftoff.

[ANS thanks Spaceflight Now for the above information]

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

    Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
            Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
                    from our Zazzle store!
        25% of the purchase price of each product goes
            towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
              https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Moonbounce Contact via FT8 Could be a First

FT8 codeveloper Joe Taylor, K1JT, has reported what is possibly the
first FT8 contact via moonbouce (Earth-Moon-Earth or EME) on May 21 be-
tween Paul Andrews, W2HRO, in New York, and Peter Gouweleeuw, PA2V, in
 Netherlands. The contact was made possible using the currently avail-
 able beta-release candidate of WSJT-X, version 2.2-rc1.

"Why might you want to use FT8 instead of 'Old Reliable JT65' for EME
QSOs?" Taylor asked in a subsequent Moon-Net post. "FT8 is about 4 dB
less sensitive than JT65, but with 15-second T/R [transmit/receive]
sequences it's four times faster, and it doesn't use Deep Search," he
said, answering his own question.

The FT8 protocol included in the beta version of WSJT-X has an optional
user setting to work around the 2.5-second path delay. "For terrestrial
use, the FT8 decoder searches over the range -2.5 to +2.4 seconds for
clock offset DT between transmitting and receiving stations," Taylor
explained. "DT" represents the difference between the transmission time
and actual time. "When 'Decode after EME delay' is checked on the
WSJT-X 'Settings' screen, the accessible DT range becomes -0.5 to +4.4
seconds. Just right for EME."

As Taylor explained in his post, FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation with tones
separated by 6.25 Hz. At the time of the contact, the expected Doppler
spread on the W2HRO - PA2V EME path was 8 Hz, which would cause some
additional loss in sensitivity. Despite the path losses, however, copy
between W2HRO and PA2V was "solid in both directions," Taylor said.

Taylor said that when he was active in EME contests on 144 MHz, he was
always frustrated that, even with reasonably strong signals, the max-
imum JT65 contact rate is about 12 per hour. "With FT8, you can do 40
per hour, as long as workable stations are available," he said.

As for using FT8 for EME contacts on 1296 MHz, Taylor said it "might
sometimes work, but Doppler spread will probably make standard FT8 a
problem." Given sufficient interest, however, he said the WSJT-X devel-
opment team could design an FT8B or FT8C with wider tone spacing. He
encouraged the use of FT8 for moonbounce on 144, 432, and 1296 MHz and
asked users to report their results to the development team.

"A 'slow FT8' mode is indeed a sensitivity winner on suitable propaga-
tion paths," he said in a later Moon-Net post. "We are busy implement-
ing such a mode, but with particular emphasis on its use on the LF and
MF bands."

Taylor said FT8 has the operational advantage of putting all users in
one (or a few) narrow spectral slices on each band. "So, it's easy to
find QSO partners without skeds or chat rooms," he said. "Everything
is done over the air, with no 'side channels' needed."

Taylor also remarked in response to posts from those who, like him,
"love CW."

"I agree it's a thrill to hear your own lunar echo, and to make CW EME
QSOs," he said. "Sometimes I pine for the bygone world of commercial
sailing ships, which happen to be very much a part of my family's his-
tory," Taylor concluded. "But I know that technologies evolve, and the
world does not stand still."

[ANS thanks ARRL News 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/

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Mid-Altitude Balloon Race Planned for June 1

Three Space Station Explorer teams will participate in anexciting dis-
tance learning—social distanced balloon race to beheld during the Pan-
demic.

ARISS educator, Joanne Michaelis, KM6BWB, is a science coach at the
Wiseburn Unified School District in Los Angeles, California where she
leads her students in several balloon launch attempts from the Los
Angeles area each year. With this year different because of the pan-
demic, Joanne wanted to “shake things up a bit” and give students
world-wide, a unique distance learning treat while keeping all safe
during the pandemic. So Joanne challenged Ted Tagami, KK6UUQ, from
Magnitude.io to a mid-altitude cross-continent balloon race and Ted
accepted the challenge!

Ted plans to launch his balloon from Oakland, California. ISS Above in-
ventor, Liam Kennedy, KN6EQU, from Pasadena, California, got “wind” of
the idea and he asked to participate, too. All three organizations:
ARISS, Magnitude.io and ISS Above are ISS National Lab Space Station
Explorer (SSE) partners that work to inspire, engage, and educate stu-
dents in Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
topics and to pursue STEAM careers.

The three SSE teams plan tolaunch their balloons simultaneously on
June 1. The winner will be the first one to cross the“Finish Line”—the
Eastern Time zone. Launch time is planned for 15:00 UTC (11:00 EDT,
10:00 CDT, 9:00 MDT, or 8:00 PDT. A live video feed of the launch is
planned to start approximately 5 minutes prior to the event.

Once the balloons are airborne, students can track each balloon’s loca-
tion, altitude, and temperature via amateur radio APRS (Automatic Pac-
ket Reporting System) which is fed automatically to the aprs.fi web
site. Educators and parents around the globe can excite at-home youth
withthis initiative. Students can tally and track the states each bal-
loon travels through and plot altitude versus temperature, etc. Also,
by researching weather patterns, students can make assumptions from
their own data. This could include speed variations due to weather.

They also can predict each balloon’s flight path and when they might
cross the finish line!

For more information on theballoon launch, lesson plans, and the live-
stream video link (when thelivestream URL is available), please go to:
https://www.ariss.org/mid-altitude-balloon-race.html

Enjoy the Race!  May the best ballooner win!!

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men-
tors for the above information]

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ARISS News

Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between
amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with
astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The
downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.

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:
https://www.ariss.org/

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men-
tors for the above information]

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

    AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
    radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
            be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.

   Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Upcoming Satellite Operations

W8LR: (@W8LR) May 30 and May 31 he will attempt to activate a dual
grids contact. The grid line will be EM79/EM89.

Hey you guys from the EU: @N4DCW will be in EM56 June 5-7 with a semi-
decent N-E horizon from his sister-in-law’s house. He will be on RS-44
and AO-7 looking for y’all.

AD0DX: (@AD0DX) DM77 and maybe DM76 on Saturday May 30.

An interesting email from ND9M/KH2:
I’m finishing up my current tour on a U.S. merchant marine ship cur-
rently anchored at Guam. I’ve been QRV from the anchorage which is at
Apra Harbor. We’ll be taking a one-night run on June 2-3 to give the
engines a chance to stretch their muscles. I expect to be QRV on sever-
al passes on the evening of June 2 when we should be in QK13 for a few
hours. Once we return to “the hook,” I’ll start packing up for my trip
back to the States that weekend and should be doing some roving in the
eastern states (MD, PA, VA, MD) once I get my body re-adjusted to the
the 14-hour time change.

Major Roves:

Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) are making another run at the elusive
DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know 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. Today the tentative date is Sunday
May 31, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information
is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.


FP, ST. PIERRE & MIQUELON (Rescheduled). 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 September 22nd and October 6th. This oper-
ation was originally scheduled for July, but was postponed due to trav-
el restrictions. It will be Eric’s 14th trip to the island. Activity
will be on 160-10 meters, including 60m , using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8/FT4
(but primarily SSB, RTTY and FT8/FT4) and the SSB/FM satellites. He
will generally be on the highest frequency band that is open (favoring
60/12/10/6m). He will be active in the CQWW DX RTTY Contest (September
26-27). ADDED NOTE: Eric will usually try to be on as many Satellite
passes as he can when the WX is good, generally favoring the XW-2x,
AO-7, RS-44, CA-4x, 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

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

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

---------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Current schedule:
    No scheduled events

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been
CANCELED:

    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
above information]

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ @Virgin_Orbit tweeted on May 25 that its initial test flight of the
  LauncherOne rocket was "a major step forward," even though the craft
  did not achieve orbit as intended. In a follow-up tweet the next day,
  Virgin added "We said the main product of this flight would be data,
  and wow, did we get a lot of it! After diving into our early anal-
  yses, we wanted to share more about the flight — including both the
  many things that went well and what we know about the areas where
  we’ll need to improve."
  (ANS thanks @Virgin_Orbit on Twitter for the above information)

+ Planning to build some space hardware in your basement during your
  Covid-19 quaranteen? Better get your handbook! A newly revised ver-
  sion of the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook can be downloaded at:
  https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/nasa-systems-engineering-handbook
  (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)

+ Russia plans to build a new space station because the current Inter-
  national Space Station will last only another decade at most, the
  head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in an interview pub-
  lished on Monday. "It's still unclear whether it (the new station)
  will be international or national," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin
  said in comments to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
  (ANS thanks n2yo.com for the above information)

+ Michael Wyrick, N3UC, has announced that AO-27 is now running on a
  schedule that places the FM repeater on for 8 minutes per orbit:
  4 minutes ascending pass and 4 minutes descending pass.
  (ANS thanks Stephen DeVience, N8URE, for the above information)


---------------------------------------------------------------------

/EX

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive addi-
tional 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 stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
information.

73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week's ANS Editor, Mark D. Johns, K0JM

k0jm at amsat dot org


More information about the ANS mailing list