ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for April 5th

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-096

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 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:

  • Ham Radio Book Featured in “Story Time From Space” on ISS
  •  NO-104 / PSAT2 Status
  •  VUCC Standings for April 2020
  • AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders
  • Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course
  • AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-096.01
ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 096.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE April 5, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-096.01

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/

Ham Radio Book Featured in “Story Time From Space” on ISS

In a collaborative initiative between the ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers, Story Time From Space, and ARISS, the recent book Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli, KD8PKR, was read by Astronaut Anne McClain for Story Time From Space. Anne read the book in three segments. The second segment features a tour of the ARISS radio station that includes details about ham radio and ARISS.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT VP Human Spaceflight, pointed out that at the end of the final segment, a video was included of Astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB talking about the impact of ham radio on both the ISS astronauts and the students participating in ARISS activities. Many schools and media outlets—and even the USA’s First Lady—have recommended that parents have housebound youth listen to McClain read the book.

The Vermont Community Newspaper Group‘s (Burlington) reporter wrote in part, “A great way to get out of the house—way out of the house—without leaving home…. In this installment Ada is trying to fix a ham radio. It’s a nice antidote to weighty issues, enjoying readings from weightlessness.”

A few posts recommending McClain’s YouTube thus far are: Los Angeles’s ABC TV7; Daily Times (Delaware County, PA); The Mercury (Berks County, PA); The Trentonian (NJ); The Barnstable Patriot (MA); and the Orange School District and Hamilton School District (NJ).

Find the video for your favorite future astronaut at: https://storytimefromspace.com/ada-lace-part-1/

[ANS thanks Rosalie White, K1STO, of the ARISS staff for the above information]

NO-104 / PSAT2 Status

The 2m/APRS side of the sat is still non operating for the unknown reasons. Any change or any packet heard would be welcomed.

The 435MHz side of the sat is still going strong. The PSK31 transponder is operating flawlessly with occasional activity seen over the US. If you are operating through transponder, you are asked to stay within 400-1000Hz of downlink frequency. Lower you can interfere with the tlm beacons and higher you will be wiped off by the SSTV signal.

The orbit is elliptical with apogee position period approximately 34 days.

The 435.350MHz downlink frequency is temperature dependent a bit so best reception with any kind of SDR, where in waterfall you can see actual downlink freq. The greatest offset is seen after eclipse when sat is coldest. The downlink is operating in Sun only, it switches off entering the eclipse and switches on coming from eclipse or after 30-minute timer.

The tlm beacons transmit every 4 minutes. The spectrum of the signal is narrow, so in SDR you can use just 2kHz bandwidth gaining SNR. Two minutes after tlm, the SSTV picture is transmitted in 4 minutes intervals also. For reception best bandwidth observed is around 9500Hz. Transmitted pictures are alternating prestored ones and pictures from camera memory stored on orbit.

Reception is possible on high passes with good omni antenna using the LNA in the quiet environment. But for the passes till horizon, directional antenna and LNA is needed.

We are still looking for any stations capable of regular downlink receptions with position between 40deg South and 40deg North. If you can make the receptions available in IQ format it would be greatly welcomed. Station capable of uplink in 29MHz to sat can be selected as commanding station and then can acquire pictures in real time or store them in sequence. So you can get pictures of your side of the globe, just contact us.

Further info and contacts can be found at https://github.com/alpov/PSAT-2/blob/master/README.md

[ANS thanks Tomáš Urbanec, OK2PNQ, 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 Standings for April 2020

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

CallsignMarch 1April 1
N3GS624652
K9UO550565
KK4YEL413504
G0ABI453454
KB2YSI101450
AD0HJ405425
N7EGY351405
KC9VGG228310
N9FN207303
PT9BM225255
KC9UQR240252
WA9JBQ175225
W4ZXT150202
K5ZM135179
WD9EWK (DM41)148164
WD9EWK (DM22)131150
N4QX125138
XE2YWH102137
EA2AA101125
IZ1ERRNew112
N7JYNew106
KE4BKLNew101
AA7WBNew100
DP0GVNNew100

[ANS thanks Ronald Parsons, W5RKN, for the above information]

AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders

So, you are sitting at home waiting to go back to work. You are working some of the passes of a satellite. Logging as you go. What are you going to do with all those contacts in your log? Easy…

You apply for an AMSAT or ARRL award. The ARRL has Worked All States, DXCC and VUCC all with satellite endorsements. AMSAT has the Satellite Communicator Club for working your very first contact on a satellite. The easiest award to apply for. Go directly to the AMSAT Online store and purchase the award. In the comments enter the time/date, satellite and station worked. That’s it. No waiting for QSL cards, no waiting  for LoTW confirmation. Then send me an email that you have paid for the award so I know there is one waiting to be processed.

AMSAT has a few other awards. The AMSAT Satellite Communications Achievement Award for working 20 different contacts in different US States, VE Call Areas and DXCC entities. Adding 40 more, you earn the AMSAT Sexagesimal Award and adding another 40 earns the AMSAT Century Award.

Have you been keeping your log for a long time? You might already qualify for the AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. This award is for 1,000 contacts with anyone over a satellite. Endorsements for each 1,000 up to 4,000 and a special certificate at 5,000.

There is also the South Africa AMSAT Satellite Communications Achievement award. This award is for 25 contacts through a LEO satellite. As we have no HEO satellites at this time and only one GEO satellite you are pretty much good on almost any satellite you work.

And the final one, the AMSAT Rover award. A bit much to explain here.

You can get information on all the AMSAT Awards at http://www.amsat.org click on Services and click on the word Awards. You can also click on each of the individual awards to get information on each.

Submission is easy for the AMSAT awards. Scan your QSL cards or screen shot your LoTW for each contact. Place them in a ZIP file, Word Document, PDF document and email them to kk5do at amsat dot org. I will then take a look at your submission, complete my documentation and email you to go pay for the award/s at the AMSAT online store.

Remember, all satellites are COVID-19 free and you should have no hesitation making a contact through one.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards for the above information]

Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course

In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that it is introducing a new online Amateur Radio course so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

The RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course prepares stu dents for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and will start on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in mid-June. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.

Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

For more information please visit: https://www.rac.ca/basic-radio-course/

[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]

AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE

AMSATSA held its regular online progress meeting this past Wednesday. During the past few weeks, progress was made on all fronts. The transponder was tested on the air and an actual contact was made through the transponder. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP installed the transponder on the tower at his house and made a contact with Keith Laaks, ZS6TW. While it was only over a few kilometres distance, the importance of the contact was that there was no interference and the audio quality was good.

This past week Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC has worked on the software and through a complicated link managed to upload and install newer software remotely. “Anton connected to my computer and took over the machine using TeamViewer and then connected via Wi-Fi to the transponder on my tower,” Hannes, ZS6BZP said. “In normal times we would have simply exchanged a memory stick, but in abnormal times one has to resort to unconventional ways of doing things”.

Further updates will be uploaded this weekend with more testing of the transponder. The next step is to open the testing to local radio amateurs. Full details will be announced on SARL News and on the AMSAT SA Web. The full AfriCUBE development story is available on www.amsatsa.org.za.

The review meeting was also updated with the other components of AfriCUBE. The space frame is complete, the PC boards for the solar panels have been designed and will be manufactured as soon as the lockdown is over. Work is continuing on the antenna and solar panel deployment and a further prototype will be manufactured as soon as South Africa returns to normal work. The electronic power supply unit is complete. A new interface between the Raspberry Pi and the processor has been designed and the circuit board laid out.

[ANS thanks the South African Radio League for the above information]

ARISS News

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2020-03-30 21:00 UTC

Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:

TBD

Looking for some stay at home activities related to science and for when you are not playing on your radio? Check out these links:

Celestron, the telescope, microscope, and sports optics folks, now has something called #STEMINYOURBACKYARD that you can find on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. By the way, I don’t work for Celestron or have any business dealings with them and this is just something I saw. Apparently there are 10 free STEM activities covering Astronomy, nature and Wildlife, and The Microscopic World. Check out: https://www.celestron.com/blogs/news/discover-stem-in-your-backyard

NASA has a STEM page with fun activities to do at home. Check out https://www.nasa.gov/stem

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 cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, I will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates.

The following schools have now been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19:

Postponed:

  • SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via ZS9SPD
  • RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamț, Romania, direct via YRØISS
  • McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA, prefer direct via KD4TGR
  • Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN, direct via N4FR
  • Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, CA, direct via AE6XM
  • Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR

Canceled:

  • Electromagnetic Field, Ledbury, United Kingdom, direct via GB4EMF

The ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/

Watch for future COVID-19 related announcements here also.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, of the ARISS Operations Team, 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

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

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been canceled 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:

  • May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
  • June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX
  • October 16-18, 2020, AMSAT Symposium and Annual General Meeting, Bloomington, MN

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

  • April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Brainerd, MN
  • May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra Vista, AZ
  • May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
  • May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – 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/

Upcoming Satellite Operations

From the Mountains to the Bay (CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020
RJ, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to Vacaville, CA. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of the roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered include: CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass details will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter (https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President – User Services for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

  • At 15:41 UTC on April 2nd, the thrusters of Progress MS-13 fired for 427.5 seconds to provide Δv 0.48. m/s and raise the ISS’s orbit height by about 0.9 km. (ANS thanks @Zarya_info on Twitter)
  •  New distance records have been claimed for XW-2B and EO-88. F4DXV reports working VO1FOG on XW-2B on April 1st and again on EO-88 on April 2nd. The 4,086 km trans-Atlantic QSOs are the longest claimed on either of these two satellites. For more records, check https://www.amsat.org/satellite-distance-records/
  • The Folding at home project is a distributed computing project that is currently running calculations to analyze protein structures on the COVID-19 virus. Donate your spare computer time to help this project and consider joining AMSAT’s team (#67910). More information at https://foldingathome.org/covid19/ AMSAT’s team standings can be found at https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/69710
  • The 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference has been canceled, so there will be no Proceedings published. All the papers submitted so far are now available online at: http://newsvhf.com/conference/2020papers.html (more papers may be coming – there is no hard deadline) (ANS thanks the 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference)
  • AMSAT-EA has applied for IARU coordination of the Hades satellite. Hades, a 1.5p Pocketqube will feature a V/U linear transponder, a regenerative transponder for FM/FSK/ASK and 0.05kbps-125kbps ASK/FSK/PSK telemetry, store & forward and data transmission from ground stations. (ANS thanks the IARU for the above information)
  • Bob Beatty, WB4SON, reported a successful “Satellites for Beginners” presentation via Zoom to the Rochester VHF Society on Saturday, April 4th. If your group would like to host a virtual AMSAT presentation, email ambassadors at amsat.org.
  • Happy First Contact Day! 43 years from today, Zefram Cochrane will break the warp barrier with the Phoenix and make first contact with the Vulcans.

/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 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 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,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org

ANS-089 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

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 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:

  • Sean Kutzko, KX9X, Appointed AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator
  • AMSAT Office Closed Until Further Notice
  • First Satellite Contact to be Noted in May QST
  • Amateur Radio Satellite Spreads Fight Coronavirus Message
  • Ham Talk Live! Interviews Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
  • ISS Crew Transition Affected by CoViD-19
  • Upcoming ARISS Contacts
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

 

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-089.01
ANS-089 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 089.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD
DATE 2020 Mar 29
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-089.01

 

Sean Kutzko, KX9X, Appointed AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator

AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, has announced the appointment of Sean Kutzko, KX9X, as Volunteer Coordinator.

First licensed in 1982 as KA9NGH, Kutzko served as both ARRL Contest Branch Manager (2007-2013) and ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager (2013-2017). He was the creator and co-administrator of the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program in 2016. An active HF and VHF contester, DXer and backpack QRP enthusiast, Kutzko started working satellites in 2011 and has transmitted from over fifty different grid squares. He has written instructional materials on satellite operating for the AMSAT website, QST, and blogs regularly on satellite topics for the DX Engineering blogs “On All Bands.”

“It’s an honor to be able to volunteer for AMSAT,” Kutzko said. “When [new AMSAT president] Clayton [Coleman, W5PFG] asked if I would help coordinate a team of volunteers, I jumped at the opportunity. AMSAT is a great organization and helping find good volunteers who are willing to help all areas of AMSAT’s growth and development is the least I could do for the organization that has given me a lot of enjoyment and technical skill.”

Outside of Amateur Radio, Kutzko is a freelance PR/communications consultant and voiceover artist, as well as a baker of artisan breads, pizza and pastries. He also plays drums in a classic rock/country band, Silverweed. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, for the above in-formation]


AMSAT Office Closed Until Further Notice

Due to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order closing all non-essential businesses in the State of Maryland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice, effective to-day at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

While the office is closed, AMSAT will continue to accept new and renewal memberships. However, membership packets will not be mailed until the office reopens. T-shirts, hats, and other items stocked in the office will also not be available until the office reopens. Digital downloadable content, including SatPC32 and MacDoppler will re-main available from the AMSAT store. Antenna, name badge, and awards orders will be forwarded for processing.

The March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal will be produced on time. However, it may only be possible to publish it in digital format. Stay tuned for further updates.

Any questions about memberships, orders, or office operations can be sent to info at amsat.org. Please note that no mail or phone service will be available until the office reopens. Vendors billing AMSAT for goods or services may email the above address to arrange payment.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT office 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


First Satellite Contact to be Noted in May QST

Those who are ARRL members may be interested in the Technical Correspondence article in the forthcoming May 2020 QST, entitled “The 60th Anniversary of the First Satellite Contact.”

The contact to which it refers took place on February 6, 1960, six months before NASA’s Project Echo, between W2RS and K3JTE (now W3PK), making use of a propagation mode first reported by W8JK (SK), which he called “the satellite ionization phenomenon.”

The May 2020 QST article describes what we did and what has been learned since then about the ionosphere and how W8JK’s mechanism works. For further reading about the contact, see the article in Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, September 1961. For more about the satellite ionization phenomenon, see the chapter by W8JK in S.F. Singer, ed., Interactions of Space Vehicles With an Ionized Atmosphere, Pergamon Press, 1965.

The May issue of QST is expected to be published in mid-April.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, for the above information]

———————————————————————

Amateur Radio Satellite Spreads Fight Coronavirus Message

Indonesia’s national amateur radio society ORARI reports the ham radio satellite LAPAN-A2 (IO-86) is being used to send a Fight Coronavirus message using APRS.

A translation of the ORARI post says:
The satellite spreads the text message “Stay Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona”.

This was conveyed by Researcher of the Center for Satellite Technology, Sonny Dwi Harsono when contacted, Friday, March 20, 2020.

Sonny explained, this action was a form of support for government policies on social distancing. The policy encourages all of us to reduce activities outside the home and interactions with others. “So this message was sent by the LAPAN A2 satellite via the APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) beacon which was transmitted throughout Indonesia. APRS is a text based communication system for short messages such as SMS on mobile phones. But this APRS message can only be received through HT (Handie Talkie) which has the recipient of the APRS message,” he said.

Sonny explained, messages that have been disseminated can be received by anyone by setting the HT radio frequency to 145.825 MHZ. To date corona’s message has been received by dozens of members of the Indonesian Radio Amateur Organization (ORARI) spread throughout Indonesia.

The dissemination of the message was carried out starting March 20. For the time being the message dissemination was carried out on the APRS mission only. But it will try to spread the message one time at a LAPAN-A2 / LAPAN-ORARI track every 100 minutes. “Later if possible, we try to distribute 24 hours nonstop every 100 minutes under certain conditions. Currently we are discussing the technicalities. The messages from the government can also be disseminated via the LAPAN-A2 satellite,” he concluded.

Source ORARI https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

Follow LAPAN-A2 https://twitter.com/lapansat

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK 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/


Ham Talk Live! Interviews Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

Ham Talk Live! host Neal Rapp, WB9VPG recently interviewed Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, for an informative look at recent events in the ARISS program. Bauer, who is AMSAT Vice President, Human Spaceflight and ARISS International Chair was interviewed on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

In the interview Bauer covers ARISS’ four-year effort to update the ISS Amateur Radio station with its next generation radio system, the Interoperable Radio System (IORS). The IORS consists of a specially modified JVC-Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver and the AMSAT-NA developed multi-voltage power supply.

The complete interview can be heard at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-089-Bauer

[ANS thanks Neil Rapp, WB9VPG for the above information.]


ISS Crew Transition Affected by CoViD-19

The International Space Station Expedition 62 crew, consisting of NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir, Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ, are readying their Soyuz MS-15 crew ship for departure on April 17. Meanwhile, the crew that will replace them is nearing its launch scheduled for April 9 aboard the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner arrived this week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for final training. The Expedition 63 trio is due to live aboard the station for 195 days with Cassidy as commander.
(ANS thanks spaceref.com for the above information)

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy’s family will be watching remotely from halfway around the world when he blasts off April 9 from Kazakhstan to begin a six-month expedition on the International Space Station. That’s because travel restrictions and stringent social distancing guidelines instituted to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will limit the ability for family members to travel to the Baikonur Cosmo-drome for the launch. Launch day at Baikonur is usually a festive affair. “But it’ll be completely quiet,” Cassidy said in a satellite interview from Star City, Russia. “There won’t be anybody there.”
(ANS thanks spaceflightnow.com for the above information)

NASA already has a long-held strategy in place for preventing astro-nauts from carrying any nasty bugs with them to space. All astronauts going to orbit must go through a two-week period of quarantine called “health stabilization,” according to NASA. That way, the agency can make sure the crew is not incubating any illnesses before launch. How-ever, NASA said it “will continue to evaluate and augment this plan, in coordination with its international and commercial partners” if needed.

In the meantime, Russia’s state space corporation, Roscosmos, has decided to shut down all media activity surrounding the Soyuz launch, barring journalists from covering the mission in person. Russia will still live stream the launch, and NASA typically airs all of its crewed launches on its own online TV channel.

The return of the Expedition 62 crew in mid-April would typically involve large numbers of recovery personnel. SpaceX will be ready to send its first crew of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Dragon capsule sometime in May. NASA has not provided any details if those operations would change in light of the pandemic.
(ANS thanks theverge.com for the above information)


Upcoming ARISS Contacts

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.

Amur State University, Blagoveshchensk, Russia, direct via RKØJ
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled astronaut is Oleg Skripochka
Possible contact on Tuesday 2020-03-31 08:50 UTC

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 cancellations 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/

The contact scheduled for Wednesday 2020-03-25 with SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via ZS9SPD was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

[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

River Bend Wireless Rove (EN22, EN33, EN34, EN42, EN43, EN44) April 2-4, 2020
Mitch Ahrenstorff, AD0HJ, is looking to add six more grids to his rover basket just before the April 4 AMSAT presentation/demonstration at the River Bend Wireless and Mechanical Society in Faribault, Minn. Mitch will be activating the EN43/EN44 grid line on April 2nd, the EN32/EN42 grid line on April 3rd, and the EN33/EN34 grid line on April 4th, 2020. Watch Mitch’s Twitter feed as the dates approach for a de-tailed schedule. https://twitter.com/AD0HJ

From the Mountains to the Bay (CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020
R.J. Bragg, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to Vacaville, Calif. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of the roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered in-clude: CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass details will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter (https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at) amsat.org

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


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Nothing to do while quarantined by Covid-19? How about making a paper model of the satellite, DIWATA-1, the first satellite designed and built in the Philippines: https://tinyurl.com/ujukexd (ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, for the above information)

+ There has been lengthy discussion this week on the AMSAT email bulletin board, amsat-bb, about inconsiderate operators on FM satel- lites. A document by Sean Kutzko, KX9X, published back in 2017, is still an excellent guide to best practices on these birds. See it at https://tinyurl.com/ybw5e2ng (ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM, for the above information)

+ The coronavirus has had effects on many space activities this week: Virgin Orbit is reassessing schedules, Blue Origin in hard-hit Seattle is mostly working online, Arianespace suspended launches from French Guiana and Russia recalled and quarantined its personnel, ESA mission control is working from home, and some spaceports are closed worldwide. (ANS thanks orbitalindex.com for the above information)

+ One thing astronauts have to be good at: living in confined spaces for long periods of time. Find yourself in a similar scenario? NASA astronaut Anne McClain recently posted a lengthy Twitter thread with pro-tips for getting through your time at home. It begins at: https://tinyurl.com/tqh3hke (ANS thanks orbitalindex.com for the above information)

+ At least on the ISS astronauts don’t have the added task of caring for and educating kids. If your current confinement capsule is equipped with youngsters in grades K-4, there are resources for you at: https://www.nasa.gov/stem-at-home-for-students-k-4.html (ANS thanks NASA for the above information)

+ The Folding@home project is a distributed computing project that is currently running calculations to analyze protein structures on the COVID-19 project. Donate your spare computer time to help this project and consider joining AMSAT’s team (#67910). More information at https://foldingathome.org/covid19/. AMSAT’s team standings can be found at https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/69710


/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 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 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,

K0JM at amsat dot org

AMSAT Office Closed Until Further Notice

Due to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order closing all non-essential businesses in the State of Maryland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice, effective today at 5:00pm EDT.

While the office is closed, AMSAT will continue to accept new and renewal memberships. However, membership packets will not be mailed until the office reopens. T-shirts, hats, and other items stocked in the office will also not be available until the office reopens. Digital downloadable content, including SatPC32 and MacDoppler will remain available from the AMSAT store. Antenna, name badge, and awards orders will be forwarded for processing.

The March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal will be produced on time. However, it may only be possible to publish it in digital format. Stay tuned for further updates.

Any questions about memberships, orders, or office operations can be sent to info@amsat.org. Please note that no mail or phone service will be available until the office reopens. Vendors billing AMSAT for goods or services may email the above address to arrange payment.

Sean Kutzko, KX9X, Appointed AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator

AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, has announced the appointment of Sean Kutzko, KX9X, as Volunteer Coordinator.

AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator Sean Kutzko, KX9X

First licensed in 1982 as KA9NGH, Kutzko served as both ARRL Contest Branch Manager (2007-2013) and ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager (2013-2017). He was the creator and co-administrator of the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program in 2016. An active HF and VHF contester, DXer and backpack QRP enthusiast, Kutzko started working satellites in 2011 and has transmitted from over fifty different grid squares. He has written instructional materials on satellite operating for the AMSAT website, QST, and blogs regularly on satellite topics for the DX Engineering blog “On All Bands.”

“It’s an honor to be able to volunteer for AMSAT,” Kutzko said. “When [new AMSAT president] Clayton [Coleman, W5PFG] asked if I would help coordinate a team of volunteers, I jumped at the opportunity. AMSAT is a great organization and helping find good volunteers who are willing to help all areas of AMSAT’s growth and development is the least I could do for the organization that has given me a lot of enjoyment and technical skill.”

Outside of Amateur Radio, Kutzko is a freelance PR/communications consultant and voiceover artist, as well as a baker of artisan breads, pizza and pastries. He also plays drums in a classic rock/country band, Silverweed. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.