[amsat-bb] ANS-022 Bulletins
morsesat at optonline.net
Sat Jan 21 17:41:44 PST 2012
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS 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.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org
In this edition:
* Fox-1: Solar Panel Campaign
* Amateur Radio Help Needed for RS-39 Deployment on January 25
* SKN on OSCAR 2012 Best Fist Nominations Due
* University of Liege Students Provide Update on OUFTI-1 D-Star Cubesat
* More University Cubesat Projects Rolling Out
* NASA Launches STEMconnector Website
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* Winners of AMSAT ARISSAT-1/KEDR Contests Announced
* ARISS Status Report - 9 January 2012
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-022.01
ANS-015 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 022.01
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January 22, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Fox-1: Solar Panel Campaign
As AMSAT embarks on the Fox-1 Project, here is an opportunity to
literally put your callsign on the Fox hardware. AMSAT is looking for
major donations to help underwrite the cost of solar cells/ panels, one
of the more significant expenses of the project. These solar cells are
needed for the flight unit as well as for the a flight spare. As Fox-1
will have solar cells on all six sides of the spacecraft and given the
relatively small surface area avail- able on each side (at most 4" by 4"
per side), AMSAT will invest in high efficiency solar cells to gain as
much power as possible to operate the spacecraft.
Complete details on how you can donate are posted on the web:
http://www.amsat.org - the top news item.
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, "We highlighted at the
recent 2011 Symposium that AMSAT is actively developing Fox-1, a new
spacecraft that is designed to replace AO-51. Fox-1 development now
takes on a great sense of urgency."
AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX says,
"Fox-1 will advance single-channel FM repeater satellite operation
beyond the experience of AO-51. It will advance AMSAT to the next
generation of AO-51 class satellites."
Fox-1 is designed for longer operational life with these features:
+ Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once
the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51
and ARISSat-1 operations.
+ In case of IHU failure Fox-1 will continue to operate its FM
repeater in a basic, 'zombie sat' mode, so that the repeater
+ Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its U/V
(Mode B) transponder will make it even easier to work with modest
+ From the ground user's perspective, the same FM amateur radio
equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.
+ Extending the design, Fox-2 will benefit from the development work
of Fox-1 by adding more sophisticated power management and Software
Defined Transponder (SDX) communications systems.
Barry concluded, "AMSAT's ability to provide a replacement spacecraft
and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of donors who
wish to see Fox-1 fly."
Several opportunities to make your donation to keep amateur radio in
+ Return the form sent with the letter to reply with your donation
for the Fox-1 Project.
- All donations over $40 will receive a Fox pin.
- Donations of $120 or more qualify you for AMSAT President's Club
+ Call Martha at the AMSAT Office +1-888-FB AMSAT (1-888-322-6728)
+ Paypal donation widget on the main page at: http://www.amsat.org
+ Paypal donation widget for Project Fox at:
+ You can also go to the Paypal site and send your donation to
martha at amsat.org.
+ The AMSAT Store: http://www.amsat-na.com/store/categories.php
Project Fox web site provide a good overview of the technical progress
of the new satellite: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/fox/
[ANS thanks AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, and AMSAT's Project
Fox Engineering team for the above information]
Amateur Radio Help Needed for RS-39 Deployment on January 24
The Chibis-M satellite,RS-39 is planned to be deployed from the Pro-
gress M-13M cargo ship into a 500 km orbit on January 24 at approxi-
mately 23:00-23:59 UTC.
RS-39 has CW beacons on 435.315 and 435.215 MHz that can be received
directly by radio amateurs and schools for educational outreach pur-
poses. Telemetry will be transmitted on these downlink frequencies.
The RS-39 Morse Code telemetry format is available as an MS-Word
document from: http://tinyurl.com/RS-39-Morse-Code-Telemetry
The RS-39 team is requesting support from amateur radio operators
for any reception reports of Chibis-M. Special attention is needed
during the first orbits as these are outside the range of control
stations. Each report will be confirmed by special QSL card.
The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(RAS) will activate an e-mail address for radio amateurs around
to send reception reports. The http://chibis.cosmos.ru/ link is
in Russian at present. (http://tinyurl.com/RS-39-Chibis-M is
available in google English.)
Chibis-M arrived at the ISS on November 2, 2011 aboard the Pro-
gress M-13M cargo craft. It has been studying Terrestrial Gamma
Ray Flashes which are hypothesized to be produced by beams of
very energetic electrons, accelerated in the intense electric
fields generated by large thunderstorm systems.
On January 23, 2012 Progress M-13M will undock from the ISS. Pro-
gress will then perform two orbital maneuvers to raise its orbit to
500 km. On January 24 Chibis-M will separate from the Progress cargo
RS-39 also carries receivers listening between 0.1 - 40 kHz and
26-48 MHz for a space weather experiment.
Additional information can be found on these links:
[ANS thanks Trevor, M5AKA and AMSAT-UK for the above information]
SKN on OSCAR 2012 Best Fist Nominations Due
Many thanks to all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night on
OSCAR 2012. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to
nominate someone you worked for Best Fist. Remember, your nominee need
not have the best fist of those you heard, only of those you worked.
Send your nomination to w2rs at amsat.org.
This year's event is dedicated to the memory of Don Brown, W1JSM, who
passed away in 2011, aged 90. Don was a longtime, enthusiastic VHF/UHF
and satellite operator, and one of our most frequent Best Fist winners.
Those nominated will be recognized in an ANS bulletin in early Feb-
ruary, and in The AMSAT Journal.
[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS for the above information]
University of Liege Students Provide Update on OUFTI-1 D-Star Cubesat
The OUFTI-1 Newsletter, published by students at the University of
Liege, Belgium reports they plan to have their D-Star transponder
cubesat launched toward the end of 2012. The satellite will have up-
links in the 145 MHz band and downlinks on 435.015 and 435.045 MHz.
Subsystem status reports are written up on the following:
+ The components of the Attitude Control System were ordered and re-
ceived. Two sets of one permanent magnet and four hysteretic rods
are waiting for integration of engineering and flight models.
+ The Electrical Power Supply subsystem has its main functionalities
implemented and tested. Some secondary functions, such as USB bat-
tery charger, are still to be implemented.
+ The antenna deployment mechanism subsystem was tested at Centre
Spatial de Liège (CSL) last June. The tests were performed under
vacuum at low (-60°C) and high (+60°C) temperatures. The tests
proved the correct functioning of the system but it was also no-
ticed that the deployment of the antennas could be blocked by a
remaining part of the retention wire. This problem is currently
being investigated in order to improve the design and guarantee
+ The Communication subsystem is complete. Regarding the radio-fre-
quency part (mainly amplifiers), some tests were performed on the
receiver circuit and showed that improvements were needed. The
transmitter circuit will be designed by Audric Hay (HELMO-Gramme).
He will also integrate and test the whole subsystem.
+ The On-Board Computer software was coded and tested. This year,
Alexei Dick (HEPL-INPRES) will develop a mode for pre-flight tests
of the satellite.
+ Thermal Analysis showed that the system could not keep batteries
above 0°C. The thermal control system was complemented with poly-
mer insulators. Testing in June at CSL demonstrated this new sol-
+ The vibrational behavior of OUFTI-1 during launch was studied
thanks to a detailed finite-element model. Gilles Bodson (HELMO-
Gramme) will keep this model up-to-date and perform tests on the
+ The Ground Station hardware is operational at the Montefiore Insti-
tute. The station is regularly used for satellite tracking. Alain
Collette (HELMO-Gramme) will develop the Mission Control Software.
The OUFTI-1 team is planning for a launch towards the end of 2012.
Opportunities have been identified and discussions are ongoing with a
[ANS thanks the OUFTI-1 Newsletter for the above information]
More University Cubesat Projects Rolling Out
Japan: ITF-1 (YUI) CubeSat
Students at the University of Tsukuba are working on the ITF-1 (YUI)
CubeSat project that is planned to be launched on a H-IIA rocket in
2013. The orbit will be 400 km by 350 km with an inclination of 65
The formal name ITF-1 comes from the initial letter of the university
slogan Imagine The Future. The satellite also has a popular name YUI
which means bond in Japanese, it came from the projects concept
Creating the Worldwide Human Community.
The 435MHz satellite beacon will send telemetry by a Morse Code audio
tone on an FM transmitter running 300 milliwats output. It should be
possible to receive it using simple equipment such as a handheld
transceiver or scanner. Telemetry information will be first compressed
into binary data and then cut into 5 bits and converted into 10 15
Morse code messages.
Reception reports will be acknowledged with a certificate and the
telemetry will be made available on the web.
The UTF-1 Project Manager is Ayano Okamura and you can read her blog:
The Chief Tech blog by Asai Eisuke is at:
ITF-1 website in Google English http://tinyurl.com/CubeSat-ITF-1
AMSAT-UK posted this news at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/3809
Students at the University of Vigo in Spain have built Xatcobeo a
CubeSat that carries a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a solar panel
deployment mechanism. A launch on an ESA Vega rocket in February is
The IARU Amateur Satellite Coordination Panel pages report that it
carries three payloads:
+ SRAD: a Software Defined Radio. The aim is to test under space
conditions a reconfigurable radio. Different modulation schemes
will be selected depending on the link conditions.
+ RDS: an ionizing radiation dosimeter. This dosimeter will take
measurements of ionizing radiation in a typical LEO orbit for
amateur satellites, thus increasing our knwoledge about radiation
conditions in this environment.
+ PDM: a solar panel deployment mechanism to be tested in-flight.
Xatcobeo plans to use FFSK with AX.25 on UHF. These frequencies have
been coordinated Simplex 437.365 MHz and SSR downlink on 145.940 MHz.
Further info available at http://www.xatcobeo.com/ and a video at:
Pakistan: ICUBE-1 CubeSat
Students at the Institute of Space Technology (IST) built Pakistans
first CubeSat ICUBE-1. Like a number of new CubeSats its communica-
tions subsystem is capable of acting as an AO-16 mode FM to DSB
The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel pages say that
the VHF downlink will operate as a 1k2 BPSK beacon but has the
capability of being configured as an FM-DSB transponder. A downlink on
145.947 MHz and an uplink on 435.060 MHz have been coordinated.
It is planned to have an imaging payload with a small low resolution
CMOS sensor. The camera will be mounted on the Z+ face of the ICUBE and
can take continental scale images.
ICUBE-1 is scheduled to be launched by Interorbital Systems.
Student Satellite Project http://www.ist.edu.pk/student_satellite.html
Institute of Space Technology (IST) http://www.ist.edu.pk/
[ANS thanks the student cubesat teams and AMSAT-UK for the above
NASA Launches STEM connector Website
The new STEMconnector website launched on Nov. 30, 2011. This new
website serves as a national gateway to "who is doing what" in sci-
ence, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.
STEMConnector is a nationwide collaboration of companies, nonprofit
associations and professional societies, STEM-related research and
policy organizations, and academic institutions concerned about the
plight of STEM education in the United States.
STEMConnector is designed to link "all things STEM" by constructing a
comprehensive website that provides connections to national, state and
local STEM entities and their own content through a variety of search
Visit the new site to find state-by-state information, a blog, events
and resources related to STEM: http://www.stemconnector.org/
[ANS thanks NASA Education Express for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Bob McGwier N4HY has made available an extensive collection of
amateur radio satellite pictures available for download. The
pictures range from the early 1960?s with OSCARs 1, 2, 3, etc.
to the more recent Eagle and SuitSat:
+ AMSAT Director of Awards, Bruce Paige, KK5DO wrote, "If you remem-
ber the photos a few weeks ago KC9ROI braving the cold to work
ARISSat-1, I thought that was pretty neat and I had to get a Sate-
llite Communicators Club Certificate to him and what better way
than at one of his club meetings. I sent the certificate out the
next day for a meeting they had Saturday, January 14. They framed
the certificate and presented it to him." Photos posted on the
club website, see: http://www.n9xh.org/
+ The 15th Annual Southeastern VHF Society Conference to be held in
Charlotte, NC. on April 20-21, 2012. Papers and presentations are
solicited on both the technical and operational aspects of VHF,
UHF and Microwave weak signal amateur radio. The deadline for the
submission of papers and presentations is February 17, 2012. The
technical program is being handled by Robin Midgett, K4IDC. Send
all questions & comments to Robin via: K4IDC at comcast dot net.
Also refer to SEVHFS web pages at: http://www.svhfs.org/
+ VE7DAO/VA7ISS posted a video recorded during the final days of
+ The FUNcube amateur radio satellite project is featured on the
website of Electronics Weekly: http://tinyurl.com/6twqvny
+ A visualization of the launch and deployment of 50 Cubesats in
the QB50 project can be seen at:
+ The European Southern Observatory posted a video of a zoom
sequence beginning at Earth, past the stars in our galaxy, and
on to the center of the Milky Way galaxy in the constellation of
+ Clint Bradford, K6LCS has been granted permission to reprint the
QST article, "A 2 meter and 70 cm Portable Tape Measure Beam" by
John Portune, W6NBC:
Clint also has permission to reprint, "QRP to the ISS" by Doug
Cook, KD5PDN, which appeared in the February, 2012 issue of QST.
Doug walks the reader through building a simple tape measure beam,
and how to successfully work the ISS with it and a handheld radio:
+ Congratulations to Ted, K7TRK on receiving VUCC Award #226. Ted
commented, "My thanks to all who contributed with contacts and
cards. Most of the blame goes to John, K8YSE, who got me started
on the venture and to Loren, K7CWQ for continuing encouragement
+ A video by Doug Cook, KD5PDN, showing how to set up a Yaesu VX-8R
for ISS APRS packet data sending and receiving and other aspects
to make a digital contact with the International Space Station
can be viewed at:
Winners in the ARISSat-1/KEDR Chicken Little Contest.
The Chicken Little Contest received 77 entries from 17 different
countries, and all continents except Antarctica. Based on comments
sent along with the submissions, a wide variety of techniques were
used. These ranged from detailed calculations, to comparisons with
past satellites, to guesses based on birthdays.
The winners in each category are:
+ Kindergarten through grade 8: Cora Haefner, KK4ECV,
Fort A.P. Hill, VA, USA
+ High School, grades 9 through 12: Cameron, Lancashire, UK
+ Adult: Thomas Frey, HB9SKA, Birr, Switzerland
Cora, KK4ECV and Thomas, HB9SKA were both within 15 hours of the
best data we have from Space Track: approximately 0700 on
4 January 2012, in the South Atlantic.
All three winners have received an appropriate Chicken Little
Certificate, and the congratulations of the ARISSat-1/KEDR Team.
Thanks go to all those who entered, and especially educators
who worked with students.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Winners of the ARISSat-1/KEDR Grab the Last Telemetry Contest.
Thanks to the dedication of stations around the world, a nearly
steady stream of digital telemetry reports were received in the
final days from ARISSat-1/KEDR:
31 Dec -- 1125
01 Jan -- 1537
02 Jan -- 1541
03 Jan -- 1048
04 Jan -- 107
Many other reports were received from stations copying the voice,
SSTV, and telemetry transmissions, as well as some contacts through
The final digital data received was copied by both JA8TCH, Mori
Seiji, Sapporo City, Japan, and JA0CAW, Tetsurou Satou, Niigata
City, Japan. It was received at 06:02:14, 4 January, 2012, less
than an hour before the estimated point of loss in the South At-
lantic. Their data, combined with the submissions of many others,
constitutes the most comprehensive coverage of the reentry of any
amateur satellite. JA8TCH and JA0CAW will receive a certificate
for their achievement. They and all who submitted telemetry through-
out the ARISSat-1/KEDR mission have the thanks of the entire team.
[ANS thanks the Alan Biddle, WA4SCA and the ARISSat-1/KEDR Team
for the above information]
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
January 16, 2012
1. Upcoming School Contact
Vrije Technische Scholen (VTS), located in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium has
completed (ARISS) contact on Wednesday, January 18 at 09:47 UTC. VTS is
a technical and professional secondary school for students ages 12 - 18.
Lesson plans associated with this contact have been adapted for the
different age and skill levels of the students and cover electricity,
mechanics, antennas and space.
2. Burbank Participates in ARISS Contact with Descartes High School
Descartes High School in Montigny-Le-Bretonneux, France participated in
an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with
Dan Burbank, KC5ZSX on Monday, January 9. Burbank talked about how
astronauts from different cultures get along on the ISS and fielded
questions about the various experiments performed onboard the Space
Station. About three hundred students and visitors were present for the
event, including Astronaut Leopold Eyharts who exchanged greetings with
Burbank. Presentations were given before the contact and a Question and
Answer session followed. The ARISS contact was a featured activity for
students who have been studying life and work on the ISS and through
collaboration with the towns amateur radio club, have also been
learning about radio and wireless technology. NASA has posted video of
the event on its Web site. See:
3. Belgian Students Radio Andre Kuipers
On Friday, January 13, an Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) contact was held between students from Atheneum Borgloon
in Belgium and Astronaut Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS on the ISS. The radio
connection was provided by telebridge station K6DUE in Greenbelt,
Maryland. The ARISS event highlighted a science curriculum covering the
history of space travel, the solar system and the ISS. Other activities
included space workshops and a field trip to the Eurospace Center in
Transinne. Approximately 100 people tied into the contact through
streaming video on the internet.
4. ARISS Contact Article in Canadian Magazine
The January/February 2012 issue of the Canadian Amateur Magazine (TCA)
has a great article on an ARISS contact held in Thetford Mines, Québec
on November 14, 2011. The contact was arranged by a fourteen year old at
the school. The story, written by ARISS Delegate Maurice-André
Vigneault, VE3VIG, is titled, Quebec Youth Masters ISS Contact. A
photo and the table of contents may be viewed at:
5. KPARC ARISS Presentation
ARISS volunteer Dave Jordan, AA4KN gave a talk on the ARISS program
during the Sun City, Florida Kings Point Amateur Radio Club (KPARC)
monthly meeting on January 9. His presentation covered basic operations
of the ARISS organization, a brief history of ARISS beginning with SAREX
and a section discussing the ARISSat-1 mission during which he showed
released photos and others that illustrated the assembly, testing and
general development efforts that took place in the Orlando lab. In
concluding his talk, Jordan suggested that the club members form a group
to meet with local schools and encourage them to submit proposals for
future ARISS contacts. Some photos from the presentation are available
6. Astronaut Training Status
Astronaut Alexander Gerst is interested in earning his amateur radio
license and will be participating in training sessions in February. He
is scheduled to fly with Expedition 40 in May 2014.
[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI, 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.
This week's ANS Editor,
Dee Interdonato, NB2F
Nb2f at amsat dot org
More information about the AMSAT-BB