[ans] ANS-337 AMSAT Weekly Bulletins

Dee morsesat at optonline.net
Sat Dec 2 19:10:59 PST 2006


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:
* Unique Donation Opportunity Through The Pension Protection Act
* UK Colloquium Dates Set
* Genesat-1 Launch Information
* ARISS Status - December 3, 2006
* STS-116 Launch to Include Cubesats
* SKN in Memory of K7RR

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.01
Unique Donation Opportunity Through The Pension Protection Act

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.01
November 26, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.01

Recent legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Bush can
help AMSAT raise the funds needed to build Eagle. The law, called the
Pension Protection Act (PPA), includes a provision enabling AMSAT to
raise substantially more money than might have been previously possible.
  However, time is short to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

Serious construction work must be funded this year to have Eagle ready
to orbit by the target of 2009.

Basically, here's the story on how the new law can help Eagle fly!

The PPA provides that U.S. taxpayers with IRAs who have reached the age
of 70-1/2, may contribute to qualified charities, part or all (up to
$100,000 per year or $200,000 for married couples filing jointly), of
the money they must annually withdraw from their IRAs.

Thus, many AMSAT members and other supporters of the amateur radio space
program have a marvelous opportunity to keep the Eagle project on track.

If you must withdraw a certain amount from your IRA each year, there is
a big advantage to making such withdrawals as direct contributions to
AMSAT rather than merely receiving the distributions and then
contributing in the usual manner. Under PPA, the amount you contribute
directly is NOT counted as income and thus may put you into a lower tax
bracket. It may also reduce  the percentage of your Social Security
income subject to taxation.

Key provisions of the new legislation to keep in mind:

1. Donors must hold either a conventional or Roth IRA.

2. Donors must be at least 70-1/2 years of age.

3. Contributions must be made directly from the IRA to the charitable
organization not to a donor- advised fund, private foundation, gift
annuity or trust.

4. Donations may be made this year and next only, and must be made by
December 31, 2006 and December 31, 2007.

5. The maximum amount a contributor may donate each year is $100,000.

6. Direct contributions to qualified charities from IRAs, in accordance
with the PPA provisions, are NOT counted as taxable income.

If you are 70-1/2 or older and have an IRA, you are in a position to
take advantage of this potential windfall for the Eagle project. AMSAT
urges you to first check with your tax advisor for specifics regarding
your individual situation, then ask your IRA custodian to transfer to
AMSAT part or all of what you are required to withdraw. Be sure to have
this transfer completed before December 31st.

Let's all of us do our part to get Eagle into orbit.

* Have your IRA custodian call the AMSAT office to get information on
how to transfer your contribution. The number 301-589-6062. Office hours
are 10 AM to 6 PM EST.

[ANS thanks BIll, W3XO, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.02
UK Colloquium Dates Set

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.02
December 3, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.02

  Please make a note in your diaries, etc   The dates for the 2007
AMSAT-UK Colloquium are 20 through 22 July 2007. We are holding it a
week earlier than normal to avoid clashing with the Central States VHF
Event. Venue is to be the University of Surrey, as per previous years.

   I hope that lots of you from the other side of the Pond will be able
to make it!


[ANS thanks Jim, G3WGM, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.03
Genesat-1 Launch Information

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.03
December 3, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.03

GeneSat-1 Launch Planned for December 11

A Star is Flown
GeneSat-1 will launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS)
at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on December 11, 2006, about 7:00am EST.
It will go into orbit as a secondary payload aboard a Minotaur launch
vehicle.  GeneSat-1 is a 10 x 10 x 30 cm. spacecraft, which will conduct
a cellular biology technology demonstration.

Of particular interest to the amateur radio satellite community, is the
GeneSat-1 beacon.  Operating at 437.075 MHz FM, the beacon sends an
AX.25 packet every 5 seconds; the packet contains data about the
spacecraft systems operation.  The beacon will initiate transmission as
soon as the spacecraft is deployed from its carrier on the 4th stage of
the launch vehicle.

The mission website at http://www.genesat1.org will be fully operational
as of December 5; look there for general mission and spacecraft
information, for how to contact GeneSat Mission Operations, and for the
latest orbit data and other information needed to work the GeneSat-1 beacon.

Let The Games Begin
To foster interest in the amateur community, and to support amateur
radio and space technology outreach to student groups, the GeneSat
Mission Team is sponsoring a contest, with entries made by uploading
packets received onto the mission website.  Recognition and awards will
be made as follows:

Grand Prize: A radio station set up for satellite tracking!  The rig
will be donated by the Silicon Valley Center for Robotic Exploration and
Space Technology (CREST) at NASA Research Park to the college or
university of the winner's choice. The honor of choosing the recipient
school goes to the station that logs 12 or more data packets each (about
1 minute's worth of listening) from the greatest number of satellite
passes during the experiment.

The recipient school must be approved by CREST management, based on
demonstration of suitable infrastructure and licensed amateur(s)
available to operate and maintain the station, and available
connectivity from CREST for remote support and operation. The station
will be installed with the cooperation of CREST staff.  The winners also
will receive a commemorative plaque for station team members and
pictures and recognition on the GeneSat-1 website.  In case of a tie the
station with earliest initial packet submittal will win the right to
designate the recipient school.

First Contact Prize:  The station submitting the first packet after
initiation of transmission will receive the First Contact Prize.  They
will receive a commemorative plaque and mission pins for station team
members and pictures and recognition on the mission website.

The First 20 stations to post packets will receive mission pins and a
certificate of recognition from the GeneSat Mission Operations Director.

All Contestants who submit one or more packets will receive an
electronic QSL card from the mission web site upon submission of data.

[ANS thanks Mike, KE7EGC and the GeneSat-1 team for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.04
ARISS Status - December 3, 2006

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.04
December 3, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.04

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report
November 27, 2006

1.	Mannheim Museum Contact Successful

On Monday, November 20, students attending the Landesmuseum fuer Technik
und Arbeit (Mannheim Museum) in Mannheim, Germany, for the opening of
its space exhibition, experienced an amateur radio contact with
astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR. An audience of two hundred students,
ages 12-20, watched as 13 students asked thirteen questions. Also
present was former ESA astronaut Ernst Messerschmid, DG2KM, who
displayed pictures of Thomas’ training and answered questions from the
  Telebridge station VK5ZAI in Australia assisted in the event. The
audio was fed into the EchoLink servers and received 22 connections
from12 countries, including 1 repeater. Three connections were made to
the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) Discovery Reflector 9010, and
15 listened to the Shoutcast audio stream on the
www.discoveryreflector.ca website.  The audio was also webcast, courtesy
of Verizon Conferencing.

2.	Canadian School Contact, a Success

	Centre Hastings Secondary School experienced a successful contact with
the ISS via amateur radio. On November 20, ten students posed 22
questions to Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, in front of an audience of
800.  The Ottawa ARISS team provided radio equipment for the contact and
gave a presentation to the students. Local radio and newspapers covered
the event and media students from the local college and university
attended. Dignitaries making an appearance included a federal member of
the Canadian Parliament, an Ontario Member of the Provincial Parliament,
and local officials from the Township and School Board including
Trustees and directors. The school webcasted the event on
www.hpedsb.on.ca. Audio was fed to EchoLink servers and Internet Radio
Linking Project (IRLP) Discovery Reflector 9010. EchoLink received 16
connections (1 repeater included) from 9 countries, and 5 connections
were made to the IRLP server 9010 from Canada and Japan.  Audio was also
available through Shoutcast on the website www.discoveryreflector.ca
which received 26 connections.

3.	Cosmonaut Active on Voice

Mikhail Tyruin, RZ3FT, has been active on voice.  He has been using the
ISS Ham radio equipment to make general contacts with his friends in Canada.

4.	Astronaut Training Status

On November 20, Christer Fuglesang, KE5CGR/SA0AFS, attended an amateur
radio session at JSC which provided him with user level training on the
Kenwood radio so that he will be prepared to perform a school contact
with students in Sweden during his STS-116 mission. He was given
instructions on manual configuration as well as normal operations of the

5.	ARISS International Team Meeting Held

The ARISS International Team held its monthly teleconference on Tuesday,
November 21.  SuitSat-2’s design and progress were reported on. Updates
were given on the Kenwood radio status and SuitSat-1 certificates.
Minutes have been posted on the ARISS website.  See:

[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.05
STS-116 Launch Includes Cubesats

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.05
December 3, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.05

December 7 STS-116 Launch Includes Three Amateur Satellites

Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled for launch on December 7 at
9:35 PM EST (UTC-5). During the 12-day mission and three spacewalks,
the crew will work closely with flight controllers at NASA's Johnson
Space Center, Houston, to install a new segment of the station's
girder-like truss and activate the station's permanent, complex power
and cooling systems.

The Shuttle will also carry to orbit three new satellites, RAFT-1,
MARSCOM and ANDE, designed, built, and tested by the Midshipmen of
the US Naval Academy's Satellite Laboratory in Annapolis, Maryland.

The primary mission of the RAFT satellite is tied to the calibration
of the US Navy Space Surveillance Radar which is the primary source of
ALL satellite tracking data for ALL spacecraft in the USA. Data from
this radar is what helps generate the Keplarian Elements used by all
Amateur Satellites operators.

The secondary mission of RAFT and MARScom are to provide packet digital
communications relay for mobile units to transmit their GPS coordinates
and messages via the satellites. This is a continuation of the PCsat,
PCSAT2 and ARISS missions. The downlink is received by a global system
of volunteer ground stations that feed the http://pcsat.aprs.org live
web page.

The primary limitation on single channel LEO satellite communications
is the congestion on the uplink. The RAFT Packet-to-Voice transponder
solves this problem by compressing the uplink into a single 1 second
burst per station, and then expanding it to voice for the FM downlink.
This way, students with nothing but a scanner receiver can hear all of
the downlink communications (voice) yet the uplinking stations have a
very low probabilty of collision due to the short duration of the uplink.
A voice synthesizer converts the packet to voice.

ANDE was developed by the Naval Research labs as an "Atmospheric Neutral
Density Experiment" to measure the decay from orbit of a perfectly spher
ical 18" ball. Hearing that it was empty, the Naval Academy under the
mentoring of Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, proposed an amateur radio transponder
for the inside.

There can be no external antennas and no solar panels or anything that
would disturb the aerodynamic performance of the very smooth sphere. The
spherical satellite is split in half with an insulator and uses the
space frame as the antenna for the 2 meter system.  There are 112
Lithinum primary "D" cells inside the sphere to power it for a year.

To keep the current drain to a minimum, the ANDE comms payload sleeps
90% of the time, only waking up once every 16 seconds to listen for
packets. Hearing none, it goes back to sleep to convserve power. If
packets are heard, then it remains awake and serves as an APRS packet
digipeater until 1 minute after the last packet. In addition, ANDE has a
voice synthesizer and can speak packets addressed to it.

The telemetry from the satellite will be of a similar form to that of
PCSAT and PCSAT2 and will be distributed by the APRS-IS network. Dave,
G4DPZ has been working on the telemetry web site.  Details of the URL
will be published after launch.

The RAFT-1 and ANDE satellite downlinks will be 145.825 MHz.  The MARS
frequencies used by MARSCOM are on Navy-Marine Corps MARS frequencies.

For full technical details please refer to:

[ANS thanks Bob, WB4APR, and the US Naval Academy Satellite Laboratory
  for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-337.06
SKN In memory of K7RR

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 337.06
December 3, 2006
BID: $ANS-337.06


All radio amateurs, worldwide, are cordially invited to participate
in Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2007.  This year, the event is dedi-
cated to the memory of Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR.  Cliff was an enthu-
siastic and longtime SKN participant on both OSCAR and HF, as well
as a perennial Best Fist winner.  He will be sorely missed.

Participating in SKN on OSCAR 2007 is easy.  No rules, no scoring
and no need to send in a log.  Just operate CW through any OSCAR
etween 0000 and 2400 UTC on 1 January 2007, using a straight hand

In keeping with the friendly nature of this event, all participants
are encouraged to nominate someone they worked for "Best Fist."  Your
nominee need not have the best fist of those you heard, just of those
you worked.  Please send your nomination to w2rs at amsat.org.  A list
of those nominated will appear in ANS and The AMSAT Journal.



Ray W2RS

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, 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.

73, This week's ANS Editor,
Dee Interdonato, NB2F
nb2f at amsat dot org

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