[ans] ANS-178 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at comcast.net
Sat Jun 26 18:07:15 PDT 2010


AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-178

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:

* AMSAT 2010 Space Symposium Adds Sunday FermiLab Supercollider Tour
* ARISS-Built AIS Antenna Reports Good Performance On-Orbit
* ARISSat-1 Assembly and Testing Making Progress
* SO-67 SumbandilaSat is Back on the Air
* IARU International Amateur Radio Satellite Forum at Colloquium
* Satellite Shorts From All Over


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.01
AMSAT 2010 Space Symposium Adds Sunday FermiLab Supercollider Tour 

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.01

The 2010 AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting will be held on 
Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10. This year we have 
selected the Chicago/Elk Grove Holiday Inn which is near O'Hare 
Airport for the event.

At the conclusion of the Symposium activities you are invited to
participate in a tour of the Tevatron at the Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory on Sunday. Part of the tour will include 
a tour of the multi-megawatt RF portions of the particle 
accelerator as well as a tour of the new Super Conducting RF
Test Facility. We will be arranging car pools for travel to 
FermiLab and back to the hotel. The planned start time for the 
FermiLab tour will be 12 Noon.

The 2010 Symposium Committee has completed the room reservation and
registration details for the event. The Hotel booking code for the 
Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn is AMS for the AMSAT convention. The 
$79 per-night room rate will apply for those using this group code.

The direct web page link to the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn is
http://tinyurl.com/22s788d For people needing special accommodations 
please call the Hotel directly at (847) 437-6010, ask for Brad.

[ANS thanks the 2010 Symposium Committee for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.02
ARISS-Built AIS Antenna Reports Good Performance On-Orbit

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.02
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.02

SpaceDaily.com reported this week that ESA's Columbus module maritime
Automatic Identification System (AIS) aboard the International Space
Station was switched on. The AIS antenna, mounted externally on the
Columbus module, was fabricated by AMSAT and ARISS member Lou McFadin,
W5DID and the US ARISS team. The team has also fabricated a nearly-
identical twin amateur band antenna for ARISS. The ARISS antenna will 
be used when the Ericsson amateur radio gear is activated in early 
2011.

ESA reported receiving more than 90,000 Class A AIS messages during a
14 hour test between 1900 GMT on 2 June and 0900 GMT on 3 June. This
generated a global view of maritime traffic as the ISS orbit crosses 
all major shipping lanes.

AIS is currently a terrestrial VHF system with an average range of
40 nautical miles (74 km). This makes it useful within coastal zones 
and on a ship-to-ship basis but open ocean traffic remains largely 
untracked. The Columbus AIS Experiment (COLAIS) detected these signals
from orbit. All international vessels, cargo ships above certain 
weights and passenger carriers of all sizes must carry 'Class A' AIS 
transponders, broadcasting continually updated identification and 
navigation data.

An ESA spokesman said, "We are currently testing the NORAIS receiver, 
built by the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment and Kongsberg 
Seatex. In three months' time the Station crew will switch it with a 
second receiver called LUXAIS, the work of Luxembourg companies Luxspace 
and Emtronix. For the next two years we will go on swapping between 
these receivers."

With commissioning completed, the experiment is run remotely and the 
results are routed via the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, 
Germany to COLAIS teams.

ARISS-International says the cable for operating the Ericsson system 
in the Columbus Module is in final preparation at Kennedy Space Center 
for launch to the ISS. Installation is planned for early 2011. At that 
time the twin ARISS amateur radio antenna on the Columbus module and 
the second amateur radio station aboard the ISS will be activated.

See the full story at SpaceDaily.com http://tinyurl.com/263rkj7

[ANS thanks ARISS, SpaceDaily.com, and ESA for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.03
ARISSat-1 Assembly and Testing Making Progress

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.03
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.03

Lou McFadin, W5DID reported that ARISSat-1 is currently undergoing 
assembly and testing procedures in Orlando, Florida. In preparation
for delivery of the ARISSat-1 flight unit to Russia in July continuous 
operation testing of flight components was started and has gone well.

The next milestone includes completing thermal vacuum testing followed 
by vibration testing at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
prior to shipping the flight version of ARISSat-1 to Russia for the 
ride up to the ISS on a supply mission.

The ARRISat-1 Guided Tour video produced at Dayton Hamvention 2010
and the latest photos and information can be viewed on-line at:
http://arissat1.org/

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.04
SO-67 SumbandilaSat is Back on the Air

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.04
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.04

Jan-Albert Koekemoer, PrEng at Sun Space & Information Systems (Pty) 
Ltd. in Stellenbosch, South Africa announced this week, "After much 
delay we are now in a position to re-activate the SA-AMSAT payload
schedules on a regular basis again!"   

During the downtime Sun Space conducted several experiments in order 
to investigate possible alternatives for the "cut-off" problem exper-
ienced by many at the end of last year / beginning of this year.  

The cut-off is caused by SW running on piggyback electronics that con-
tinues to gate the received audio on to the transmitter for about 3s 
after a specific ground transmission has ended, whereafter the received 
audio is cut off.  

The SW then waits for the next ground transmission with a valid "trans-
ponder" tone embedded, before gating the audio onto the transmitter again. 
So if a second transmission starts within the 3s "tail" period, it will 
be cut off when the 3s expires. Listen to this mp3 recording as an 
example: http://tinyurl.com/38vvg3o 

Unfortunately the piggyback electronics does not have reprogramming
functionality, so we are not able to change the SW.  Sun Space did 
however manage to implement a mechanism on the satellite transponder 
(used by the piggyback) that should be of some assistance when using 
the payload:  the PTT of the transmitter now STAYS ON for the duration 
of the payload activation (i.e. 15 min), regardless of a valid "trans-
ponder" tone received.  Note that this does not get rid of the "cut-off" 
problem, nor of the requirement to embed a valid tone when you want to 
use the payload - see detailed explanation below.

The following example depicts the ideal usage scenario of the payload:

1. As the satellite comes over the horizon, an unmodulated carrier
   ("quieting") will be received by all on UHF

2. Person A starts to transmit on VHF (with valid "transponding" tone
   embedded in the transmission) and the transmission is relayed on UHF

3. When Person A releases his/her PTT, the satellite will continue to
   transmit what it is receiving (usually this will be "noise") for a 
   further ±3s.  Nobody should start to transmit during this time!

4. At the end of the ±3s period, everybody will again hear the
   unmodulated carrier.

5. NB: only when this unmodulated carrier is heard should Person B
   start to transmit.  Listen to this mp3 recording as an example of 
   valid usage:  http://tinyurl.com/32rjbxm 

This will take some getting use to - at least the system has a built-in 
"punishment" mechanism for the impatient! Please refer to previous posts 
on general voice quality optimization when using the SA-AMSAT payload on 
SO-67.  

Gladys Magagula at the Satellite Application Centre to obtain regular 
schedules from the regional coordinators as soon as possible.  We will 
start off with day passes only, transmit on 2.5W and see how things go.
Request for operation over your area should be sent to: 
saamsat at intekom.co.za by Mondays for possible inclusion in the schedule 
published on Thursday night/Friday morning cover the following week.
It may not always be possible to accede to every request. The weekly 
schedule will be published at http://www.amsatsa.org.za/.

Uplink   145.875 MHz 
Downlink 435.345 MHz 

The Sumbandila team has experienced recent problems with the scheduling 
system. The schedules for the weekend onward were not uploaded to the 
satellite. They are working on the problem and will post a message as 
soon as they have uploaded the schedule.
 
[ANS thanks Jan-Albert Koekemoer, at Sun Space for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.05
IARU International Amateur Radio Satellite Forum at Colloquium

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.05
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.05

The IARU International Amateur Radio Satellite Forum will this year 
be held in conjunction with the AMSAT-UK Colloquium which takes place 
in Guildford, England on the weekend of July 31 - Aug 1.

The forum, chaired by IARU Amateur Satellite Advisor Hans van de 
Groenendaal ZS6AKV, takes place on the Sunday morning.

On the Agenda is a report back on the activities of the IARU Satellite 
Adviser and his Advisory Panel.

There will be a brief presentation covering the ITU notification re-
quirements for satellites operating in the amateur service and the 
requirement to be able disable transmissions should the signals 
interfere with other users of the radio spectrum.

The forum is open to all delegates at the colloquium.

Colloquium Info: http://www.uk.amsat.org/colloquium/

[ANS thanks Trevor M5AKA for the above information]

/EX


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-178.05
Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 178.05
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
June 27, 2010
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-178.05

+ SpaceWeather.com advises the International Space Station (ISS) 
  is putting on a remarkable show. For the next few days, the 
  behemoth spacecraft will be in constant sunlight as its orbit 
  lines up with Earth's day-night terminator. This means it will 
  shine brightly in the night sky every single time it passes over
  head. Some observers can see it 3, 4, even 5 times a night!
  Full story at http://www.spaceweather.com

+ Pirajá, PS8RF says that a new distance record may be accom-
  plished soon via AO-7. Joe, K3SZH copied Luciano, PY5LF but
  the two stations could not complete a two-way contact during
  that orbit. The distance between K3SZH and PY5LF is 7839 KM.

+ Central States VHF Society Conference, St. Louis, MO July 22nd 
  to 24th. http://www.csvhfs.org/conference/index.html

+ Congratulations to Zeljko 9A2EY on being awarded VUCC Satellite 
  Award #197.

+ The 2010 CubeSat Summer Workshop takes place in Logan, Utah on 
  August 7th-8th - the weekend before the Smallsat conference.
  The last day to register for the workshop is Friday, July 23rd.
  If you wish to present at the workshop the last day to submit an 
  abstract is Friday, July 23rd. For more information regarding dead-
  lines and registration information please visit the cubesat website 
  at http://www.cubesat.org/index.php/workshops/upcoming-workshops/
  or the smallsat website at http://www.smallsat.org/

+ Listen for Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK mobile/portable satellite operation
  between July 3 - July 11 on Vancouver Island west of the British 
  Columbia "Lower Mainland". Plans include spending most of Sunday, 
  July 4 operating from somewhere on the CO60/CO70 grid boundary on 
  Vancouver Island. Patrick's gear includes an all-mode satellite 
  station (two FT-817s) and an Elk Antenna. He will try to work as
  many passes as possible on the linear and FM satellites.
  Patrick has posted information at: http://july2010.wd9ewk.net/

[ANS thanks everyone 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 additional benefits.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office. And with that,
please keep in mind the young ham who got his first job working in an
orange juice factory but he got canned because he couldn't concentrate.
The young ham's next career was as a lumberjack but he couldn't hack it
so he got the axe. The poor fellow also found that his subsequent job 
at the muffler factory was exhausting.

73,
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org




More information about the ANS mailing list