[ans] ANS-001 Bulletins
morsesat at optonline.net
Sat Dec 31 16:06:27 PST 2011
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:
* A Note About the New AMSAT News Service Format
* ARISSat-1 altitude is rapidly decreasing
* Chicken Little Contest Update
* OSCAR-11 REPORT 29 December 2011
* Highlights of ARISS International Delegates Annual Meeting
* NO-44 PCSAT Recovery Attempt in Progress
* FO-29 Recovery and Testing Continues
* University of Rome UniCubeSat GG Qualified for Vega Maiden Flight
* DIY Video
* ARISS Status
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-001.01
ANS-001 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 001.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January, 1, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
A Note About the New AMSAT News Service Format
The ANS news bulletins have traditionally been sent out using a packet
header format on each item. In the year 2012 we are no longer sure how
many VHF-UHF PBBS systems remain active that are re-distributing ANS
bulletins via RF-based AX.25. Perhaps the packet header is no longer a
requirement for each individual news item.
ANS plans to continue to distribute the bulletins in our traditional
plain-ascii format so this is not changing. Previous inquiries have
indicated a very strong preference for the plain-ascii format.
In this bulletin you will observe we have preserved the e-mail style of
plain ascii text, 70 character lines. We preserved packet compatibility
by placing a single packet-header at the top of the news and a single
/EX at the end of the entire news. If this still goes out by packet SB
SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-001.01 should still be able to be pro- cessed,
received, and read.
Happy New Year from the AMSAT News Service crew!
ARISSat-1 altitude is rapidly decreasing
On Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011, ARISSat-1 was losing about 4.1 km (~2.5 miles)
a day in altitude, by Friday 30 Dec 2011 the decay was 5.9 km (3.6
miles) per day.
This rate will continue to increase over the next days and ultimately
result in the satellite burning up in the atmosphere.
Telemetry reports haven't shown a large increase in temperatures yet,
please collect and report these values during each illumination period.
There have been a number of people that continue to update their
calculations on when the satellite will re-enter.
Dates range from 30 Dec to 16 Jan.
The fall rate dh/dt is increasing dramatically. Be sure to do daily
updates of the ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-B Keps from Celestrak.com. The
ARISSat-1 orbit changes daily while the satellite continues to lose
Roland, PY4ZBZ from Brazil has updated graphs of height and fall rate on
his Web site:
[ANS Thanks Gould, WA4SXM, for the above information.]
Now that ARISSat-1 is in its last days, the Chicken Little Contest web
site has been updated to include the individual submissions in each
category nearest its likely reentry time.
You can see how you are doing compared to the competition! It appears
that the submissions are sufficiently spread out that we will be able to
determine unique winners in each category. However, you can help with
this by keeping the telemetry submissions coming. Space Command does
not maintain precise Tracking and Impact Prediction (TIP) for minor
A small satellite is considered to have reentered when three consecutive
tracking stations fail to acquire it, which leaves a considerable
While the formal last telemetry contest is only open to submission
through the telemetry programs, keep listening and note the time and
place where you hear it last. After it has been confirmed to have
reentered, the last reception including voice and CW, may help narrow
that window unless
transmissions cease significantly before reentry.
[ANS thanks Alan, WA4SCA. For this information]
OSCAR-11 REPORT 29 December 2011
This report covers the period from 01 September to 28 December 2011. The
satellite has continued to operate in a very predictable way since the
last report, and no changes have been observed. During this time the
satellite has been heard reliably during its ten-day transmission
Excellent signals have been reported from stations located around the
world, and good copy obtained from decoded telemetry frames.
The easiest way to check whether OSCAR-11 is operational is to look at
the General Satellite Status website http://oscar.dcarr.org/index.php .
You can also calculate the operating schedule from the last switch-off
time, which was 28 December 2011 at 15:00 UTC (approx), using 10.35 days
off followed by 10.35 days on.
Reception reports have been received from Gustavo LW2DTZ, Bob KI0G, Rolf
HB9TSO and Francesco IT9JRU. Many thanks to all and those who posted to
the status website.
The satellite is currently in eclipse during all evening passes over the
UK, resulting in lower signal strengths at these times. Owing to the
gradual precession of the orbit, the season for eclipses of the evening
passes is longer this year compared with the winter last year.
The on-board clock continues to gain, 28 seconds during the current
reporting period, and 112 seconds since regular transmissions were
resumed at the end of August 2010. There is however a large accumulated
error of 308.54303 days slow.
This was caused mainly by the clock stopping during eclipses, when there
was also an unknown drain on the power supply. The units of the least
significant digit correspond approximately to seconds (0.86 seconds
The VHF beacon frequency is 145.826 MHz. AFSK FM ASCII Telemetry. The
satellite is operating in the default mode, with a cycle time of 20.7
days. 10.35 days on followed by
10.35 days off.
At the present time, while OSCAR-11 is operating in a predictable way, I
no longer need direct reports or files by e-mail. However, could all
listeners continue to enter their reports on the general satellite
status website. This is a very convenient and easy to use facility,
which shows the current status of all the amateur satellites, and is of
use to everyone. Reports around the expected times of switch-on and
switch-off are of special interest, especially for times
12:00 - 18:00 and 22:00 - 07:00 UTC, when the satellite is out-of-range
in the UK . The URL is http://oscar.dcarr.org/index.php
A longer version of this report report is available on my website, and
new listeners to OSCAR-11 should read this for further information. The
URL is www.g3cwv.co.uk/oscar11.htm . This page contains a links to the
longer report, a short audio clip to help you identify the satellite and
a file of the last telemetry received. The website also contains an
archive of news & telemetry data which is updated from time to time, and
details about using a soundcard or hardware demodulators for data
capture. There is also software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII
If you place this bulletin on a terrestrial packet network, please use
the bulletin identifier $BID:U2RPT157.CWV, to prevent duplication.
[ANS thanks Clive G3CWV for the above information]
Highlights of ARISS International Delegates Annual Meeting
The ARISS International Delegates Annual Meeting was held at the NASA
Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX on October 28-29, 2011.
The ARISS Team meeting was opened with a welcome by Susan White, lead of
Johnson Space Center Education Office. The main objective of the NASA
Education Office is to promote STEM (science, techno- logy, engineering,
and math) activities. Susan said NASA greatly appreciates the efforts
the ARISS team puts into promoting STEM, and applauds the fine
educational outcomes garnered by ARISS. She said NASA is focusing
heavily on two new things for Fiscal Year
2012 (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012):
+ Continue to make the very best use of its resources, including
resource help from outside of NASA -- such as from ARISS.
+ The other focus is professional development promoting the STEM
ARISS Delegates submitted their status report for their region prior to
the meeting. These have been posted at:
Highlights of the presentations include:
+ ARISS = Education. ARISS will continue with its support of the
+ Summary of the ARISSat-1/KEDR mission.
+ Hardware proposal regarding the installation of a new Kenwood
D710 radio in the Columbus module.
+ Hardware proposal for new power supply for ISS-Ham operations
in the Columbus module.
+ Ongoing work with ARISS-Europe, AMSAT-Italy, ESA, and Kayser-Italia
for implementation of the HAMTV - Digital ATV with S-band downlink
from the Columbus Module. S-band ATV equipment would be required at
schools for use in video ARISS contacts.
More details about the meeting along with photographs of the meeting are
included in the next AMSAT Journal which will be mailed to all AMSAT
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
NO-44 PCSAT Recovery Attempt in Progress
NO-44 PCSAT-1 has remained semi-operational in sunlight since its
battery had failed years ago. The satellite shuts down due to low power
from the solar cells in eclipse. On many passes a poor sun angle
provides only enough power for it to digipeat only 1 or 2 pack- ets via
145.825 MHz AX.25. A few times a year PCSAT's orbit has it in 24-hour
sunlight for a few days. One of these full-sun periods is occuring now.
Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, control station for the US Naval Academy Sat-
ellite Lab, the "owners" of PCSAT, is attempting to recover PCSAT by
uplinking commands. Due to the poor sun angle on the solar cells just
one single packet from a user other than the control station during a
pass will easily kill that pass's chance of recovery.
Bob says they only get a few packet chances per pass for recovery.
He needs for the stations with beacons on 145.825 MHz to please turn off
your beacon - it competes with the slim power budget that the control
station is attempting to utilize.
This past week, European control station Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN man- aged
to recover PCSAT for a short period before low voltage reset the
Please do not attempt to digipeat via PCSAT on 145.825 MHz while the
satellite recovery effort is underway. Bob says it will take the right
sun angle, at the right time to ensure success.
It is OK for ground stations to access the ARISS packet system on the
ISS, also on 145.825 MHz when PCSAT is not in range.
[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR for the above information]
FO-29 Recovery and Testing Continues
The FO-29 Command Team reported that their December 23 test operation
was successful. They were able to gain control of the satellite and copy
its telemetry beacon while it was over Japan.
FO-29 stopped operating when it entered eclipse. An example of the
telemetry copied during testing has been posted as a sound file at:
A tentative FO-29 operation schedule for early January, 2012 is:
Jan 1 04:43 UTC
Jan 3 04:37 UTC
Jan 4 05:28 UTC
The transponder is expected to operate until eclipse. Stations in East
Asia, Australia/New Zealand and southern South America will be able to
attempt to use FO-29.
[ANS thanks Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL and Masa Arai, JN1GKZ for the above
University of Rome UniCubeSat GG Qualified for Vega Maiden Flight
The AMSAT-UK web carried the news that a seventh University Cubesat has
passed its Final Acceptance Review at ESA and has been added to the
manifest of the maiden Vega Launch.
The January 2012 inaugural launch of the ESA Vega rocket from the ESA
spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean will carry the amateur radio
microsatellite ALMASat-1 and now CubeSats. The orbit is planned for
1450 by 300 km at an inclination of 69.5 degrees.
There were slots for up to nine CubeSats on the Vega launch. This week
it was announced that UniCubeSat GG (Universitá di Roma La Sapienza,
Italy) will be the seventh cubesat aboard this launch.
The UNICubeSat mission goal is the in situ measurement of atmos- pheric
density, which is made possible by the low perigee altitude of the VEGA
Maiden flight orbit. All of the UNICubeSat key compon- ents, such as
solar arrays, batteries, communications and on board data handling are
developed on the heritage of the four UNISAT satellites, designed, built
and launched by the GAUSS team at the Scuola di Ingegneria Aerospaziale
in the last decade. The SPIV ground station, located in Roma, will be
the main ground station for the UNICubeSat mission.
The previously announced six cubesats on the maiden Vega Launch
+ Xatcobeo (collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain)
+ Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France) E-St at r (Politecnico di
+ Torino, Italy) Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania) PW-Sat
+ (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)
+ MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology & Economics, Hungary)
As well as the CubeSats Vega will also carry the Amateur Radio micro-
The full story can be read on-line: http://tinyurl.com/csgkqwz
ESA CubeSats delivered for first Vega flight news web page:
ESA Education - CubeSats
A picture of ALMASat-1 and the six CubeSats is posted at AMSAT-UK:
The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination pages hosted by
AMAT-UK list the frequencies of the amateur radio satellites:
Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL provides complete coverage of the Vega launch on
his 'ESA CubeSats Update' web pages. You'll find an overview of each of
the satellite missions, frequencies, modulation/protocols, and links to
the developers home web pages posted at:
[ANS thanks ESA, AMSAT-UK, for the above information]
The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio released
A new promotional video has been released to attract Hackers, Makers and
Innovators to ham radio.
The video features well known hacker and maker Diana Eng KC2UHB along
with Ham Nation's Bob Heil K9EID and ISS Astronaut Doug Wheelock KF5BOC.
It follows some of the innovative, imaginative and fun ways "hams" use
radio technology in new and creative ways and points out that amateur
radio clubs are similar to hacker groups.
Watch The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio in HD
[ANS thanks ARRL for the above information]
1. Upcoming School Contact
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has
been scheduled for the Historical Museum of Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland on
Saturday, December 31 at 14:04 UTC. This year the museum celebrates the
400th anniversary of the birth of astronomer Johannes Hevelius. On
display are exhibitions which represent Hevelius' achievements and
research instruments. Other presentations showcase modern space
exploration. Students from several Gdansk schools will participate in
the ARISS contact.
2. Rome Contact Successful
On Monday, December 19, students from Teodoro Mommsen Middle School in
Rome, Italy spoke with Astronaut Dan Burbank, KC5ZSX via an Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact. Telebridge
station LU1CGB in Buenos Aires, Argentina handled the radio link. Nearly
80 students attended the event and listened as Burbank fielded sixteen
questions about living in a micro-gravity environment. The school,
located in the "Appio-Latino" district in the south of Rome, has an
enrollment of 800 students, ages 11 - 13. To view contact video, see:
3. ARISS Sets New Events Record
The ARISS contact held with Kobe, Japan was number 121 for 2011 and
equals the most number of events done in a calendar year (set in 2009).
The Teodoro Mommsen Middle School contact held on Monday, December 19
was number 122 and set a new record for the number of events conducted
in a single calendar year.
4. ARISS International Teleconference Held
The monthly ARISS International Team teleconference was held on Tuesday,
December 20. It was announced that Rosalie White will step down as the
U.S. representative and chairman of the ARISS-International Educational
Outreach and School Selection Committee. She will be replaced by Frank
Bauer. The ARISS status on filing with the ITU (International
Telecommunication Union) was given and an update on the HamTV project,
which may include a video beacon, was also provided. Minutes have been
posted. See: http://ariss.rac.ca/arisstel2011-12-20.htm
5. Amateur Radio Newsline on ARISS
Amateur Radio Newsline posted a few items related to ARISS in its
December 23 report #1793 under the heading "Ham Radio in Space." The
first story is about new crew members Don Pettit, KD5MDT, Oleg
Kononenko, RN3DX and Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS flying to the ISS this past
week. The second story gives a new prediction of when ARISSat will
re-enter Earth's atmosphere. "Three Astro-Hams Headed to the ISS" and
"ARISSat-1 Mission May End December 31" may be viewed at:
6. ARRL QST Covers ARISS News
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) January 2012 QST coverage of
ARISS items are:
"It Seems to Us," written each month by CEO Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, is titled
this month "The Year Ahead" and covers what's expected for 2012. Dave
lists World Amateur Radio Day on April 18, 2012, when this year's theme
will be "Amateur Radio Satellites: Celebrating 50 Years in Space."
Dave says we'll celebrate the launch of the first OSCAR satellite that
"was followed by an even greater thrill in 1983 when radio amateurs the
world over spoke with Owen Garriott, W5LFL, as he orbited the Earth
The "Media Hits" column mentions the ARISS school, Holy Family Catholic
School, in Grand Junction, CO. A good newspaper story ran in the Grand
Junction Sentinel when reporters attended a demonstration put on by
students of on-the-air amateur radio moonbounce operations.
The "In Brief" column listed the crew members, including Dan Burbank,
KC5ZSX, who had joined the crew on the ISS.
[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.
It has been another year of information and news gathering for us at
ANS. Please keep the timely information you provide coming on a
regular basis. It is with great hope for the upcoming year in AMSAT
that we at ANS, Joanne, Lee & Dee, wish you all a healthy and safe New
This week's ANS Editor,
Dee Interdonato, NB2F
Nb2f at amsat dot org
More information about the ANS