[ans] ANS-092 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
k9jkm at comcast.net
Sat Mar 31 18:31:23 PDT 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:
* AMSAT Theme at Dayton 2012: Running with Fox
* AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations
* QB50 CubeSat Proposal Deadline Extended to April 30
* SpaceDaily Posts Article Detailing RAX-2 CubeSat Scientific Success
* NASA Credits Increasing CubeSat Capability in O/OREOS Mission Success
* ARISS Contacts Receive Media Coverage
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-092.01
ANS-092 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 092.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
April 1, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
* Volunteers are needed to help at the AMSAT booth at Dayton. Gould *
* WA4SXM, is looking for volunteers to help man the AMSAT booth dur- *
* ing the 2012 Hamvention. People are needed all 3 days for 2 hour *
* shifts. Please send the days and times you are available to help *
* as well as how many shifts you are willing to work via e-mail to *
* wa4sxm at amsat.org. *
* Monitor http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/hamvention/2012/Dayton.php *
* for the latest AMSAT at Dayton news and developments *
AMSAT Theme at Dayton 2012: Running with Fox
The 2012 Dayton Hamvention will be held this year on 18 - 20 May 2012.
As has been the case for the many years Hamvention will be at the Hara
Arena Complex on the north side of Dayton. AMSAT will occupy the same
booths (444-449) in Ball Arena, right across from the ARRL area and
just inside the door from the Satellite Demonstration area.
The AMSAT theme for 2012 is "Running with Fox". We will have multiple
exhibits of the new AMSAT satellite on display.
Visit AMSAT's Dayton Hamvention page for all details on activities:
Some of the activities will include:
+ Life size Fox models will be on display as well as diagrams of
the modules inside the 10cm square satellite.
+ Operational prototype of ARISSat-1 on display.
+ AMSAT Thursday Night Get-together at the Tickets Pub & Eatery.
+ The sixth annual AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be Friday night May 18
at the Kohler Banquet Center. The price for the Banquet is $30.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. Follow the
links on AMSAT's Dayton page.
+ The AMSAT Forum will be on Saturday May 19.
AMSAT/TAPR Friday Night Banquet
AMSAT/TAPR Banquet on Friday night, May 18 is one of the main AMSAT
activities during the 2012 Hamvention at Dayton.
AMSAT is pleased to announce that Howard Long, G6LVB will be the fea-
tured speaker for the evening event. Howard will be talking about his
FUNcube Dongle, the 64 - 1700 MHz Software Defined Receiver. This
innovative USB device is the size of a thumbdrive and has an SMA ant-
enna socket. Multiple SDR control and display software programs can
be used with the FUNcube Dongle.
Banquet tickets will not be sold at the AMSAT booth during the Ham-
vention so reservations must be made through the AMSAT Store:
Tickets are $30 apiece.
ARISS Mentor Introduction at Dayton 2012
AMSAT and ARRL are teaming up during the 2012 Hamvention to recruit
new ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Techni-
cal Mentors and Ground Station Operators.
Friday and Saturday (May 18 & 19) at 4pm in the ARRL stage area
AMSAT Vice President for Educational Relations Mark Hammond N8MH
will explain the need for additional ARISS Technical Mentors and
Ground Station Operators and the requirements and responsibilities
needed to help provide a reliable conversation between astronauts
and selected schools or groups.
Technical Mentors serve as an advising and coordinating liaison be-
tween NASA, the school or group making the ARISS contact, and the
Ground Station Operators, who set up the satellite station at the
contact location. We encourage anyone interested in helping make
future school contacts with the ISS successful to please attend.
AMSAT to Facilitate Student Satellite Contacts
AMSAT is encouraging all students attending the 2012 Dayton Hamvention
to come by the Satellite Demonstration Area just outside of the Ball
Area entrance and make a contact using the amateur satellites. There
will be AMSAT volunteers there to explain how to make the contacts and
during actual satellite passes will try to get as many students as pos-
sible to complete actual contacts. There are lists of satellite pass
times in the satellite demonstration area and at the AMSAT booth.
[ANS thanks Gould Smith, WA4SXM for the above information]
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations
It is time to submit nominations for the upcoming open seats on the
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. A valid nomination requires either one
current Member Society, or five current individual members in good
standing, to nominate an AMSAT-NA member for the position.
Three directors and two alternate directors have terms expiring this
year. The director seats open for election are held by Tom Clark,
K3IO; Lou McFadin, W5DID; and Gould Smith, WA4SXM. The alternate dir-
ector seats open for election are held by Mark Hammond, N8MH and
Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK.
The three nominees receiving the highest number of votes will be
seated as regular board members with two year terms. The two nom-
inees receiving the next highest number of votes will be seated as
alternate directors for one year.
Written nominations, consisting of names, calls and individual signa-
tures, should be mailed to: AMSAT-NA, 850 Sligo Ave #600, Silver
Spring, MD, 20910. They must be received no later than June 15th. No
other action is required.
Nominations may also be made by electronic means including e-mail,
FAX, or electronic image of a petition. Electronic petitions should
be sent to MARTHA at AMSAT.ORG or faxed to 301-608-3410, and also must
be received by June 15th. If using any electronic submission, there
is a second, verifying step:
ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS WITHOUT THIS SECOND, WRITTEN VERIFICATION
ARE NOT VALID UNDER THE EXISTING AMSAT-NA BYLAWS. A verifying
traditional written petition MUST be received at the AMSAT-NA
office at the above address within 7 days following the close
[ANS Thanks AMSAT Secretary Alan Biddle, WA4SCA for the above
QB50 CubeSat Proposal Deadline Extended to April 30
QB50 is a network 50 CubeSats in a 'string-of-pearls' configuration
that will be launched together in the first half of 2015 by a single
rocket, a Shtil-2.1, from Murmansk, Northern Russia into a circular
320 km altitude, 79 degree inclination orbit. (https://www.qb50.eu)
The mission lifetime of individual CubeSats is estimated to be about
The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, Belgium is
accepting CubeSat proposals from interested University and Research
teams until April 30. The selection of 50 CubeSats for the explora-
tion of the lower thermosphere, re-entry research and in-orbit demo-
nstration of new technologies and miniaturized science sensors will
be made by the Selection Committee in early June. Proposing teams
will be individually notified of their selection/non-selection short-
The 50 CubeSats will comprise an on-orbit network of:
+ About 40 atmospheric 2U CubeSats
+ About 10 2U or 3U CubeSats for In-Orbit Demonstration of science
and technology payloads.
All 40 atmospheric 2U CubeSats and most of the 10 2U and 3U CubeSats
for In-Orbit Demonstration will carry a set of standardized sensors
for multi-point, in-situ, long-duration measurements of key para-
meters and constituents in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere
and ionosphere. Once requirements for the standardized sensor pack-
age and network/communication requirements have been met the Cube-
Sat team may use remaining on-board space or electronic capability
to conduct their own additional research.
QB50 will also study the re-entry process by measuring a number of
key parameters during re-entry, e.g. CubeSat on-board temperature
A single CubeSat is simply too small to also carry sensors for sig-
nificant scientific research. Hence, for the universities the main
objective of developing, launching and operating a CubeSat is educa-
tional. However, when combining a large number of CubeSats with iden-
tical sensors launched at the same time into a network, in addition
to the educational value, fundamental scientific questions can be
addressed which are inaccessible otherwise.
Networks of CubeSats have been under discussion in the CubeSat com-
munity for several years, but so far no university, institution or
space agency has taken the initiative to set up and coordinate such
a powerful network. The QB50 network can still fully achieve its
mission objectives even if a few CubeSats fail.
Typically, a university builds a CubeSat and launches it into low
Earth orbit. It also builds or already has available a ground sta-
tion to track the CubeSat and enable uplink/downlink telecommunica-
The period in a low-Earth orbit (about 600 km altitude) is about 90
minutes, but the duration of a satellite pass over the ground station
is approximately 10 minutes in the best case to no coverage at all
for most of the 16 daily orbits. When supporting only one satellite
project the ground station is not in operation 97% of the time. If a
mission critical emergency occurs aboard the CubeSat it can be only
addressed on single orbits within range of the dedicated ground sta-
An international network, the Global Educational Network for Satel-
lite Operations (GENSO), under development may well be set up in
time for QB50. It would eventually comprise more than 100 ground
stations in different parts of the world, providing a vastly im-
proved uplink and downlink capability for all CubeSats. The inter-
national QB50 network in orbit would be the first major user of the
international GENSO network on the ground. In case GENSO is not set
up in time for QB50, CubeSat teams are encouraged to set up a subset
ground station network comprising any number of ground stations.
The QB50 homepage can be accessed at: https://www.qb50.eu
[ANS thanks the QB50 Project for the above information]
SpaceDaily Posts Article Detailing RAX-2 CubeSat Scientific Success
An article posted on SpaceDaily.com gives additional details of the
successful RAX-2 CubeSat scientific success. In their Solar Science
section, "Researchers take first-ever measurement of auroral turbu-
lence using a nanosatellite radar receiver", is an article further
explaining the scientific discovery. Read the full article on-line
[Menlo Park CA (SPX) Mar 26, 2012] - Researchers from SRI Interna-
tional and the University of Michigan have taken the first-ever
measurement of naturally occurring auroral turbulence recorded
using a nanosatellite radar receiver. The research was done with
support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA's Edu-
cational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Initiative.
The distinctive radar echoes recorded on March 8 were taken with
the Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX) CubeSat. The RAX nanosatellite
measured turbulence over Fairbanks, Alaska that was a direct result
of a geomagnetic storm triggered by the largest solar flare in the
past five years.
The Earth's high latitude ionosphere, a region of the upper atmo-
sphere associated with solar-driven aurora or "northern lights,"
becomes highly unstable when large currents flow during geomagnetic
storms. RAX was specifically designed by SRI and the University of
Michigan to measure this auroral turbulence from an orbital vantage
point inaccessible to traditional ground-based radars.
"The RAX radar echo discovery has convincingly proved that minia-
ture satellites, beyond their role as teaching tools, can provide
high caliber measurements for fundamental space weather research,"
said Therese Moretto Jorgensen, Ph.D., Geospace program director
in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences at the National
The project's mission was to use small satellites called CubeSats to
remotely explore formation of charged particle filaments created in
response to intense electrical currents in space.
These plasma structures, a form of turbulence called field-aligned
irregularities (FAIs), can distort communication and navigation
signals such as global positioning systems (GPS). During the recent
solar flare, RAX measured FAI echoes using the Poker Flat Incoherent
Scatter Radar (PFISR), an NSF research radar operated by SRI.
"The recently collected radar echoes allow us to determine the root
cause and to possibly predict future disturbances in the auroral
ionosphere - disturbances that can severely compromise communication
and GPS satellites," said Hasan Bahcivan, Ph.D., a research physicist
in SRI's Center for Geospace Studies, and principal investigator of
the RAX mission.
A team of University of Michigan students under the direction of
James Cutler, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Aerospace Engin-
eering Department, designed, built, and operated the satellite and
gathered the radar echo data.
RAX was the first CubeSat to be selected as part of an NSF program
to use small satellites for space weather and atmospheric research.
The RAX CubeSat is a three liter satellite weighing three kilograms.
It was launched by NASA on October 28, 2011, and has since completed
[ANS thanks SpaceDaily.com for the above information]
NASA Credits Increasing CubeSat Capability in O/OREOS Mission Success
Launched in November, 2011 NASA's Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital
Stresses (O/OREOS) nanosatellite has successfully carried microorgan-
isms to a high-inclination, low-Earth orbit and monitored the effects
of the space environment on their growth and metabolism.
Two populations of the microbe Bacillus subtilis into space. One set
of microbes was a naturally occurring strain, and the second was a
radiation-resistant mutant strain. The microorganisms were part of
the Space Environment Survivability of Live Organisms (SESLO) project,
which characterized the growth, activity, health and ability of micro-
organisms to adapt to the stresses of the space environment including
exposure to a total dose rate of radiation nearly 15 times greater
than that experienced in the orbit of the International Space Station.
In space, bacterial spores successfully germinated and grew after 14
days in orbit and again after 97 days. In microgravity, the cells
generally grew and metabolized more slowly than their counterparts
on Earth. Interestingly, the microorganisms grown at 97 days of ex-
posure showed no significant difference in their growth parameters
than those grown at 14 days. The study provides insight into how
living organisms cope with life beyond our planet.
O/OREOS also carried another set of experiments: the Space Environ-
ment Viability of Organics (SEVO), which monitored the stability
and changes in four classes of organic molecules during spaceflight.
"The full success of the O/OREOS mission demonstrates convincingly
that cubesats can be cost-effective platforms for performing science
research and conducting technology demonstrations," said Mary Voytek,
senior scientist of NASA's Astrobiology Program at NASA Headquarters,
in a statement from NASA.
"The capabilities of cubesats are growing steadily, making them good
candidates to operate precursor experiments for missions on larger
satellites, the International Space Station, lunar surface exposure
facilities, and planetary exploration."
The full story can be accessed on SpaceDaily.com at:
ARISS Contacts Receive Media Coverage
Media coverage of recent ARISS contacts can viewed on-line. The
ARISS contact on March 21 with students at Salem Elementary in
Apex, North Carolina had the opportunity to question of astronaut
Don Pettit KD5MDT 241 miles (388 km) up and on the other side of
the Earth aboard the International Space Station. Tony Hutchison,
VK5ZAI provided the telebridge link to the ISS amateur radio sta-
Local television coverage on WRAL-TV and a report of the contact
can viewed on-line at:
News 14 Channel coverage of the Apex ARISS contact is at:
The News Observer article can be read at:
Listen to an interview with some of the students:
Also on March 21 the Swiss Air Force Museum Clin d'Ailes, located
on the Swiss Airforce Base in Payerne, Switzerland, established an
ARISS contact with ESA astronaut André Kuipers, PI9ISS, aboard the
International Space Station.
Astronaut André Kuipers operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS. This
was a direct contact performed by the Amateur radio Club station
HB9SPACE, located in the museum. Two videos of this event can be
viewed on-line at:
Southgate ARC provides detailed coverage of the HB9SPACE event at:
http://tinyurl.com/HB9SPACE-ARISS - and -
[ANS thanks ARISS, AMSAT-UK and Southgate ARC for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ The ESAs Education Office has maintained frequent contacts with
the student teams to follow the progress of their satellite oper-
ations after the February 13 launch of the Vega rocket delivering
seven ESA-sponsored CubeSats into low Earth orbit. The status of
the CubeSats is posted at:
Photos posted at:
+ Call for Papers - Central States VHF Society 46th Annual Confer-
ence, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 26-28, 2012. If you would like to
contribute a paper, presentation, or poster, please contact Rod
Blocksome, K0DAS, CSVHF Conference Program Chairman as soon as
possible with the title and a short description. You can reach
Rod at k0das at arrl.net or at his callbook address. Their web page
for authors can be found at:
+ The ARISS International monthly teleconference was held on Tuesday,
March 20. The HamTV discussion covered the meetings that ESA and
NASA are engaging in to ensure coordination of the project. Minutes
have been posted: http://ariss.rac.ca/arisstel2012-03-20.htm
+ TAMSAT Project Coordinator, Levent Sasmazel, WW2L posted good news
about TAMSAT, Association of Amateur Satellite Technologies in
Turkey completion of the Internal Housekeeping Unit processor of
their satellite. Photos and a full description are posted on the
AMSAT-UK web at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/6085
+ The WebSDR receiver is located at the Astronomical Observatory
Department of Stefan cel Mare University in Suceava, Romania
has added coverage of 437.470 437.515 MHz to enable reception
of the Romanian amateur radio CubeSat Goliat. The original WebSDR
receiver at this site provides coverage of the 3.5 MHz band.
Tune in at: http://sdr.opt.ro:8901/ More information about the
Goliat CubeSat is posted at: http://www.goliat.ro/
+ Light your fire. AMSAT-UK posted news about the STRaND-1 smart
phone amateur radio CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Thruster. This
system will be the first propulsive technology to provide very
precise attitude control and pointing. Read the full article at:
+ The BBC TV Newsnight show covered Clyde Space and UKube-1 in a
recent airing. UKube-1 is a 3U CubeSat being designed and pro-
duced by Clyde Space for the UK Space Agency. UKube-1 is the
UKs first CubeSat and will fly a total of 6 independent pay-
loads. UKube-1 will carry a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards pro-
viding a 435/145 MHz linear transponder and BPSK telemetry beacon.
Watch the BBC episode at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/5983
+ Know when to duck ... NASA Jet Propulsion Labs has an on-line
tool (with web, telnet, and e-mail interfaces) called the HORIZONS
system which can be used to generate ephemerides for solar-system
bodies. The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets
Study (NHATS) and the HORIZONS system will allow prediction of the
passage of Near Earth Asteroids. (These are scientific tools but
offer a significant learning opportunity for citizen scientists.)
Check out http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/nhats/ - and -
HORIZONS access is at: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons
+ Echolink SATCHAT net control Vince Waelti, K9TSU announced the new
schedule of the on-line net. SATCHAT will meet on the AMSAT Server
on Echolink 1900-2030 hours CDT (UTC-5) on the first, third, and
fifth Saturdays of each month. A few upcoming dates for the net:
April 7, April 21, May 5, May 19, June 2, June 16. All interested
amateur radio operators are invited to check in.
+ Watch the launch of ESA's ATV Edoardo Amaldi on an Ariane 5 rocket
from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on March 23:
+ Check out this linked image. All those tiny points of light aren't
stars; they're entire galaxies, seen by the European Southern
Observatory's VISTA survey telescope located at the Paranal Observ-
atory in Chile. ESO's UltraVISTA survey revealed over 200,000 dis-
tant galaxies: http://tinyurl.com/VISTA-galaxies (UniverseToday.com)
+ Using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, a team says they have found
the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet below the surface. Plans
to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor are
under study. It is unkown yet what condition these engines might
be in because they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in
salt water for more than 40 years. A short article is posted at:
+ Yuri's (VE3/UT1FG/MM) ship was the first foreign ship to dock in
Toronto for the 2012 shipping season. The event is celebrated in
a ceremony and the captain is crowned with a 150 year old Beaver
Hat on the ship. Yuri should be in Thunder Bay on April 1st. He
expects to be there for several days. The next destination is
Puerto Rico. Watch on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/UT1FG-TorontoHat
(via John, K8YSE)
[ANS thanks everyone 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 addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
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 stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
information. And with that please keep in mind the ham who produced
a theatrical performance about puns. Reviews said it was a play on
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org
More information about the ANS