[amsat-bb] ANS-241 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

E.Mike McCardel mccardelm at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 03:23:33 UTC 2016


The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space
including 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

The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org.

In this edition:

* US ARISS Contacts -Call for Proposals- Runs September 1 - November 1
* Amateur Satellite Educational Videos
* Expanding SatNOGS for Satellite Command and Control
* The AMSAT Office will be closed through Wednesday, Sept 7th
* Aves Island DXpedition to Include Satellite Operations
* AMSAT Phase 4 Ground weekly report for 26 August 2016
* 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium Registration Reminder - Continued
* AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots Due by September 15th
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-241.01
ANS-241 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 241.01
August 28, 2016
BID: $ANS-241.01

US ARISS Contacts -Call for Proposals- Runs September 1 - November 1

Message to US Educators
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Contact Opportunity

Call for Proposals
Proposal Window September 1 - November 1, 2016

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program
is seeking formal and informal education institutions and
organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur
Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates
that the contact would be held between July 1, 2017 and December 31,
2017. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact
dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is
looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of
participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed
education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 1, 2016. Proposal
information and documents can be found at

The Opportunity
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate
in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are
approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact
with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via
Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space
station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford
education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from
astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn
about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an
opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless
technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human
spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the
ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate
changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space
agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe sponsor this educational
opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to
enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students
around the world via Amateur Radio. In the US, the program is managed
by AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and ARRL (American
Radio Relay League) in partnership with NASA and CASIS (Center for
the Advancement of Science in Space).

More Information
Interested parties can find more information about the program at
www.ariss.org and www.arrl.org/ARISS.

For proposal information and more details such as expectations,
proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of
Information Sessions go to
Please direct any questions to ariss at arrl dot org.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a
cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the
space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In
the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and  National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  The primary goal of
ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via
amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in
classrooms or informal education venues.  With the help of
experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with
large audiences in a variety of public forums.  Before and during
these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities
learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio.  For more
information, see www.ariss.org, www.amsat.org, and www.arrl.org.

Also, join us on Facebook:  Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) / Follow us on Twitter:  ARISS_status

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]


Amateur Satellite Educational Videos

David Casler KE0OG has released a couple of videos which aim to
explain amateur radio satellites

They form part of his collection of training videos for the Amateur
Radio Technician, General, and Extra exams.

This video introduces the orbital mechanics part of amateur
satellites, including the concept of orbits, eccentricity, Keplerian
elements, and definitions of key terms. These videos are updated for
the 11th edition of the "ARRL Extra Class License Manual for Ham

Watch Amateur Extra Lesson 2.3, Part 1, Amateur Satellites

The second half of the video discusses polarization, Faraday
rotation, repeaters, transponders, and band and mode designations.
Note one error in which I refer to the X band as in the 10 MHz region
when it should be 10 GHz.

Watch Amateur Extra Section 2.3 Part 2, Amateur Satellites

These videos are updated for the 11th edition of the "ARRL Extra
Class License Manual for Ham Radio."

David thanks you for watching his videos! His channel, "Ham Radio
Answers," is available to help anyone become an active, on-the-air
amateur radio operator! David concludes, "I am unique in that I
provide the only set of YouTube training videos that accompany the
ARRL license manuals, section for section. I try hard to answer every
Ask Dave question individually if I can."


[ANS thanks Southgate ARN for the above information]


Expanding SatNOGS for Satellite Command and Control

Although quite some time has passed since their last update, the
SatNOGS team and the community has been busy working on it’s software
and hardware components, allowing modular setups.

A large amount of focus has been with the SatNOGS client software,
allowing the user to not only use RTL-SDR based dongles but a far
greater variety of SDR solutions using GnuRadio. In conjunction with
that, SatNOGS client is able to use Amateur Radios that are supported
by hamlib (we’ve already tested on Yaesu and Kenwood radios). Such
functionality paired with our new ground station hardware design, and
further tests on after market designs such us Yaesu Az/El rotator,
would allow the SatNOGS network to not only receive but transmit data
via the network to satellites.

For a few months now Libre Space Foundation, the organization that
assists the development and operation of the SatNOGS networks, has
been working together with the University of Patras on developing and
manufacturing the first satellite with most of it’s components based
upon open hardware and using free software, UPSat, https://upsat.gr/

An open hardware and software satellite, especially one built by Libre
Space Foundation would have a great chance for the SatNOGS network to
implement command and control features on it’s SatNOGS client,
allowing a fully open Low Earth Orbiting satellite communication stack
from earth to orbit and back.

Communications with the satellite are implemented through ECSS
Standard Commands as described in ECSS-E-70-41A standard (CCSDS). You
can checkout the code of the client on GitHub
and the ecss services implemented on the satellite at

There has been a lot of effort to make sure that all the
needed functionality on the SatNOGS client has been implemented,
while in parallel maintaining modularity and extensibility for future
satellites and other protocols.

Do you have a satellite in the works and want to use SatNOGS client as
command and control? Let us know and we will be happy to work with you
expanding our client!


[ANS thanks SatNOGS and Daniel Cussen, for the above information]


The AMSAT Office will be closed through Wednesday, Sept 7th

Martha announce via the AMSAT-BB that The AMSAT Office will be
closed through Wednesday, Sept 7th.

She requests "Please do not leave messages as I will not be able to
answer them."

The office will reopen Thursday September 8.

[ANS thanks Martha for the above information]


Aves Island DXpedition to Include Satellite Operations

Steve, W4DTA/YV5DTA, announced that his group (ARV, Asociacion de
Radioaficonados de Venezuela) back in Venezuela got an invitation by
the Navy to activate YV0 (Currently the #18 most wanted in the world).

A team of 14 operators will depart on August 27th and operate as
YX0V for 7-10 days. The team is planning to be active between August
28th and September 5th.

Activity will be on all bands (HF/VHF) and modes (CW, SSB, the
Digital modes, FM and Satellites). Steve, W4DTA, will be the QSL
Manager for the operation.

The Caribbean location and flat island terrain should provide
excellent footprints across North and South America.

Steve, W4DTA/YV5DTA, sent out the following update on August 20th:

Hello all..
YX0V team both in YV and here in the USA have been working almost
non top! A big FEDEX package was send to Caracas today with shirts,
basic supplies and a new antenna analyzer, hopefully it will arrive
in time.

The team is now working on a contingency plan for power. At the
moment there is only one power plant working in YV0, so there are
periods of black outs mostly during the night. The team is purchasing
a new generator capable of running a few stations, so there might be
times that not all stations will be on the air. A operating plan
should be available to me very soon. The good news Hams around the
world have step up with donations, and that is helping defray some of
the cost.

More to come, but if you have any questions that you will like me to
ask the team, please feel free to email me or call me.
73.... Steve, W4DTA

For more details and updates on the YX0V DXpedition, see the following
URLs: YX0V Web site: http://yx0v.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yx0v2016
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/yx0v2016

ADDED NOTES: Tom, W5KUB, hosted an Amateur Radio Roundtable on
August 16th, which contains a converstaion with W4DTA/YV5DTA about
the upcoming YX0V operation.

The video can be viewed on YouTube.com:
Also, watch short videos on YouTube.com at:

[ANS thanks Steve, W4DTA/YV5DTA and Southgate ARN for the above


AMSAT Phase 4 Ground weekly report for 26 August 2016

Some of you may know Mr. Brain ?G4GUO. He's been working on DVB-S2
BCH decode and has it correcting errors (big YAY here, this stuff is
hard. But his last name is Brain, so there's that.)

He's given us the thumbs up to use it on Phase 4. he is planning on
using NVIDIA CUDA to do the LDPC decoder because he doesn't think a
general CPU will hack it.

There's other really good news on the "new hardware that will make
our radio easier to build but will take hard work to get fully
functional" front. Two types of hardware we can't talk about just yet
because the details aren't yet public, but there is a third. (And
actually, a fourth, counting the fact that in two days we can buy an
SR Systems DVB Modulator because the company will be coming back from
their month-long vacation.)

That Snapdragon certificate course that I (foolishly, because Time)
signed up for at UCSD? The capstone project is coming right up, and
I'm going to see how much we can get out of the quad core processor
and onboard DSP in efforts to do some type of Phase 4 Ground radio
(or radio peripheral) on Android on a DragonBoard 410c. This would be
as the final project in the certificate program, so it's worth the
time, it's just kind of feeling like school.

Slack is really enjoyable to use and useful for having more personal
and flexible virtual meetings than email. Slack is not a replacement
for the email list, but I'm going to go ahead and invite everyone
that has subscribed to the mailing list, to our Phase 4 Ground Slack.
(why add Slack? Because it's searchable, integrated with Github and
*many* other services and sites, and easy to organize for technical
discussions and work.)

I believe Jerry (our AMSAT Vice President of Engineering) has filled
out the paperwork to get us a free upgrade to the pro version of
Slack. This gives us all the useful functions of Slack. We can live
with the "free" version, but the upgrade is a big benefit of all
those volunteer hours that we logged during the last seven months.

Another big deal is that we need computers to volunteer for our two
node-locked licenses from Xilinx that allow us to target ALL the
chips out there, even the ones in the bigger USRPs. We have a brand
new laptop here in San Diego and are trying to figure out Windows or
Linux for Vivado. We need a second site that can support FPGA/HDL
design. Jerry Buxton nominated Bill Reed in Texas.

*Are there any other individuals that want to provide remote
development with this license opportunity?* Otherwise, we go with San
Diego  and Texas.

If not, then we put the two that we have so far "on the air". I have
about 8 people on the list right now that want to do more FPGA/RFNoC
learning, so let's start getting some traction here with the license,
logging in, tutorials, take-this-job descriptions, etc.

Bob N4HY is giving the Sunday tutorial at TAPR DCC and I agreed to
help him. We're going to talk about DARPA Spectrum Collaboration
Challenge, why amateur spectrum is under pressure, and what amateurs
need to do about it.

My proposed title was "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

But Bob countered with "Spectrum Crunch is real. Amateur radio needs
to take action."

I think mine's funnier but Steve Bible will probably go with Bob's.
Anyway, if you're at DCC, please let Mike Sprenger W4UOO know - he's
helping coordinate all of us Phase 4 people while we're there so that
we can find each other and talk up a storm. Thank you Mike!

Please give feedback if you have it. It makes a big difference. I
know I told some of you I read minds, but that might have been a
small exaggeration.

-Michelle W5NYV

[ANS thanks Michelle W5NYV via the AMSAT-BB for the above information]


2016 AMSAT Space Symposium Registration Reminder - Continued

** Booking your Carnival Cruise does not register you for the AMSAT
Symposium **
There is a charge for each Symposium attendee of $40. This fee
applies to those who will attend the technical
presentations only and includes a copy of the printed Proceedings.
Additional guests are entitled to attend all other events. The
registration form is available from the AMSAT office or store website.

Online Symposium registration:

** Ground transportation options have been added to the FAQ page on
the AMSAT Symposium web page**
Carnival offers round-trip. Transportation from HOU airport to the
cruise terminal at approximately $74 per person, IAH airport $94 per
person. If you are traveling to the Board of Directors meeting, you
may still utilize the Carnival transportation option for your return
to the airport from the cruise terminal. However, you will need to
obtain other transportation between the airport and the Galveston
DoubleTree hotel.

Cruise information may be found at:

[ANS thanks 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium Committee for the above


AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots Due by September 15th

Ballots have been mailed to AMSAT-NA members in good standing, and
must be returned to the AMSAT-NA office by September 15, 2016 in order
to be counted. Those sent outside North America were sent by air mail.
If you have not received your ballot package in a reasonable time for
your QTH, please contact the AMSAT-NA office. Your completed ballot
should be sent as promptly as possible, and those from outside North
American preferably by air mail or other expedited means.

This year there are five candidates:

Tom Clark, K3IO
Clayton Coleman, W5PFG
Mark Hammond, N8MH
Bruce Paige, KK5DO
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

The three candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be
seated as voting Board Members with two year terms. The two candidates
receiving the next highest number of votes will be non-voting
Alternate Board Members with terms of one year. Please vote for no
more than three candidates.

Please take the time to review the candidate statements that accompany
the ballot and determine who you wish to see on the Board. Election of
Board members is both an obligation as well as an opportunity by our
membership to help shape the future direction of AMSAT-NA.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]



+ A Successful contact was made between The Children's Museum of
Indianapolis, Indianapolis IN, USA and Astronaut Kate Rubins KG5FYJ
using Callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2016-08-23 15:09 UTC and
lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was direct via N9DR.
ARISS Mentor was Charlie AJ9N.

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule

+ Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Astoria, OR, direct via
KF7TCG. The ISS callsign is presently  scheduled to be NA1SS. The
scheduled astronaut is Takuya Onishi KF5LKS
Contact is a go for: Sat 2016-09-03 18:21:03 UTC

School Information:

Thomas Jefferson was a scientist and a pioneer in many fields of
study including biology, geography, meteorology, and ethnology.
Since at least 1793 he had been planning for an exploration of the
largest remaining unexplored land on earth: the American West.  This
resulted in the four pages of detailed instructions that he gave to
Meriwether Lewis during their 1801-03 planning for the voyage of the
Corps of Discovery. The resulting 1804-06 U.S. Army expedition to
explore along the Missouri and Columbia Rivers was led by Captains
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The 33 diverse members of the
Corps spent the winter of 1805-06 at a campsite they built just a few
miles from the mouth of the Columbia River and named after the local
Clatsop Indians.  At Fort Clatsop, the captains planned for the
return journey to the United States and worked on writing scientific
descriptions of the plants and animals they'd encountered that were
new to science (a total of 178 species of plants and 122 animals by
the end of the trip).  Like President Thomas Jefferson and Captain
Meriwether Lewis, today's astronauts have a curiosity for exploring
beyond known frontiers.

Some local students who have participated in various education
programs at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and live in
surrounding Clatsop County have been learning about the International
Space Station (ISS) and are hoping to have a brief radio conversation
with an ISS astronaut. All of these students live in Clatsop County
and are familiar with the park through field trips, park summer
camps, family visits, or education programs with rangers visiting
their classrooms. The park connected with these students through four

1. The Northwest Regional Educational Service District and the
Astoria School District offer a migrant summer school to serve
students who have moved within the last three years for their
parent's work. Several of these students participated in summer
camps that the park offered and they were excited about the
opportunity to learn about the International Space Station and talk
with an astronaut.

2. Three small local Girl Scout Troops (#10025, #10026, #10086) were
interested in this opportunity as they have been focusing on the
three keys to Girl Scouting which are Discovering, Connecting, and
Taking Action. The girls and their leaders were happy to incorporate
this ARISS opportunity into their projects.

3. The Fort Clatsop District of Boy Scouts includes local troop #509
and #542. Since Scouting is about character development and having
confidence in yourself to Be Prepared, the ARISS program is a good
challenge for these youngsters. Their district is named in honor of
the 1805-06 winter encampment of the 33 people of the Lewis and Clark

4. Three of the youth recruited for this special program are
children or grandchildren of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
rangers and were excited to learn that an astronaut radio
conversation would be happening in their park.

Students & Anticipated Questions:

 1. Alejandra (12): To prepare for his journey, Captain Meriwether
    Lewis was tutored by experts in medicine, navigation, astronomy,
    mathematics, botany, and paleontology.  What was the hardest
    part of your training?
 2. Kevin (13): The Corps of Discovery enjoyed fiddle music, do you
    listen to music in space? If so, what kind?
 3. Katie (11): How different does your body feel in microgravity and
    how long does it take to adjust after arrival in the space
 4. Liam (8): Lewis and Clark failed to find a Northwest Passage.
    Have any of your experiments failed or not gone like you wanted?
 5. Nahomy (Naomi) (10): While wintering at Fort Clatsop, the Corps
    of Discovery made buckskin clothes as their uniforms wore out. How
    many outfits of clothing do you have with you, and what kind of
    material are they made from?
 6. Dashel (7): Why do you like communicating with kids?
 7. Kelsey (11): Meriwether Lewis treasured an ermine scarf he
    received from a Shoshone chief.  Do you have a souvenir from
    If so, what is it?
 8. Sophie (8): Do you create art from the views from the space
 9. Derek (8): When is your next spacewalk?  What is your favorite
    thing when you are outside the space station?
10. Crystal (12): Lewis brought his dog Seaman with him on the
    expedition. Are there any research animals on the space station
    now? If so, what are they?
11. Xochitl (Sochi) (13): Although most members of the Corps of
    Discovery were single, York and John Shields had families at
    home. Do you miss your family, and how do you communicate with
12. Frances (8): Do you guys keep journal like Lewis and Clark did?
13. Rylee (7): If a microorganism changed genetically on the
    International Space Station would it be considered a space alien?
14. Logan (6): Were you in a scouting program as a child?  If so,
    did it affect your desire to work in space?
15. Linnea (8): Lewis and Clark played backgammon.  What games do
    you play?
16. Josie (8): When Sacagawea became sick, Lewis treated her. If you
    get hurt or sick, who treats you?
17. Rosalinda (9): What are your space suits made of, and can they
    catch on fire?
18. Belinda (9): How do you protect your eyes when the space station
    is facing the sun?
19. Elias (13): Are you doing any experiments with animals adapting
    to microgravity?
20. Samantha (10): What does a shooting star or a meteor shower look
    like from space?

    [ANS thanks ARISS via Charlie AJ9N and David AA4KN for the above


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ International EME Conference Presentation Videos

  Videos of the presentations given at the 17th International EME
  conference, held in Venice August 19-21, 2016 are now available.
  They include talks by Sam G4DDK @DXING, Dave G4HUP, Charlie G3WDG,
  Alex ZS6EME and Joe Taylor K1JT. Watch the videos on the YouTube
  channel of Giulio Pico IW3HVB at:
  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFct56EA6F9lkqMBmydh5hw EME 2016

  The schedule of the EME presentations is posted at:

  [ANS thanks 17th International EME Conference and IW3HVB for the
   above information]


  February 9-11, 2017
  at Space Center Houston
  1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

  Experience three days of complete immersion into the out-of-this
  world adventure of space exploration!

  This conference is for grades kindergarten to 12th – and not just
  for science teachers! Space Center Houston strives to use space to
  teach across the curriculum. The activities presented can be used
  for science, language arts, mathematics, history, and more.

  Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists and engineers
  working on exciting endeavors like the International Space Station
  and explorations of Mars and the planets beyond. Hear from the
  astronauts leading the charge in exploration! Come learn about the
  bold vision to send humans back to the Moon and off to Mars! Attend
  sessions presented by educators and receive ready to implement
  classroom ideas and experience minds-on, hands-on fun. Network with
  fellow educators, take back a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas
  and activities and earn 24 hours of continuing professional
  education credit.

  For more information or to register, visit  :
  http://spacecenterSEEC.org, email seec at spacecenter dot org or
  call (281)244-2149.

  [ANS thanks NEON - NASA Educators Online Network]

+ There has been a date change for the satellite presention to the
  Victor Valley (CA) ARC.

  The presentation will take place Tuesday, OCTOBER 11, 2016, 7:00
  PM at the Sitting Bull Academy Library, 19445 Sitting Bull Road,
  Apple Valley. CA.

  [ANS thanks Clint K6LCS 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

This week's ANS Editor,
EMike McCardel, AA8EM
aa8em at amsat dot org

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