[amsat-bb] ANS-339 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Joseph Spier wao at vfr.net
Sun Dec 4 03:03:57 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:

* Past AMSAT-NA President Frank (Robin) Haighton, VE3FRH SK
* Middle School Students’ Tancredo-1 TubeSat Scheduled for Launch
* Radio Ham Awarded Space Achievement Honor
* Receive Pictures from Space – ISS SSTV Dec 8-9
* Aussie HAM to make an impact on Mars
* AO-7 Eclipses Return
* W5RKN receives Satellite WAS, Satellite VUCC and WAC
* ISS Packet Digipeater on 437.550 MHz
* AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-339.01
ANS-339 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 339.01
DATE December 4, 2016
BID: $ANS-339.01


Past AMSAT-NA President Frank (Robin) Haighton, VE3FRH SK

On behalf of AMSAT-North America, it is with great sadness that I 
announce the
passing of Frank (Robin) Haighton, VE3FRH. Robin suffered a debilitating 
earlier in this last week, was admitted to the hospital and became a 
silent key
on the morning of December 2nd.

Robin was a Past Executive Vice President, a past President and a long-time
member of the Board of Directors for AMSAT-North America (AMSAT-NA). 
Over the
years, Frank remained a strong Canadian voice for the organization. For
example, as a founding member of the Amateur Radio on the International 
Station (ARISS) project, Robin served as one of two international delegates
from Canada.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS's International Chairperson said that he and
Robin..."had a unique perspective and relationship that was very much
appreciated". Frank went on to note: "Robin contributed significantly to 
through his ideas, guidance and wise counsel. He challenged members of our
team to look at things in a different perspective.  As a result of his sage
advice, we were able work through these issues and arrive at a common
approach, both in developing and delivering ARISS hardware as well as
supporting the technical mentoring of schools and local hams."

I first became fully aware of Robin's many leadership talents in the 
when I was then AMSAT's Executive Vice President.  In 1997, Robin hosted our
AMSAT Board of Directors meeting and Space Symposium in Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, one of the first (if not THE first) time that meeting was held 
of the USA. At about that same time, Robin stepped up to the plate to also
become AMSAT's Canadian Liaison, working a number of AMSAT issues north 
of the
US/Canadian border.

Most notably, Robin was instrumental in coordinating AMSAT's consultant role
with the Canadian MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of STars) 
project. Through his tireless, "hands on" efforts with the satellite's
Canadian builders, AMSAT was able to bring critical analysis and mentoring
skills to bear the project which also garnered a large monetary donation to
AMSAT as a result. MOST was successfully launched in 2003 and satellite 
on orbit (and largely operational) to this day.

Throughout my time as President, and then later when we switched roles and I
once again became Executive Vice President when he went on to become AMSAT's
President in 2000, I always sought out and very much appreciated his wise
counsel. During his time as our AMSAT President and BOD member, Frank helped
to successfully guide the organization through the launch and subsequent
anomalies with the Phase 3-D satellite (which later became AMSAT-OSCAR 
40 (AO-
40)) on orbit. He was also instrumental in the birth, development and launch
of AMSAT-NA's AO-51 satellite. During its long lifetime, AO-51 became one of
the most popular (if not THE most popular) of the so-called "easy-sats",
providing countless newcomers (and others) with an introduction to our
wonderful world of amateur radio satellites.

Needless to say, his legacy will live on, both within the hearts and 
minds of
children and family members that experience ARISS, as well as those of 
us who
served with him during his many years as a senior officer of AMSAT.
At press time, funeral arrangements for Robin were pending, but that
information will be passed along just as soon as it becomes known.
In them meantime, and during this festive holiday season, please take a few
moments to keep Robin and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Robin… you will be sorely missed.

May your spirit soar among the stars!

[ANS thanks Keith Baker, KB1SF/VA3KSF, AMSAT-NA Treasurer and Past 
and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA Vice President, Human Spaceflight
for the above information]


Middle School Students’ Tancredo-1 TubeSat Scheduled for Launch

The Tancredo-1 satellite, a small TubeSat built by middle school students in
Brazil, is scheduled to be sent to the International Space Station on 
9, 2016. The satellite will be sent to the ISS inside the TuPOD TubeSat
deployer onboard JAXA’s KOUNOTORI6 cargo ship (HTV-6 mission). The TuPOD is
expected to be ejected into space by the J-SSOD satellite deployer on 
19th and on December 21st, Tancredo-1 is expected to be finally ejected from
the TuPOD into space. Once in space, Tancredo-1 will start transmitting
telemetry data.

Tancredo-1 is the first satellite of the Ubatubasat project, a STEM project
idealized by Prof. Cândido Oswaldo de Moura at Escola Municipal Tancredo 
public school in Ubatuba, state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The project is 
by the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the Brazilian Space
Agency (AEB). Tancredo-1 will initially have the same orbit as the ISS, 
but it
will slowly drift with time and will eventually reenter in the 
atmosphere and

The Ubatubasat project team and AMSAT-BR would like to kindly request radio
amateurs around the planet to monitor and report any signals heard from
Tancredo-1. Please send any reports (audio, AX.25 KISS files, etc) to
py2sdr at gmail.com

Tancredo-1 will transmit on 437.200 MHz using 1200 bps AFSK AX.25.

Telemetry format and equations:

For more information see:

[ANS thanks Edson, PY2SDR, AMSAT-BR, and AMSAT-UK
for the above information]


Radio Ham Awarded Space Achievement Honor

Cornwall Live reports that radio amateur David Honess M6DNT has been 
awarded a
prestigious space achievement honor for his Astro Pi work with the Tim Peake
GB1SS Principia mission.

David Honess M6DNT was presented with a Sir Arthur Clarke Award, on 
behalf of
the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and the British Interplanetary Society, for
Space Achievement – Industry/Project Individual.

This came after Mr Honess and his Astro Pi project which installed two
Raspberry Pi’s (Izzy and Ed) on to the International Space Station as the
platform for students to run their own code in space and speak with 
Major Tim
Peake GB1SS.

Mr Honess has been “the driving force” behind getting two UK designed and
manufactured Astro Pi computers onto the International Space Station to 
a unique facility to inspire children and adults to learn to code.

Read the full story at

Sir Arthur Clarke Awards Winners

You can follow the two ISS Astro Pi’s Izzy and Ed at

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]


Receive Pictures from Space – ISS SSTV Dec 8-9

Slow-scan television (SSTV) transmissions are planned from the International
Space Station (ISS) on December 8-9, 2016.

The SSTV images will be transmitted as part of the MAI-75 Experiment on
145.800 MHz FM using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver located in the 
Russian ISS
Service module.

The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on Dec 8 from
12:35 to 18:00 GMT and Dec 9 from 12:40 to 17:40 GMT.

Note the ISS transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM use the 5 kHz deviation 
rather than the narrow 2.5 kHz used in Europe. If your transceiver has
selectable FM filters try the wider filter.

The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range

ISS SSTV information and links at


Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR

Listen to the ISS when in range of London with the SUWS WebSDR

If you receive a full or partial picture from the Space Station your Local
Newspaper may like to know

Scheduled ARISS Contacts and APRS Operations will utilize the Ericson UHF
transceiver in the Columbia Module to allow multiple use of ARISS equipment
onboard the ISS.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and ARISS for the above information]


Aussie HAM to make an impact on Mars

On a salt lake in Central Australia early next year a radio amateur will
conduct tests of a wide area radio network destined for the planet Mars.

Robert Brand VK2URB, of Thunderstruck Aerospace, reports that it is an
essential part of a project to develop the Mars Nano-Lander and Methane
detection system called MEDIAN, set to land in 2025.
  Approval will be sought from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety 
for use of the air space for the test.

The project calls for 10 separate penetrators to be ejected from the 
heat shield at about 6km from the surface of Mars. They are to spear 
into the
surface of Mars and form a ring about 8km wide. The radio systems will begin
measuring distance between the other landers and map the network.

Robert VK2URB says they will then switch to a random packet mode and begin
sending messages to an orbiting craft.

Even the orientation of each probe covering an area around the size of a 
city, will be detected and used to calculate the direction that wind, and
hopefully any methane, on the thin Martian atmosphere.

Robert VK2URB says that the audacious mission is a joint project with the
UK Methane detection group at the University of Central Lancashire, and
the Australian Thunderstruck Aerospace team.

Robert is the design architect of the landing system, the mapping, 
communications, data relay, and the on-going non-methane science package. He
says that never before has a network of probes been landed anywhere 
outside of
earth and have impactors with the intention of surviving the process.

The possibility of microbial life on Mars has been discussed by scientists
since the presence of methane gas on the red planet was found several 
years ago.

MEDIAN will map possible methane vent locations for a rover to 
investigate. If
the rover fails to land, the project will still relay local weather and
subsoil information back to earth.

It's expected that the tests in Central Australia will demonstrate the
essential role that radio will play in mapping, locating, orienting the 
and then relaying data around the network.  The tests will involve 
dropping a
simulated heat shield from 3km altitude and having the impactors fire at 
feet to simulate the impact that each would have on Mars.

Even the orientation of each probe will be detected and used to 
calculate the
direction that wind is coming from in the thin Martian atmosphere. The
penetrators will stay vertical and elevate the science and radio package 
a meter off the surface allowing for better radio connectivity and clear
wind profile.

A meter diameter solar panel will provide adequate power and the network is
expected to survive for at least six months on Mars relaying weather and
sub-surface information. An expected seven of the 10 spikes will survive
the impact.

Ham radio will provide essential communications for the tests and for 
the event.

It is hoped a special event around the testing will attract the interests of
ham operators worldwide, and focus attention of the role that Australia is
playing in Space Missions.

[ANS thanks Jim Linton VK3PC and the VK1WIA wireless news
for the above information]


AO-7 Eclipses Return

The AMSAT satellite status page at
indicates that as of the morning of 11/25/2016, AO-7 is once again entering
eclipse each orbit. This means that the 24 Hour mode change timer is
interrupted each orbit, and the satellite will be found primarily in 
Mode U/v
(aka Mode B).

As the satellite is powered solely by the now 42 year-old solar panels, it
is very sensitive to strong uplink signals, particularly CW. Users should
closely monitor their downlink for excessive chirp, warbling or "FM'ing" and
reduce power as necessary. More information including frequencies can be
found at

[ANS thanks Drew, KO4MA, AMSAT Vice President, Operations
for the above information]


W5RKN receives Satellite WAS, Satellite VUCC and WAC

In October 2016, Ron Parsens, W5RKN received the ARRL award for Satellite
WAS #345 and Satellite VUCC #286 with 100 grids with 100 more grids ready
to submit. Ron commented, "I would urge everyone to use LoTW for these 
as that makes applying for the awards so much simpler. I also received the
IARU WAC award using a satellite contact for Asia with JF2WXS on
March 13, 1994 on AO-13. I had a paper QSL card but since he was still 
on QRZ.com, I emailed Ban and he uploaded the contact to LoTW.
Much thanks to all that provided the contacts, QSL cards and LoTW entries.
It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun."

[ANS thanks Ron, W5RKN for the above information]


ISS Packet Digipeater on 437.550 MHz

The Ericsson UHF HT is using the ARISS 70cm frequency of 437.550 MHz. With
the move to 70cm, this means users of the packet digipeater will have to
make adjustments for Doppler on both the uplink and downlink. Even with
the change in frequency, the digipeater operates exactly as it did on
145.825 MHz. For HTs or FM mobile transceivers, and possibly other radios
capable of operating on 70cm FM, programming a group of 5 memory channels
which compensate for Doppler will allow for 70cm packet operation. Use the
following group of memory channels for the ISS packet digipeater on
437.550 MHz:

Channel      Receive (MHz)  Transmit (MHz)    Offset
    1            437.560             437.540             -0.02 MHz
    2            437.555             437.545             -0.01 MHz
    3            437.550             437.550             (no offset, 
    4            437.545             437.555             +0.01 MHz
    5            437.540             437.560             +0.02 MHz

Memory channels in some radios will accept separate receive and transmit
frequencies, while others will accept the receive frequency and the offset
size/direction. Be ready to flip-flop between the first two memories after
a minute or so into the pass, and near the end flip-flop between 4 and 5.
There could be moments near AOS and LOS - and maybe other points in the
middle - where the signal is just in between the two RX frequencies, and
your TNC or software won't decode it.

More useful advice for working the ISS packet digipeater is available from
K9JKM’s document “Add ISS Packet Operation to Your Satellite Operation”,
available from the AMSAT Station and Operating Hints page at:


[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA and Patrick, WD9EWK/VA7EWK for the above information]


AMSAT Events

Information about AMSAT activities at other important events around
the country.  Examples of these events are radio club meetings where
AMSAT Area Coordinators give presentations, demonstrations of working
amateur satellites, and hamfests with an AMSAT presence (a table with
AMSAT literature and merchandise, sometimes also with presentations,
forums, and/or demonstrations).

*Saturday, 14 January 2017 – Thunderbird Hamfest 2017 in Phoenix AZ

*Saturday, 4 February 2017 – Palm Springs Hamfest in Palm Springs CA

*Friday-Sunday, 10-12 February 2017   Orlando HamCation in Orlando, FL

*Friday and Saturday, 17-18 February 2017 – Yuma Hamfest in Yuma AZ

*Friday-Sunday, March 31, April 1 & 2, 2017, NVCON in Las Vegas, NV

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]



Successful Contacts

*  A telebridge contact via LU1CGB with students at Michel LOTTE
Junior High School in Belle Isle, France was successful Mon 2016-11-28.

*  A telebridge contact via W6SRJ with  students at Salesian High School
in Wroclaw, Poland was successful Fri 2016-11-25.

Upcoming Contacts

*  Collège Jean Charcot, Saint Malo, France, telebridge via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG
Contact is a go  for: Thu 2016-12-08 15:19:45 UTC 74 deg
This contact might be on the  downlink of 437.525 MHz

*  The Museum of Innovation and Science  (miSci), Schenectady NY,
direct via W2IR
The ISS callsign is presently  scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Shane Kimbrough KE5HOD
Contact is a go for: Sat 2016-12-10 19:49:54 UTC 85 deg

for information about upcoming contacts as they are scheduled.

[ANS thanks ARISS and Charlie, AJ9N for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

South African SDR Workshop Completed Phase 1, Now Planning Phase 2

Last Saturday it was hi-tech amateur radio at the National Amateur Radio 
  when Cor Rademeyer, ZS6CR and Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC presented the
Software Defined Radio Workshop.  Known by its initials SDR, it is a 
software way
of creating a receiver and transmitter.  During the workshop which 
included two
videos introducing the SDR concept, the two speakers created a two metre to
70cm FM repeater using a dongle and a Raspberry Pi.  The workshop, 
by AMSAT SA in cooperation with the SARL was attended by 37 radio amateurs
and electronic hobbyists.  A follow up workshop is planned for 18 
February when
Cor and Anton will take delegates through the steps of creating a 
satellite receiver
using the RTL dongle and software.  The workshop registration fee will 
include a
dongle and memory stick with the required software.  Full details will 
available on amsatsa.org.za in the next few weeks.

The various presentations and videos presented last Saturday, including 
how to
build a repeater with a Raspberry Pi will be posted on
this weekend.  You will also be able to follow the links from

[ANS thanks SARL weekly news in English 2016-12-3 for the above information]

FUNcube-1/AO73 Celebrates 3 Years in Space

Monday, November 21, 2016, marked the third birthday in space for the 
985 gram
spacecraft FUNcube-1 / AO73.

FUNcube-1 was launched at 07:10 UT on November 21, 2013 and its first 
were received immediately after deployment over the Indian Ocean by 
amateurs in
South Africa. Since then it has been operating continuously in either its
education mode or, with the transponder active, in amateur mode when in 
and at weekends.

The FUNcube team are very grateful to everyone who has been contributing 
telemetry records to the Data Warehouse and also to those who are using 
1 for educational outreach to schools and colleges around the world. This
important part of our mission is intended to encourage young people to 
an interest and passion in all STEM subjects for their future.
The spacecraft is operating nominally – the telemetry indicates that all the
sub-systems are fine. The battery voltages, solar panel charge currents 
and on
board temperatures are virtually unchanged since launch.

In addition to FUNcube-1, there are now similar FUNcube transponders 
in low earth orbit on the UKube-1 and EO79/QB50p1 CubeSats.

The team has recently contributed to the development of Nayif-1, which is
presently awaiting launch, and is currently working on a number of further
CubeSat and microsat projects.

Happy Birthday AO73!

Get your 73 on 73 Award, details at

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) website

FUNcube Yahoo Group


[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK 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,
Joe Spier, K6WAO
k6wao at amsat dot org

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