[amsat-bb] ANS-052 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Joseph Spier wao at vfr.net
Sun Feb 21 07:04:51 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:

* AMSAT Seeks Volunteers to Support Phase 4 “Five and Dime” Ground Terminal
* JAMSAT Symposium 2016 in Tokyo on March 5 - 6
* Japanese Ham Radio Satellite Launched
* HORYU-4 2.4GHz Received
* New AO7 Distance Record
* ARISS Information Sessions
* AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-052.01
ANS-052 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 052.01
DATE February 21, 2016
BID: $ANS-052.01


AMSAT Seeks Volunteers to Support Phase 4 “Five and Dime” Ground Terminal

Established less than 1 year ago, AMSAT’s all-volunteer Phase 4 Ground
Terminal team has made significant strides in developing an ensemble of
solutions to support the so-called “Five and Dime” (5 GHz and 10 GHz)
strategy AMSAT has embraced for microwave satellite projects. Prompting the
effort is the planned launch of a geosynchronous military satellite in the
2018 timeframe, which could play host to an Amateur Radio payload operating
on the two microwave band. The overarching project, which also includes a
complementary Phase 4 Space team, is exploring new territory and innovative
solutions, and it’s seeking volunteers from among the technically savvy 
the Amateur Radio community.

“We’re going to make it as awesome as possible,” Ground Station team lead
Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, told ARRL. The project not only would support the
Phase 4B geosynchronous launch but provide solutions for the Phase 3E
high-Earth orbit satellite, and receiver support for AMSAT’s entry into the
NASA Cube Quest Challenge, which would go to the moon.

Thompson said the compelling technical reason for using 5 GHz and 10 GHz is
the ability to use high-bandwidth modes on those bands. In addition, “the 5
and 10 GHz bands are popular elsewhere, and other projects are embracing 
band complement,” she noted. Another advantage would be to raise Amateur
Radio’s profile on the two bands and perhaps “shake things up” there for
terrestrial use. “The 5 and 10 GHz bands are a compromise that’s working
really, really well,” Thompson said.

The US Air Force will control the geosynchronous satellite. Virginia Tech,
Millennium Space Systems (MSS), FEMA, various clubs as well as AMSAT and 
are partners in or are supporting the project. A formal memorandum of
understanding is pending.

Cognitive Radios
“We’re currently exploring the Amateur Radio implementation of a very 
and exciting open standard called DVB-S2X for the downlink,” Thompson
explained, noting it offers a variety of modulation and coding. Earth 
will use their individual radios, transmitting a digital signal — probably
something called Offset QPSK (O-PSK) — directly to the satellite, with each
getting its own channel in a frequency division, multiple access (FDMA)
scheme. “This is an elegant way to design an efficient and advanced
communication system and allows technical volunteers to experiment with the
basics of cognitive radio — radio that can sense the environment and 
adapt to
take full advantage of the capabilities the hardware offers,” she said.

Groundsats and a “Big Honking SDR”
Phase 4 radios will be designed to work not just with the impending
geosynchronous satellite but through terrestrial microwave “Groundsats,”
which, Thompson said, “are essentially satellite simulators that let you 
and use the radio terrestrially.” Phase 4 radio designs also could be
configured to use modulation schemes that are better able to deal with
terrestrial multipath.

Amateur Radio Access Points (ARAPs) — essentially signal aggregators — 
allow legacy radios, FM hand-held transceivers, or emergency traffic 
to use the satellite from any point where an ARAP can be deployed, 
the input for uplink to the satellite. Hams within ARAP range would be 
able to
use the Five and Dime terrestrial network just as if they were operating
through a satellite.

“The Groundsat, which is doing the same job as the satellite payload, has a
big honking SDR on it,” Thompson said. Groundsat equipment has arrived 
and is
in use in San Diego, North Texas, and at Virginia Tech, and Groundsat
development is under way at those sites. A fourth site would be at Morgan
State University in Maryland.

Doing It on the Cheap
“Five and Dime” also reflects the project’s economics. AMSAT Board 
Member and
Virginia Tech Research Professor Bob McGwier, N4HY, recently explained 
on the
AMSAT-BB that the Ground Team’s work is “an effort to design an inexpensive
ground terminal for amateurs that would cost tens of thousands of dollars
commercially, for as much under $1000 as we can get it.” In contrast to the
Space Team’s work, which, he said, is taking place “under the cloak of ITAR
(International Traffic in Arms Regulations),” the Ground Team’s SDR is
“completely open source, open specification” and “easily reprogrammed to do
many different kinds of missions just by changing the software.”

“We welcome any interested technical volunteers to apply to the technical
volunteer program at AMSAT and become part of the team,” Thompson said. To
volunteer for the Phase 4 Ground Team, provide your contact information on
AMSAT’s Engineering Team contact form. Thompson’s weekly “Phase4” 
updates are available via YouTube. Additional development documentation is
posted on GitHub.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV for the above information]


JAMSAT Symposium 2016 in Tokyo on March 5 - 6

JAMSAT Symposium 2016 will be held on March 5th PM and 6th
AM in Tokyo at Conference Room 2(CR2) in Miraikan
(The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation).

Please see
for location and access details.

Day 1 is mainly for "JAS-1 30 Years Anniversary".
Day 2 is mainly for technology development for satellites.
If you are interested in it, or want to join the dinner party,
please contact
madoguchi at jamsat.or.jp

     Time    Title    Presenter    Call Sign
March 5
14:30 - 14:35 "Welcome" Mikio Mouri JA3GEP
14:35 - 16:10 "JAS-1 30 Years Anniversary" Toshiyuki Kondou Eng. Mgr.,
16:20 - 17:30 "Joy of Satellite Communications" Eiji Nakamura, JA1CPA
18:00 - 20:00 Dinner at Sky View Lounge (Restaurant)

March 6
  9:30 - 10:00 "Report from AMSAT-DL"(by Skype) Peter Guelzow, DB2OS
10:10 - 10:40 "Report on EsHailSat-2/Phase-4A" AMSAT-Qatar Mohamed
bin Jabor Althani, A71EY
10:40 - 11:20 "Development of Phase-4 Ground Station" Akira Kaneko, JA1OGZ
11:30 - 12:10 "Development of JAMSAT Mode-J Transponder", Kan Fukai, JH1CEP
12:10 - 12:50 "USB Mini Tuner" Hiroshi Matsumoto, JA1SYK
12:50 - 13:20 "New Regulation on Spurious Emission" Akira Kaneko, JA1OGZ

[ANS thanks Mikio Mouri, JA3GEP for the above information]


Japanese Ham Radio Satellite Launched

Yasutaka Narusawa JR2XEA posted on the AMSAT-BB:
Feb. 17 17:45JST(08:45UTC), ChubuSat-2 and ChubuSat-3 has been launched on
the H-IIA F30 launch vehicle. After separation, both satellites start
transmitting beacon message. I hope you receive our message and report to
us, thank you.


Yasutaka Narusawa JR2XEA provides the following information on ChubuSat-2/3:

Nagoya University(NU) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries(MHI) developed 50kg
microsatellite ChubuSat-2(NU) and ChubuSat-3(MHI). These satellites have
amateur VHF receiver and amateur UHF transmitter, and will be launched 
on Feb.
12 2016 from Tanegashima, Japan. Komaki Amateur SATCOM Club operates these
satellites from Komaki, Japan.

After the satellite separation, each satellite will transmit UHF CW beacon
message including battery voltage etc. which is very important 
information for
our initial and critical operation. So we are very happy if you receive 
the CW
beacon message and report to us email: 
chubusat2 at frontier.phys.nagoya-u.ac.jp

In following web site, we show the information(frequency, format, TLE, etc.)
about ChubuSat-2 and ChubuSat-3. If we have your report, we will show your
report in this page.

Both satellite will provide the message exchange service. After the on-orbit
checkout of the satellite(maybe one month after launch), you can use this
service, sending your message with VHF uplink, then your message is 
written to
the on-board memory. By sending inquiry message, anyone can read your 
with UHF downlink.

ChubuSat-2 Satellite
Uplink:  145.815 MHz FSK  1200bps
Downlink: 437.100 MHz GMSK 9600bps and CW

ChubuSat-3 Satellite
Uplink:  145.840 MHz FSK  1200bps
Downlink: 437.425 MHz GMSK 9600bps and CW

The uplink/downlink format will be uploaded in above web site.

Horyu-4 downlink 437.375 MHz & 2400.300 MHz 1k2 AFSK,9k6 GMSK, S_BPSK, CW

[ANS thanks Yasutaka Narusawa JR2XEA, and AMSAT-UK for the above 


HORYU-4 2.4GHz received

I heard 2.4GHz signal many times in this orbit. The spurious signal will
be heard lower than about 56kHz from the nominal frequency, it may sound
rather strongly. The followings are the image that I received this real
signal and spurious signal. At the 2400.244 MHz, I heard the clear and
stable sound of them. Perhaps it might not be a spurious signal.
This deviation signal might be the real signal of HORYU-4 2.4GHz.

05:22-05:34 UTC, 20 Feb 2016, Ele 40 WS-S-E, 2400.300MHz 100kbps BPSK
07:03-07:16 UTC, 20 Feb 2016, Ele 45 W-S-SE, 2400.244MHz 100kbps BPSK


[ANS thanks Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL for the above information]


New AO7 Distance Record

Satellite Friends and Colleagues,

I wanted to share with everyone that on February 10th, at 2009UTC I made
a scheduled contact with Eduardo, PY2RN, using AO-7 Mode B, from
'Shinnal Mountain' just west of Little Rock, Arkansas.  My 10 digit grid
locator for the contact was EM34ST20SC, and Eduardo's station is located
at GG66LW77JQ in Vinhedo/SP, Brazil.  Using the
website for reference, this equates to 8030.895 km which we believe to be
a new record for AO-7 Mode B. I've been extremely busy this past week, but
I had a few folks request that I share a little background behind the
contact, so here we go.

Back on January 24th, I was on an AO-7(B) pass looking for Gustavo,
PT9BM. While not a record distance, Gustavo's QTH is just shy of 7500km
away from me, so I was up on my mountain, specifically in a spot with
great a great southeastern view of the Horizon. As the bird came into
view, while scanning the passband, I heard Eduardo, PY2RN, calling CQ. I
tried to answer him, but his signal disappeared quickly after that, and
I went ahead and had a great QSO with Gustavo, and didn't think anything
else of it until later that night when I decided to look up the station
I had heard. To my astonishment, Eduardo was 8030km away, which was way
beyond the theoretical range AO-7, even with elevation assistance. I
promptly emailed Eduardo and we both agreed to try and make a contact,
even though the math said it shouldn't be possible.

At this point the random luck that had let me hear Eduardo on the 24th
seemed to elude us. We attempted contacts on the 26th, 28th, and 30th
all to no avail. After recalculating windows, our next shot was on
February 8th. WinListen (from Sat32pc) calculated a 3 second window on
the 8th, followed by 5 seconds on the 10th. The day of the 8th came, and
we prepared for the attempt. Murphy once again seemed to haunt us
though, as we successfully heard the calls and grids of each other, but
strong CW QRM was hitting the bird so hard that the intelligibility was
low and, more importantly, neither of us had a camera running. We
decided to not count the QSO due to these reasons. The good news was
though, we both heard each other (the first time that had happened) and
our frequency coordination was spot on. We knew it could be done, we
just needed a little luck.

Finally, on February 10th, we got a bit of a break. We had already
determined that 5 seconds was simply not enough time to do a proper "QSL
thanks for the grid, have a great day" type of chat, so we both agreed
to simply repeat 'your call / my call / grid / report' rapidly, much in
the same way a digital or contest contact is made. At 2009UTC, both
stations cleanly heard the others call and grid, completing the
contact.  It was extremely rapid, and very weak, but clear. Eduardo's
side of the QSO turned out way better than mine did, and he has uploaded
a recording of it to YouTube here:

After all my work towards low-elevation contacts from mountain-tops, I
think this is approaching the limits of what can be done on AO-7. This
was by far the hardest sked I've ever attempted, and with the contact
window measured in mere seconds, it leaves absolutely no room for error.
Had I not heard Eduardo's call at random on the attempt with Gustavo, I
doubt I would have even pursued this as something that was possible.
That said, wow.. what a rush

Big thanks to Eduardo, PY2RN, for humoring my obsession with making
ultra long-distance QSOs on the birds, and for sticking with it until we
finally made it work. Good DX my friend. Also thanks to Gustavo (PT9BM)
for persuading me to point my arrow to the South, and Drew (KO4MA) for
acting as a spotter during one of the passes to see just how far apart
we were from each other. Appreciate it guys.

If anyone has any questions or comments, I'm happy to field them. Until
then, catch you on the birds! 73!

Dave, KG5CCI

Dave, KG5CCI also posted on the AMSAT-BB that he was using an "Alaskan" 
( 4 elements on 2m, 10 elements on 70cm) held by hand, running 10' 
pieces of
LMR-240 into an Icom 821h, manually tuned.
"Everything is run from a LiFePo4 battery, and I pretty much exclusively
operate portable mountain-top with unobstructed horizon views in the 
I'm planning to work", reported Dave.

Also on the AMSAT-BB Eduardo, PY2RN wrote that he used:
"RX: Funcube pro plus + SDR# V.1430 (with great NB capabilities) + Yagi-Uda
11el CP + Mirage KP-2 pre-amp.
TX: TS-2000x + Yagi-Uda 20el CP Tracked by Satellite Tracking embedded into
SDR-RADIO V2 software suite + GS-232/G-5400
Coax: RFS RGC213 15m long
And a clear view to my N/NW bound which allows to hear a little after 
sat LOS
most of times.
Put together again an old P3 sat setup sitting in storage for many 
years, just
added the SDR fun to it."


[ANS thanks Dave, KG5CCI, Eduardo, PY2RN, the ARRL, and the AMSAT-BB
for the above information]


ARISS Information Sessions

Host a Real-Time Conversation With Crew Members Aboard the International
Space Station

ARISS-US is now accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, science
centers and community youth organizations to host an Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station, or ARISS, contact between Jan. 1 - June 30,
2017. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for
organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the
contact into a well-developed education plan. Proposals are due April 15,

Using amateur radio, students can ask astronauts questions about life in
space and other space-related topics. Students fully engage in the ARISS
contact by helping set up an amateur radio ground station at the school and
then using that station to talk directly with a crew member on the
International Space Station for approximately 10 minutes. ARISS provides
experienced mentors and relies on local amateur radio volunteers to help
organizations obtain the technology required to host this once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for students.

Informational Sessions

To help organizations in preparing their proposals, the ARISS program
coordinator will offer hourlong online information sessions. These are
designed to provide more information regarding U.S. ARISS contacts and the
proposal process, and offer an opportunity to ask questions. While attending
an online information session is not required, it is strongly encouraged.

Informational sessions will be offered Feb. 29, 2016, at 4 p.m. EST and
March 10, 2016, at 7 p.m. EST.

Advance registration is necessary. Email ARISS (ariss at arrl.org) to sign up
for an information session.

For proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal
guidelines and proposal form, visit

ARISS-US is offered through a partnership between NASA; the American Radio
Relay League, or ARRL; and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, or
AMSAT. ARISS was created and is managed by an international working group,
including several countries in Europe as well as Japan, Russia, Canada, and
the USA.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to ariss at arrl.org.

[ANS thanks the NASA Education Express Message -- Feb. 18, 2016 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).

*Friday, 4 March 2016 – presentation for the Associated Radio Amateurs
of Long Beach meeting in Signal Hill CA

*Saturday and Sunday, 12-13 March 2016 – ScienceCity science fair, on
the University of Arizona campus in Tucson AZ

*Saturday, 19 March 2016 – Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club Spring
Hamfest 2016 in Scottsdale AZ

*Saturday, 26 March 2016 – Tucson Spring Hamfest in Tucson AZ

*Friday through Sunday, 29 April-1 May 2016 - ARRL Nevada State
Convention in Las Vegas NV

*Saturday, 7 May 2016 – Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest in
Sierra Vista AZ

*Saturday, 4 June 2016 – White Mountain Hamfest in Show Low AZ

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]



Successful Contacts

Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol, UK, direct via  GB1OAB
The ISS callsign was scheduled to be GB1SS
The scheduled astronaut was Timothy Peake KG5BVI
Contact was successful: Fri 2016-02-19  14:23:23 UTC 78 deg

Tim answered on the second call and we proceeded to to get 19 complete
questions answered.  Ham TV came in from Goonhilly and we had over four
and a half minutes lock from our mobile 1.2m dish mounted on a Land Rover.
Once we had video, I asked Tim to give us a wave, which he did with the
biggest grin  I seen from him yet.
In the room for the contact, we had over 260i people present with somewhere
near 500+ in the hall next - numbers will be verified shortly.
In terms of media, we had BBC and ITV Bristol TV and radio
BBC and ITV for the West Country, TV BBC (National) The One Show - they 
recorded a piece that will feature in build ups all next week and the 
will be featured on the show on Friday 26th February.

UAH Space Hardware Club, Huntsville,  Alabama, direct via K4UAH
The ISS callsign was scheduled to be  NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut was Tim Kopra KE5UDN
Contact was successful:  Fri 2016-02-19 17:20:14 UTC 72 deg

UAH SHC was successful with 18 questions answered. Very noisy at start but
full quieting once beyond question 3.  73 round completed.  All are very
excited and happy!

The Space Hardware Club at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is an
engineering club of students that builds balloon payloads, satellites and
rockets outside of their regular classes. The club has been working on this
contact for over a year. After deciding to focus on 8th grade students, we
reached out to Discovery Middle School, Westlawn Middle School, and the
Tennessee Valley Homeschool 4-H group – all from the northern Alabama area.
The students from Westlawn have been part of Project Lead The Way for 2 
now and have been exposed to robotics, modeling, and 3d printing. The 
from the homeschool group all have a passion for STEM, a love of 
learning and
being challenged, and are bubbling with excitement for this opportunity 
of a
lifetime. There are two STEM II classes from Discovery Middle School that
routinely rise to the expectations of their accelerated STEM focused
curriculum. By the time of the contact, the students will have learned 
the ISS, the astronauts and some of the experiments aboard, and amateur 
All of the students and club members involved are passionate about this
opportunity, and thank you for your time.

Upcoming Contacts

Istituto Sobrero, Casale Monferrato, Italy,  direct via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be  OR4ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Tim Kopra KE5UDN
Contact is a go for:  Thu 2016-02-25 09:10:55 UTC 40 deg

Norwich Schools,  Norwich/East Anglia, UK, direct via GB2CNS
The ISS callsign is presently  scheduled to be GB1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Timothy Peake  KG5BVI
Contact is a go for: Fri 2016-02-26 14:43:39 UTC 29 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

NASA Invites Public to Send Artwork to an Asteroid

NASA is calling all space enthusiasts to send their artistic endeavors on a
journey aboard NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource
Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft. This 
be the first U.S. mission to collect a sample of an asteroid and return 
it to
Earth for study.

OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in September and travel to the asteroid
Bennu. The #WeTheExplorers campaign invites the public to take part in this
mission by expressing, through art, how the mission’s spirit of 
exploration is
reflected in their own lives. Submitted works of art will be saved on a 
on the spacecraft. The spacecraft already carries a chip with more than
442,000 names submitted through the 2014 “Messages to Bennu” campaign.

“The development of the spacecraft and instruments has been a hugely 
process, where ultimately the canvas is the machined metal and composites
preparing for launch in September,” said Jason Dworkin, OSIRIS-REx project
scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 
“It is
fitting that this endeavor can inspire the public to express their 
to be carried by OSIRIS-REx into space.”

A submission may take the form of a sketch, photograph, graphic, poem, 
short video or other creative or artistic expression that reflects what it
means to be an explorer. Submissions will be accepted via Twitter and
Instagram until March 20. For details on how to include your submission on
the mission to Bennu, go to:


“Space exploration is an inherently creative activity,” said Dante 
principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
“We are inviting the world to join us on this great adventure by placing 
art work on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, where it will stay in space for

The spacecraft will voyage to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu to collect a
sample of at least 60 grams (2.1 ounces) and return it to Earth for study.
Scientists expect Bennu may hold clues to the origin of the solar system 
the source of the water and organic molecules that may have made their 
way to

Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety
and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. The University of Arizona, Tucson 
the science team and observation planning and processing. Lockheed Martin
Space Systems in Denver is building the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third
mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program.  NASA's Marshall Space Flight 
in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency's Science 
Directorate in Washington.

For more information on OSIRIS-Rex, visit:

[ANS thanks NASA 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

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list