[amsat-bb] ANS-103 AMSAT Weekly News Bulletin

Frank Karnauskas n1uw at gokarns.com
Sun Apr 12 00:08:15 UTC 2020


The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and 
information 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 satellites.

The news feed on http://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 dot org.

In this edition:

* ARISS Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
* New TQSL Version Provides Better LoTW Rover Support
* AMSAT-EA Registering SanoSat-1 for AMSAT Nepal
* ESA and LibreSpace Report: SDR's for Small Satellites
* Brazil Holds 430 and 1240 MHz Hearing
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* ARISS News
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-103.01
ANS-103 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 103.01
April 12, 2020
BID: $ANS-103.01

ARISS Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the ARISS team is working 
to transform its activities for the health and safety of our 
students, host educational institutions and its team.  It has 
instituted an immediate response effort followed by a more strategic, 
longer term initiative to protect all.  ARISS leadership, working 
with a physician on the team, is carefully reviewing all of its 
procedures in light of the evolving COVID-19 recommendation. ARISS 
will continue to monitor the local and global situations and will 
modify its local and global planning as these situations change. 

ARISS has two primary initiatives underway.  One is to develop 
“virtual school” contacts to link each student in their home through 
its telebridge stations.  The other is to plan SSTV (picture 
downlink) sessions during which pictures from ISS can be received by 
all in their homes.

For further information on the ARISS plan, see: 

[ANS thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS International Chair for the 
above information.]


         Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
    is closed until further notice. For details, please visit


New TQSL Version Provides Better LoTW Rover Support

The latest version of TrustedQSL (TQSL), version 2.5.2, offers 
improved Logbook of The World (LoTW) support for operations from 
several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that 
contain incorrect location data. 

The primary new feature in TQSL 2.5.2 allows logging programs, in 
conjunction with TQSL, to avoid incorrect contact uploads, while 
adding mechanisms to allow easy uploading of logs for roving 
stations. LoTW had required rovers to identify each location used 
as a separate location in TQSL. The new version of TQSL allows these 
operations to be handled much more smoothly by using information from 
the station’s logging program.

When a log is signed by TQSL, the station details — call Sign, DXCC 
entity, grid square, and other location details provided by the 
selected station location (and call sign certificate) — are compared 
with the details in the log. If the US state and station location in 
a log do not agree, TQSL 2.5.2 will reject the contact, detecting 
errors in instances when an incorrect station location has been 

This feature will necessitate changes in many logging programs, 
because it requires that the log provide station details previously 
not used by TQSL. Once a logging program supplies these (MY_STATE, 
MY_DXCC, MY_CQ_ZONE, etc.), then TQSL will validate them against the 
log. Currently, Cabrillo logs use the CALLSIGN field to verify that 
the contacts are for the correct call sign.

Optionally, a station performing roaming operations (e.g., from 
multiple grid squares) can choose to have TQSL assume that the log is 
correct. When call sign or home station are provided with the log, 
TQSL will automatically update the details on the upload. Select 
“Override Station Location with QTH Details from your Log” on the 
“Log Handling” preference page to enable this feature.

This release also includes an update to the most recent TQSL 
configuration file.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]


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            towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space


AMSAT-EA Registering SanoSat-1 for AMSAT Nepal

The Union of Spanish Amateur Radio Operators' satellite group, 
AMSAT-EA, is registering with IARU and the ITU the AMSAT Nepal 
satellite SanoSat-1.  This is being done due to the difficulty of 
carrying out this procedure in the Asian country. This is a one-off 
collaboration which will allow said satellite to fly under the 
Spanish flag.  It should be launched jointly with the AMSAT-EA 
EASAT-2 and Hades satellites possibly with SpaceX later this year.

SanoSat-1 is a 5cm/side pocketQube 1P designed and developed 
affordably for the hobbyist community by using readily available 
commercial of-the-shelf components (COTS).

The SanoSat-1 satellite integrates a gamma radiation sensor as a 
payload. Its main mission will be to measure space radiation while 
orbiting, and periodically transmit its level to Earth using RTTY-FSK 
modulation. All radio amateurs will be able to receive and decode 
radiation measurement data.

The secondary mission of the SanoSat-1 satellite is also to 
demonstrate the storage and forwarding concept which will be useful 
in remote disaster-prone locations. The satellite will collect 
data from ground sensors, store it on board and transmit it to 
Earth's main station. The design and kit for the ground sensors will 
be made available to the general public.

One of AMSAT Nepal's goals is to encourage more people to join the 
group of radio amateurs by receiving data from SanoSat-1 which will 
also transmit a CW beacon with its internal status.

Another activity scheduled to promote radio amateurs and satellite 
technology to science and technology students around the world is the 
organization of hands-on workshops on the construction of 
pico-satellites and ground stations. There will be an opportunity to 
build an affordable open source ground station (SatNOGS) and a 
dedicated GFSK receiver ground station to receive the data.  The 
design of the satellite itself will be open source as well. 

More information is available at: 

[ANS thanks the Union of Spanish Amateur Radio Operators for the 
above information.]


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                  Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.


ESA and LibreSpace Report: SDR's for Small Satellites

The European Space Agency Libre Space Foundation has published a 
paper comparing many common software defined radios (SDR's). The 
devices they examined are:

- RTS-SDR v3
- Airspy Mini
- SDRPlay RSPduo
- LimeSDR Mini
- BladeRF 2.0 Micro
- Ettus USRP B210
- Pluto SDR

The report looked at several bands of interest, but not the HF bands 
— not surprising considering that some of the devices can’t even 
operate on HF. They did examine VHF, UHF, L band, S band, and C band 
performance. Some of the SDR's have transmit capabilities, and for 
those devices, they tested the transmit function as well as receive.

The review isn’t just subjective. It calculates noise figures and 
dynamic range, along with other technical parameters. It also 
includes GNURadio flowgraphs for their test setups, which would be a 
place to start if one wanted to do these kinds of measurements 

Towards the end of the 134 page report is an assessment of SDR 
software and how the boards are supported. There was no clear winner 
or loser although the report did mention how SDRPlay’s closed source 
limited software support in some applications.

Read the complete report at:

[ANS thanks Hackaday for the above information.]


Brazil Holds 430 and 1240 MHz Hearing

A public hearing is being held in Brazil concerning both the 430 MHz 
and the 1240 MHz Amateur Radio bands.

On March 23, 2020 the National Telecommunications Agency, ANATEL, 
published a Public Consultation proposal number 14/2020 on technical 
and operational requirements for the use of the frequency bands from 
430 MHz to 440 MHz and from 1240 MHz to 1300 MHz by stations of the 
Private Limited Service (SLP) for radiolocation applications.

The national amateur radio society LABRE says “The Radio Amateur 
community is concerned about the possible occurrence of interference, 
especially in the 70 cm band.”

Read the translated LABRE post at: https://tinyurl.com/BrazilLABRE.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]


Upcoming Satellite Operations

- From the Mountains to the Bay(CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,
  10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020
RJ, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to 
Vacaville, CA. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of 
the roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered include: 
CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass 
details will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter 
(https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL for the above information.]


    AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
    radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
            be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.

   Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/



ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools 
and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute 
cancellations or postponements of school contacts. As always, ARISS 
will try to provide everyone with near-real-time updates.

The following schools have now been postponed or canceled due to 


- SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via
- RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neam?, Romania, direct via YRØISS
- McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA, prefer direct via KD4TGR
- Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN,
  direct via N4FR
- Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, CA, direct via AE6XM
- Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR


- Electromagnetic Field, Ledbury, United Kingdom, direct via GB4EMF

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, for the above information]


Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Due to COVID-19, many hamfests and events around the United States 
have been cancelled or postponed.  While we make every effort to 
ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some 
that we missed.  

Current schedule:

- May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
- June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX

The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been

- April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, 
  Brainerd, MN
- May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, 
  Sierra Vista, AZ
- May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
- May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]


Shorts from All Over

+ Fresh ISS Crew Arrives

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and two Russian cosmonauts 
arrived Thursday for their mission aboard the International Space 
Station, temporarily restoring the orbiting laboratory's population 
to six people. The Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft carrying Cassidy, along 
with Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency 
Roscosmos, docked to the station's Poisk service module at 10:13 A.M. 
after a four-orbit, six-hour flight. Their Soyuz spacecraft launched 
at 4:05 A.M. EDT (0805Z, or 1:05 P.M. Kazakhstan time) from the 
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 
[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]

+ Rocket Lab Rocket Recovery Test Video

Before New Zealand went into COVID-19 lockdown, the folks at Rocket 
Lab did a test to recover a first stage Electron rocket. You can see 
the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3CWGDhkmbs

[ANS thanks Terry Osborne ZL2BAC for the above information.]

+ Preparing for the Ultimate DXpedition? Read the Manual First!

For those of you who have been dreaming about operating from the moon 
or Mars, you can begin your preparations by reading SpaceX's Starship 
User Guide Version 1.0.  No, it's not a detailed flight manual but 
it will help you plan your provisions.  It's light reading and can be 
seen at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-103-Starship

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM for the above information.]

+ First Transatlantic Contact on 70 Centimeters Reported

History appears to have been made on April 7, when AMSAT member 
Burt Demarcq, FG8OJ and an operator at 
D4VHF in Cape Verde off the African Coast and , on 
Guadeloupe in the Caribbean completed a contact on 70 centimeters 
using FT8 — a distance of 3,867 kilometers (2,398 miles). This would 
mark the first transatlantic contact on that band that did not 
involve satellites or moonbounce. The most likely mode of propagation 
was marine ducting, with the signal being trapped close to the ocean 

One day earlier, 9Y4D in Trinidad copied D4VHF over a distance of 
4,006 kilometers (2,484 miles), but no contact was made. D4VHF is the 
VHF-UHF contest call sign of the Monteverde Contest Team (D4C).

Perhaps not coincidentally, FG8OJ was the first to span the Atlantic 
on 2 meters over the same path, when he worked D41CV in Cape Verde on 
June 16, 2019.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the 
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive 
additional benefits. Application forms are available from the 
AMSAT office.

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 
student rate for a maximum of six post-secondary years in this 

Contact Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student 
membership information.

This week's ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org

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membership. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author 
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