[amsat-bb] ANS-103 AMSAT Weekly News Bulletin
n1uw at gokarns.com
Sun Apr 12 00:08:15 UTC 2020
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
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
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
April 12, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
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
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 stations 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
[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]
Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
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
Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
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 cant 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 isnt 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 SDRPlays 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. Hes 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.
- 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,
- 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
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
This week's ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org
Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. AMSAT-NA makes this open forum
available to all interested persons worldwide without requiring
membership. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author
and do not reflect the official views of AMSAT-NA.
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