[ans] ANS-055 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletin

Frank Karnauskas n1uw at gokarns.com
Sun Feb 24 00:14:53 UTC 2019


AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-055


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:

* 50th Anniversary AMSAT OSCAR Satellite Communications Achievement 
   Award (Limited Edition) Starts March 3rd
* FalconSAT-3 Digipeater Waiting for Your APRS Packets
* Qatar OSCAR-100 Web Receiver Now Live
* AMSAT Journal January/February 2019 Is on Its Way
* KickSat-2 is Alive and Being Tracked (Updated 2/19/2019)
* Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course 
* IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Announced
* This Month in AMSAT History
* AMSAT-SA Space Symposium March 16, 2019
* HamSCI Workshop Receives National Science Foundation Grant
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-055.01
ANS-055 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 055.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
February 24, 2019
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-055.01



50th Anniversary AMSAT OSCAR Satellite Communications Achievement 
Award (Limited Edition) Starts March 3rd

Get those uplinks ready! Much like the regular AMSAT OSCAR Satellite 
Communications Achievement Award, the 50th Anniversary Limited 
Edition is unique in that the award certificates will be printed on 
one of the original goldenrod paper stock certificates and signed by 
AMSAT’s founding President, Perry Klein, K3JTE (now W3PK).  With only 
20 original certificates available, this award will certainly become 
a collector’s item.

The first 20 applicants to successfully submit 20 confirmed, 
qualifying contacts on any satellite will receive this award.  A 
qualifying contact is defined as the establishment of two-way 
communication on any amateur radio satellite, with another station in 
a U.S. state, Canadian call area, or DXCC entity, no two of which may 
be the same.

- All contacts must be made between March 03, 2019 00:00 UTC and 
   December 31, 2019 23:59 UTC.

- A U.S. state shall mean any state of the United States and the 
   District of Columbia.

- The 14 Canadian call areas are VE1 – Nova Scotia, VE2 – Quebec, 
   VE3 – Ontario, VE4 – Manitoba, VE5 – Saskatchewan, VE6 – Alberta, 
   VE7 – British Columbia, VE8 – Northwest Territories, 
   VE9 – New Brunswick, VO1 – Newfoundland, VO2 – Labrador, 
   VY0 – Nunavut, VY1 – Yukon, VY2 – Prince Edward Island.

- Only one qualifying contact is allowed for each U.S. state, 
   Canadian call area, and DXCC entity.

- Qualifying contacts may not be counted for multiple types of 
   entities. As an example, a QSO with Alaska counts as an additional 
   state or DXCC entity, not both.

- Contacts must be made from same location, or from locations, no two 
   of which are more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) apart.

- Previous recipients of the AMSAT Satellite Communications 
   Achievement Award, may apply for the 50th Anniversary AMSAT 
   Satellite Communications Achievement Award.

The complete rules and instructions for applying for this and all 
50th Anniversary Awards can be found at: 
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-50th-anniversary-awards-program/

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

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              Join or renew your AMSAT membership today at
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FalconSAT-3 Digipeater Waiting for Your APRS Packets

While NO-84 is in a poor sun angle and the ISS digipeater proves to 
be a challenge these days, APRS fans might be longing for something 
to do. Fear not!

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR reminds us that FalconSAT-3 is available to us 5 
times a day. (Or, more like 5 times a night for US operators right 
now.)  Bob writes:

"For APRS folks just sitting in their mobile with nothing to do, you 
can work FalconSAT-3 from any APRS mobile  Although passes now are 
from about midnight to 6 AM EST, that pattern moves earlier about 36 
minutes a day.

"Unlike the NO-84 and ISS digipeaters that operate on a single 2
meter frequency, FalconSAT-3 uses an uplink of 145.840 MHz and a 
downlink of 435.103 MHz. The uplink doesn’t change, but the downlink 
frequency needs to be adjusted downward throughout a pass.  Tune 
435.110 MHz at start of pass, then clicking down steps of 5 KHz 
towards the middle of the pass and then ending at 435.095 by the end 
ten minutes later.  If you are just going to monitor overnight, set 
to 435.103 for the early middle of the pass and check your LIST in 
the morning.

"The FalconSAT digipeater operates APRS at 9600 baud and works fine 
from a 50W APRS mobile with mobile antenna. Just turn on your rig, 
set the internal TNC to 9600 baud and monitor the downlink. You 
should see packets from PFS3-1 (the APRS broadcast call sign) and 
other stations.

"Uplink takes a few more settings.  Using a Kenwood TM-D710: 

- Set your path to go via PFS3-1. 
- Set the TNC to TX A and RX B. 
- Set the uplink on band A to 145.84. (No need to adjust for
   Doppler). 
- Set the beacon to once a minute. 
- Turn off decay and proportional pathing.  

"You will NOT see your own digipeats.  Although the satellite and 
D710 are operating full duplex, the D710 TNC is not.  By the time 
the TNC TX/RX turns around, you will already have missed it.  So 
don't keep transmitting until you see your packet.  You won't 
see it.  But, when you do see someone else's APRS packet, by all 
means send them a message.  If he ACKS, then success!

"You don't even need a computer to predict FalconSAT-3's passes. 
Once  you hear a pass, then just remember that passes are 36 minutes 
earlier each day and the next pass is always 98 minutes later unless 
that was the last pass of the day."

For more detailed information on programming various radios for 
working FalconSAT-3, see Patrick, WD9EWK's AMSAT Journal article at: 
https://tinyurl.com/ans-055-falconsat-3.

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR for the above information.]


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Qatar OSCAR-100 Web Receiver Now Live

The BATC and AMSAT-UK 10 GHz Narrowband WebSDR and Wideband Spectrum 
Viewer for the amateur radio transponders on the Es’hail-2 / QO-100 
geostationary satellite are now available online.

The geostationary satellite Es’hail-2 carrying amateur radio 
transponders launched from Kennedy Space Center at 20:46 GMT on 
Thursday, November 15, 2018 and is now in a geostationary orbit at 
25.9° East. The transponders should link radio amateurs across a 
third of the globe from Brazil to Thailand.

Following commissioning of the satellite on February 12, 2019 the 
Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) invited radio amateurs worldwide 
to use the Es’hail-2 / QO-100 narrowband transponder.

In co-operation with AMSAT-UK, the British Amateur Television Club 
will be operating a 10 GHz WebSDR for the narrowband segment, and a 
Spectrum Viewer for the wideband (DATV) segment.  Goonhilly Earth 
Station is supporting the project, providing hosting for the 
Ground Station facility at their world-famous site in Cornwall, UK.

You can listen to the WebSDR's at:
https://eshail.batc.org.uk/

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


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AMSAT Journal January/February 2019 Is on Its Way

The current issue (Volume 42, Number 1) of The AMSAT Journal is on 
its way to AMSAT members' mailboxes.

This issue's cover features a well-illustrated story of the AMSAT 
operation on the Queen Mary by Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK. Other 
interesting articles in this edition include:

- In his Apogee View column President Joe Spier, K6WAO hints at a 
   1969 themed "OSCAR Park" display AMSAT's Golden Jubilee booth at 
   Dayton Hamvention.

- Educational Relations Update by Alan B. Johnston, KU2Y

- New AMSAT CubeSat Simulator: Part 2, Classroom Activities 
   by Alan B. Johnston, KU2Y and Pat Kilroy, N8PK

- AMSAT 50th Anniversary Awards Program

- Fox-in-a-Box: An Easily Deployed Satellite Telemetry Receiver 
   by Burns Fisher, WB1FJ and Chris Thompson, G0KLA

- Grid Squares and Dough Squares: A Mississippi/Louisiana Rove 
   by Robert Bankston, KE4AL and Brian Karcher, KG5GJT

- L-band Uplink Amplifier by Ed Krome, K9EK

- Arduino Based Amateur Satellite Antenna Tracker - ABBASAT 
   by Don Corrington, AK2S

- Digital Voice on Amateur Satellites: Experiences with 
   LilacSat-OSCAR 90 by Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

- Member Footprints: Share Your Experiences as an AMSAT Member

Remember, if you're not an AMSAT member, you're not getting 
   The AMSAT Journal and you're NOT getting all the news!

[ANS thanks AMSAT Journal Editor-in-Chief Joe Kornowski, KB6IGK for 
the above information.]


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KickSat-2 is Alive and Being Tracked (Updated 2/19/2019)

For the first couple of days after the 3U KickSat-2 was deployed from 
Cygnus NG-10 last November, nothing was heard from the satellite. But 
in a February 16 post to AMSAT-BB, Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, reported 
receiving several short and weak transmissions from KickSat 2 — short 
telemetry bursts on 437.5077 MHz. Assistant Professor of Aeronautics 
and Astronautics at Stanford University Zac Manchester, KD2BHC, is 
the principal investigator for the KickSat project, which NASA 
adopted as an official mission.

“Yes, KickSat-2 is alive,” Manchester told ARRL. “We have been 
tracking it since Thursday, [February 14,] and have been able to 
decode at least some packets. The signal is weak and we think the 
antenna did not properly deploy on the CubeSat.”

KickSat-2 is scheduled to deploy up to 104 tiny Sprite satellites 
into low Earth orbit. The Sprites then would transmit on 437.240 MHz 
at 10 mW, communicating with each other via a mesh network and with 
command stations on Earth. The Sprites, which are less than 2 square 
inches, are expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere within weeks. 
Manchester did not indicate if attempts would be made to deploy the 
Sprites.

NASA calls KickSat-2 a technology demonstration mission that’s 
designed to demonstrate the deployment and operation of prototype 
Sprite “ChipSats,” also known as “femtosatellites.”

The FCC recently imposed a $900,000 penalty on a commercial concern, 
Swarm Technologies, for launching similar tiny satellites after the 
FCC had denied permission.  “These spacecraft are therefore below 
the size threshold at which detection by the Space Surveillance 
Network can be considered routine,” the FCC told Swarm Technologies.

Manchester had been trying without success to convince the FCC to 
allow him to deploy the Sprites from KickSat-2, but, apparently gun 
shy after the Swarm action, the agency denied permission at the last 
moment.  Once NASA adopted KickSat-2 as its own mission, however, 
the regulatory body shifted to the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration (NTIA), and the launch went forward.

In the Swarm Technologies proceeding, the FCC has argued that 
satellites smaller than 10 centimeters on any side were too small, 
although the agency has been accused of inconsistency in its approach 
to licensing small satellites. KickSat-2’s Sprites are 3.5 
centimeters on the side and just 0.2 centimeters thick. Manchester’s 
2014 KickSat was unable to deploy its Sprites before deorbiting.

The FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory last April to remind satellite 
operators that they must obtain FCC authorization for space station 
and Earth station operations. The advisory cautioned satellite 
operators and launch companies against proceeding with launch 
arrangements following a license denial or prior to receiving an FCC 
authorization.

Manchester is reported to be developing a plan to deploy a group of 
small satellites to survey the sky in the LF radio range, something 
that cannot be done from the ground owing to the ionosphere.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]


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Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course 

The European Space Agency's Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft 
Communications Training Course was created to get students thinking 
like spacecraft operators.  30 university students from 12 different 
ESA Member States have successfully completed the latest Ladybird 
Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course. Running from 
5 – 8 February 2019, and hosted at ESA Academy’s Training and 
Learning Facility, ESEC-Galaxia in Belgium, the course was delivered 
by a senior ESA engineer.

This course was the fourth edition of ESA Academy’s Ladybird Guide 
to Spacecraft Communications Training Course. The tried-and-tested 
aim remained: acquaint students with the fundamental concepts of 
spacecraft telecommunications. The “Ladybird approach” was used 
throughout, meaning that lectures avoided excessive mathematical 
and analytical detail, and were furnished with a wealth of real-l
life examples supplemented with easy to understand diagrams. 

A secondary course aim was to “fill the gap” between spacecraft 
operators and telecommunications designers. Traditionally, designers 
cannot think “as operators”, and this course offered participants 
an opportunity to use the “spacecraft operator point of view” when 
designing a ground station or a telecommunications subsystem of a 
spacecraft. 

Throughout the course students were introduced to various 
spacecraft telecommunications topics, including:

- Signal modulation and demodulation
- Channel coding
- Communication protocols
- Transmission
- Link budget for signal reception, and
- Ground stations.

ESA’s Training and Learning Program is offering several other 
training session opportunities in the coming months. They will 
cover different fields of ESA expertise, such as Space Debris, 
Standardization, Product Assurance, Space Law, and Gravity-Related 
Research.

For more information on the program visit:
https://tinyurl.com/ans-055-eas-ladybird

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information.]


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IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Announced

The Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) program is an IARU Region 1 
initiative aimed at engaging youngsters in amateur radio, as well as 
supporting amateurs under the age of 26.

The YOTA program is jointly led by Lisa, PA2LS and Tommy, ON2TD, 
and organizes a number of projects, including YOTA Month, the IARU 
Youth Contesting Program, and the YOTA summer event—which is held 
in a different IARU Region 1 country each year. For further 
information about YOTA, visit: https://www.ham-yota.com.

The 2019 Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) summer camp will be held in 
Bulgaria, close to the capital city of Sofia. The Bulgarian 
Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA) will be hosting the event, which 
will take place from 11-17 August 2019. This is a chance in a 
lifetime for young RSGB Members to represent their country and 
national society. Find out more at: 
https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/yota/yota-2019/

[ANS thanks the RSGB for the above information.]


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This Month in AMSAT History

While starting our Golden Jubilee, it's fun to take a look back at
what has happened over the past fifty years.  Here's a peek at some
news items from the archives of "The "AMSAT Journal", aka "Amateur
Satellite Report" aka "AMSAT Newsletter" as it has been named over 
the years.  Unfortunately our archives are not complete so we
sometimes had to pull some snippets from adjacent issues.

2009


President Barry Baines, WD4ASW announces  an Engineering Task Force 
to evaluate satellite proposals and to help AMSAT prioritize how it 
uses its engineering resources. 

AMSAT-NA faces a critical crossroad in its support of international 
development of amateur satellites because of various export control 
rules, primarily ITAR.  Without an acceptable handle on ITAR issues,  
AMSAT-NA may  be forced to go it alone developing satellites.

Several existing and potential future options for launching Phase 3 
satellites are explored. The constantly evolving business environment 
for launching  secondary  payloads is discussed. To be successful 
AMSAT and its volunteers must adapt to how  satellite projects are 
supported and managed.

1999

President Keith Baker, KB1SF discusses finding a safe and affordable 
launch for Phase 3D.  In addition to Phase 3D there are a number of 
new satellites on the drawing boards. Many satellites are underused 
now.  Make a New Year's resolution to try different satellites and 
different modes.

As we approach the year 2000, Roy D. Welch, W0SL reviews items we 
need to check out in our computers and software  to be sure that date 
and time sensitive software will function after January 1st. 

Concern is expressed over the large number of nanosats (the size of 
basketballs) that are being launched with high risk of leaving space 
debris.  Also worrisome is the considerable number of university 
people who plan on using Amateur Radio frequencies thinking they are 
free for use by just anyone.

1987

The long rumored launch of RS-9 and RS-10 is expected in January 
1987. RS-5 and RS-7 have survived the long eclipse period but have 
sustained further battery damage.

AMSAT President Emeritus Tom Clark, W3IWI received a high honor from 
NASA for this work in the field of Very Long Baseline Interferometry.

AO-10 is again providing excellent communications despite fundamental 
IHU memory problems. Users are advised to enjoy A)-10 while they can.

March 1974

March celebrates AMSAT's 5th anniversary with membership topping 
1,100 dues paying members in 52 countries.

President Perry Klein, K3JTE reports Oscar B is about two months 
behind schedule. The launch of Oscar 7 has been rescheduled to July
1974.

Jan King, W3GEY proposes an analog telemetry system for future 
satellites to obtain data on functions that vary rapidly with time.

With a year of operating time under their belts, users are beginning 
to understand the idiosyncrasies of Oscar 6, such as why it is on 
when it should be off.

The latest edition of the Radio Amateur Callbook now includes a 
directory of Oscar 6 users.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

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AMSAT-SA Space Symposium March 16, 2019

Es’hailsat has been one of the major discussions on the agenda of the 
AMSAT Space Symposiums over the past two years with Hannes Coetzee, 
ZS6BZP providing details of how to set up an inexpensive ground 
station.

The subject will again be on the agenda on 16 March 2019 when Hannes 
will show the final version of his ground station and make some QSOs 
during a live demonstration.

For this alone do not miss the 2019 Space Symposium to be held on 
March 16, 2019 in Midrand. There are many other interesting 
presentations and demonstrations on the agenda. It is an event not to 
be missed.  For details and a registration form visit: 
www.amsatsa.org.za.

AMSAT SA is also proud to announce that AMSAT SA Space Symposium 2019 
is being validated by the SAIEE, as per ECSA Policy, under validation 
no. SAIEE- 2479-V

Es’hailsat is the first geostationary satellite to cover Africa, 
Europe and the Middle East providing DX opportunities 24 hours per 
day. The transponder was built by AMSAT DL in Germany and is being 
managed by the Qatar Amateur Radio Society

[ANS thanks Southgate Amateur Radio News for the above information.]


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HamSCI Workshop Receives National Science Foundation Grant

The HamSCI Workshop March 22 – 23 at Case Western Reserve University 
(CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, has received a supporting grant from the 
National Science Foundation (NSF). Organized and administered by the 
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the conference is hosted 
by the CWRU Amateur Radio Club (W8EDU). Registration remains open, 
and papers and presentations are invited.

“We are especially looking for speakers with presentations showing 
analysis of ionospheric observations, ideas and proposals for the 
design of the Personal Space Weather Station and instrumentation for 
the 2024 eclipse,” HamSCI’s Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, said. Other 
presentations related to Amateur Radio and science also are 
welcome. Email abstracts to hamsci at hamsci.org.

The theme for this year’s conference will be “Ionospheric Effects 
and Sensing,” including the use of Amateur Radio techniques to 
characterize and study ionospheric phenomena. Discussion will include 
continued development of the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station 
and integration of Amateur Radio into the collegiate curriculum.

Featured speakers will include well-known Amateur Radio author 
Ward Silver, N0AX, propagation specialist Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, 
and Larisa Goncharenko, who will talk on Space Science for Ham Radio 
Operators. The NSF conference grant from the Geosciences Directorate 
will facilitate conference activities and associated logistics.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information.]


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Upcoming Satellite Operations

* Eureka Nunavut (ER60, EQ79) – February 3, - March 29, 2019
Eureka ARC, VY0ERC, will be QRV from Eureka, NU (NA-008), February 3 
until March 29, 2019.  Time and weather permitting, they expect to be 
on the FM satellites from ER60 and EQ79.  Announcements will be 
posted on Twitter at https://twitter.com/vy0erc.

* Turks and Caicos Islands (FL31) – February 28 - March 9, 2019
Adrian, AA5UK, will be heading to Providenciales in the Turks and 
Caicos Islands from Feb 28th through March 9th, 2019. He will be 
operating holiday style on HF and Satellites as VP5/AA5UK from grid 
FL31UU14. Focus will be on the linear satellites, with some FM 
activity depending on pile-up civility. Hope to work some European 
stations as location favors the East. Pass announcements will be made 
via Twitter: https://twitter.com/AA5UK and periodically via amsat-bb.

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

* Russia and Eastern Europe - February 24 - March 14, 2019
Gabe Harambe, AL6D/VE6NJH is on the first of four flights for another 
of his signature trips. This voyage stakes him to Poland (Feb 24-28), 
Lithuania (Feb 28-Mar 4), Kaliningrad (Mar 4-7), Saint Petersburg 
(Mar 7-11), Åland Islands (Mar 11-13), and Helsinki (Mar 13-14). Gabe 
thinks the most desired entities are going to be UA2 and OH0. 
Unfortunately OH0 is gonna be quick, arriving in the evening and 
leaving in the morning for two nights and one full day). He hopes to 
make US contacts from every entity and will try to hit as many grids 
as feasible He will have a car in Vilnius and Kaliningrad, but good 
transatlantic locations will take precedence over grids. Don't expect 
Gabe on every pass. "I'm traveling with family and we'll be doing 
touristy stuff, but I'll make my best effort to be on the great AO-7 
and FO-29 passes across the ocean.  I'm operating ninja portable like 
the good ole days, QRP with two FT-817NDs and an arrow, hopefully 
that doesn't attract too much negative attention from customs in 
Russia."  Updates will be on Twitter @AL6D_Alaska. 

 [ANS thanks Gabe Zeifman, AL6D/VE6NJH/Harambe1 for the 
above information.]


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ARISS News

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of February 19, 2019, 21:30 UTC:

- Huntington High School, Huntington, TX, direct via KI5AJL
   The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
   The scheduled astronaut is TBD
   Contact is go for Monday February 25, 2019, 19:39:52 UTC 25 degs.


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

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     AMSAT and ARISS are currently supporting a FundRazr campaign
     to raise $150,000 for critical radio infrastructure upgrades
     on ISS. The upgrades are necessary to enable students to
     continue to talk to astronauts in space via Amateur Radio.
      
         For more information and to DONATE TODAY visit:
      https://fundrazr.com/arissnextgen?ref=ab_e7Htwa_ab_47IcJ9

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Satellite Shorts from All Over

* First AMSAT Rover Award for 2019
Congratulation to Casey, KI7UNJ, for earning the first AMSAT Rover 
Award for 2019. Number 041.Keep on Rov'in!

[ANS thanks Bruce, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Awards for the above 
information.]


* Build your own Space Weather dashboard

Jan van den Berg, PA2P wrote an article on how to build your own 
Space Weather Dashboard with NOAA data. The article is about how to 
design your own gauges and charts with Space Weather data from NOAA 
for your own website, instead of using the existing dashboards. 
Jan's article can be viewed at: http://www.pa2p.nl/noaa

[ANS thanks Southgate Amateur Radio News for the above information.]


* ESA Introduces  Interactive Nanosatellite Simulator

Through an innovative combination of a plug-and-play test platform 
and software, the UK Harwell-based SME is slashing the time it takes 
for space missions to be designed and qualified for launch.

Their online ‘beeApp’ software helps define a full space mission 
from the ground up, including selection of launchers, ground stations 
and satellite size.

Based on those parameters, it runs simulations on the orbits, amount 
of power received by the satellite from the sun, and when it can 
communicate with the ground. This data is then used to create the 
optimal mission profile.

Once that has been decided, their ‘beeKit’ hardware emulates the 
size, on-board computer and electrical interfaces of a real 
satellite, to facilitate the design and testing of the actual 
payloads.  When linked, these two tools can simulate the mission in 
space, and how the payload will perform. 

More information of the program is available at:
https://tinyurl.com/ans-055-esa-beekit

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information.]


* SSO-A Solar Sails Deployed - May be Visible to the Naked Eye

The solar sails on the SSO-A mission "Free Flyer" deployers, 
launched December 3, 2018, are believed to have deployed and may now 
be quite bright to the naked eye.

The systems were standalone isolated systems with no communications 
so  there is no telemetry confirmation. Drag parameters from the 
TLEs are indicative of a successful deployment, but far from 
definitive. The University of Surrey team is waiting for them to 
become optically  visible in northern latitudes in the next couple 
of weeks. Based on the experience with our InflateSail mission, 
they expect these objects to be quite bright to the naked eye if 
the sails have deployed successfully. InflateSail was 10m2 and 
(initially) transparent with a +4.2 mag, whereas these sails are 
16m2 and metalized so could well flare brightly.

Any observations made by the community of either of these objects 
would be greatly appreciated and they should make for interesting 
targets. View the complete story at:
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/02/14/sso-a-solar-sails-deployed/

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


* CubeSat Developers Workshop: April 23-25 Adds New Workshops 

The CubeSat Developers Workshop to be held at Cal Poly San Luis 
Obispo has announced the following additional conferences and 
workshops:

  - CubeSat Training Course: April 26-27
  - CubeSat Astronomy Workshop: April 26-27
  - LunarCubes Workshop: April 26
  - Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference (ISSC): April 29-30

For more information on these additional workshops and to register, 
visit: 
http://www.cubesat.org/workshop-information/#conferences-link

[ANS thanks CubeSat for the above information.]


* ISS and Amateur Radio as Art 

The impressive artwork “Ten Minute Transmission”, featuring a Kenwood 
TS-2000 transceiver and the International Space Station, is on 
display at the Tate Gallery in London.

"Ten Minute Transmission" is a sculpture modeled after the 
International Space Station. Made of wire and attached to a TS-2000 
this sculpture receives radio signals from the airwaves and transmits 
them into the gallery space.  See the sculpture at:
https://tinyurl.com/ans-055-sculpture

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


* Kyutech is World's No. 1 for University Small Satellite Launches

A space industry report states that Kyutech is the world No. 1 
academic operator of small satellites.  Bryce Space and Technology 
is a company based in northern Virginia in the United States and is 
partially funded by NASA it produces reports about the space 
industry. It has just released "Smallsats by the Numbers 2018" and in 
this report it is stated that Kyutech has launched the highest number 
of small satellites among all "academic operators" of the world, 
followed by Nanyang Technical University, Singapore; San Jose State 
University, USA; and Tsinghua University, China.

Kyutech deployed 5 satellites into orbit in 2018, and 4 will be 
launched in 2019. Therefore, by the end of 2019, it is expected that 
the small satellite launch tally for Kyutech will reach 18.

[ANS thanks Kyutech Institute of Technology for the above 
information.]


* Longer-Lasting Propulsion System Designed for CubeSats

According to Purdue scientists, chemical thrusters used in current 
Cubesats can become irreversibly damaged through repeated use, 
ultimately giving out before the CubeSat's planned lifespan is 
over.

Utilizing a technique known as Low Energy Surface Flashover (LESF), 
it creates plasma which is electromagnetically accelerated down a 
narrow channel. As the plasma leaves that channel, thrust is
produced. 
The whole process uses relatively little energy, with each thrust 
pulse lasting less than 100 to 200 nanoseconds (a nanosecond is one 
billionth of a second).

Because the pulses are so short, there is very little cumulative 
damage to the system. In lab tests, one of the LESF setups was still 
operational after more than 1.5 million pulses.  More information is 
available at: https://newatlas.com/cubesat-lesf-propulsion/58365/

[ANS thanks New Atlas for the above information.]


* Laser “License Plate” Could Improve Identification of Cubesats

A technology using a tiny laser tracker could help resolve one of 
the major challenges involved with the launching of cubesats: 
identifying individual satellites after their deployment.

The solution developed at Los Alamos is called the Extremely Low 
Resource Optical Identifier (ELROI). “A simple blinking light can 
be seen from orbit if it’s the right kind of light and it blinks in 
the right way and then looked at it with the right kind of detector.

A laser transmits brief pulses of light that encodes the 
identification code, but keeps the system’s average power at the 
milliwatt level. That signal can be detected on the ground with a 
35-centimeter telescope equipped with a narrow spectral filter to 
block light at all frequencies other than that the laser transmits 
it. More information is available at:
https://tinyurl.com/ans-055-license-plate

[ANS thanks SpaceNews for the above information.]


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73,
This week's ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org

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