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GEO Quarterly magazine available for download

GEO 56 coverThe December PDF of the weather satellite magazine GEO Quarterly produced by the Group for Earth Observation is now available for free download.

The Group for Earth Observation’s aim is to enable amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites that are in orbit or planned for launch in the near future.

GEO recently changed from a paid subscription to an optional sign-up to the GEO-Subscribers Yahoo group.

Download December 2017 GEO Quarterly at
http://www.geo-web.org.uk/geoquarterly.php

Group for Earth Observation
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GEO-Subscribers/
https://twitter.com/GEOWEBUK
https://www.facebook.com/groupforearthobservation

“NASA on the Air” ham radio events

Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club members Dennis Veselka KI4KNC and Scott Vangen WB0QMZ

Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club members Dennis Veselka KI4KNC and Scott Vangen WB0QMZ

NASA is known for communicating with astronauts on missions to space, but did you know regular citizens can radio NASA too?

From the end of this year through the next, NASA will mark several key milestones. Amateur radio clubs at agency centers across the nation plan to celebrate these occasions with several “NASA on the Air” events.

“We enjoy sharing NASA’s story as part of the fun of making contact with fellow ham radio operators across the nation and around the world,” said Kevin Zari KK4YEL, who is activities officer for the Amateur Radio Club at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “We occasionally communicate with people who think that because we’re not flying the space shuttle anymore, NASA has almost gone out of business. We tell them about activities such as the International Space Station and the Space Launch System, and they appreciate the update.”

Amateur, or ham, radio operators use a frequency spectrum for communicating noncommercial and private messages. One of the most important uses of ham radio operations is providing emergency messaging following disasters, such as the recent Hurricane Maria that destroyed most avenues of communication in Puerto Rico.

“The amateur radio clubs at NASA centers are made up of civil servants, contractors and tenants who participate on their own time,” said Zari, who has been at Kennedy since 1990 and is chief technology officer in the Mission and Support Office of Exploration Research and Technology Programs. “We all have a common goal to show our support for NASA and highlight some of the agency’s amazing accomplishments.”

Read the full NASA story at
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-on-the-air-events-to-highlight-key-space-milestones

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find a UK amateur radio training course https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

AO-73 / FUNcube-1 spin period and illumination

AO73 / FUNcube-1 Spin Period

AO-73 / FUNcube-1 Spin Period

The attitude of AO-73 / FUNcube-1 is passively stabilised using the traditional magnet and two hysteresis rods. Since the launch over four years ago we have been intrigued with the resultant actual spin rate/period which seems to vary over time for reasons that have not yet been properly explained.

This graphic, which has been developed from telemetry received and maintained by Colin, VK3IH, and his team, shows the variations in some detail. Explanations would be gratefully received.

Mike, DK3WN’s, illum.exe software showing predicted duration of the first period

Mike, DK3WN’s, illum.exe software showing predicted duration of the first period

As it is expected that illumination levels may be having an influence, the next few months and years will prove interesting. The spacecraft will be entering periods of continuous sunlight. Initially this will be for a six-week period but then for periods of up to nine months!

AO-73 / FUNcube-1 celebrates its 4th birthday https://amsat-uk.org/2017/11/21/funcube-1-celebrates-4th-birthday/

FUNcube Website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/

FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

FUNcube Forum https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-forum/

Slow Scan TV from Space Dec 5-6

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

The 145.800 MHz FM Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions from the International Space Station on December 5-6 should be receivable by radio amateurs around the world.

The MAI-75 SSTV system in the Russian Service Module will be put through some extended testing from December 5 starting around 15:00 UTC and running until 09:00 UTC on December 6. Test images will be used during this period. This will provide near global coverage if all works well on 145.800 MHz FM.

In the past images have been sent using the SSTV mode PD180, with a 3-minute off time between each image.

All you need to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio loudspeaker.

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna should be enough to receive it.

Many FM rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the filter for wider 5 kHz deviation FM. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

ARISS SSTV Blog http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

ISS Slow Scan TV information with links to Apps and ISS tracking
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

FUNcube-1 celebrates its 4th birthday

Final gluing of FUNcube-1 bolt by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG – Image credit Gerard Aalbers

Final gluing of FUNcube-1 bolt by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG – Image credit Gerard Aalbers

Today, November 21st 2017, marks the fourth birthday for FUNcube-1 (AO-73) in orbit.

FUNcube-1 was launched at 07:10 UTC on November 21st 2013 and its first signals 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 eclipse and at weekends.

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

The spacecraft has spent the four years in space orbiting the earth at between 640 and 580 km and has now travelled around the earth more than 20,000 times. That represents a distance travelled of approaching 500 million miles.

Up to now, each of the orbits has been spilt approximately 65% in sunlight and 35% in eclipse. This has resulted in the temperatures inside the small spacecraft varying by about 25o C during each orbit.

During the recent AMSAT-UK Colloquium, Wouter Weggelaar, PA3WEG, during his presentation about the FUNcube project mentioned that the power available from the solar panels has been slowly increasing since launch. This observation led the team to do some further investigations as to the cause.

Although the launch was into a nominally Sun Synchronous orbit, over time this has drifted and the spacecraft is now entering a period when it will be in the sun for longer periods during each orbit. The exact details are still being determined, but it seems likely that, starting from January 2018, there will be periods when the spacecraft will be in the sun for all, or almost all, of its orbits.

FUNcube-1 temperature rise

FUNcube-1 temperature rise

This means that the on-board temperatures will be much higher than we have previously experienced in flight, although we have some test records from pre-flight thermal air testing that were undertaken after integration.

The key will be to discover what the equilibrium temperature will be internally. For comparison, AO85 has already “enjoyed” periods of full sun and its internal temperatures have reached up to around 55o C.

So the next few months will be quite an exciting time for the team! We remain extremely grateful to everyone is using the spacecraft for both its educational and amateur missions. Of course we are also very very grateful to those who are downloading the telemetry and uploading the data to the Data Warehouse. It continues to provide a unique record of “life on board” a 1U CubeSat in space.

Watch the FUNcube presentation by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Get your 73 on 73 Award, details at https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-website/

FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

ZACUBE-1, FUNcube-1 and HiNCube in the deployment pod - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

ZACUBE-1, FUNcube-1 and HiNCube in the deployment pod – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launched, Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) signal received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) signal received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

The Delta II rocket carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) launched at 09:47:36 UTC on November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

Following a picture-perfect launch, RadFxSat was deployed at 11:09 UTC. Then the wait began. At 12:12 UTC, the AMSAT Engineering team, watching ZR6AIC’s WebSDR waterfall, saw the characteristic “Fox Tail” of the Fox-1 series FM transmitter, confirming that the satellite was alive and transmitting over South Africa. Shortly after 12:34 UTC, the first telemetry was received and uploaded to AMSAT servers by Maurizio Balducci, IV3RYQ, in Cervignano del Friuli, Italy. Initial telemetry confirmed that the satellite was healthy.

After confirmation of signal reception, OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, sent an email to the AMSAT Board of Directors designating the satellite AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91). Bill’s email stated:

“RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was launched successfully at 09:47 UTC today November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has been received by several amateur stations.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B), a 1U CubeSat, is a joint mission of AMSAT and the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt package is intended to measure the effects of radiation on electronic components, including demonstration of an on-orbit platform for space qualification of components as well as to validate and improve computer models for predicting radiation tolerance of semiconductors.

12 GMT, Nov 18 by the ZR1AIC WebSDR in South Africa

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) signal received at 12:12 GMT, Nov 18 by the ZR1AIC WebSDR in South Africa

AMSAT constructed the remainder of the satellite including the spaceframe, on-board computer and power system. The amateur radio package is similar to that currently on orbit on AO-85 with a FM uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a FM downlink on 145.960 MHz. Experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using the FoxTelem software.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was sent aloft as a secondary payload on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket that will transport the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission. RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is one of four CubeSats making up this NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the JPSS-1 mission.

Since RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has met all of the qualifications necessary to receive an OSCAR number, I, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT President, do hereby confer on this satellite the designation AMSAT-OSCAR 91 or AO-91. I join amateur radio operators in the U.S. and around the world in wishing AO-91 a long and successful life in both its amateur and scientific missions.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) LogoI, along with the rest of the amateur community, congratulate all of the volunteers who worked so diligently to construct, test and prepare for launch the newest amateur radio satellite.

William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator”

AMSAT Engineering reminds stations that the satellite will not be available for general use until the on-orbit checkouts are complete. Please continue to submit telemetry to assist the Engineering team in completing the commissioning process.

Source AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

FoxTelem software https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/

Radio Programming Chart

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Doppler Shift Correction

Memory 1 (AOS) – Transmit 435.240 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 2 (Approaching) – Transmit 435.245 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 3 (TCA) – Transmit 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 4 (Departing) – Transmit 435.255 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 5 (LOS) – Transmit 435.260 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz

Frequencies are subject to change post-launch.

Online real-time satellite tracking http://www.n2yo.com/

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’:
• New satellites launched in past 30 days http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt
• CubeSats http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/cubesat.txt
• Experimental satellites http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/x-comm.txt
• Engineering satellites http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/engineering.txt
• Amateur radio satellites http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftp/keps/current/nasa.all

Initial post-launch Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ RadFxSat 1 00000U 17000A 17322.46057870 -.00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 00004 2 00000 97.6996 257.5922 0258900 235.2917 178.7268 14.79536000 07

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Telemetry Reception Challenge

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

Get FoxTelem set up and ready to go on Tuesday! The first amateur radio operator that successfully receives RadFxSat (Fox-1B) telemetry and uploads it to the AMSAT server will receive a commemorative 3D printed QSL card.

RadFxSat is scheduled for launch at 1:47am PST (09:47 UTC) on Tuesday, November 14th from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The first transmission from RadFxSat is expected to occur around 12:07 UTC. Due to a lack of prelaunch Keplerian elements, it is not known exactly where the satellite will be when it makes it’s first transmission.

For further details regarding the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) of RadFxSat operations, please see:
https://amsat-uk.org/2017/11/04/getting-ready-for-radfxsat-fox-1b/

FoxTelem software https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/

Follow the launch day chat on the #CubeSat IRC channel
https://riot.im/app/#/room/#freenode_#cubesat:matrix.org
http://irc.lc/freenode/cubesat

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

Countdown to World Radiocommunication Conference 2019

 

ITU WP-5A - Amateur Satellite Management Meeting Nov 8, 2017 - Credit VE3QN

ITU WP-5A – Amateur Satellite Management Meeting Nov 8, 2017 – Credit VE3QN

Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, RAC Special Advisor, is in Geneva, Switzerland attending Preparatory Meetings for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) until Friday, November 17

The current meetings are the fourth of a series of meetings which will continue until just before WRC-19 now scheduled to be held from October 28 to November 22, 2019.

Preparatory Meetings are usually held at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva and are usually of two weeks duration. This time Bryan is attending as a member of the Canadian Delegation and also as an Expert Consultant for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

Preparatory Meetings primarily prepare documents on the agenda items identified for the upcoming WRC. They are in turn preceded by meetings and the submission of documents from the participating administrations, for example, Canada through its authorized government agency, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED; formerly Industry Canada). The RAC representative is made a member of the delegation by invitation and Bryan’s role is to advise on Amateur issues.

The principal Amateur Radio issue is an international authorization of the 50 to 54 MHz band in ITU Region 1 (Europe, Africa and the Middle East). Canada has submitted a contribution to this meeting indicating no concerns about interference to the Canadian users who are, of course, Radio Amateurs since 50 – 54 MHz is a Primary Allocation in Canada. Indeed, Canadian Amateurs would welcome harmonization of the six-metre band worldwide.

ITU-R Working Party 5A is chaired by Dr. José Costa, a Canadian, and the Canadian Delegation to WP-5A is being chaired by Ms. Cindy-Lee Cook of ISED.

In addition to Canada, there are Amateur delegates in Geneva this time representing their individual delegations and/or the IARU and they come from the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Norway, Brazil and Australia.

These meetings are also debating an expansion of the frequencies, powers and deployment of Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs) in the 5 GHz range. Canadian Amateurs have a secondary allocation here in 5650 to 5925 MHz which we already share with the Primary Users – principally meteorological radars – and with ISM (Wi-Fi, etc.).

Also warranting close attention is an agenda item proposing frequencies for wireless power transfer, e.g., charging cellphones and – significantly – larger devices including vehicles. Frequencies under discussion lie in the range 19 to 300 kHz and – possibly – just below the 40m Amateur band. Depending upon the frequencies planned and the technical characteristics there may be significant interference issues to users of the HF and VHF spectrum.

As he has done in recent meetings, Bryan will be tweeting comments on Amateur Radio issues from the meeting using the hashtag #RACatITU. You can also follow him at @VE3QN

Bryan will also be including a report in the next issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine at the conclusion of the meetings.

For more information about the Preparatory Meetings visit:
http://www.itu.int/en/events/Pages/Calendar-Events.aspx?sector=ITU-R

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

Source http://wp.rac.ca/wrc-preparatory-meetings-november2017/

Follow Bryan Rawlings VE3QN on Twitter https://twitter.com/VE3QN

6th Staines Scouts receive FUNcube-1 message

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The Chertsey Radio Club got some good publicity for both amateur radio and the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite in the Heathrow Villager newspaper published on November 4, 2017.

Club members James Preece M0JFP, Ian Parbery 2E0IPP and Bob Conduit M6FLT along with the 6th Staines Scout Group ran a Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) station GB6SS.

During the event the FUNcube-1 satellite transmitted a special Fitter Message from Space that the Scouts successfully decoded, it said:
“ChertseyRC: GB6SS have fun celebrating 60 years of JOTA 6th Staines Scouts, Cubs and Beavers 20 Oct 17”

Download a PDF of the Heathrow Villager newspaper, the article is on page 5
http://www.heathrowvillager.co.uk/download/i/mark_dl/u/4005923139/4633391054/Villager%20031117a.pdf

What is a FUNcube-1 Fitter message? https://funcube.org.uk/ground-segment/fitter-messages/

Awarding 6th Staines Cubs with their Communicators badges
http://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/awarding-6t-staines-cubs-with-their.html

The Chertsey Radio Club were recently presented with the RSGB Region 10 small Club of the Year award
http://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/chertsey-presented-small-coty-2016.html

Getting ready for RadFxSat (Fox-1B)

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is scheduled for launch on November 10, 2017. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission. JPSS-1 will launch on a Delta II from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Paul Stoetzer N8HM has posted this update on the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB):

Introduction

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University ISDE and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off the shelf components. RadFxSat features the Fox-1 style FM U/v repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the “DUV” subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software
https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/

Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP)

RadFxSat will launch at 01:47 PST (09:47 UTC) on November 10, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. At this time, pre-launch Keplerian elements are not expected to be available. However, based on the Local Time of the Ascending Node (LTAN) of the primary payload, 13:30, stations should expect to have their initial ascending passes starting around noon local time. The estimated time of “First Veronica,” the initial beacon after deployment, is 12:07 UTC. Due to the tight constraints on the primary payload deployment, the secondary payloads may be delayed slightly, so this should be considered the soonest the transmitter will be enabled. Orbital elements will be published as soon as they are available on the AMSAT website. Stations in Europe, South America, and North America should point your beams south and have FoxTelem running while awaiting the initial post-launch Keplerian elements.

Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) LogoIf you are capturing telemetry with FoxTelem please be sure that “Upload to Server” is checked in your settings, and that your “Ground Station Params” are filled in as well. You can help AMSAT and everyone waiting to get on the air with RadFxSat tremendously by capturing RadFxSat telemetry.

About 60 minutes after deployment, or 140 minutes after launch, the satellite will start up in Beacon Mode. In this initial mode, the transmitter is limited to 10 seconds on time and then will be off for
two minutes. For those of you capturing telemetry, that means that you will only see Current frames and no High or Low frames. The High and Low frames are truncated as it takes just over the 10 second limit to send two frames. Veronica may also be cut off before she gets to say her whole ID string as the full ID, “RadFxSat Fox-1B Safe Mode,” is a bit longer than the approximately 3.5 seconds she has in Beacon Mode. If the voice ID is cut off, the satellite is still in Beacon Mode.

If AMSAT Engineering is seeing nominal values from the telemetry you gather, the satellite will be commanded from Beacon Mode to Safe Mode on the first good pass over the United States. In Safe Mode, the satellite transmits a full two frames of telemetry (one Current frame followed by, and alternating each ID cycle, a High or a Low frame). Veronica now has time to make the whole ID announcement in Safe Mode.

The on-orbit checkout procedure for RadFxSat is similar to Fox-1A/AO-85 and could be completed in as little as a few days if users cooperate. It is very important, and good amateur operating practice, to refrain from using the transponder uplink so the on-orbit tests can be performed, including when the satellite is switched into Transponder Mode for testing.

AMSAT will make it broadly known when the tests are complete and the transponder is available for all to use. If you hear someone on the transponder, please do not assume that it is open for general use – check AMSAT’s website, Facebook, and Twitter before transmitting to be sure you do not interfere with testing.

AMSAT asks all satellite operators to contribute just a little bit of your time by gathering telemetry, not using the transponder uplink, to help complete the last few days of getting RadFxSat operating for the amateur radio community.

Lots of hams put thousands of volunteer hours of their time into making RadFxSat happen. Just like any ham radio project you might undertake, AMSAT builds satellites. AMSAT volunteers do it because they like to, and when they are done, AMSAT freely shares their project with hams everywhere as is the spirit of amateur radio.

Thank you very much and see you on the bird!

Radio Programming Chart

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Doppler Shift Correction

Memory 1 (AOS) – Transmit 435.240 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 2 (Approaching) – Transmit 435.245 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 3 (TCA) – Transmit 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 4 (Departing) – Transmit 435.255 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz
Memory 5 (LOS) – Transmit 435.260 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), Receive 145.960 MHz

Frequencies are subject to change post-launch.

For the latest information on Fox-1B check the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)
http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

Online real-time satellite tracking http://www.n2yo.com/

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’:
• New satellites launched in past 30 days http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt
• CubeSats http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/cubesat.txt
• Experimental satellites http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/x-comm.txt
• Engineering satellites http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/engineering.txt
• Amateur radio satellites http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftp/keps/current/nasa.all

New AMSAT-NA President Announces GOLF CubeSat Program

AMSAT-NA President Joe Spier K6WAO

AMSAT-NA President Joe Spier K6WAO

At the AMSAT-NA Annual General Meeting in Reno, NV, newly elected AMSAT-NA President Joe Spier, K6WAO, announced the next phase of AMSAT’s CubeSat program: GOLF.

Joe is a Life Member of AMSAT-NA and has previously served as Executive Vice President and Vice-President Educational Relations. He also has Life Memberships in the ARRL, SARA (Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers) and the AFA (Air Force Association). He holds an Extra Class license as well as commercial licenses.

GOLF, an acronym for “Greater Orbit, Larger Footprint,” is a crucial step towards fulfilling AMSAT’s strategic goals involving high altitude, wide access satellite missions.

As an initial step in the GOLF program, the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors approved the submission of a NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative proposal for the GOLF-T satellite project. The GOLF-T project will serve as a rapidly deployable Low Earth Orbit (LEO) testbed for technologies necessary for a successful CubeSat mission to a wide variety of orbits, including LEO, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), or beyond.

AMSAT-NA Vice-President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said “The GOLF-T project tees off the next phase of our CubeSat program. GOLF-T provides AMSAT hardware and knowledge for Attitude Determination and Control (ADAC) capability and the opportunity to develop a 3U spaceframe with deployable solar panels that can be used in LEO or HEO missions, two of the major systems required in future GOLF and HEO missions.”

In addition, GOLF-T provides the opportunity for rapid deployment and on orbit testing of the AMSAT’s Advanced Satellite Communications and Exploration of New Technology (ASCENT )program’s technology, including radiation tolerant transponder and Integrated Housekeeping Unit (IHU) technologies that will lead the way for low cost commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems that can function in the MEO and HEO radiation environments. GOLF-T will also provide for the development of “Five and Dime” Field-Programmable Gate Array Software Defined Radio (FPGA SDR) transponders for use on a variety of missions and orbits.

GOLF CubeSat Program https://www.amsat.org/amsat-na-announces-golf-cubesat-program/

Joe Spier, K6WAO, Ascends to AMSAT-NA Presidency, Announces Next CubeSat Initiative
http://www.arrl.org/news/joe-spier-k6wao-ascends-to-amsat-na-presidency-announces-next-cubesat-initiative

Jordan’s first satellite – JY1-SAT

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II with JY1-SAT CubeSat, October 23, 2017

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II with JY1-SAT CubeSat, October 23, 2017

During the final satellite integration training for Jordan’s first satellite, JY1-SAT, the team was supported for the final stages of integration by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II.

The spacecraft has been given to students of the Masar Initiative at the Jordan University of Science and Technology as part of the JY1-SAT mission support and training program under the Crown Prince Foundation given by ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space and AMSAT-UK and AMSAT Netherlands.

JY1-SAT CubeSat

JY1-SAT CubeSat

The JY1-SAT mission was proposed by Jordanian students who participated in the first batch of the cooperation program with NASA, after which the interns had suggested the design and launch of the first Jordanian satellite CubeSat.

To build up the capability to design and develop such a first mission, the Crown Prince Foundation signed a support agreement with ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space and the AMSAT Radio Amateur Societies of the UK and the Netherlands, for hardware and training support, building on ISIS’ and AMSAT’s experience with FUNcube radio amateur transponder missions.

As a special development for the JY1-SAT mission, AMSAT has expanded the capabilities of the FUNcube transponder to be able to transmit stored images reflecting the Jordanian culture and its historical heritage, along with a voice message recorded by the Crown Prince to be transmitted in space to receivers around the world.

The launch of the JY1-SAT, scheduled during the first half of next year, is in memory of His Majesty the late King Hussein, the first founder of the HAM Radio in Jordan and holder of call sign JY1.

JY1-SAT will have a linear, inverting, transponder downlinking between 145.855 & 145.875 MHz with the uplink between 435.100 & 435.120 MHz. The telemetry downlink will be on 145.840MHz and be FUNcube compatible. A new Dashboard will be made available before the launch of JY1-SAT.

The Jordan Times – Crown Prince puts final touch on mini satellite project
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/crown-prince-puts-final-touch-mini-satellite-project

Caution Urged in Using High Duty Cycle Digital Modes via Satellite

Amateur Radio Satellite FO-29

Amateur Radio Satellite FO-29

A report in ANS-288 discussed an experiment operating with the WSJT-X FT8 digital mode via satellite. Satellite operators have gained more experience with this mode over this past week.

As a result of on-the-air observation other satellite users planning to try FT8 or MSK144 modes via satellite are encouraged use caution using these modes and possibly avoid their use completely in light of problems.

Dave, KG5CCI wrote, “He noticed a very hard time getting into the transponder. The pass was nearly overhead, and the 3w-4w that is normally sufficient was barely cutting it. I also noticed it was ‘up and down’ alot, whereas some moments it was easy to get in, then it would be nearly impossible. There were also pockets of ‘noise’ all over the transponder, that sounded somewhat digital, but I just couldn’t place them.” Further investigation revealed that an MSK144 signal in the transponder passband was causing the problems.

Matthew, NJ4Y noted, “Experimentation isn’t the problem, too much power is. It’s bad enough on SSB, worse with CW, and killer on constant duty cycle modes like FT8.”

To gain a full understanding of the situation readers are encouraged to follow the amsat-bb message thread which can be accessed at http://www.amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/2017-October/064896.html

Source: AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans