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[jamsat-news:1035] * SpaceNews 22-Feb-99 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0222
* SpaceNews 22-Feb-99 *
MONDAY FEBRUARY 22, 1999
SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA. It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.
* SUNSAT LAUNCHED! *
Although this issue of SpaceNews is going out late this week, the delay
made it possible to announce the sucessful launch of Amateur Radio's newest
satellite. K7RR reported via W7RAQ that the Delta II rocket carrying
the South African "Sunsat" satellite was successfully launched on the
morning of Tuesday 1999-Feb-23 at 02:20 Pacific Standard Time. This
launch came after 11 unsuccessful attempts to launch the Delta II from
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Sunsat successfully separated
from the Delta rocket at T+1 hour, 40 minutes.
* FO-29 NEWS *
A new operating schedule for the FUJI-OSCAR-29 satellite has been
announced due to a problem in placing the satellite in "Digitalker"
mode. The latest schedule is as follows:
Mon 1999-Feb-22 -to- Mon 1999-Mar-08 Mode JA
Mon 1999-Mar-08 -to- Thu 1999-Mar-18 Mode JD 1200 baud (BPSK)
Fri 1999-Mar-19 -to- Tue 1999-Mar-23 Digitalker
Tue 1999-Mar-23 -to- Tue 1999-Mar-30 Mode JA
[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]
* OSCAR-11 NEWS *
Mode-S enthusiasts may be interested in an Spectrogram plot of OSCAR-11's
Mode S beacon kindly submitted by Mike WL7BQM. Refer to mode-s reports
below, for details.
During the period 1999-Jan-17 to 1999-Feb-16, good signals have been
received from OSCAR-11's 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage has
dropped slightly, averaging 13.7 volts. This is during afternoon
passes when the satellite has been illuminated for some time. During
a couple of early morning passes when the satellite had been in darkness
for some time, battery voltages of 13.1 and 13.2 were recorded by
The magnetorquer spin correction counters have again showed very few
spin counter increments, although the spin period remains around its
nominal value of -300 seconds. However, the Z axis counter increments
The internal temperatures have fallen by about two degrees C. They are
now 5.4C and 3.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.
A single WOD survey dated 1999-Jan-06 of solar array currents and
array voltages (ie: channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X, V)), has
been transmitted by the satellite. The sound of this WOD contains
a characteristic musical tone that occurs when the constant data
captured during solar eclipses is transmitted.
Reports of the Mode-S beacon thave been received from Mike, WL7BQM in
Stirling, Alaska and Al, KD4VA in Sumpter, South Carolina. Mike uses
a six foot dish, Drake converter and preamplifier. The main receiver
is a FT-736 modified with a MuTec front-end. Mike's good signals can
be seen from the AF9Y FFTDSP42 spectrogram plot, which he kindly sent
Clive Wallis. Clive has since added this graph to his OSCAR-11 web
site. It's located in the 'GRAPHS' section, and it shows the Doppler
effect on frequency, and variation of signal strength.
Mike has observed a reduction in signal strength when the satellite
goes into eclipse, although this may be due to path obstructions,
rather than power supply reduction.
Al uses a Meyers dish for Mode S reception along with a DEM pre-amp
and a Drake downconverter. He receives the beacon just above the
The operating schedule is unchanged:
ASCII status (210 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY ENG (30 seconds)
The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and
frequencies of all the amateur radio satellites.
There are additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted,
and between ASCII TLM and WOD.
The Mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but
telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half
power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S
converters, prior to the launch of P3-D. It is considerably weaker
than DOVE, which should be used for initial testing. Any reports of
reception of OSCAR-11 on 2401 MHz would be most welcome, and should
be directed to Clive Wallis at: email@example.com.
OSCAR-11's 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. However, it can sometimes
be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, ie.
within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 MHz beacon is transmitting,
the 145 MHz beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly
Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting Clive's OSCAR-11
web site. The web site contains details of hardware required and some
software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD.
There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is
continually being expanded as new data is captured. Also included
are some audio files, that include example of each type of data
transmitted by OSCAR-11. Each one plays for about ten seconds.
There are also examples of Mode-S reception. All the audio files
are zipped, so that they can be played off-line. These should help
listeners identify the various types of data transmitted by OSCAR-11,
and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful
The URL is:
[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV]
* FEEDBACK/INPUT WELCOMED *
Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor
(John, KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
PACKET : KD2BD @ KS4HR.NJ.USA.NA
INTERNET : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
<<=- SpaceNews: The first amateur newsletter read in space! -=>>
<<=- Serving the planet (and beyond) since 1987 -=>>
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John A. Magliacane, KD2BD -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Internet : firstname.lastname@example.org | Voice : +1.732.224.2948
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Packet : KD2BD @ KS4HR.NJ.USA.NA | WWW : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
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