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[jamsat-news:748] * SpaceNews 19-Jan-98 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0119
* SpaceNews 19-Jan-98 *
MONDAY JANUARY 19, 1998
SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA. It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.
* SOUTH POLE ON OSCAR *
Late last year, Ronald Ross, KE6JAB, traveled to Antarctica with a portable
Pacsat station, and used his radio equipment to share his experiences with
friends via the UoSAT-OSCAR-22 amateur radio communication satellite.
Ron and his wife Sheryl departed from San Francisco, California, and arrived
in Punta Arenas, Chile on December 21, 1997. From Punta Arenas, they traveled
to Patriot Hills, Antarctica on Christmas Day 1997 on a Hercules transport
plane operated by South African Airways.
Ron's portable pacsat station station consisted of an Icom IC-821 transceiver,
a 70-cm low-noise receive preamplifier, a pair of eggbeater antennas mounted
on seven foot bamboo poles 20 feet apart on either side of Ron's tent, a
Kantronics KPC9612 packet radio terminal node controller, a laptop computer,
and a 12 volt 18 amp/hr storage battery that was recharged using a solar panel
borrowed from a Cessna pilot.
During his stay in Antartica, Ron was able to relay not only text messages
to friends via UoSAT-OSCAR-22, but color images (JPEGs) well. A total of
70 messages were upload to the satellite, 16 of which were JPEG images.
Since UoSAT-OSCAR-22 is in a high inclination polar orbit, and Ron was
situated very close to the south pole (80S, 81W), he was in an ideal location
to enjoy satellite access every 100 minutes, 24 hours a day. Ron also tried
accessing other pacsat satellites, but had his best luck with UO-22.
Ron reported that his portable pacsat station generated a lot of interest
amongst other people at the basecamp. Many were amazed by the ability of
an amateur network to provide such communications on a voluntary basis,
especially considering the official communications at the camp were
hampered due to problems experienced with Inmarsat.
Ron and Sheryl departed from Antarctica and arrived back in Chile on
January 12, 1998 after a very successful expedition. OSCAR satellites
clearly proved their value in keeping Ron in touch with the rest of the
world using a minimum of radio equipment. Reports and images relayed
by Ron during his stay in Antarctica may be found on the Web at:
Several days prior to Ron and Sheryl's departure from Anarctica, Andre
Phillips (ex VP8MAP) arrived at the south pole and was waiting for his
portable pacsat communications equipment to arrive at press time. Like
Ron, Andre expects to share his experience with others through the
UoSAT-OSCAR-22 and KITSAT-OSCAR-25 pacsat communication satellites.
* OSCAR-11 NEWS *
During the period between 16-Dec-97 and 14-Jan-98, the UoSAT-OSCAR-11
satellite has continued to provide good signals on its 145.826 MHz beacon,
although occasional interference has been caused by DOVE-OSCAR-17 which
transmits on 145.825 MHz.
Interest in the Mode-S beacon continues as stations prepare for P3D.
Four reports have been received. Stacey Mills, W4SM, reported receiving
S3 to S4 signals compared to an S2 noise level. At the same time, DOVE
was S8. Stacey uses a two foot diameter G3RUH dish with 2.5 turn helix
and an SSB downconverter. Manfred, XE1ZBO, in Mexico City has received
strong signals from UO-11 using a Conifer partial dish and SSB converter.
Mark, KE7NS, reports receiving good signals above an S7 noise level.
He uses a 21 element beam, Aircom pre-amp, and Drake downconverter.
UoSAT-OSCAR-11 spacecraft telemetry has been nominal. Internal temperatures
have continued to fall, and at the present time are 6.4C and 4.2C for battery
and telemetry electronics respectively. This fall in temperature is due to
increasing solar eclipse times, which are expected to reach a maximum in
Two WOD surveys have been transmitted during the reporting period. Both
are of channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage),
and are dated 14-Dec97 and 06-Jan-98 respectively. They show the effect
of solar eclipses on array currents and voltage.
The newly formatted AMSAT-UK bulletin number 114 is now being transmitted
by UoSAT-OSCAR-11. This report contains details of amateur satellite
frequencies and modes of operation. It is intended to be a "fixed"
message that won't become out of date too quickly. It may, however, be
changed from time to time, possibly at monthly or greater intervals.
Regular listeners will note that the new bulletin makes a different
sound compared to previous bulletins, rather like a new form of binary
data. This is because the bulletin contains regularly placed blocks of
spaces, instead of random text characters.
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)
There are also 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 is delivering only 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 on 2401 MHz
would be most welcome. Please e-mail reports to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 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 binary.
OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit an OSCAR-11 web site created by Clive
Wallis, G3CWV. It contains 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.
The URL is:
[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV (email@example.com)]
* SKN NOMINATIONS DUE *
Ray Soifer, W2RS, reminds us that it's time to send in nominations for
"Best Fist" in this year's Straight Key Night (SKN) on OSCAR. Please
address nominations via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, via packet radio to:
W2RS @ WA2SNA.NJ.USA.NA or to W2RS @ GB7HSN.#32.GBR.EU, or via snail-mail
to Ray's callbook address. The list of winners will be be made known in
[Info via the AMSAT News Service]
* 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 : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, LUSAT-OSCAR-19, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
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