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[jamsat-news:792] * SpaceNews 23-Mar-98 *

* SpaceNews 23-Mar-98 *

BID: $SPC0323


			  MONDAY MARCH 23, 1998

SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

OSCAR-11 celebrated its 14th birthday on 01-Mar-98.  It is a wonderful
achievement by the UoSAT team who designed, built, and launched the satellite
in a period of only six months.  Although there have been various component
failures during its long time in orbit,  OSCAR-11 does have the habit of
bouncing back!  Great credit to its design philosophy.

During the last week there have been some problems with OSCAR-11 and the
145 MHz beacon has been OFF.  The beacon was heard on Monday 09-Mar-98 at
which time its telemetry was nominal.  Nothing was heard on Saturday and
Sunday 14/15 March on 145 or 435 MHz.  On Tuesday 17Mar-98 it was heard
on the 14:44 and 16:22 passes.  On both passes, the 435 MHz beacon was
switched on after AOS.  During the early part of the pass, binary data was
transmitted and then switched over to the 145 MHz beacon, indicating ground
control activities.  During the latter pass, some binary telemetry was
received which showed the battery voltage rather low at 13.3 volts.
Nothing was heard on Wednesday pass at 05:46 UTC.

The shut down may be a recurrence of the watchdog timer problem, which was
prevalent about two years ago.

During the remainder of the reporting period (ie. 16-Feb-98 to 09-Mar-98),
good signals were received from the 145 MHz beacon.  The battery voltage
has been slightly depressed at around 13.5 volts, but otherwise, telemetry
is nominal.

A single WOD survey has been transmitted, dated 06 January 1998.  This
contains channels 10, 20, 30 ,40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, and array
voltage).  The array voltage is a very good indication of the solar eclipses,
changing rapidly as the satellite goes in and out of darkness.

Reception reports of the Mode-S beacon have been received from VK3BNC,
N0ZHE, and N5JDB.  All are using the Drake MMDS downconverter.

Clive Wallis, G3CWV, has created an OSCAR-11 Web site that contains
information regarding the UoSAT-OSCAR-1 spacecraft.  Clive recently added
some audio files including a 20-second recording of the Mode-S beacon as
received by KC6SZY.  The other audio files are examples of each type of
data transmitted by OSCAR-11, and each plays for about ten seconds.  All
the audio files are zipped so that they can be played off-line.  They
should help listeners identify the various types of data transmitted by
the satellite, and give an indication of the signal quality required
for successful decoding.  The web site also contains some software useful
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 for Clive's OSCAR-11
Web site is:


UoSAT-OSCAR-11's operating schedule remains 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 some additional status blocks transmitted after each bulletin
between the ASCII TLM and WOD transmissions.

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 due to its stronger signal.  Any reports of
reception of the 2401 MHz Mode-S beacon should be directed to Clive Wallis
at: g3cwv@amsat.org.

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF, but 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.

[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV]

On 16-Mar-98, ITAMSAT Command Stations IK2XRO and IW2EGC succesfully switched
the ITAMSAT-OSCAR-26 satellite ON from the safe MBL mode and reloaded the
high level IHT97 code.  The spacecraft is now sending the full set of 64
telemetry channels and is collecting Whole Orbit Data surveys.  After the
full check is completed, the digipeater will be turned ON, and the file
system code reload will begin.  The satellite appears to be in an healthy
state, with all the subsystems working nominally.  Telemetry can be copied
on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK.

[Info via Alberto E. Zagni, I2KBD - ITAMSAT (IO-26) Mission Director]

The JARL has announced that the Fuji-OSCAR-29 communications satellite
was switched into Mode JA (analog transponder mode) on the pass of 16-Mar-98
at 0800 UTC.  The satellite is expected to remain in Mode JA until 23-Mar-98,
after which a new operating schedule is expected to be announced.

[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]

Richard, G3RWL, has reported that the KITSAT-OSCAR-23 satellite is currently
experiencing a lack of solar eclipses that are causing the internal
temperature of the spacecraft to increase, resulting in a distorted downlink
signal.  KO-23 goes through a period of where it experiences no eclipses
about every five months.  Eclipses are expected to begin again around the
end of March or beginning of April.

[Info via Richard W L Limebear, G3RWL]

Gordon West has confirmed that US Senator John Glenn did NOT attend his
Amateur Radio licensing course at Fry's Electronics in Southern California
earlier this month.  A message was left for Glenn's press aide last week
asking if Glenn has intentions of talking on ham radio while in orbit,
either with a license or as a third party, and no response has so far
been received.

[Info via Rich Moseson, W2VU]

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/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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