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[jamsat-news:1053] * SpaceNews 22-Mar-99 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0322
* SpaceNews 22-Mar-99 *
MONDAY MARCH 22, 1999
* PICOSATELLITE PROJECT *
Hank Heidt, N4AFL, reports that a one pound (4 inch x 3 inch x 1 inch)
Amateur Radio Picosatellite is under construction by a team in the
Washington DC area for Stanford University's OPAL launch in September
1999. Designers need to deliver the flight ready picosat by April 1
so they are under a very tight schedule, but hope to get everything
integrated and tested in time.
The picosatellite will be called "Stensat", and is intended for use by
amateur radio operators world wide and will operate as a single channel
Mode "J" FM voice repeater. The earth-to-space uplink frequency will
be 145.840 MHz and the space-to-earth downlink will be 436.625 MHz.
Stensat will periodically transmit 1200 baud AX.25 for broadcasting the
following telemetry: temperature, bus current, bus voltage, receiver RSSI
and 3 digital "0/1" sun sensors. Additionally, amateur radio operators
will be able to "PING" the satellite causing the satellite to broadcast a
telemetry packet by transmitting a six digit DTMF command to the receiver
Web pages describing the project may be found at the following URLs:
Hank asks that if anyone has any spare space rated black and/or white
paint to please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Info via Hank Heidt, N4AFL]
* FUJI-OSCAR-29 NEWS *
The JARL FO-29 command station has announced the current status and
new operation sked of FO-29.
On March 17th, the two bits errors had detected in the satellite's
OBC (on board computer). As a result, software reloading will be
required. Digitalker operation that was originally scheduled for
March 19th will be re-scheduled after March 20th.
The new operating schedule for FO-29 is as follows:
1999-Mar-23 (Tue) 0400 UTC -to- 1999-Apr-05 : Mode JA
[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]
* MIR PMS NEWS *
Recent problems with the TNC onboard Mir were repaired last week by
MIREX President Dr. Dave Larsen, N6CO. Dave thanks Scott, WA6LIE of
MIREX for helping out with this work. Dave reminds those using the
Mir PMS to please restrain from accessing the PMS if it is in use
by another groundstation, do not digipeat through the TNC when a
groundstation is connected to the PMS, and to lastly, have fun. :-)
* AMSAT-FRANCE NEWS *
Press Release 99-03
AMSAT-Russia, with the help of SCSC (Space Flight Control Centre) in
Moscow has contacted AMSAT-France in December 98 for the design and
manufacture of RF module and electronic PCBs similar to the ones used
on board the RS-17 and RS-18 satellites. AMSAT-Russia was in charge of
building the satellite frame, integrating the VHF and electronic modules
into the frame and choosing and implementing the messages to be sent by
AMSAT-France has delivered the electronic modules on time (February 99)
with a preliminary version of software. All the AMSAT-France work has
been completed in less than 7 weeks. The final version of the software
has been sent via an express delivery company, but it has been frozen
by the Russian customs. Because of the planning, AMSAT-Russia did not
use the final version of software delivered by AMSAT-France.
The character of this project did not allow AMSAT-France to implement
its educational project. AMSAT-France has been deeply involved in
the RS-17 and RS-18 projects, including technical support and flight
model manufacture. With the help of French schools and universities,
AMSAT-France is now developing the MAELLE amateur satellite project.
[Info via Bernard, F6BVP]
* OSCAR-11 REPORT *
OSCAR-11 celebrated its 15th Birthday on 01-March. The satellite was
designed, built, tested, and successfully launched by a Delta rocket
within a time scale of six months, and with a budget of only 450,000 ukp.
To minimize cost, selected commercial grade components were used instead
of the more expensive space qualified types.
On the evening of March 1st 1984, G3RWL ran a launch net on eighty meters,
which reported the successful deployment of the satellite. Shortly after
launch, strong signals were heard on 145.825 MHz as it passed over the UK.
Unfortunately next day all contact with the satellite was lost, and it was
a further ten weeks before contact was restored, and commissioning could
start. Since that time, the satellite has given good service enabling
many scientific experiments to be done, and has provided a news bulletin
service for Radio Amateurs. A few failures have occurred during the last
fifteen years, but then that's a very long time, and the environment of
space is very hostile! Congratulations to the UoSAT team on a fine
During the period 17 February to 16 March 1999 good signals have been
received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage has remained
fairly fairly constant, averaging 13.8 volts, during afternoon passes,
when the satellite has been illuminated for some time.
The internal temperatures have remained fairly constant at are now 5.4C
and 3.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.
A single WOD survey dated 06-January-99 of solar array currents and array
voltage ie.channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X, V), has been transmitted.
The sound of this WOD contains a characteristic musical tone which occurs
when the constant data captured during solar eclipses is transmitted.
The Mode-S beacon has been heard by Viktor OE1VKW who reports:
"Heard on Friday March 5 (orbit 80327) and Monday March 8 (orbit # 80371)
at elevations greater than 30 degrees (range less than about 1500 km).
Maximum signal S 2 to S 3 (range around 700 km).
Equipment: 40 element Yagi, horizontal polarization, SSB UEK 2000 SAT
Converter, IC-275." Many thanks for that report, Viktor.
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 on 2401 MHz would be most welcome. Please e-mail them to
Clive Wallis, at: email@example.com.
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
Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting a web site maintained
by Clive Wallis, G3CWV. The 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, examples 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, and give an indication of the signal quality required for
The URL is -
[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV]
* THANKS! *
Thanks to all who recently sent message of appreciation to SpaceNews,
LU2MGQ VU2KGB KF4GKO LW4DOP F6FKQ F6HLG N9TNY
* 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
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