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[jamsat-news:1108] * SpaceNews 21-Jun-99 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0621
* SpaceNews 21-Jun-99 *
MONDAY JUNE 21, 1999
* ISS NEWS *
Space Shuttle mission STS-101, currently scheduled for launch on
1999-Dec-02 will be carrying the first set of amateur radio hardware
up to the International Space Station. External antennas for the ham
shack are expected to be installed during an EVA on this flight. The
ham gear will be left onboard ISS, and there will probably be some very
limited testing of the ham gear.
The ISS assembly crews are extremely busy, and the ham community is
very fortunate that the ISS management and crews have made the Herculean
effort to fit amateur radio into the ISS program.
Expect fairly regular amateur radio operations early next year once the
first permanent crew arrives on the International Space Station.
[Info via Will Marchant, KC6ROL, AMSAT-NA SAREX Operations Manager]
* PHASE 3D NEWS *
A major milestone was reached on 13 June 1999 with the successful test
firing of AMSAT's Phase 3D pyros used to deploy the Solar Panels as well
as testing of the control electronics for the 400N propulsion system.
Rick Leon KA1RHL, who built the Array Release Unit (ARU) and Liquid
Ignition Unit (LIU) electronics observed the performance of the
systems, while Peter Gzow, DB2OS, programmed the spacecraft computer
using the ground command station to fire the pyros. The Deployment
mechanism, built by Bob Davis, KF4KSS, worked flawlessly, and the Solar
Panel was pushed open by the springs when the pyro cut the Kevlar wire
which holds the panel in place during the launch.
The next milestone is the "rollout" to test all transmitters and receivers
with the spacecraft antennas in flight configuration.
The P3D Team
Lou McFadin W5DID
P3D Integration Manager
* OSCAR-11 NEWS *
During the period 15 May to 15 June 1999, consistent signals have been
received from OSCAR-11's 145.826 MHz FM beacon. The battery voltage
during daylight passes has continued to decrease slightly, the average
value observed being 13.4, with a range of 13.2 to 13.7 volts also
The internal temperatures have continued to fall by an additional 1.5
degrees C during this period. They are now 0.4C and minus 1.0C for
battery and telemetry electronics respectively.
The magnetorquer spin correction counters have now resumed their
nominal counting rates after their unusual behaviour during the last
few months. The counting rate for the negative spin counter is now
about 6.5 counts per day, while the Z axis counter increments at
about 11 counts per day.
A single WOD survey dated 08-April-1999 of channels 39, 50, 52 & 63
(telemetry electronics temperature, battery charge current, battery
voltage, and BCR status), has been transmitted over the past month.
The survey starts at 16:00 UTC. A plot of channel 52 (battery voltage)
shows that during periods of sunlight the voltage can be seen rising
and modulated by the spacecraft spin. The shape of this modulation
suggests that one photo cell panel may be generating a smaller output
than the others. During the eclipse period, the voltage steadily
decreases from 13.3 down to 12.2 volts.
Channel 63, which contains the battery charge regulator (BCR) status
shows that the switch between A & B units occurs when the satellite
enters or exits from the eclipse state. Channel 39 (telemetry
electronics) shows a very small change in temperature, about one
degree C, of the telemetry electronics unit as the satellite passes
through the earth's shadow.
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)
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 2401 MHz Mode-S beacon is ON transmitting an unmodulated carrier,
but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed and delivering half
its rated power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing
Mode-S converters prior to the launch of P3-D. However, the signals are
very weak, and there is a lot of Doppler shift. Users should also note
that the polarization of OSCAR-11 is left-hand circular. Even if you
can't hear OSCAR-11, your equipment may still be OK for P3-D. Any
reports of reception on 2401 MHz would be most welcome, and should
be directed to Clive Wallis, G3CWV via e-mail at: 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
Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting an OSCAR-11 web site
designed 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 that contain examples of each type of data transmitted
by OSCAR-11. Each file plays for about ten seconds. There are also
examples of Mode-S reception. All the audio files are compressed (zipped),
so that they can be played off-line. These files should help listeners
identify the various types of data transmitted by OSCAR-11 by their unique
sounds, and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful
decoding. The URL is http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/
[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV, email@example.com]
* RS-18 QSL NEWS *
AMSAT-F has announced that it has received its RS-18 QSL cards from
the printer, and are expected to be sent out around the 2nd of July
along with a special frank mark.
[Info via Jean-Louis G/F6AGR]
* FUJI-OSCAR-29 NEWS *
FO-29 was switched from Mode JA to 1200 baud Mode JD at 0500 UTC on
17-Jun-99. The following is the latest operating schedule announced
by spacecraft controllers:
Thu 1999-Jun-17 0500 UTC -to- Mon 1999-Jun-21 0300 UTC : Mode JD 1200
Mon 1999-Jun-21 0400 UTC -to- Mon 1999-Jul-05 : Mode JA
[Info via Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK]
* 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 @ N2SMV.NJ.USA.NA <-------------- New address!
INTERNET : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
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