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[jamsat-news:1123] * SpaceNews 19-Jul-99
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC0719
* SpaceNews 19-Jul-99 *
MONDAY JULY 19, 1999
* OSCAR-11 REPORT *
During the period 15 June to 16 July 1999, consistent signals have been
received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage during daylight
passes has remained fairly constant, the average value observed was 13.5
with a range of 13.2 to 13.9 volts.
The internal temperatures have remainded fairly constant during this period.
They are now 0.2C and minus 1.0C for battery and telemetry electronics
respectively. The maximum eclipse time appears to have been reached, and
should decrease in the next few months. This should result in increased
internal temperatures and improved battery voltage.
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.
During the last week, the Z-axis counter reached its maximum value of
1024 causing the attitude corrections (magnetorquer firings) to stop.
When this happened, the spin period slowly started to increase. A value
of -537 seconds was recorded before ground control reset the counters on
July 14. The spin period has now dropped to a normal value of -348 seconds.
The 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 during this period. This starts at 16:00 UTC.
at the end of the period a new WOD survey of channels 1, 2, 3, 61
(magnetometers) dated 15 July 1999, was started. This should show
the increased spin period mentioned above.
Reports of the mode-S beacon have been received from Ted WA2HKS and Ken G8VR.
Ted reports strong signals from overhead passes using a three foot corner
reflector and a Drake converter. On the other hand, Ken uses an 18 element
helix (G3RUH design), and a Downeast Microwave converter. He commented that
the antenna was very easy to construct, and pointed out that although many
stations use a dish for mode-S, satisfactory results can be used with
simpler antennas. Many thanks for those reports Ted and Ken.
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 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. However, the signals are very weak and there is
a lot of Doppler shift. Users should also note that the polarisation of
OSCAR-11 is LHC. 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 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 an OSCAR-11 web site maintained
by Clive Wallis, G3CWV. 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 containing 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 zipped so that
they can be played off-line. These files should help listeners identify
the various types of data being transmitted by OSCAR-11 according their
distinctive sound, 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)]
* AMATEUR RADIO ON ISS *
The first set of flight hardware for the Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) project (http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/~ariss/ariss.html)
has passed all its tests and is on its way to Kennedy Space Center.
Pictures taken during testing may be found at:
After a tremendous amount of work by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO,
(http://garc4.gsfc.nasa.gov/~ka3zyx/ariss/ariss13.jpg) and his team of
volunteers at Goddard Space Flight Center, the transceivers, TNC, power
supplies, and harnesses for the initial transportable ARISS station are
ready. The hardware was shipped to KSC on July 9th where it will be
loaded into the STS-101 SpaceHab module. Launch of mission STS-101 to
the ISS is contingent upon successful launch of the Russian Service
Module. A picture of the hardware is available at:
Initial amateur radio operations on ISS will consist of voice and AFSK
packet on both 2m and 70cm. Future upgrades will include more bands and
The ARISS external antennas will be mounted on the outside of the ISS
Service module during a spacewalk scheduled for STS-101. The external
antennas are the responsibility of the Italian ARISS team. A picture
of the prototype antenna is shown in
http://garc4.gsfc.nasa.gov/~ka3zyx/ariss/ariss13.jpg on the top of the
shelf to Frank's left. The pyramid shaped structure is the L/S-band
antenna mounted on its EVA hardware. Four external antennas will be
flown to allow support of amateur communications on the HF, VHF, UHF, L
band (including GPS receive) and S bands.
[Info via Will Marchant, KC6ROL - AMSAT-NA SAREX Operations Manager]
* STS-93 NEWS *
NASA will begin the countdown for launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on
mission STS-93 on July 16, at 10 p.m. EDT at the T-43 hour mark. The KSC
launch team will conduct the countdown from Firing Room 1 of the Launch
The countdown includes 31 hours and 26 minutes of built-in hold time
leading to a launch at 12:36 a.m. on July 20. The launch window opens
at 12:36 a.m. and extends for 46 minutes.
This will be the first Space Shuttle mission commanded by a woman, Eileen
Collins, and the second Shuttle mission of the year. Mission STS-93 marks
the 26th flight of the orbiter Columbia and the 95th flight overall in
NASA's Space Shuttle program. STS-93 is slated to last 4 days and 23 hours.
Columbia returns to KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility at 11:31 p.m. on July 24,
marking the shortest Shuttle mission since 1990.
Columbia will carry into space NASA's latest and greatest X-ray telescope,
the Chandra X-ray Observatory. With Chandra, scientists around the world
will study some of the most distant, powerful and dynamic objects in the
universe. The new telescope is 20 to 50 times more sensitive than any
previous X-ray telescope and is expected to unlock the secrets of supernovae,
quasars, and black holes. Stowed in Columbia's payload bay, the combined
Chandra/Inertial Upper Stage measures 57 feet long and weighs 50,162 pounds.
Fully deployed with solar arrays extended, the observatory measures 45.3 feet
long and 64 feet wide.
In addition to the primary payload, Columbia is also carrying several smaller
payloads, including the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System. Stowed on
Columbia's middeck, this system measures emissions in the UV spectrum that
can not be observed on Earth.
Columbia was rolled out of Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility
bay 1 on June 2 and then mated with the external tank and solid rocket
boosters in the Vehicle Assembly Building. The Shuttle stack was transported
to pad 39B on June 7.
The STS-93 crew consists of: Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jeff Ashby,
Mission Specialists Steve Hawley, Catherine Coleman and French astronaut
Michel Tognini. The crew is scheduled to arrive at KSC at about 7 a.m.,
Friday, July 16. Their activities at KSC prior to launch will include
crew equipment fit checks, medical examinations and opportunities to fly
in the Shuttle Training Aircraft.
[Info via KSC Release 59-99]
* STS-93 SAREX INFORMATION *
STS-93 is the 25th and final flight of the Space Amateur Radio EXperiment
(SAREX) on board the space shuttle. Amateur radio in human spaceflight will
continue the fine tradition set by Shuttle and Mir on board the International
Space Station. This will take the form of the multi-national Amateur Radio
on the International Space Station (ARISS) project. Flight hardware for
ARISS is being prepared for launch to the ISS at the end of this year.
Launch of Columbia on the STS-93 mission is currently set for 04:36:00 UTC
on 1999-Jul-20. Here is a pre-launch set of estimated orbital elements from
1 99093U 99202.11969685 .00195261 00000-0 45118-3 0 39
2 99093 28.4716 190.1407 0001364 70.2068 289.8869 15.95498675 165
Catalog number: 99093
Epoch time: 99202.11969685 = (21-Jul-1999 02:52:21.808 UTC)
Element set: 003
Inclination: 28.4716 deg
RA of node: 190.1407 deg Space Shuttle Flight STS-093
Eccentricity: .0001364 Prelaunch element set JSC-003
Arg of perigee: 70.2068 deg Launch: 20-Jul-1999 04:36:00 UTC
Mean anomaly: 289.8869 deg
Mean motion: 15.95498675 rev/day Gil Carman
Decay rate: 1.95261e-03 rev/day^2 NASA Johnson Space Center
Epoch rev: 16
Deorbit: 25-Jul-1999 02:31 UTC (orbit 79) MET 04/21:55
Landing: 25-Jul-1999 03:23 UTC (orbit 80) MET 04/22:47
Most pre-launch orbital elements are the "OMS-2" set which is good for right
after orbit insertion. On this mission there will be more maneuvering for
the deployment of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The element set given above
is the OMS-4 estimate. This describes the orbit during the time period when
the school contacts (and most of the amateur radio operations) will occur.
The STS-93 crew consists of:
Eileen Collins, KD5EDS, Commander
Jeffrey Ashby, Pilot
Cady Coleman, KC5ZTH, Mission Specialist 1
Steven Hawley, Mission Specialist 2
Michel Tognini, KD5EJZ, Mission Specialist 3
The following frequencies will be used by the Space Shuttle during SAREX
Packet 144.49 145.80 MHz
European voice 144.49 145.80 MHz
Voice (except over Europe) 144.47 145.80 MHz
Voice (except over Europe) 144.45 145.80 MHz
School contacts 145.80 MHz
Gil Carman, WA5NOM reported that the crew has expressed a preference for
voice mode instead of packet during the periods when they are awake,
with the packet robot on only during sleep periods. All passes over the
continental U.S. are during their awake shifts, and all sleep passes will
be over Asia and South America. So, U.S. stations may have very little,
if any, packet opportunities on this flight.
Voice: Please listen on the downlink for the crew to call CQ. If the
crewperson is in the middle of a contact, PLEASE WAIT until they are done.
Pick one of the two voice uplink frequencies at random.
Packet: Connect to W5RRR-1 and you will get a packet connect number from
the robot. PLEASE DO THIS ONLY ONCE. Connecting multiple times only
deprives others of a chance to participate.
Turn on monitoring to see who else is working the robot mode and to get
status messages from the SAREX packet rig.
Please do not connect to other ground stations through the SAREX packet rig.
APRS type UI packets are welcome as suggested below:
Bob Bruninga and the APRS Working Group suggest the following:
Although the SAREX Packet mode will continue to acknowledge connect requests
with a serial number response as on previous missions, a new experiment is
being conducted to encourage brief position/status exchanges between ground
stations using UI packets similar to recent experients via MIR. By using
simple APRS formats, these packets can not only be recognized by all packet
users, but they can be automatically displayed on all APRS stations
including the thousands of self-contained TH-D7 Handi-Talkies.
Dumb Terminal Users:
1) Do not attempt to CONNECT with any other station.
2) Set your UNPROTO to: UNPROTO CQ VIA W5RRR-1
3) Go to converse mode: CONV
4) Begin your line with ">". APRS stations will capture this as a STATUS
packet. (The THD7 will capture the first 20 characters)
5) Optionally, starting the packet with a grid square, may allow automatic
plotting by software (APRS). Use these formats:
>GG## comment........ Puts you in Grid GG## (within 100 km)
>GG##gg comment...... Puts you in Grid GG##gg (within 4 km)
>GG##gg$ comment..... Puts you on map using the "$" station ICON
Example Station Icons (insert this character in place of "$"):
- House y House with Yagi ` Satellite Antenna
> Car k Truck R Recreational Vehicle
s Ship or boat v Van Y Yacht/Sailboat
b Bicycle < Motorcycle ; Camping (tent)
[ Human ' Airplane j Jeep
TH-D7 USERS: Operate normal APRS mode. If you send a message, only send a
BULLETIN so that all other stations can see it. Never have more than one
active outgoing message. When you see "MY PACKET" displayed, then CANCEL the
message. It was successful and everyone else will have seen it too.
APRS USERS: Use the latest versions of APRS software and select the SPACE or
GRID-SQUARE mode. Keep your Status and Position comments brief! When you see
a packet successfully digipeated, cancel it to cease QRM.
For further APRS information see:
Please feel free to listen to the SAREX downlink (145.80 MHz) during the
scheduled school contacts. The planned times are listed below.
MET Start Date / Time UTC School Crew Shuttle Location
1D:06H:59M 21-Jul-99 11:35 Buzz Aldrin Elementary CDR S. Africa
1D:20H:14M 22-Jul-99 00:50 Harbor View Elementary CDR W. Australia
1D:21H:49M 22-Jul-99 02:25 Awty International MS3 W. Australia
2D:20H:17M 23-Jul-99 00:53 Osceola Elementary CDR W. Australia
2D:22H:32M 23-Jul-99 03:08 Memorial Middle CDR Texas
(Note: Mission Elapsed Time (MET) is expressed in Day:Hour:Minute format)
Additional STS-93 SAREX information is available at:
Additional information regarding SAREX operating frequencies is
[Info via Will Marchant, KC6ROL, AMSAT-NA SAREX Operations Manager]
* OSCAR-10 NEWS *
AO-10 seems to be working sporadically, has a VERY slow spin rate and may
be tumbling slowly. Nonetheless, Stacey Mills, W4SM did hear reasonably
good downlink signals at 20,000 km when I checked last Sunday morning.
The NORAD keps for AO-10 are almost a month old, but some ranging
measurements Stacey made last week indicate that they are holding up
reasonably well. Here are some updated keps based on recent rangings.
The old keps are still quite usable.
Catalog number: 14129
Epoch time: 99192.50000000
Element set: 580
Inclination: 26.838 deg
RA of node: 20.350 deg
Arg of perigee: 329.117 deg
Mean anomaly: 312.572 deg
Mean motion: 2.05867643 rev/day
Decay rate: 0.0 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 12087
1 14129U 00 0 0 99192.50000000 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 5808
2 14129 026.8380 020.3500 6007900 329.1170 312.5720 02.05867643120870
[Info via Stacey Mills, W4SM]
* RS12/RS13 NEWS *
Tom Hart, AD1B reports that he worked LU6HI on the RS-12/13 satellite
several times this spring. Last week, a QSL card appeared in the mail from:
PDTE. Peron O. 147 - C.C. 81 - CP5800
Rio Cuarto - Cordoba - Argentina
When he made the contacts, Tom wondered if Jorge might be working him
directly, but Tom could hear doppler shift on signal. Tom also wondered
if he might be maritime mobile or portable, but he did not sign /MM or /P.
The info on my QSL was :
via: RS12/13 on 4/24/99 at 2330 UST
21 up / 29 down RST 539 CW
It seems that the conditions on 10 and 15 meters must have been very
favorable for Jorge. Tom uses mode A (Kenwood 430 and G5RV (40 feet
at center) for 10 meter downlink along with a Yaesu 290 and amp with
an old Heathkit collinear vertical on the garage (base at 15 feet height)).
Tom is aware that John, W1IKI, has worked Jorge on cw. Tom is interested
to know how many other contacts were made since Argentina seems like a
tough QSO on RS12/13. He may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Info via Tom, AD1B]
* 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
INTERNET : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
SATELLITE : AMSAT-OSCAR-16, KITSAT-OSCAR-25
<<=- SpaceNews: The first amateur newsletter read in space! -=>>
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Packet : KD2BD @ N2SMV.NJ.USA.NA | WWW : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
Video : 426.250 MHz/439.250 MHz | FAX : +1.732.224.2060
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