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[jamsat-news:2909] ANS-002 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins


ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the
activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an
active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:

In this edition:

* AO-51 Power Management Enabled as Satellite Enters Eclipses
* Latest Winners Announced in AMSAT Fundraising Drive
* Ham Radio University Program Includes Satellite Operations
* Chichijima Island Activation Includes Satellites
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* Rogue GEO Satellite Back Under Control
* Russian Engineers Plan to Extend Internet to Space
* ARISS Status Report for the Week of December 27, 2010

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.01
AO-51 Power Management Enabled as Satellite Enters Eclipses

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.01
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.01

The AO-51 Control Team reported they enabled the power management 
function of the satellite in anticipation of eclipses expected to
begin before the end of December, 2010. 

Command Team member Mark Hammond, N8MH wrote, "You might see the 
transmitter power levels go UP and DOWN a bit as the battery voltage 
changes. We'll make some adjustments and tweaks to keep it from going 
UP and DOWN too often--but it's the way it's gonna work. In a few 
weeks we expect transmitter(s) to be OFF while in eclipse and ON when 
in the sun."

AO-51 users should expect adjustments and various power management 
schemes from now until the end of February when we'll again see full 
sunlight for a brief period. On December 28 the Command Team shut down 
the digital transmitter TXA (435.150 MHz). This is due to less sun (we 
are on the edge of eclipse). TXA off for the most part, except to col-
lect telemetry. The 435.300 MHz repeater will be kept running as much
as possible.

The command team could really use your help. If you work AO-51 (or 
hear it) and there isn't a recent entry, please make a report entry 
at: http://oscar.dcarr.org/  so we know all is well. 

Things are touch-and-go now that we are experiencing eclipses, and 
reports on the OSCAR Status Page that the bird is up and functional 
are extremely helpful.

The Command Team notes that expected behavior is for the transmitter 
to go OFF during eclipse, but eclipses are only a couple minutes or 
less at the moment. The regular voice repeater is planned to be oper-
ation for the month of January, 2011 as the Command Team manages the 
changing eclipse periods. AO-51 will be seeing longer eclipses and 
there will be times when the bird goes off for several minutes at a 
time--including over populated areas.  It seems like it's occurring 
in the early morning time frame.

Keep up to date with the latest Command Team and Operations Group 
AO-51 News at: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/CTNews.php

[ANS thanks Mark, N8MH for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.02
Latest Winners Announced in AMSAT Fundraising Drive

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.02
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.02

AMSAT's fundraising campaign via PayPal Widget continues to produce
results. AMSAT VP Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA announced last
week, "Beginning with the $1250 mark, we will be randomly picking a 
donor from every $250 increment to receive an item from the AMSAT 

The drawing winners for the next three $250 increments have been
$1000-$1250    Richard Lewis
$1250-$1500    Eric Schecter
$1500-$1750    Stephen Silverman and Charles Suprin

In conclusion, Drew writes, "Thanks again, and if you'd like to donate 
to the campaign or share the widget to your own website, please visit 
http://www.amsat.org. The widget is on the front page below the ARISSat-1 
news, and you can click on "Give" to donate, or "add to site" to receive 
the HTML code, or "supporters" to scroll through the statistics. I hope 
to soon see more familiar names scrolling across the widget soon, showing 
your support for AMSAT's next two satellites."

Donations, memberships, and store purchases may also be made through the 
AMSAT store on the website, or by calling Martha at 1 888 322 6728.

[ANS thanks Drew KO4MA for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.03
Ham Radio University Program Includes Satellite Operations

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.03
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.03

On January 9, 2011, AMSAT Area Coordinator Pete, WB2OQQ will be pre-
senting "Satellite Operations with an HT" at the Ham Radio University 
2011 event at Briarcliffe College, Bethpage, NY. Full information can 
be found on-line at: http://www.hamradiouniversity.org. 

Pete's presentation is scheduled at 11:00 - 11:50AM in Room D. He will 
be using the special event call sign W2V for the afternoon satellite 
passes. Someone attending his forum will be leaving with an ELK Antenna, 
graciously donated by the company for the event. 

[ANS thanks Pete, WB2OQQ for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.04
Chichijima Island Activation Includes Satellites

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.04
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.04

Makoto, JI5RPT (JD1BLY) and Harry, JG7PSJ (JD1BMH) are again active
from Chichijima Island (IOTA AS-031) between 24 December 2010 and 
8 January 2011.

They are active on all bands 160-10m, with focus on the lower bands, 
using CW, SSB, Digital and the satellites.

JD1BLY will be active between 24 December 2010 and 3 January 2011, 
while JD1BMH will be active between 30 December and 8 January 2011.

QSL via the bureau to the JD1 callsigns or direct to their home 

[ANS thanks the SouthGate ARC News for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.05
Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.05
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.05

+ The next Hudson Valley Satcom Group Net is Thursday January 6 at
  8:00 PM EST (UTC - 5) on the MBARC 146.970 MHz repeater (-600; & 
  PL 100). The EchoLink node is N2EYH-L. Latest information can be
  found on-line at: http://www.hhvsatcom.org. (Stu, WA2BSS)

+ University of Texas FASTRAC updated TLEs are available at:
  http://tinyurl.com/25sykwb (UTexas.edu)

+ NASA has posted a video: Satellite Views of the “Christmas Blizzard”
  on-line at: http://tinyurl.com/399x2r5

+ WB2SIH (grid FN31DD) reported a successful CW contact via AO-7 with
  RW3XL (grid KO84DM) at a distance of 7,480 KM.

+ News received from Derrick, GM0FMW reports good transatlantic sat-
  ellite contacts via HO-68 with Paul N2BX, Nick KB1RVT, Paul KB1QYS, 
  John K8YSE, Thomas KL0BK,and Ricky VE4AMU. Derrick wishes a Happy
  New Year to all AMSAT members.

+ Clint, K6LCS published an updated copy of the "How to Work Ham Satel-
  lites With Your HT" tutorial. This is posted on-line at:

+ Online Registration is now available to register to the 1st IAA 
  Conference on University Satellites Missions and Cubesat Conference 
  in Rome. See http://www.gaussteam.com/ for the latest information.

+ On the morning of Tuesday, January 4, 2011, an eclipse of the Sun 
  will be widely visible across Europe and as far east as India. The 
  eclipse won't be visible in North and South America. UniverseToday.com 
  has the full story at: http://tinyurl.com/388sb2r

+ More NASA Videos! See http://tinyurl.com/2847r6h for Seasons Greetings 
  and a Look Back at 2010 from NASA. Watch the video at:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48hjjKUS7G8 for the "Best of the Best" 
  Launches", powered by Music with imagery rarely seen by the public 
  that highlights three space shuttle launches.

+ Henk, PA3GUO has posted a video featuring his first test at satellite
  reception with a FUNcube dongle SDR receiver straight out of the box: 
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFZGlqKPPQo (HD video: set to 720p and 
  Fullscreen). Henk says his results are amazing with similar perform-
  ance with a Kenwood TS2000x. Satellites in the video include HO68 CW,
  HO68 FM, AO51 FM, VO52 SSB, and OOREOS 1k2 AX25 (packet radio with 

+ The software to auto-decode the University of Michigan RAX beacons 
  can be found on the website at: http://rax.engin.umich.edu. 
  Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN has his own version at 
  (via Matt Bennett, KF6RTB, RAX Project Manager

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.06
Rogue GEO Satellite Back Under Control

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.06
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.06

UniverseToday.com reported that the geostationary satellite that 
became a “zombie” earlier this year and stopped communicating with 
ground controllers has now finally been reset and is under control. 

The Galaxy 15 communications satellite had its “brains fried” by a 
solar flare and went rogue in early May. Although it was still func-
tional, its navigation and communications systems would not accept 
commands, and the satellite drifted out of its orbit. On December 23, 
2010, engineers at Intelsat were finally able to command the unit to 
reset after a battery drained. Shortly thereafter Galaxy 15 began 
accepting commands, and then was put into safe mode. “We are pleased 
to report it no longer poses any threat of satellite interference to 
either neighboring satellites or customer services,” IntelSat said 
on their website.

While there was little chance that Galaxy 15 would crash into another 
satellite, it caused some problems when it entered an orbital space 
occupied by other satellites and “stole” their signal, thereby inter-
rupting other vendor’s services to customers on Earth.

Engineers will now do some diagnostic tests and load updated command-
ing software to the satellite. The satellite is currently pointed 
towards the Sun, allowing the spacecraft’s batteries to become fully 
charged and the satellite thermally balanced.

Once initial diagnostic testing has been completed, IntelSat will 
attempt to stop the drift of the satellite. This phase could take 
as long as two weeks to complete.

Intelsat is hoping full functionality of Galaxy 15 can be regained 
and they hope to relocate the satellite to an orbital location where 
we they can assess the viability of the payload, and conduct extensive 
in-orbit testing to determine the functionality of every aspect of the 

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2amezh4

[ANS thanks UniverseToday.com for the above information


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.07
Russian Engineers Plan to Extend Internet to Space

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.07
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.07

Russian engineers have started drawing up a new 'Kosmonet' project, 
and its implementation will provide an opportunity for the Runet 
users to enter the 'Space' Internet.

The developers say that rapid access to the Internet is only part of 
the task set before the “Kosmonet”. They give priority to guaranteeing 
communications between spacecraft and establishing control over flying 
objects from any point on the Earth and stable communications with 
remote regions of Russia.

“Such a communication system is crucial for the north and in the Polar 
Regions because satellites in the geostationary orbit cannot provide 
access to these regions. In fact, to built transmitter units there or 
lay optic fibre cables to these regions is either economically inexpe-
dient or technically impossible, says deputy head of the Russian space 
agency,” Vitaly Davydov.

“The new project is an upgraded version of the present system known 
as “Gonets” (Messenger). “It’s crucial for Russia to have the possi-
bility of ensuring communication with any of its satellites at any 
time and linking them with the mission control centres. In short, we 
are “lifting” the Internet into orbit. At present, there is no such a 
system, and we hope to enter into this market first,” Vitaly Davydov 

“According to the president of the “Gonets” Satellite System” Company, 
Alexander Galkevich, it has been planned to place a group of 48 satel-
lites into orbit that will cover the entire planet. In fact, 18 satel-
lites are sufficient for Russia. This will make it possible to provide 
services that are highly sought on the market,” says Mr Galkevich.

“Among the services demanded by consumers are voice communications, 
broadband broadcasting, video conferencing and transmitting short mes-
sages. Such services are not provided comprehensively by any existing 
system in the world,” Alexander Galkevich said.

The developers emphasize that the “Kosmonet” does not depend on ground 
infrastructure. Communications will be maintained with the assistance 
of terminals and basic stations through satellites. Consequently, 
emergency situations such as earthquakes or other calamities cannot 
interrupt communications. The ground transmitting and receiving sta-
tions usually go out of order in such incidents. The “Kosmonet” will 
help to control the movements of dangerous cargo shipments and link 
with ships at any point on a sea or an ocean.

According to preliminary estimates, about US$20 billion will be needed 
to implement the project. This will pay off in ten years. The prepara-
tions for launching the work have to be completed in three years. It 
will take five years to create the full-fledged space group.

Source: SouthGate ARC site: http://tinyurl.com/37rnkn8

[ANS thanks SouthGate ARC site for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-002.08
ARISS Status Report for the Week of December 27, 2010

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 002.08
January 2, 2011
BID: $ANS-002.08

1. ISS Astronaut Sends Birthday Greetings to ARISS 

On December 21, ARISS celebrated its tenth anniversary of the first 
school contact. The first contact was made with Burbank School in 
Illinois on December 21, 2000. Since that time, ARISS has performed 
565 successful contacts with school children around the world. ESA 
astronaut Päolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA, from onboard the ISS, wished ARISS 
a Happy Birthday. His photo presenting his birthday wishes is avail-
able for download from: http://www.ariss-eu.org/Nespoli_10ARISS.jpg

ARRL also covered this story.  See: http://tinyurl.com/38a4eog

2. ARISS International Team Meeting Held

The monthly ARISS International Team meeting was held on Tuesday, 
December 21. Topics of discussion included ARISS' tenth anniversary, 
the upcoming face to face meeting and a status on the Columbus module 
equipment as well as ARISSat-1. To view the minutes, see: 

3. AMSAT Article on 10th Anniversary of ARISS

The AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) News Service bulletin 
(ANS-360) posted an article on the tenth anniversary of ARISS. See: 

[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI for the above information]


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining donors
to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office. And with that,
take a moment to ponder what did Godzilla say after eating a four 
cylinder Datsun? "Gosh, I could have had a V-8!"

This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA