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[jamsat-news:3033] ANS-352 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:

* Keep Amateur Radio in Space: Project Fox-1 Fundraising Campaign
* ARRL Teachers Institute Plans Satellite Demo on December 20
* AMSAT Awards
* This Week 50 Years Ago: OSCAR 1 in Orbit
* Silent Key: Ignacio Martinez, CE2MH, President of AMSAT-CE
* N1JEZ Adapts AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle as SDR Panadaptor
* Soyuz Preparations Continue for Three Ham Crew Launch to ISS
* UNISEC Announces Second Micro/Nano-Satellite Technology Idea Contest
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* Got CubeSat? ESA January Vega Launch to Fly 6 More

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.01
Keep Amateur Radio in Space: Project Fox-1 Fundraising Campaign

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.01
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.01

Letters mailed to all AMSAT members this week kicked off the Project 
Fox fundraising campaign. "Given the sad news on AO-51," AMSAT Presi-
dent Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, "we highlighted at the recent 2011 
Symposium that AMSAT is actively developing Fox-1, a new spacecraft 
that is designed to replace AO-51. Fox-1 development now takes on a 
great sense of urgency."

AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX says, 
"Fox-1 will advance single-channel FM repeater satellite operation 
beyond the experience of AO-51. It will advance AMSAT to the next 
generation of AO-51 class satellites."

Fox-1 is designed for longer operational life with these features:

+ Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once
   the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51
   and ARISSat-1 operations.

+ In case of IHU failure Fox-1 will continue to operate its FM
   repeater in a basic, 'zombie sat' mode, so that the repeater
   remains on-the-air.

+ Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its U/V
   (Mode B) transponder will make it even easier to work with modest

+ From the ground user's perspective, the same FM amateur radio
   equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.

+ Extending the design, Fox-2 will benefit from the development work
   of Fox-1 by adding more sophisticated power management and Software
   Defined Transponder (SDX) communications systems.

Barry concluded, "AMSAT's ability to provide a replacement spacecraft 
and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of donors who 
wish to see Fox-1 fly."

Several opportunities to make your donation to keep amateur radio in
space include:

+ Return the form sent with the letter to reply with your donation 
  for the Fox-1 Project.
  - All donations over $40 will receive a Fox pin.
  - Donations of $120 or more qualify you for AMSAT President's Club

+ Call Martha at the AMSAT Office +1-888-FB AMSAT (1-888-322-6728)
+ Paypal donation widget on the main page at: http://www.amsat.org
+ Paypal donation widget for Project Fox at:
+ You can also go to the Paypal site and send your donation to
+ The AMSAT Store: http://www.amsat-na.com/store/categories.php

On November 15 AMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA for their CubeSat 
Launch Initiative, also known as the "Educational Launch of NanoSat" 
(ELaNa) program. NASA selects projects that they deem to have merit 
in support of their strategic and educational goals. Projects that 
are selected will be able to enter into a collaboration agreement 
where NASA will cover the integration and launch costs of the satel-

AMSAT, working with ARRL, highlighted the educational merit of the 
project including the incorporation of Fox-1 into the ARRL Teacher 
Institute seminars. ARRL also provided a letter of support for the 
project that was a key component of our proposal. NASA will select 
from all of the submissions and announce the winning projects by
January 30, 2012.

The Powerpoint presentations from the 2011 AMSAT Space Symposium on 
the Project Fox web site provide a good overview of the technical 
progress: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/fox/

+ Fox-1 Project Overview
+ Fox-1 Mechanical Design
+ Fox-1 Thermal Design
+ Fox-1 Radiation Environment

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, and AMSAT's Project 
 Fox Engineering team for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.02
ARRL Teachers Institute Plans Satellite Demo on December 20

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.02
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.02

Satellite operators are invited to listen for ARRL Education and 
Technology Program Director, Mark Spencer, WA8SME on the afternoon
pass of AO-27 (and possibly other satellites) on December 20 as he 
conducts an operating demonstration from the ARRL Teachers Institute 
at Mississippi State University. Satellite passes on December 21 are
planned as backup operating times.

Mark will be covering topics regarding using space-borne systems in 
the classroom. He says a major part of that unit is demonstrating ham 
satellite contacts. 

Mark will be using the call W1AW/5 for the pass.  If you'd like a QSL 
for the contact, send an e-mail to him (mspencer@arrl.org) and he will
make sure you get one.

Find out more about the ARRL Teachers Institutes on-line at: 

[ANS thanks Mark Spencer, WA8SME for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.03
AMSAT Awards

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.03
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.03

AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, Bruce Paige, KK5DO says that con-
gratulations are in order for the latest AMSAT Awards recipients. 

The following have entered into the Satellite Communicators Club for 
making their first satellite QSO. 
+ Jackson Wilson, KF5LOQ 
+ Bill Caton, WD4DHJ 
+ Marcelo Teruel, IK0USO 
+ Mike Massell, KD0LMB 
+ Kelly Bradley, KC5YPU 
+ Dmitry Krylov, UA3RAB 

The following have earned the AMSAT Communications Achievement Award. 
+ Bill Caton, WD4DHJ, #546 

The following have earned the AMSAT Sexagesimal Communications 
Achievement Award. 
+ Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, #162 
+ George Carr, WA5KBH, #163 

The following have earned the South Africa Satellite Communications 
Achievement Award. 
+ Bill Caton, WD4DHJ, #US175 
+ Demitry Krylov, UA3RAB, #US176 
+ Marcelo Teruel, IK0USO, #US177 

The following have earned their Robert W. Barbee, Jr. W4AMI Award 
+ Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, #75 

To see all the awards visit http://www.amsat.org. 

Bruce also invites everyone to check into the Houston AMSAT Net on
Wednesday 0200z (Tuesday evening in North America) on Echolink - 
Conference *AMSAT*  The net also streams MP3 at:
http://www.amsatnet.com And a podcast can be downloaded from
http://www.amsatnet.com/podcast.xml or iTunes.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.04
This Week 50 Years Ago: OSCAR 1 in Orbit

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.04
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.04

The AMSAT News Service is re-running the Project OSCAR Newsletters
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of OSCAR 1. During the November/
December 2011 time frame you will be able to share the excitement of
the launch campaign that started it all 50 years ago.

This week is the last installment in the replay of these historic

The Newsletters were hand-typed back in 1961. Thanks to Don Ferguson,
KD6IRE for scanning the original documents announcing OSCAR 1.

<Begin Commemorative Message>

O S C A R    N E W S L E T T E R

December 21, 1961

As of December 19, 1961 (one week in orbit) the amateur radio satel-
lite Oscar I had completed 104 revolutions about the earth on a North-
South-North orbit. Reports are beginning to pour into the Oscar Head-
quarters. A total of 296 reports from ll foreign countries have been 
received, with radio messages indicating more are on the way. Mail 
has been delayed because of the Christmas rush, but it is hoped that 
future reports will reach us more rapidly. Reports have proven to be 
consistent and accurate enough for use in generating tracking predic-
tions. Telemetry information provided by the keying rate indicates 
that Oscar I is running a fever. Recent data establishes the tempera-
ture of the package to be l25F.

The following is a summary of the Oscar 1 satellite:

+ Frequency: Approximately 144.983 Mc. Power Output: 100+ milliwatts
+ HI-rate: Proportional to temperature. (IO HI's in 30 seconds = 64F).
+ Tumble rate: Approximately 20 seconds.
+ Apogee: (Point farthest from the earth) - Approximately 275 miles.
+ Perigee: (Point closest to the earth) - Approximately 150 miles.
+ Orbital Period: Approximately 92 minutes. 
+ Total Doppler Shift: Approximately 6.5 kc.(Frequency received-is 
  higher than transmitted when satellite is approaching your station; 
  lower when going away).
+ Transmitter: Transistor crystal oscillator on 72.5 mc., transistor 
  amplifier and "Veri-cap" diode doubler to 145 mc. Keyer consists 
  of transistor multi-vibrator and counters with diode logic. Oscil-
  lator is keyed in base circuit.
+ Power Supply: Mercury batteries. Expected life of batteries: 3 to 
  4 weeks.
+ Antenna: 1/4-wave monopole, about 19 inches long. 
+ Dimensions and weight: 12" x 10" x 8". Weight: 10 pounds.

All daytime passes are from North to South: All nighttime passes 
are from South to North. A preliminary review of a sample of reports 
for one pass provides some interesting information. The acquisition 
times and fade-out times correlate closely among all the receiving 
stations in the same area. Further, the correlations have improved 
noticeably for the later orbital passes. This emphasizes that opera-
tors are gaining experience and that the predictions have been suffi-
ciently accurate to permit early acquisition. 

Many amateurs have been surprised at the great range which may be 
spanned by this beacon, whose output power is about 1/4 that requir-
ed to light a flash-light bulb. Reports indicate reliable reception 
up to a distance of about 1400 miles from the satellite path. On an 
overhead pass, signal reports of 40 decibels above noise level are 

The Oscar Data Reduction group has reported a few messages indicat-
ing 'that the last dot of the letter "I" has been missing. Anybody 
noticing this who has a tape recording of the "missing dot" is re-
quested to air mail it to the Association as soon as possible.  

Reports of the "HI" rate are urgently requested. If the temperature 
inside the package continues to rise, it is possible that the opera-
ting life of Oscar could be cut short by a high temperature failure 
of some component. The temperature rise does not seem linear, so all 
reports will be welcome! Also, please monitor the frequency in off-
hours to determine if Oscar can be heard by unusual propagation 
modes at great distances! 

Orbital data is being broadcast by W1AW (see QST for schedules) and 
by the Voice of America "Space-Warn" program on various frequencies 
(9.525, 11.79, 11.83, and 15.29 mc) at 0330 GMT, Monday through Sat-

Send all reception reports of Oscar to: Project Oscar Association,
Box ---, Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A.
Thanks for your splendid cooperation and keep up the good work! 73.

<End of Commemorative Message>

[ANS thanks Don Ferguson, KD6IRE and Project OSCAR for the above


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.05
Silent Key: Ignacio Martinez, CE2MH, President of AMSAT-CE

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.05
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.05

AMSAT received the sad news that Ignacio Martinez, CE2MH, President 
of AMSAT-CE passed away suddenly December 9 after a brief illness. 
He was 73. Ignacio was founder of FEDERACHI, the Chilean Radio Ama-
teur Federation, from where he laid the foundations to create 

There he served as President of the Board from its beginnings in 1992 
until he passed away. He was the driving force behind the CESAR-1 
satellite project to which Tom Clark, K3IO made a great contribution. 

Ignacio is survived by his wife Patricia, two daughters and a son. A 
memorial service took place in Vina del Mar on Sunday, December 11. 
(Book of Condolences is posted at http://www.amsat.cl/)

[ANS thanks Axel Kruuse, CE3AFC and Oscar Cabello, CE3AFX for the 
 above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.06
N1JEZ Adapts AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle as SDR Panadaptor

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.06
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.06

AMSAT member, Mike Seguin, N1JEZ is active on the microwave bands in
addition to his amateur satellite activities. Mike is AO-7's control

Mike wrote and presented a paper, "A Panadapter for the FT-817" at
Microwave Update 2011 where he describes using the AMSAT-UK FUNcube
Dongle SDR receiver adapted for use as a panadapter display.

Mike is active on 10 GHz and above, using his FT-817 as the IF rig 
on 144 and 432 MHz with microwave transverters. The FT-817 having a 
common 68.33 MHz IF (for VHF and UHF) in its receiver fits within the 
64 MHz to 1700 MHz range of the FUNcube dongle.

In his paper Mike describes how to find the location to tap the com-
mon IF and an active buffer/isolation amp so as to minimize any inter-
action with the radio.

A copy of Mike's paper and a link to sources of the PC Boards can
be found on the W1GHZ Small Projects Page:

Find out more about the FUNcube Dongle at:

[ANS thanks Mike Seguin, N1JEZ for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.07
Soyuz Preparations Continue for Three Ham Crew Launch to ISS

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.07
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.07

NASA astronaut Don Pettit KD5MDT, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko 
RN3DX and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS continue preparations
for their planned Soyuz launch to the ISS on on December 21 at 0816 
EST (1316 GMT). The SpaceFlightNow web site posted a photo album of
the ISS Expedition 30 crew this week during inspections and fit checks
in the seats: http://spaceflightnow.com/station/exp30/111209fitcheck/

The European Space Agency has released a video of Andre Kuipers'
mission which can be viewed at:

The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft will be encapsulated in the aerodynamic 
shroud and then mated to its rocket booster next week in preparation 
for rollout to the launch pad on December 19. After launch the Soyuz 
will fly a two-day trek to rendezvous with the station for a planned 
automated docking December 23 at 1020 EST (1520 GMT).

These three hams are headed for a half-year mission aboard the ISS as 
members of Expeditions 30 and 31.

[ANS thanks SpaceFlightNow.com for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.08
UNISEC Announces Second Micro/Nano-Satellite Technology Idea Contest

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.08
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.08

Japan's University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) announced 
the second Mission Idea Contest for micro/nano-satellite technology 
sponsored by the University of Tokyo.

The Mission Idea Contest was established in 2011 to provide aerospace 
engineers, college students, consultants, and anybody interested in 
space with opportunities to present their creative ideas and gain at-
tention internationally. The primary goal of this contest is to open 
a door to a new facet of space exploration and exploitation.
The contest has two categories for entry:

+ Mission Idea and Satellite Design which is open for any indivi-
  dual, group or company with suitable space systems expertise and 
  an enthusiasm for micro/nano-satellites. 

+ Mission Idea and Business Model which is open for any individual, 
  group or company with suitable business expertise and an enthusiasm 
  for micro/nano-satellites.

+ The abstract deadline is May 1, 2012.

Finalists will be invited to present in Japan at the 4th Nano-satel-
lite symposium in Nagoya, Japan on October 10-13, 2012. Awards will
be announced at a later date. Selected papers will be published in 
a peer-reviewed journal to provide high visibility for winning ideas 
and the potential for future collaboration and support for missions.

UNISEC has posted information about the contest at:

AMSAT-UK posted the news at:

[ANS thanks University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) for the
 above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.09
Satellite Shorts From All Over

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.09
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.09

+ Playing this link too often may lead to additional coal in
  your stocking ... hum along as the NOAA Weather Radio voice 
  (ahem) sings "Deck the Halls":

+ While you're recovering from the first video watch: "A Ham's 
  Night Before Christmas" at:

+ Trevor, M5AKA says the ARRL has kindly given permission to put some 
  of the OSCAR 1 articles from the February 1962 edition of QST on the 
  AMSAT-UK website. Links are at the bottom of this article:

+ Eric, F4EJW announced a new website, AAR29/SAT, where he and Remy, 
  F1NNI provide an online log sharing resource for each of the ama-
  teur satellites in service. Go to Eric's blog link, then click on 
  the Amateur Radio Satellite AAR29 banner:

+ XU, CAMBODIA. A group of JA operators plan to be active from 
  Sihanoukville between January 14-22. Operators mentioned are 
  Masumi/JA3AVO (XU7AVO), Takeo/JA3BZO (XU7AEN), Kunio/JA1CJA/
  JH3LSS (XU7CJA), Tsuguya/JA3UJR (XU7UJR), Shozo/JA3HJI (XU7HJI 
  pending) and Tatsuo/JA3ARJ (XU7ARJ pending). Activity will pro-
  bably be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB and Digital modes. Also 
  look for satellite activity on 2m and 70cm. QSL via their home 
  callsigns. (Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin No. 1040, December 12, 2011)

+ You can see more details and hear more of the mission plans of
  these CubeSats:

  Delfi-n3Xt video

  University of Montana's Explorer-1[Prime]

+ Southgate ARC's web has posted an excellent resource page called,
  "Working the SSB satellites". There are several links describing
  the techniques required for SSB operation as compared to operating
  via the FM satellites: http://tinyurl.com/blul4eb (Southgate)

+ George, KA3HSW reported there was a typo in the Topr.txt file as 
  received from the AO-27 control team:  The second line of the file, 
  which defines the transponder "on" period, should read 420, not 240. 
  You can edit the file yourself with your favorite text editor, or 
  download a corrected version of the file from the AO-27 scheduler 
  website: http://sites.google.com/site/ao27satellitescheduler.

+ A Cuban TV news crew filmed Hector, CO6CBF satellite demonstration
  for high school students and teachers in Cienfuegos City, Cuba.
  This was broadcast by the national TV in Cuba and now a lot more
  hams are interested in satellites. Hector posted his TV video at:
  XE1SOV posted a video from his end of a contact with CO6CBF at:

+ AMSAT's Keeper of the Keps, Ray Hoad, WA5QGD reports that Space-
  Track has assigned the following catalog numbers to the satellites 
  launched on October 28:

   Cat#               Name
  -----    ----------------------------
  37850    COSMOS 2251 DEB (boaster)
  37851    Dice 1
  37852    Dice 2
  37853    RAX-2
  37854    AUBIESAT-1
  37855    HRBE (formally EXP1 Prime renamed for William H. Hiscock, 
           HRBE = Hiscock Radiation Belt Explorer)

+ The UK Tech Podcast, FrequencyCast, has released a short video 
  showing reception in Essex of FM voice and an SSTV image from 
  the amateur radio satellite ARISSat-1. The 145.950 MHz FM signal 
  was recorded at 1055 UT on the November 14, 2011. Watch at: 

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-352.10
Got CubeSat? ESA January Vega Launch to Fly 6 More

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 352.10
December 18, 2011
BID: $ANS-352.10

The January 12012 inaugural launch of the ESA Vega rocket from the 
ESA spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean will carry the amateur radio 
microsatellite ALMASat-1 and at least 6 CubeSats. The orbit is plan-
ned for 1450 by 300 km at an inclination of 69.5 degrees.

There were slots for up to nine CubeSats on the Vega launch. Six,
and possibly a seventh, satellites are ready for launch. The six
that are ready to fly include:

+ Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, 
  Spain) to demonstrate software-defined radio and solar panel 

+ Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France) to test and evaluate 
  radiation effects (low dose rate) on bipolar transistor electronic 

+ e-st@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) to demonstration of an 
  active 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control system including 
  an inertial measurement unit.

+ Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania) to provide imaging of 
  the Earth surface using a digital camera and in-situ measurement 
  of radiation dose and micrometeoroid flux.

+ PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland) to test a deploy-
  able atmospheric drag augmentation device for de-orbiting CubeSats. 
  PW-Sat carries an FM to DSB amateur radio transponder with an FM 
  input on 435.020 MHz and DSB output on 145.900 MHz.

+ MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology and Economics): to dem-
  onstrate various spacecraft avionics, including a power condition-
  ing system, transceiver and on-board data handling.

ESA CubeSats delivered for first Vega flight news web page:

ESA Education - CubeSats

A picture of ALMASat-1 and the six CubeSats is posted at AMSAT-UK:
http://tinyurl.com/c8o73zw (uk.amsat.org)

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination pages hosted by 
AMAT-UK list the frequencies of the amateur radio satellites:

Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL provides complete coverage of the Vega launch
on his 'ESA CubeSats Update' web pages. You'll find an overview of
each of the satellite missions, frequencies, modulation/protocols,
and links to the developers home web pages posted at:

[ANS thanks ESA, AMSAT-UK, Southgate ARC News site for the above


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,
please keep in mind the size of outer space: If the Earth-Sun distance 
shrinks to one inch, the nearest star lies 4.3 miles away and the dia-
meter of our galaxy is 100,000 miles at this scale.

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

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA