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[jamsat-news:3064] ANS-092 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:

* AMSAT Theme at Dayton 2012: Running with Fox
* AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations
* QB50 CubeSat Proposal Deadline Extended to April 30
* SpaceDaily Posts Article Detailing RAX-2 CubeSat Scientific Success
* NASA Credits Increasing CubeSat Capability in O/OREOS Mission Success
* ARISS Contacts Receive Media Coverage
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-092.01
ANS-092 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 092.01
April 1, 2012
BID: $ANS-092.01

* Volunteers are needed to help at the AMSAT booth at Dayton. Gould  *
* WA4SXM, is looking for volunteers to help man the AMSAT booth dur- *
* ing the 2012 Hamvention. People are needed all 3 days for 2 hour   *
* shifts. Please send the days and times you are available to help   *
* as well as how many shifts you are willing to work via e-mail to   *
* wa4sxm at amsat.org.                                               *  
* Monitor http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/hamvention/2012/Dayton.php  * 
* for the latest AMSAT at Dayton news and developments               *

AMSAT Theme at Dayton 2012: Running with Fox

The 2012 Dayton Hamvention will be held this year on 18 - 20 May 2012.
As has been the case for the many years Hamvention will be at the Hara
Arena Complex on the north side of Dayton. AMSAT will occupy the same
booths (444-449) in Ball Arena, right across from the ARRL area and
just inside the door from the Satellite Demonstration area.

The AMSAT theme for 2012 is "Running with Fox". We will have multiple
exhibits of the new AMSAT satellite on display.

Visit AMSAT's Dayton Hamvention page for all details on activities:

Some of the activities will include:

+ Life size Fox models will be on display as well as diagrams of
   the modules inside the 10cm square satellite.

+ Operational prototype of ARISSat-1 on display.

+ AMSAT Thursday Night Get-together at the Tickets Pub & Eatery.

+ The sixth annual AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be Friday night May 18
   at the Kohler Banquet Center. The price for the Banquet is $30.
   Seating is limited and reservations are required. Follow the
   links on AMSAT's Dayton page.

+ The AMSAT Forum will be on Saturday May 19.

AMSAT/TAPR Friday Night Banquet
AMSAT/TAPR Banquet on Friday night, May 18 is one of the main AMSAT 
activities during the 2012 Hamvention at Dayton. 

AMSAT is pleased to announce that Howard Long, G6LVB will be the fea-
tured speaker for the evening event. Howard will be talking about his 
FUNcube Dongle, the 64 - 1700 MHz Software Defined Receiver. This 
innovative USB device is the size of a thumbdrive and has an SMA ant-
enna socket. Multiple SDR control and display software programs can 
be used with the FUNcube Dongle.

Banquet tickets will not be sold at the AMSAT booth during the Ham-
vention so reservations must be made through the AMSAT Store: 
Tickets are $30 apiece.

ARISS Mentor Introduction at Dayton 2012
AMSAT and ARRL are teaming up during the 2012 Hamvention to recruit 
new ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Techni-
cal Mentors and Ground Station Operators.

Friday and Saturday (May 18 & 19) at 4pm in the ARRL stage area 
AMSAT Vice President for Educational Relations Mark Hammond N8MH 
will explain the need for additional ARISS Technical Mentors and 
Ground Station Operators and the requirements and responsibilities 
needed to help provide a reliable conversation between astronauts 
and selected schools or groups. 

Technical Mentors serve as an advising and coordinating liaison be-
tween NASA, the school or group making the ARISS contact, and the 
Ground Station Operators, who set up the satellite station at the 
contact location. We encourage anyone interested in helping make 
future school contacts with the ISS successful to please attend.

AMSAT to Facilitate Student Satellite Contacts
AMSAT is encouraging all students attending the 2012 Dayton Hamvention
to come by the Satellite Demonstration Area just outside of the Ball
Area entrance and make a contact using the amateur satellites. There
will be AMSAT volunteers there to explain how to make the contacts and
during actual satellite passes will try to get as many students as pos-
sible to complete actual contacts. There are lists of satellite pass 
times in the satellite demonstration area and at the AMSAT booth.

[ANS thanks Gould Smith, WA4SXM for the above information]


AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations

It is time to submit nominations for the upcoming open seats on the
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. A valid nomination requires either one
current Member Society, or five current individual members in good
standing, to nominate an AMSAT-NA member for the position.

Three directors and two alternate directors have terms expiring this 
year. The director seats open for election are held by Tom Clark, 
K3IO; Lou McFadin, W5DID; and Gould Smith, WA4SXM. The alternate dir-
ector seats open for election are held by Mark Hammond, N8MH and 
Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK.

The three nominees receiving the highest number of votes will be 
seated as regular board members with two year terms. The two nom-
inees receiving the next highest number of votes will be seated as 
alternate directors for one year.

Written nominations, consisting of names, calls and individual signa-
tures, should be mailed to: AMSAT-NA, 850 Sligo Ave #600, Silver
Spring, MD, 20910. They must be received no later than June 15th. No 
other action is required.

Nominations may also be made by electronic means including e-mail, 
FAX, or electronic image of a petition. Electronic petitions should 
be sent to MARTHA@AMSAT.ORG or faxed to 301-608-3410, and also must 
be received by June 15th. If using any electronic submission, there 
is a second, verifying step:

  traditional written petition MUST be received at the AMSAT-NA 
  office at the above address within 7 days following the close 
  of nominations.

[ANS Thanks AMSAT Secretary Alan Biddle, WA4SCA for the above 


QB50 CubeSat Proposal Deadline Extended to April 30

QB50 is a network 50 CubeSats in a 'string-of-pearls' configuration 
that will be launched together in the first half of 2015 by a single 
rocket, a Shtil-2.1, from Murmansk, Northern Russia into a circular 
320 km altitude, 79 degree inclination orbit. (https://www.qb50.eu)
The mission lifetime of individual CubeSats is estimated to be about 
three months.

The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, Belgium is
accepting CubeSat proposals from interested University and Research
teams until April 30. The selection of 50 CubeSats for the explora-
tion of the lower thermosphere, re-entry research and in-orbit demo-
nstration of new technologies and miniaturized science sensors will 
be made by the Selection Committee in early June. Proposing teams 
will be individually notified of their selection/non-selection short-
ly thereafter.

The 50 CubeSats will comprise an on-orbit network of:

+ About 40 atmospheric 2U CubeSats
+ About 10 2U or 3U CubeSats for In-Orbit Demonstration of science 
  and technology payloads. 

All 40 atmospheric 2U CubeSats and most of the 10 2U and 3U CubeSats 
for In-Orbit Demonstration will carry a set of standardized sensors 
for multi-point, in-situ, long-duration measurements of key para-
meters and constituents in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere 
and ionosphere. Once requirements for the standardized sensor pack-
age and network/communication requirements have been met the Cube-
Sat team may use remaining on-board space or electronic capability
to conduct their own additional research.

QB50 will also study the re-entry process by measuring a number of 
key parameters during re-entry, e.g. CubeSat on-board temperature 
and deceleration. 

A single CubeSat is simply too small to also carry sensors for sig-
nificant scientific research. Hence, for the universities the main 
objective of developing, launching and operating a CubeSat is educa-
tional. However, when combining a large number of CubeSats with iden-
tical sensors launched at the same time into a network, in addition 
to the educational value, fundamental scientific questions can be 
addressed which are inaccessible otherwise. 

Networks of CubeSats have been under discussion in the CubeSat com-
munity for several years, but so far no university, institution or 
space agency has taken the initiative to set up and coordinate such 
a powerful network. The QB50 network can still fully achieve its 
mission objectives even if a few CubeSats fail.

Typically, a university builds a CubeSat and launches it into low 
Earth orbit. It also builds or already has available a ground sta-
tion to track the CubeSat and enable uplink/downlink telecommunica-

The period in a low-Earth orbit (about 600 km altitude) is about 90 
minutes, but the duration of a satellite pass over the ground station 
is approximately 10 minutes in the best case to no coverage at all 
for most of the 16 daily orbits. When supporting only one satellite 
project the ground station is not in operation 97% of the time. If a 
mission critical emergency occurs aboard the CubeSat it can be only
addressed on single orbits within range of the dedicated ground sta-

An international network, the Global Educational Network for Satel-
lite Operations (GENSO), under development may well be set up in 
time for QB50. It would eventually comprise more than 100 ground 
stations in different parts of the world, providing a vastly im-
proved uplink and downlink capability for all CubeSats. The inter-
national QB50 network in orbit would be the first major user of the 
international GENSO network on the ground. In case GENSO is not set 
up in time for QB50, CubeSat teams are encouraged to set up a subset 
ground station network comprising any number of ground stations.

The QB50 homepage can be accessed at: https://www.qb50.eu

[ANS thanks the QB50 Project for the above information]


SpaceDaily Posts Article Detailing RAX-2 CubeSat Scientific Success

An article posted on SpaceDaily.com gives additional details of the
successful RAX-2 CubeSat scientific success. In their Solar Science
section, "Researchers take first-ever measurement of auroral turbu-
lence using a nanosatellite radar receiver", is an article further
explaining the scientific discovery. Read the full article on-line
at: http://tinyurl.com/UniverseToday-RAX2

[Menlo Park CA (SPX) Mar 26, 2012] - Researchers from SRI Interna-
tional and the University of Michigan have taken the first-ever 
measurement of naturally occurring auroral turbulence recorded 
using a nanosatellite radar receiver. The research was done with 
support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA's Edu-
cational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Initiative.

The distinctive radar echoes recorded on March 8 were taken with 
the Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX) CubeSat. The RAX nanosatellite 
measured turbulence over Fairbanks, Alaska that was a direct result 
of a geomagnetic storm triggered by the largest solar flare in the 
past five years.

The Earth's high latitude ionosphere, a region of the upper atmo-
sphere associated with solar-driven aurora or "northern lights," 
becomes highly unstable when large currents flow during geomagnetic 
storms. RAX was specifically designed by SRI and the University of 
Michigan to measure this auroral turbulence from an orbital vantage 
point inaccessible to traditional ground-based radars.

"The RAX radar echo discovery has convincingly proved that minia-
ture satellites, beyond their role as teaching tools, can provide 
high caliber measurements for fundamental space weather research," 
said Therese Moretto Jorgensen, Ph.D., Geospace program director 
in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences at the National 
Science Foundation.

The project's mission was to use small satellites called CubeSats to 
remotely explore formation of charged particle filaments created in 
response to intense electrical currents in space.

These plasma structures, a form of turbulence called field-aligned 
irregularities (FAIs), can distort communication and navigation 
signals such as global positioning systems (GPS). During the recent 
solar flare, RAX measured FAI echoes using the Poker Flat Incoherent 
Scatter Radar (PFISR), an NSF research radar operated by SRI.

"The recently collected radar echoes allow us to determine the root 
cause and to possibly predict future disturbances in the auroral 
ionosphere - disturbances that can severely compromise communication 
and GPS satellites," said Hasan Bahcivan, Ph.D., a research physicist 
in SRI's Center for Geospace Studies, and principal investigator of 
the RAX mission.

A team of University of Michigan students under the direction of 
James Cutler, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Aerospace Engin-
eering Department, designed, built, and operated the satellite and 
gathered the radar echo data.

RAX was the first CubeSat to be selected as part of an NSF program 
to use small satellites for space weather and atmospheric research. 
The RAX CubeSat is a three liter satellite weighing three kilograms. 
It was launched by NASA on October 28, 2011, and has since completed 
18 experiments.

[ANS thanks SpaceDaily.com for the above information]


NASA Credits Increasing CubeSat Capability in O/OREOS Mission Success

Launched in November, 2011 NASA's Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital 
Stresses (O/OREOS) nanosatellite has successfully carried microorgan-
isms to a high-inclination, low-Earth orbit and monitored the effects 
of the space environment on their growth and metabolism.

Two populations of the microbe Bacillus subtilis into space. One set 
of microbes was a naturally occurring strain, and the second was a 
radiation-resistant mutant strain. The microorganisms were part of 
the Space Environment Survivability of Live Organisms (SESLO) project, 
which characterized the growth, activity, health and ability of micro-
organisms to adapt to the stresses of the space environment including
exposure to a total dose rate of radiation nearly 15 times greater 
than that experienced in the orbit of the International Space Station.

In space, bacterial spores successfully germinated and grew after 14 
days in orbit and again after 97 days. In microgravity, the cells 
generally grew and metabolized more slowly than their counterparts 
on Earth. Interestingly, the microorganisms grown at 97 days of ex-
posure showed no significant difference in their growth parameters 
than those grown at 14 days. The study provides insight into how 
living organisms cope with life beyond our planet.

O/OREOS also carried another set of experiments: the Space Environ-
ment Viability of Organics (SEVO), which monitored the stability 
and changes in four classes of organic molecules during spaceflight.

"The full success of the O/OREOS mission demonstrates convincingly 
that cubesats can be cost-effective platforms for performing science 
research and conducting technology demonstrations," said Mary Voytek, 
senior scientist of NASA's Astrobiology Program at NASA Headquarters, 
in a statement from NASA.

"The capabilities of cubesats are growing steadily, making them good 
candidates to operate precursor experiments for missions on larger 
satellites, the International Space Station, lunar surface exposure 
facilities, and planetary exploration."

The full story can be accessed on SpaceDaily.com at:


ARISS Contacts Receive Media Coverage

Media coverage of recent ARISS contacts can viewed on-line. The 
ARISS contact on March 21 with students at Salem Elementary in 
Apex, North Carolina had the opportunity to question of astronaut 
Don Pettit KD5MDT 241 miles (388 km) up and on the other side of 
the Earth aboard the International Space Station. Tony Hutchison, 
VK5ZAI provided the telebridge link to the ISS amateur radio sta-
tion NA1SS. 

Local television coverage on WRAL-TV and a report of the contact 
can viewed on-line at:

News 14 Channel coverage of the Apex ARISS contact is at:

The News Observer article can be read at:

Listen to an interview with some of the students:

Also on March 21 the Swiss Air Force Museum Clin d'Ailes, located 
on the Swiss Airforce Base in Payerne, Switzerland, established an 
ARISS contact with ESA astronaut André Kuipers, PI9ISS, aboard the 
International Space Station.

Astronaut André Kuipers operated with the ISS callsign OR4ISS. This 
was a direct contact performed by the Amateur radio Club station 
HB9SPACE, located in the museum. Two videos of this event can be
viewed on-line at:

Southgate ARC provides detailed coverage of the HB9SPACE event at:
http://tinyurl.com/HB9SPACE-ARISS  - and - 

[ANS thanks ARISS, AMSAT-UK and Southgate ARC for the above 


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ The ESA’s Education Office has maintained frequent contacts with 
  the student teams to follow the progress of their satellite oper-
  ations after the February 13 launch of the Vega rocket delivering 
  seven ESA-sponsored CubeSats into low Earth orbit. The status of
  the CubeSats is posted at:
  Photos posted at: 

+ Call for Papers - Central States VHF Society 46th Annual Confer-
  ence, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 26-28, 2012. If you would like to 
  contribute a paper, presentation, or poster, please contact Rod 
  Blocksome, K0DAS, CSVHF Conference Program Chairman as soon as 
  possible with the title and a short description. You can reach 
  Rod at k0das@arrl.net or at his callbook address. Their web page
  for authors can be found at: 

+ The ARISS International monthly teleconference was held on Tuesday, 
  March 20. The HamTV discussion covered the meetings that ESA and 
  NASA are engaging in to ensure coordination of the project. Minutes 
  have been posted: http://ariss.rac.ca/arisstel2012-03-20.htm

+ TAMSAT Project Coordinator, Levent Sasmazel, WW2L posted good news
  about TAMSAT, Association of Amateur Satellite Technologies in
  Turkey completion of the Internal Housekeeping Unit processor of
  their satellite. Photos and a full description are posted on the
  AMSAT-UK web at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/6085

+ The WebSDR receiver is located at the Astronomical Observatory 
  Department of “Stefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, Romania 
  has added coverage of 437.470 – 437.515 MHz to enable reception
  of the Romanian amateur radio CubeSat Goliat. The original WebSDR
  receiver at this site provides coverage of the 3.5 MHz band.
  Tune in at: http://sdr.opt.ro:8901/  More information about the
  Goliat CubeSat is posted at: http://www.goliat.ro/

+ Light your fire. AMSAT-UK posted news about the STRaND-1 smart
  phone amateur radio CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Thruster. This 
  system will be the first propulsive technology to provide very 
  precise attitude control and pointing. Read the full article at:

+ The BBC TV Newsnight show covered Clyde Space and UKube-1 in a
  recent airing. UKube-1 is a 3U CubeSat being designed and pro-
  duced by Clyde Space for the UK Space Agency. UKube-1 is the 
  UK’s first CubeSat and will fly a total of 6 independent pay-
  loads. UKube-1 will carry a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards pro-
  viding a 435/145 MHz linear transponder and BPSK telemetry beacon.
  Watch the BBC episode at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/5983

+ Know when to duck ... NASA Jet Propulsion Labs has an on-line
  tool (with web, telnet, and e-mail interfaces) called the HORIZONS 
  system which can be used to generate ephemerides for solar-system 
  bodies. The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets 
  Study (NHATS) and the HORIZONS system will allow prediction of the
  passage of Near Earth Asteroids. (These are scientific tools but
  offer a significant learning opportunity for citizen scientists.)
  Check out http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/nhats/ - and -
  HORIZONS access is at: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons

+ Echolink SATCHAT net control Vince Waelti, K9TSU announced the new
  schedule of the on-line net. SATCHAT will meet on the AMSAT Server
  on Echolink 1900-2030 hours CDT (UTC-5) on the first, third, and
  fifth Saturdays of each month. A few upcoming dates for the net:
  April 7, April 21, May 5, May 19, June 2, June 16. All interested
  amateur radio operators are invited to check in.

+ Watch the launch of ESA's ATV Edoardo Amaldi on an Ariane 5 rocket
  from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on March 23:

+ Check out this linked image. All those tiny points of light aren't 
  stars; they're entire galaxies, seen by the European Southern 
  Observatory's VISTA survey telescope located at the Paranal Observ-
  atory in Chile. ESO's UltraVISTA survey revealed over 200,000 dis-
  tant galaxies: http://tinyurl.com/VISTA-galaxies (UniverseToday.com)

+ Using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, a team says they have found 
  the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet below the surface. Plans 
  to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor are 
  under study. It is unkown yet what condition these engines might 
  be in because they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in 
  salt water for more than 40 years. A short article is posted at:

+ Yuri's (VE3/UT1FG/MM) ship was the first foreign ship to dock in 
  Toronto for the 2012 shipping season. The event is celebrated in 
  a ceremony and the captain is crowned with a 150 year old Beaver 
  Hat on the ship. Yuri should be in Thunder Bay on April 1st. He 
  expects to be there for several days. The next destination is
  Puerto Rico. Watch on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/UT1FG-TorontoHat
  (via John, K8YSE)
[ANS thanks everyone 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 addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT 

Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership 
at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students 
enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status. 
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership 
information. And with that please keep in mind the ham who produced
a theatrical performance about puns. Reviews said it was a play on 

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

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA