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[jamsat-news:3122] ANS-309 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
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
active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating
through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org
In this edition:
* President's Update Given at AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting in Orlando
* Update on AO-27 Recovery Work
* Successful ARISS School Contacts
* Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy ARISS Contact Wins PR Award
* Hurricane Damage Delays First Cuba National Satellite Meeting
* Special Symposium Visitor Hector Martinez, CO6CBF Back Home
* F-1 Amateur Radio CubeSat Update
* 2013 CanSat Competition Applications Due November 30
* NASA Offers Spot The Space Station Service Via Text or E-mail
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-309.01
ANS-309 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 309.01
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
November 4, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
President's Update Given at AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting in Orlando
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW gave a presentation to members
at the 30th Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting in Orlando,
Florida on Saturday, October 27.
Barry noted the significant strides AMSAT has accomplished in the
area of education outreach reflected by the appointment of Mark Ham-
mond, N8MH, as AMSAT's VP-Educational Relations. Over the past year
Mark has been developing a team to enhance our capabilities in this
area and worked with the ARRL to develop new approaches to STEM edu-
cation that will translate into future opportunities in space.
Barry provided a summary of additional accomplishments for 2012:
+ Fox selection by NASA for an ELaNa Launch based on our STEM
+ The Fox-1 project is on schedule planning for launch in the 2nd
half of 2013.
+ The Engineering Team has developed a capable and motivated staff.
+ Evolving partnerships for future launch opportunities are under
+ AMSAT has continued to deal with ITAR issues. The publication of
the Fox design in the Symposium Proceedings book opens the path to
placing the work in the public domain which is expected to relieve
many ITAR issues going forward.
+ Appointment of Frank Bauer, KA3HDO as VP-Human Spaceflight will
allow AMSAT to develop additional opportunity in this area.
+ Implementation of the new ARISS school selection process.
+ Re-establishment of the AMSAT store on-line.
+ Steps are being taken to revive the AMSAT Journal. Appointment of
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM as the new Editor.
+ ANS is a world-class distributor of information about amateur radio
in space. One new ANS Editor has joined the weekly rotation with
openings for additional volunteers.
Many details of AMSAT's future partnerships for launch opportunities
will be published in the AMSAT Journal. A link to the President's
Report will be added to our http://www.amsat.org web page.
[ANS thanks AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW for the above
Update on AO-27 Recovery Work
AO-27 Command Station Michael Wyrick, N3UC provides updates on the
team's attempts to recover the satellite on their web page. They are
working to return AO-27's FM repeater back to service after it stopp-
ed responding on October 5.
In early October AO-27 was restored back to running on its primary
Bootloader. Control operators were able to turn on the Transmitter
for a short time on several occasions. Also required were multiple
recoveries the stuck AFSK modem which was one of the initial symp-
toms of the problems.
During recovery efforts AO-27 crashed once again on October 16. The
command team once again recovered to the bootloader state, recovered
from another occurrence of the AFSK modem problem and once again per-
formed another software upload.
On October 18 the transmitter was left ON in an attempt to discharge
the batteries with the hope that faults could be cleared. Once the
battery was recharged last week the high-level EOS software aboard
AO-27 ran for a few seconds before locking up. The team was able to
reset it back to the bootloader. Dumps indicate it is locking up
while fetching telemetry from the hardware. Michael, N3UC, wrote,
"It does not look like there will be a quick resolution to this
ATTENTION OPERATORS: To prevent interfering with the command team's
recovery efforts, if you can't hear AO-27 in Analog mode, please
don't transmit to it.
The latest AO-27 news is posted on its webpage:
Mode V/U (J) FM Voice Repeater Frequencies
Uplink 145.8500 MHz FM
Downlink 436.7950 MHz FM
[ANS thanks AO-27 Command Station Michael Wyrick, N3UC for the above
Successful ARISS School Contacts
Meikei High School in Tsukuba, Japan participated in an Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Tues-
day, October 23. Students from the science club, who are studying
orbital mechanics and amateur radio satellite communications, used
their own radio station, JJ1YAF to make the call to on-orbit astro-
naut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, an alumnus of the school. The contact
was conducted in Japanese. Approximately 60 people were in atten-
dance and media coverage included 4 newspapers as well as the Japan
Broadcasting Corporation, NHK.
On Friday, October 26, students from East Falmouth Elementary School
in East Falmouth, Massachusetts took part in a successful Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with Sunita
Williams, KD5PLB. Students asked 18 questions concerning what it is
like to live in space and the experiments conducted on the Space Sta-
tion. The contact was integrated into science lessons about the solar
system, global climate changes on Earth and the advances in science
and technology generated by space exploration. Over 100 students and
guests were in attendance and reporters from two newspapers were
present. Video of the event is posted at:
Three Successful ARISS Contacts on October 30
South Florida Science Museum (SFSM), West Palm Beach, Florida had a
successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
contact on Tuesday, October 30. SFSM and the West Palm Beach Amateur
Radio Club, WPBARC, which maintains a radio station within the muse-
um, worked with area teachers to provide educational content to stu-
dents emphasizing NASA, the ISS and amateur radio. Read the details
of the wide media coverage of this event as reported in ANS-302:
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact
was successful with the Southern Tier Catholic and Archbishop Walsh
Academy, Olean, New York on Tuesday, October 30 via telebridge sta-
tion IK1SLD in Italy. The contact was part of a comprehensive educa-
tion curriculum which will pique students' interest in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Cumberland Elementary School, West Lafayette, Indiana had a success-
ful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) on Tues-
day, October 30. The contact was integrated into a curriculum cover-
ing topics on space research, robotics and engineering. Other activi-
ties planned include night sky observations, model rocketry and elec-
trical circuit projects.
[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI, and the Amateur Radio on the Interna-
tional Space Station (ARISS) Status Report for the above informa-
Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy ARISS Contact Wins PR Award
As Clint Bradford, K6LCS of Jurupa Valley said, "It was 13 months
of planning for 10 minutes of conversation, but, oh!, what a con-
"'LIVE! … from outer space!' Students speak to an astronaut in the
orbiting International Space Station" was the special event on
April 19, 2012 that earned an award for Karen and Clint Bradford in
annual competition by the Public Relations Society of America. The
event was planned for the 120 students of Flabob Airport Prepara-
tory Academy and more than 80 parents, community leaders, media rep-
resentatives and interested persons.
Clint initiated the event because of his hobby in ham radio and vol-
unteer position with NASA through Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS): He provides school technical support for stu-
dents in North America to talk to astronauts aboard the orbiting
space station. NASA's "Teaching from Space" program is available to
any school that applies, but the typical wait-time from application
to event is three years.
He approached Kathy Rohm, vice president and director of community
relations at Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy, which is supported
by the Tom Wathen Center. She was enthusiastic to sponsor the liter-
ally out-of-this-world, once-in-a-lifetime special event to inspire
students. More than 2,900 emails flew between Clint, Kathy, NASA,
Flabob staffer Nina Bentham and ARISS volunteers to produce the event.
NASA-Houston flight director Phil Engelauf, who grew up in Rubidoux
and whose mother, Beverly, still lives here, was invited to the event.
His duties prevented him from attending, but he sent warm regards to
the students in a special message that is posted at the event's Web
site - http://iss-flabob.com (on the blog).
The event went according to plan, except for a momentary glitch with
audio quality, despite having tested the system for three days pre-
ceding the event. Clint quickly figured out a solution, although he
later said that he was only 90 seconds from NASA terminating the
call if he had not succeeded.
"When we looked around the hangar at the conclusion of the contact,
hearing the students' whoops of happiness, we saw more than a few
adults wiping at their eyes … us included," Karen said. "We felt in-
tensely rewarded to think how our students may feel throughout their
lives when they look up in the sky and remember the thrilling day
when Flight Engineer Don Pettit answered their questions."
Student Brittany Cain had asked, "Besides missing your family and
friends, what is the biggest adjustment you have made for this mis-
sion?" The assembled group laughed when Pettit replied he missed
not being able to take a bath for six months!
The mission of Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy is to use aviation
as a tool to motivate students to achieve their personal, academic,
and career goals.
Current statistics reveal that American students severely lag behind
their foreign peers: In a study of 31 countries, the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Americans 21st in
science and 25th in math. Consequently, President Obama launched
the Educate to Innovate Campaign in 2009 to unite teachers, parents,
businesses and students toward excellence in STEM (science, technol-
ogy, engineering and math) studies.
Karen is a current member and past president of PRSA's California
Inland Empire Chapter. There are more than 80 local members.
[ANS thanks the Public Relations Society of America and Clint
Bradford, K6LCS for the above information]
Hurricane Damage Delays First Cuba National Satellite Meeting
The first National Meeting of Cuba's new “Grupo de Radioaficionados
para Operaciones Satelitales”, GROS which was scheduled for November
8-11 has been delayed due to the severe impact caused by Hurricane
Sandy last week to the eastern provinces of Cuba. Raydel Espinet
CM2ESP reports the meeting will now be delayed to January, 2013.
The Meeting location at Camagüey did not receive any damage but the
provinces of "Santiago de Cuba", "Holguín" and "Guantánamo" were bad-
ly affected and many houses, schools and factories loss their roofs
or were damaged by fallen trees. Several ham radio operators lost
Most of the state resources are now been prioritized to assist to
the people of this three provinces that lost their houses. Under
this circumstances we were asked to reschedule the National Meeting
and the Coordination Board agreed with the request as a solidarity
to our colleagues.
Many other activities the National Amateur Radio Federation (F.R.C.)
had scheduled were also postponed included its National Council.
We are working on possible dates not sooner than January. We sorry
for all of the inconvenience and the G.R.O.S. Coordination Board
(Grupo de Radioaficionados para Operaciones Satelitales) will ann-
ounce the new date when possible.
We still have great hopes with this First Meeting and during this
extra months we will work harder to improve our work and make it
When the meeting convenes there are plans for a special callsign
T47G, which will be active every day on HF and satellites, in the
grid FL11. There are 4 conferences, 4 workshops, 1 exposition and
as many demonstrations as passes currently scheduled.
In the meantime the G.R.O.S VHF FM Net devoted entirely to the Ama-
teur Radio Satellites continues to meet on 145.550 MHz. The net will
be on the air every Friday from 19:00 to 20:00 local time in Havana.
CM2ESP is the Net Control Station.
They are looking forward to hear about Hector’s (CO6CBF) experience
and stories about his participation in the AMSAT Symposium in Orlando
during this First Meeting. The Group also wants to thanks to Patrick,
WD9EWK, and all the people at AMSAT for their very important support
to Hector. We want to send a big congrats to Hector too.
[ANS thanks GROS Coordinator Raydel Abreu Espinet, CM2ESP for the
Special Symposium Visitor Hector Martinez, CO6CBF Back Home
Hector Martinez, CO6CBF traveled from Cuba to the AMSAT Symposium in
Orlando last week. AMSAT had extended an invitation for Hector to
attend and to make a presentation. Thanks to the work done by Patrick
Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, Hector was able to obtain a visa to come
to the United States for the Symposium.
Patrick, WD9EWK posted an update, "On my way home from the airport,
I called Hector. He made it home OK, and is now in the process of
clearing the gear he brought back from Florida through the proces-
ses of Cuban Customs and the Cuban communications ministry. This is
normal, and he was confident he could get everything cleared without
incident. Hector also said he hopes to be able to post a message to
thank everyone that helped make his trip to Florida possible."
Patrick says he incurred expenses related to bringing Hector to the
Symposium totaling $2413.30. Upon returning home he found he has re-
ceived contributions totaling $1960.00 for the "Hector fund". He
wrote, "If there are other contributions in the mail, I will add
that to my spreadsheet and post an update later. I don't think I
will need any other contributions toward this effort. THANK YOU
Video of Hector's presentation at the Symposium, "Working Satellites
With a Homebrew Setup, Cuban Style" is posted on-line at:
Hector, CO6CBF wrote, "It was a wonderful trip! Thanks very much to
everyone who helped to come true this wonderful dream. I will never
forget your help, solidarity and good wishes on this long process. I
really appreciate it! My special thanks to the AMSAT Board of Direct-
ors and to Patrick WD9EWK who did an exceptional job on this process.
The amateur radio by satellites is more than interchange gird loca-
tors; the AMSAT community is like a big family. Thanks very much
[ANS thanks Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK and Hector, CO6CBF for
the above information]
F-1 Amateur Radio CubeSat Update
News posted on the AMSAT-UK web reports Thu Trong Vu XV9AA has pro-
vided this update on F-1:
The attempts to recover the CubeSat are now focusing on reception
of the backup UHF FM channel 437.485 MHz (+/-10 kHz Doppler shift).
This FM beacon should transmit Morse Code for 20 seconds every min-
ute during daylight.
The team would appreciate any reports of the beacon which can be
sent to Thu Trong Vu XV9AA at email@example.com
November 2, 2012, FSpace laboratory, FPT University issued an offi-
cial report stating that no signal is heard from F-1 CubeSat after
its deployment to space from the International Space Station (ISS)
a month ago. However, the project team confirms that they are work-
ing to troubleshoot the problem.
According to Thu Trong Vu XV9AA, Project Manager, “As soon as F-1
was deployed from the ISS, FSpace’s ground station in Hanoi and
other amateur radio stations around the world have been listening
on F-1’ frequencies 145.980 MHz and 437.485 MHz but so far nothing
heard except for a few uncertain reports of a weak signal during
the first few days.
Preliminary analysis points to failure of the satellite’s power
supply subsystem as the cause of the problem. At the moment FSpace
team together with US partner NanoRacks are collecting information,
analyzing different scenarios that could happen to the satellite in
orbit and experimenting with the Engineering Model (an identical
backup unit) of F-1 CubeSat in the laboratory to determine the prob-
lem. The team is also planning to send uplink commands to the satel-
lite in an effort to restart the onboard microcontroller. However,
the chance of recovery is slim, the team acknowledged.
Currently, F-1 CubeSat is orbiting the Earth at an average altitude
of 400km (perigee 390 km, apogee 410 km) and being tracked by NORAD
as object #38855. Its altitude decreases with time due to friction
with the atmosphere (atmospheric drag) and summarized in the follow-
ing table. According to orbital analysis, the satellite has an orbit-
al lifetime of about 5 months (until March 2013) before descending
low and burn up completely in the atmosphere.
F-1’s mission goals are to “survive” the space environment, taking
photos of the Earth and communicating with the ground control sta-
tion at a speed of 1200 bit per second. Mr Thu said: “Although we
haven’t heard from F-1, during the course of the project team mem-
bers have learned valuable knowledge and gained practical experience
in developing a pico-satellite. This is an important stepping stone
for us to move forward in the long journey to the stars”.
+ 145.980 MHz: main channel, 1.0W RF output, FM, AFSK 1200bps, one
telemetry packet every 30 seconds, operates in the dark by default
(but can be commanded later to operate in sunlight as well)
+ 437.485 MHz: backup channel, 0.2W RF output, FM, PWM CW beacon,
each beacon transmission lasts about 20 seconds then 60 seconds
delay, only operates in sunlight
More information and guide to download F-1 telemetry decoder can be
found at http://fspace.edu.vn/?page_id=27. Decoded data can be sub-
mitted to us via the telemetry decoder or by sending directly to:
thuvt at fpt.edu.vn. Audio recordings are highly appreciated.
Read the full article at: http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=11280 - and -
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and the F-1 CubeSat Team for the above
2013 CanSat Competition Applications Due November 30
Applications currently are being accepted for the 2013 CanSat Com-
This annual competition is open to university and college students
from the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries. Teams
of three to 10 students must design, build and launch a sensor pay-
load called a CanSat. Each CanSat is slightly larger than a soda can
and must be built according to the specifications released by the
competition organizing committee.
All teams entering the CanSat competition are required to have a
faculty adviser. The faculty adviser will oversee and be responsible
for the conduct of the team at all times during the competition.
The advisor is strongly encouraged to accompany the team to the com-
Applications are due Nov. 30, 2012.
For more information about the competition and to download the
application, visit http://www.cansatcompetition.com/.
Questions about this competition should be directed to:
[ANS thanks NASA Education Express for the above information]
NASA Offers Spot The Space Station Service Via Text or E-mail
WASHINGTON -- On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living
and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA announced
Friday a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when
it passes overhead. "Spot the Station" will send an email or text
message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they
will be able to see the space station.
"It's really remarkable to see the space station fly overhead and to
realize humans built an orbital complex that can be spotted from
Earth by almost anyone looking up at just the right moment," said
William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human
exploration and operations. "We're accomplishing science on the space
station that is helping to improve life on Earth and paving the way
for future exploration of deep space."
When the space station is visible -- typically at dawn and dusk -- it
is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a
clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light,
similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. "Spot the
Station" users will have the options to receive alerts about morning,
evening or both types of sightings.
The International Space Station's trajectory passes over more than 90
percent of Earth's population. The service is designed to only notify
users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible
over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon. NASA's
Johnson Space Center calculates the sighting information several
times a week for more than 4,600 locations worldwide, all of which
are available on "Spot the Station."
Nov. 2 marks 12 years of continuous human habitation of the space
To sign up for "Spot the Station," visit:
For information about the International Space Station and a full list
of sightings, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
ANS thanks NASA for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Jan Poppeliers, ON7UX has put together a short video compilation
of the AMSAT-UK Colloquium held in Guildford September 14-16:
http://tinyurl.com/Colloquium-ON7UX (Southgate). Video of all of
the Colloquium presentations can be found at:
+ Video of the launch of the Progress 49 cargo craft headed for the
ISS can be viewed on-line at:
This flight took advantage of the new abbreviated four-orbit rende-
zvous with the ISS. This flight was slated to bring a new VHF ama-
teur radio handheld to the ISS. Due to crew scheduling the new
radio is not planned to be activated until early 2013.
+ Update your keps! Russian Mission Control said the orbit of the
International Space Station (ISS) was raised on Thursday by one
kilometer to avoid a possible collision with US Iridium-33 satel-
lite debris. The maneuver to adjust the station's orbit lasted
about seven minutes. The orbital readjustment was made using the
thrusters of Russia's Progress- M-16M spacecraft, docked with the
+ A report on Space-Travel.com says "Japan Plans to Launch New Car-
rier Rocket in 2013." JAXA announced the Epsilon carrier rocket to
replace their M-5 Rocket. Epsilon's goal is to have an inexpensive
rocket to launch compact low-cost satellites into orbit. Read the
full story posted at: http://tinyurl.com/Japan-Epsilon.
+ South Korea sets new window for rocket launch. South Korea said
Monday it would make another atempt to send a satellite into space
sometime during a November 9-24 window from the Naro Space Centre
on the south coast next month after a scheduled rocket launch last
week was cancelled because of a technical glitch. Read the full
posted at: http://tinyurl.com/SK-Launch-Delay
+ Enjoy a video that will take you from the Big Bang to our current
human state in 90 seconds at: http://tinyurl.com/Life-in-90-seconds
+ NASA TV posted a video segment filmed from an altitude of 254
statute miles using external cameras on the ISS as it captured
views of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 as it barreled to-
ward a landfall along the New Jersey coastline:
+ A timelapse video of NASA GOES-13 weather satellite photos of Sandy
can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/goes13-Sandy (YouTube)
+ Prior to a successful splash down of the first commercial cargo
delivery to the ISS, SpaceX posted a video of Dragon's departure.
The frames are speeded up 15X to show the entire departure sequence
from the ISS: http://tinyurl.com/SpaceX-Departure (YouTube)
+ 13-14 November - total solar eclipse in a narrow band of the
Earth’s surface, running across northern Australia and into the
South Pacific and across the international dateline. The eclipse
peaks at 22:11 UT. Observers in all of Australia, New Zealand,
and parts of southern Chile will see a partial solar eclipse
(with proper solar filters, of course). Details posted at:
+ The next Hudson Valley Satcom net date is Thursday, November 8
at 9 PM EST (UTC-5) on the 146.97 MHz MBARC Repeater (PL 100).
An echolink connection is available on the N2EYH-L node. More
information at: http://www.hvsatcom.org. (Stu, WA2BSS)
[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 that Sgr-A*, the
26,000 light-year distant black hole in the middle of our Milky Way
galaxy, is consuming a gas cloud so large that it will take a decade,
2010 to 2020, to complete the encounter. Currently the dust in the
cloud is approximately twice as hot as the surface temperature on
Earth. The hydrogen gas in the cloud is twice as hot as the surface
of the sun. A year from now temperatures in the cloud will become
detectable to radio and X-ray telescopes on Earth as well as orbit-
ing satellites such as NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org
Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA