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[jamsat-news:3122] ANS-309 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
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
November 4, 2012
BID: $ANS-309.01


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
  educational activities.

+ 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:
http://tinyurl.com/ARISS-Falmouth (YouTube)
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 
their houses.

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 
 above information]


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 thuvt@fpt.edu.vn

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”.

F-1 frequencies:

+ 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: 
  http://tinyurl.com/ISS-Sandy (YouTube)

+ 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