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[jamsat-news:3146] ANS-048 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 communicat-
ing through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org

In this edition:

* Monday February 18 OSCAR 7 Close Approach With Orbital Debris
* UK Space Mission - STRaND-1 Plans for Launch on February 25
* Additional Satellites on India's PSLV-C20 Launch on February 25
* Amateur Satellite Allocations on the Agenda at Vienna
* April-May 2013 Launch for TURKSAT-3USAT Linear Transponder Cubesat
* New Cuban Satellite Operators Now On-the-Air
* NASA Long-Distance Google+ Hangout to Connect with Space Station
* JAMSAT 2013 Symposium in Tokyo - March 9-10
* ARISS School Contacts This Week
* Israeli Students Speak with Canadian Astronaut in Space
* Changes Announced at Space-Track Website to Access Tracking Data
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-048.01
ANS-048 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 048.01
February 17, 2013
BID: $ANS-048.01


Monday February 18 OSCAR 7 Close Approach With Orbital Debris

According to orbital predictions from United States Joint Space 
Operations Center (JSpOC) the OSCAR 7 amateur radio satellite is 
heading for a close call with orbital space debris on Monday, 
February 18 at 22:06 UTC. 

Please post your AO-7 reception reports after this event via 
amsat-bb@amsat.org and also via the Live OSCAR Satellite Status 
Page at: http://oscar.dcarr.org/

The near-miss is predicted with the following parameters:

Primary Object: OSCAR 7 (SCC# 7530)
Secondary Object: SCC# 18116
Time of Closest Approach: 18 FEB 2013 22:06 UTC

Overall miss distance: 57 meters
Radial (dU) miss distance: 25 meters
In-Track (dV) miss distance: -25 meters
Cross-track (dW) miss distance: 46 meters

Primary Radial Error (U): 11 meters
Primary In-Track Error (U): 57 meters
Primary Cross-track Error (U): 6 meters

Secondary Radial Error (U): 12 meters
Secondary In-Track Error (U): 55 meters
Secondary Cross-Track Error (U): 11 meters

[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA and the United States Joint 
 Space Operations Center for the above information]


UK Space Mission - STRaND-1 Plans for Launch on February 25

A UK mission, jointly developed by the University of Surrey's Sur-
rey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited 
(SSTL), to send the world's first smartphone satellite into orbit, 
is due to launch on February 25 from India on PSLV-C20. This launch
will also carry the ocean study spacecraft SARAL as well as satel-
lites carrying amateur radio payloads.

STRaND-1 will be the first UK CubeSat to be launched and has been 
developed by talented space engineers and researchers at Surrey with 
the majority of the design and developmental work being carried out 
in their spare time. The build and test phase of the project has 
been completed in just three months. At the heart of STRaND-1 is a 
Google Nexus One smartphone with an Android operating system. 

During the first phase of the mission, STRaND-1 will use a number of 
experimental 'Apps' to collect data while a high-speed linux-based 
CubeSat computer developed by SSC takes care of the satellite. During 
phase two, the STRaND-1 team plan to switch the satellite's in-orbit 
operations to the smartphone, testing the capabilities of a number of 
standard smartphone components for a space environment. The satellite 
will be commissioned and operated from the Surrey Space Centre's 
ground station at the University of Surrey.

Being the first smartphone satellite in orbit is just one of many 
'firsts' that STRaND-1 is hoping to achieve. It will also fly inno-
vative new technologies such as a 'WARP DRiVE' (Water Alcohol Resist-
ojet Propulsion Deorbit Re-entry Velocity Experiment) and electric 
Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs); both 'firsts' to fly on a nanosatel-
lite. It is also flying a 3D printed part - believed to be the first 
to fly in space!

A software-based speech synthesiser will be included to pay homage 
to the UOSAT family of satellites OSCAR 9 and 11, that were launched 
in 1980 & 1982. There will be an amateur radio AX.25 packet radio 
downlink on 437.575 MHz using data rates of 9k6 or 19k2 bps.

On-line articles of the STRaND-1 mission can be found at:

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and Spaceref.com for the above information]


Additional Satellites on India's PSLV-C20 Launch on February 25

The STRaND-1 smart phone based CubeSat will share the ride to space
with additional satellites:

+ SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa) ocean study spacecraft 
  is a joint ISRO – CNES mission aimed at sun-synchronous orbit 
  with descending node at 18:00 local time, and altitude around 
  800 km. Ka-band radar altimeter operating at 35.75 GHz. 

+ NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) – space tele-
  scope that will split its time 50/50 to search for near-Earth 
  asteroids that could potentially impact the Earth, and search 
  for satellites and space debris in orbit around the Earth. Re-
  search project for Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

+ Sapphire – Canadian Department of National Defence first dedicat-
  ed military satellite, designed to provide tracking data on space 
  objects at orbit altitudes between 6,000km and 40,000km, data will 
  be shared with the US Space Surveillance Network.

+ CanX-3a, BRITE (BRIght-star Target Explorer) – small satellite de-
  signed to make photometric observations of bright stars in order 
  to study their variability. Built by the University of Toronto 
  Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory, and oper-
  ated by the Université de Montréal and University of Vienna.

+ TUGSat-1 (Technische Universität Graz Satellit), BRITE – Austria – 
  small satellite from Austria designed to make photometric observa-
  tions of bright stars in order to study their variability. The 
  IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination status pages note 
  that it will be using S-Band for telemetry downlinks and will 
  have a 145 MHz CW beacon.

+ AAUSat 3 – 1U cubesat developed and constructed by students from 
  Department of Electronic Systems at Aalborg University Denmark, 
  testbed for a pair of AIS receivers concentrating on the area 
  around Greenland in cooperation with the Danish Maritime Authority. 
  The IARU Amateur Radio coordinated frequency is  437.425 MHz and 
  the radio link will use Viterbi and Reed Solomon encoding.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and  the Zarya Space Calendar for the above
 information - http://www.zarya.info/Calendar.php]


Amateur Satellite Allocations on the Agenda at Vienna

In the coming months meetings will take place in both IARU Region 1 
and Region 2 to discuss HF and VHF bandplans.

The IARU Region 1 2013 Interim Meeting in Vienna April 19-21 will 
be discussing two proposals relating to the Amateur-Satellite Ser-

+ VIE13_C4_02 - Amendment to the 28 MHz Bandplan in relation to 
  the Amateur Satellite Service. This proposes the removal of the 
  downlink only restriction on the 29.300-29.510 MHz satellite 
  segment. See http://tinyurl.com/vienna2013-10M (http://uska.ch/)

+ VIE13_C5_03 - Increased Amateur-Satellite Service 144 MHz Usage. 
  This proposes the introduction of a new satellite downlink band 
  for CW/SSB transponders at 144.000-144.035 MHz:
  See http://tinyurl.com/vienna2013-2M  (http://uska.ch/)

A report on the ARRL website has requested input for the IARU Re-
gion 2 conference will be held later this year in Mexico.. At this 
time it is not known if satellite allocations will be raised at the 
meeting in Region 2. The ARRL item is posted at:
This page includes instructions to post comments via e-mail to the
ARRL as the IARU Member Society for the United States.

[ANS thanks Trevor, M5AKA and the ARRL for the above information]


May 2013 Launch for TURKSAT-3USAT Linear Transponder Cubesat

TAMSAT reports the TURKSAT-3USAT, the first communication nanosatel-
lite mission of ITU, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
is expected to launch in the May 2013 timeframe aboard China's Chang 
Zheng-2D rocket. Also aboard this launch will be Ecuador's NEE 01 
Pegaso 1U cubesat.

TURKSAT-3USAT is a three unit CubeSat developed to provide SSB/CW 
communications in a 680 km Low Earth Orbit. It will fly a V/U linear 
transponder developed by TAMSAT, the Turkish Amateur Satellite Tech-
nologies Organisation.

+ Uplink center frequency    145.965 MHz 
  (145.940-145.990 MHz bandwidth)
  Receive sensitivity -120 dBm

+ Downlink center frequency 435.225 MHz
  (435.200-435.250 MHz bandwidth)
  Output power 30 dBm (1W)

+ CW beacon on 437.225 MHz

TurkSat features a 3U CubeSat structure of ISIS (Innovative Solutions
In Space BV), Delft, The Netherlands, with a size of 10 cm x 10 cm x 
30 cm. The total mass of the nanosatellite is ~ 4 kg. The computer is
a Pumpkin OBC. A camera and an attitude determination and control 
subsystem is part of the mission.

The satellite has a de-orbiting system which will make it re-enter 
the atmosphere following completion of its life time. The deorbiting 
system consists of a lightweight thin membrane when deployed is ex-
pected to deorbit the nanosatellite within 25 years. 

Additional information can be accessed on-line at:

[ANS thanks TAMSAT for the above information]


New Cuban Satellite Operators Now On-the-Air

Cuba's new amateur satellite group, Grupo de Radioaficionados para 
Operaciones Satelitales, or GROS says this week two Cuban amateurs
have made their first satellite contact via SO-50. GROS Coordinator
Raydel, CM2ESP reported on the success of Pavel, CO7WT and Jose, 
CM2XN, "This may look simple, but for a Cuban Ham this is a great 
success which follows many weeks of antenna building, equipment 
adjustments and learning, these two hams enjoyed their first success-
contact on an FM transponder satellite. They know there is a lot more 
of operating skills to learn and they are very happy to do so."

Grupo de Radioaficionados para Operaciones Satelitales, loosely in-
terpreted as "Ham Radio Group for Satellite Operations", says this
reflects on the successful mentorship to get Cuban radio amateurs
on the satellites. Few Cuban hams have the required radio gear and
require a degree of inventiveness and perseverance to put their 
technical skills to the test to acheive success.

The intial success of this small group of Cuban hams hopes to inspire
and train more hams to build their satellite stations, get on the air
and activate new grids.

GROS hosts a VHF net in the Havana Province twice monthly on Friday.
They are working on creating a monthly HF satellite net in the near
future. GROS continues to work with Cuban National Amateur Radio Fed-
eration, F.R.C., the Federación de Radioaficionados de Cuba, on the
logistical arrangements to hold the first national meeting of Cuban
amateur satellite operators.

Raydel invites questions and comments to the group to be sent to any
members of the Coordination Board using these contacts:

+ CO6CBF, Hector, Vice-Coordinator (co6cbf@frcuba.co.cu)
+ CO7WT, Pavel, Technical Vice-Coordinator (pavel@conas.cu)
+ CM2ESP, Raydel, Coordinator (cm2esp@frcuba.co.cu)

A video of Hector, CO6CBF, at the 2012 AMSAT Space Symposium talking 
about how a Cuban Ham operates via satellite can be found on YouTube:

[ANS thanks GROS Coordinator Raydel, CM2ESP for the above 


NASA Long-Distance Google+ Hangout to Connect with Space Station

In a first for the agency, NASA will host a Google+ Hangout live 
with the International Space Station between 11 a.m. to noon EST 
on February 22. Google+ Hangouts allow people to chat face-to-face 
while thousands more can tune in to watch the conversation live 
on Google+. 

Although the deadline to submit video questions was February 12 you
will be able to watch replies to selected questions. Several video 
questions will be selected and answered by astronauts on the space 
station and on the ground. Additionally, NASA will ask real-time 
questions submitted by followers on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

To join the hangout, and for updates and opportunities to partici-
pate in upcoming hangouts, visit NASA's Google+ page:

Information on this Hangout and future sessions can be found at:

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]


JAMSAT 2013 Symposium in Tokyo - March 9-10

JAMSAT announces their 2013 Symposium to be held in Tokyo on March 9
to March 10. The Symposium will be held at the National Museum of 
Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) - 7F Conference Room CR2.
All amateur radio satellite operators are welcome to attend.

The Symposium schdule will be:

March 9  
+ 14:30 - 17:00 Papers and Technical Presentations
+ 17:30 - 19:30 Dinner Party

March 10
+ 10:00 - 13:00 Papers and Technical Presentations

The list of technical topics includes:
+ Problem of 1.2GHz Band License
+ Interference with QZSS Satellite
+ FitSAT Report
+ JAMSAT Activities
+ Progress in Transponder and 38.4Kbps Transmitter
+ Noise Environment at 2.4GHz Band
+ Progress in Nippon University Cubesat "NEXUS"
+ Introduction to AMSAT-NA FOX-Project
+ SDR and Satellite Communication

Openings remain available for the addition of last minute presenta-
tions on topics pertaining to amateur radio in space. If you are
interested in making a presentation please contact
madoguchi@jamsat.or.jp or ja3gep@jamsat.or.jp

Information on the Museum meeting location can be accessed on-line:

[ANS thanks Mikio Mouri, JA3GEP of JAMSAT for the above information]


ARISS School Contacts This Week

United Kingdom
An International Space Station school contact was successfully com-
pleted with participants at Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy, United 
Kingdom on February 12. The contact was made with a telebridge be-
tween NA1SS and W6SRJ.

Breadalbane Academy is a rural school serving Highland Perthshire 
in the heart of Scotland. The school has 700 pupils coming from 
Aberfeldy, Pitlochry, Rannoch and Dunkeld. The students are very 
interested in all aspects of the space program.

Manitoba, Canada
An International Space Station school contact was successfully com-
pleted with participants at Chief Peguis Junior High School, Winni-
peg, Manitoba, Canada on February 13. The contact was made with a 
telebridge between NA1SS and VK5ZAI. 

Chief Peguis Junior High is a grade 7-9 school with a population of 
about 550 students and staff. In April of 2011 Chris Hadfield made 
a personal appearance at the school to talk to the students. Those
grade 7 students at that time are currently grade 9 students and 
they remember his visit. They feel they already have a personal con-
nection with him.

This coming week International Space Station school contacts are 
planned on Tuesday and Friday with:

+ The 4th Dimotiko Scholeio Chaidariou, Chaidari (near Athens), 
  Greece. This will be a direct contact via J41ISS on Tuesday,
  February 19 at 12:30 UTC.

+ The Uplands Elementary School, Penticton, BC, Canada, with a 
  telebridge via IK1SLD on Friday, February 22 at 19:36 UTC.

ARISS is requesting listener reports for these contact. Due to 
issues with the Kenwood radio that are not fully understood at 
present, the Ericsson  radio is going to be used for this cont-
act. ARISS thanks everyone  in  advance for their assistance.
If you are in range the downlink is 145.800 MHz.

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]


Israeli Students Speak with Canadian Astronaut in Space

JERUSALEM (http://www.algemeiner.com/) - Ninth grade physics stu-
dents at Hebrew University Secondary School (Leyada) in Jerusalem 
spoke with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, as he orbited the 
Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, Feb-
ruary 3.

The Israeli high school students were the recent winners of the Ilan 
Ramon Space Olympics hosted each year by the Ilan Ramon Foundation, 
established in honor of Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. Ramon 
perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster with six other Amer-
ican crew members, when the shuttle disintegrated reentering to earth 
10 years ago.

Out of the 2,000 students from across Israel who participated in the 
Space Olympics, Leyada's 19-member team won first prize, for build-
ing a space platform to repair satellites and constructing a guest-
house in space.

The first prize granted the winning students a chance to speak with 
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who recently spoke with public 
school students in Ontario. According to Leyada's Reuben Tel-Dan, 
the proud physics teacher who oversaw the project, "I believe that 
Leyada is the first school in Israel to communicate with space."
The special event is part of NASA's Teaching From Space Program, 
which gives schoolchildren the chance to ask questions and hear 
answers from astronauts living aboard the space station via Amateur 
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). The contact is 
performed using the Amateur Radio telebridge network, a world-wide 
network of amateur radio ground stations that allow students to 
contact the space station, as it flies more than 200 miles above 

Leyada students came prepared with a list of 20 questions for Had-
field, from everything about what life in space is like to homesick-
ness and boredom. One of the ninth grade students, Ron, asked Had-
field where he slept more comfortably - on Earth or in the space 
station. Hadfield laughed, replying that "sleeping in the space sta-
tion is comfortable, but I sleep better at home with my wife." An-
other student, Yoni wanted to know how astronauts distinguish between 
day and night in the space station. Hadfield explained that there 
were 16 sunrises a day, but the crew uses an alarm clock for their 
sleep routines.

Along with the physics team, over 200 Leyada students listened care-
fully to the audio conversation which took place at 11 am in the 

Although the weak signals cut the fascinating conversation short, 
for Ya'arit Segal, one of the student leaders of the project, the 
prize was worth the hours that she and her team spent on the project 
for the past three months. The ninth grader described many sleepless 
nights that she her teammates experienced creating their successful 
space project. "We spent days and nights working on our project and 
the process had a huge impact on us," she told Tazpit News Agency.

"I don't know if I'll be an astronaut someday," concedes Segal. "But 
it would be so interesting to conduct experiments in space and learn 
how to work together with a crew." Leyada's principal, Dr. Gilead 
Amir, was especially impressed with the students' initiative. "Today 
was a great example for all of us, both students and teachers - in 
learning how school projects can directly impact our lives. Some-
times what we do at school can even lead to historical moments."

[ANS thanks NASA Teaching From Space and www.algemeiner.com for the
 above information]


Changes Announced at Space-Track Website to Access Tracking Data

This week the Space-Track website published the following memo to
the satellite community who use their site to access the latest
Keplerian Elements for tracking:


We are pleased to announce that we will upgrade the current
http://www.Space-Track.org on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 at 12:00 
PST to add the look and functionality that matches what is now on
https://beta.space-track.org. The bulk file downloads from our 
current Space-Track site will continue to be available to scripters 
for a limited time after the upgrade using established URLs.

This upgrade will vastly improve how the Space-Track User community
interacts with orbital element sets, the satellite catalog and con-
junction data. With a robust Representational State Transfer (REST-
ful) Application Programming Interface (API), scripters will be able 
to get the latest data available, customized for their purposes.

Here are just a few of the new features that will become part of the
upgraded www.Space-Track.org:

+  A streamlined and intuitive user interface that is easier to 
   navigate and allows simple searches.

+ A robust help and documentation section - "Favorites" lists to 
  identify logical groupings of catalog objects that Users can 
  monitor via the web interface or with the site's API.

If you have production scripts that currently use 
beta.space-track.org, we recommend that you change your scripts to 
point at www.Space-Track.org on or after 20 February 2013.

If you have scripts that screen-scrape or download text/zip files 
from the current yellow-colored legacy www.Space-Track.org, they 
will continue to perform correctly for a few months, but we recom-
mend that you quickly transition your scripts to take advantage of 
the new API. Documentation is available under "Help" to assist you, 
as well as the API query builder tool on the upgraded site.

We have also started sharing information about Space-Track's new 
features on tumblr, facebook and twitter, so please engage us on 
your favorite social media platform.

Our sites are http://space-track.tumblr.com,
http://www.facebook.com/SpaceTrack, and 

We understand that any significant upgrade has the potential to 
cause frustration for our user community and we apologize if this 
creates any adjustment problems for you. For help or clarification, 
please email us at admin@space-track.org.

Thank you,
The www.Space-Track.org Team


[ANS thanks Space-Track.org for the above information]


Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Effective Monday, February 18 AMSAT-UK Change of Domain - the 
  AMSAT-UK website will be moving to a new URL of: 

+ AMSAT has received the sad news of the passing of John Heath, 
  G7HIA on February 15. John is remembered for his passion pas-
  sion for satellites and the cosmos, his patience in explaining 
  and teaching others, his companionship and friendship, and esta-
  blishing and improving contacts with Russian satellite operators.
  See: http://www.amsat-uk.org/ (Andy, G0FSJ and Trevor, M5AKA)

+ Expedition 34 Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space 
  Agency (CSA) speaks with Canadian-born actor William Shatner, the 
  original Captain Kirk on the "Star Trek" television series on this
  YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1ro4zkw-LA

+ Enjoy a HD video, made by Sylvain Draux F0FVK, featuring the ama-
  teur radio satellite Fuji-OSCAR-29 (JAS-2). The video was shown at 
  the Amateur Radio Fair held in Pordenone, Italy on November 17-18, 
  2012: http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=12592

+ Doug, VK3UM reports that his EME Calculator Software - EMECalc 
  Ver 9.00 has been released. Enhancements include expansion of 
  the Yagi Data base with the VE7BQH yagi comparison tables allow-
  ing selections of over 490 antennas. Additional features include
  Beam Fill Calculations and an updated EME Planner Ver 1.78. The
  software can be found at: http://www.vk3um.com

+ The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth hosts the best and 
  most complete online collection of astronaut photographs of the 
  Earth at: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/

+ Michael, HB9WDF is reported to be active as FM/HB9WDF from Mar-
  tinique between February 11-21. Activity will be holiday style 
  on the satellites AO-7, FO-29, VO-52, SO-50 and others if they 
  are active, and the HF bands on PSK-31 and some SSB. QSL via 
  home calls. (Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin No. 1099) and (DX Newsletter 
  DXNL 1819 - Feb 13, 2013)

+ A video of the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group hosting the 
  largest ever ARISS contact at the South Florida Science Museum
  has been posted at:
  This contact had a live audience of hundreds in the Museum plus 
  a live TV feed to the entire county school system of about 180,000 
  students and 12,000 teachers. Plus a live audience on The Educa-
  tion Channel of another 25,000 in private and home schools, plus 
  live broadcast on the PBS station with another 15,000 viewers and 
  live feed on 2 Comcast Cable TV channels with another 30,000 view-
  ers. It was also streamed live on the Internet. (Southgate.org)

+ The Winter 2013 CQ VHF Magazine has several articles of interest
  to amateur satellite operators:
  o Transatlantic Balloon Flight 2012 - CNSP 18 - K6RPT-12
  o K6RPT-12 Recovery Effort
  o A Panadaptor for FT-817 using the FUNCube Dongle
  o Raspberry Pi in the Sky
  o CQ Satellite and 6 Meter WAZ Award Update
  o Satellites Column by AMSAT's Keith Pugh, W5IU

[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 a team of astronomers 
from Johns Hopkins University in their paper, "The 2dF Galaxy Red-
shift Survey: constraints on cosmic star-formation history from the 
cosmic spectrum", reported that their survey of the color of all 
light in the universe added up to a slightly beige white they named
'Cosmic Latte'. The survey included more than 200,000 galaxies, and 
measured the spectral range of the light from a large volume of the 
universe. The hexadecimal RGB value for Cosmic Latte is #FFF8E7.
(Credit: http://www.oddee.com/item_63950.aspx#lrmr9I6M5Glrh4rD.99)

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

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA