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[jamsat-news:3202] ANS-258 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space
including 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
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org.
In this edition:
* Secondary Payloads On Board for First Vandenberg Falcon 9 Launch
* Radio Amateur in Crew Increment Headed to ISS in Late September
* Australia’s Own BLUEsat Ready for Launch
* ARISS Ham Video - EST and Simulations
* Upcoming ARISS Contacts
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-258.01
ANS-258 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 258.01
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
September 15, 2013
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Secondary Payloads On Board for First Vandenberg Falcon 9 Launch
DANDE, POPACS, and CUSat are all currently mated to the launch vehicle located
at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket is the SpaceX Falcon 9
v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a
payload fairing. The primary payload is the CSA’s
Cassiope. Currently the launch
date is under review pending a thorough review of the results of the recent two
static fire tests.
The second P in POPACS (Polar Orbiting Passive Atmospheric Calibration Spheres)
stands for Passive, meaning that the three
spheres do not carry radios on board.
They are simple, polished ten-cm-diameter hollow Aluminum spheres, weighing 1
kg, 1.5 kg and 2 kg, respectively, that will be radar tracked by the Space
Surveillance Network of the U.S. Strategic Command and optically tracked by an
international network of students with Go To telescopes.
The purpose of the mission is to measure the way in which the total density of
Earth's upper atmosphere above 325 km varies in
response to solar stimuli during
the descending phase of Solar Cycle 24 and all of Solar Cycle 25. The spheres'
expected lifetimes, after deployment into the
initial 325 km x 1500 km 80 degree
orbit that they will hopefully soon share with
DANDE and CUSat, are 10, 12.5 and
15 years, depending, of course on solar activity.
DANDE stands for “Drag and Atmospheric Neutral
Density Explorer.” Measuring drag
and neutral particles in the lower atmosphere between 325-400 kilometers, DANDE
will be measuring real time density, quantifying
variations in altitude and over
time, as well as providing in-situ model calibration data. The satellite is a
low-cost density, wind, and composition measuring instruments that will provide
data for the calibration and validation of operational models and improve our
understanding of the thermosphere. Weighing approximately 84 pounds, DANDE is
classified as a nano-satellite that is about 18 inches in diameter.
The Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC) has housed the project for
approximately 7 years, in which about 150 students have been a part of the
project through initial concept and design, to the current team of mission
operators. There are two instruments on board which allow DANDE to make in-situ
measurements rather than being passive or only carrying accelerometers. The
subsystem ACC (Accelerometers) contains 6 accelerometer heads arranged in a
circle which were built in-house. The NMS subsystem (Neutral Mass Spectrometer)
also known as Wind and Temperature Spectrometer will survey the variety and
quantity of numerous neutral particles in the Thermosphere. This data will be
particularly interesting during periods of high
solar activity do to atmospheric
effects seen at these times in the polar regions of Earth.
DANDE Telemetry System Information:
Beacon Downlink Frequency: 436.75 MHz FM
Data Rate: 9600 baud
Transmit Interval: every 15 seconds
RF Power Output: 0.75 W
Antenna Polarization: linear
CUSat is a multi-year effort to design, build,
and launch an autonomous in-orbit
inspection satellite system. The satellite will allow us test the accuracy and
viability of the carrier-phase differential GPS (CDGPS) algorithm. We hope to
prove the algorithm accurate to less than 10 cm by comparing the CDGPS
navigation solution to the known distance between GPS antennas. CUSat will use
this relative GPS information to help determine and control its attitude. This
is the first step towards having a multi-satellite system use the CDGPS
algorithm to aid in autonomous inspection. CUSat
is the winner of the University
Nanosat-4 Program which aims to educate the future aerospace workforce and
develop new space technologies.
CUSat Telemetry Information:
Beacon Downlink Frequency: 437.405 MHz FM
Data Rate: 1200 baud
Transmit Interval: every 1 minute
RF Power Output: 2.2 W
Antenna Polarization: circular
[ANS thanks Miranda Link for the above information]
Radio Amateur in Crew Increment Headed to ISS in Late September
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and
Sergey Ryzanskiy are scheduled to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft September 25
to join their Expedition 37 crewmates aboard the International Space Station.
Hopkins will be the first member of the 2009 NASA astronaut class to fly into
space. While he’s aboard the ISS, Hopkins will install the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Video gear. He received pre-flight
training on how to commission the Amateur Radio digital video equipment.
Hopkins will join Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Flight
Engineers Karen Nyberg, and Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP. Yurchikhin, Nyberg, and
Parmitano arrived in May and will return to Earth in November.
[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information]
Australia’s Own BLUEsat Ready for Launch
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has declared its undergraduate student
amateur radio satellite project BLUEsat is complete and ready to be launched
As the official final green light came it was to have a stratospheric balloon
test flight near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. Talks continue on a space
BLUEsat, a 260mm cube weighing around 13
kilograms, will carry a flight computer
with transmissions to include a beacon and amateur packet radio using the AX.25
protocol in a “mode J” VHF/UHF configuration.
Magnets will passively stabilize the satellite and align it with the Earth’s
magnetic field, and it will be controlled via a dedicated communications
groundstation VK2UNS at UNSW is equipped with a Yaesu FT-847 satellite
It is hoped BLUEsat will be placed in circular orbit at an altitude of around
750 km that will take it over the poles. At this altitude, the satellite will
travel around the Earth at a rate of around once every 90 minutes.
Once in orbit BLUEsat will be a digital amateur radio satellite, which means
that voice and data files can be uploaded to it
by any amateur radio operator in
the world over which the satellite passes.
Students from UNSW will continue to be the primary operators of the satellite
while it is in orbit and continue the educational focus throughout the full
satellite life cycle.
Through sponsors helping to pay the bills the student-led project has given a
space experience that includes VK2UNS the ground control station.
Basic Low Earth Orbit UNSW Experimental Satellite (BLUEsat) project
[ANS thanks Trevor, M5AKA, for the above information]
ARISS Ham Video - EST and Simulations
Ham Video Commissioning preparation is progressing. An EST (Experiment Sequence
Test) has been performed 28-29 August and Simulations tests were done 5-6
The EST consisted of a series of tests, mainly of the ground segment. For the
Commissioning, the VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) station of the
Italian Space Agency (ASI), located near Matera, southern Italy, will be used
for receiving the DATV signals from the ISS. For the EST, the IK1SLD ground
station, situated at Casale Monferrato, northern Italy was used. IK1SLD is one
of the ARISS telebridge stations, fully equipped
for VHF and UHF. It was recently
upgraded for S-band with a 1.2m dish, feed,
downconverter and precision tracking
For the EST, a very low power transmitter, installed in the shack, generated
signals on the Ham Video frequencies, transmitting a DATV recording at 1.3 and
2.0 MS/s and FEC ½. The DATV signal was received and decoded by the IK1SLD
station and webstreamed to the BATC server.
B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operations Center ? ESA) conducted operations.
B.USOC and EAC (European Astronaut Center ? Cologne, Germany) specialists
operated from Livorno at Kayser Itallia's laboratory, where a Ham Video unit,
the so-called EBB (Elegant BreadBox), is operational. Parties involved were
interconnected per teleconference. At Casale Monferrato, Claudio Ariotti IK1SLD
and Piero Tognolatti I0KPT produced, received and
webstreamed the signals in the
different configurations as requested by B.USOC. ESA and ARISS observers
participated to the EST teleconference. After debriefing, the EST was declared
Simulations were done differently. B.USOC supervised from their offices in
Brussels and ARISS responsibles Piero Tognolatti I0KPT and Jean Pierre Courjaud
F6DZP operated from home. The simulations were done in the Columbus mockup at
EAC, where a non operational Ham Video model is installed. This box is used for
astronaut training on Ham Video. A KuPS power
supply was also used, as well as a
camera similar to the one on board Columbus in space. Ham Video transmissions
were simulated in the different configurations
(frequencies and symbol rates). A
view of operations in the Columbus mockup was webstreamed to the participants.
ARISS operators simulated reception as if they were at the Matera ground
station, taking into account expected timing between AOS and LOS. They signaled
AOS and requested crew at EAC to transmit in
different configurations, according
a pre-determined scenario. At LOS, the test stopped and results were commented.
Four passes were simulated this way, using both ARISS antennas. An important
goal of the simulations was to check the efficiency of communications between
ground and crew. Commands were initiated by ARISS operators (supposedly from
Matera), received at B.USOC, relayed to the Columbus Control Center at
Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich and uplinked to
?crew? by EUROCOM. The European ISS
Control Center is called Col-CC and its spacecraft communicator's call sign is
EUROCOM. The Simulations were conducted successfully and lessons were learned
for gaining time on transmitting commands. This is important considering the
limited 8 minutes contact time during real Commissioning.
ARISS proposed to use our VHF uplink capabilities
to crew for the Commissioning.
This was not acceptable with regard to ESA's commissioning protocol.
Presently, ISS pass predictions for Matera are computed for several weeks
starting mid October, The Matera VLBI activities are to be taken into account
for determining usable passes. Four passes will be needed to fullfil the
Ham Video Commissioning activities will be decided by ESA and NASA ISS
Operations. Hopefully the Commissioning will be planned during Expedition 37.
Ham TV Bulletins are available at www.ariss-eu.org
[ANS thanks Gaston, ON4WF, for the above information]
Upcoming ARISS Contacts
An International Space Station school contact has
been planned with participants
at Istituto Comprensivo Statale "E. Fermi - A. Oggioni", Villasanta, Italy on
16 Sept. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 08:04 UTC. The
duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact
will be direct between IR0ISS and IZ2GOJ. The contact should be audible over
Italy. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink.
The contact is expected to be conducted in Italian.
The Fermi Middle School is located in the centre of Villasanta near Monza
(Milano). There are 403 students and 43 teachers while there are one class (25
students) that will be involved in the project. These students are thirteen
years old and they will be attending the third and final year of middle school.
Another ARISS contact is scheduled with the Sarnelli De Donato Middle School,
Polignano a Mare, Bari, Italy, on Saturday, 21Sept2013, at 10:03 UTC. This
contact with be via telebridge station W6SRJ.
ARISS news is also available through Facebook and Twitter.
Visit ARISS on Facebook. We can be found at Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS).
To receive our Twitter updates, follow @ARISS_status
ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the
participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and
CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.
ARISS offers an opportunity for students to
experience the excitement of Amateur
Radio by talking directly with crew members on-board the International Space
Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio
and crew members on ISS can energize youngsters'
interest in science, technology,
and learning. Further information on the ARISS program is available on the
website http://www.ariss.org/ (graciously hosted by the Radio Amateurs of
[ANS thanks David, AA4KN, 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
This week's ANS Editor,
Lee McLamb, KU4OS
ku4os at amsat dot org
Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA