[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][JAMSAT Home]

[jamsat-news:3204] ANS-272 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins


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:

* Vandenberg Falcon 9 Launch Rescheduled for 29 September
* E. Mike McCardel, KC8YLD Appointed AMSAT VP-Educational Relations
* 2013 Symposium Commemorative Shirt Order Deadline
* September/October AMSAT Journal is Ready
* Chesapeake VA Club Conducts Demos in Support of STEM Education
* New AMSAT Shirts and Hat Rolled Out for 2013
* Successful ARISS Contact in Italy

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-272.01
ANS-258 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 272.01
September 29, 2013
BID: $ANS-272.01

Vandenberg Falcon 9 Launch Rescheduled for 29 September

SpaceX officials  are pressing ahead with launch preparations for the company's
first Falcon 9 rocket launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on
Sunday, 29 September with a launch window that opens at 1600 UTC.

The flight marks several firsts for the commercial space transportation company,
including the maiden launch of an upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket with
stretched fuel tanks, more powerful engines and a 5.2-meter payload fairing to
enshroud satellites.

It is also the first SpaceX mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, a launch
site on California's Central Coast, where engineers modified an existing
facility used by the U.S. Air Force Titan 4 rocket to be the West Coast home of
the Falcon 9.

Canada's Cassiope space weather research and communications demonstration
satellite is riding the Falcon 9 rocket into an elliptical near-polar orbit
between 155 miles and 900 miles high. Secondary passengers aboard include


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
Callsign: dandecosgc
Data Rate: 9600 baud
Modulation: fsk
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
Callsign: BOTTOM
Data Rate: 1200 baud
Modulation: afsk
Transmit Interval: every 1 minute
RF Power Output: 2.2 W
Antenna Polarization: circular

[ANS thanks Miranda Link and SpaceFlightNow for the above information]


E. Mike McCardel, KC8YLD Appointed AMSAT VP-Educational Relations

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW has accepted the resignation of Mark
Hammond, N8MH as VP-Educational Relations and appointed E. Michael McCardel,
KC8YLD as his replacement.

Mark Hammond, N8MH of Coats, NC has served as VP-Educational Relations since
December 2011. During his tenure, Mark established a team focused on
educational issues and supporting the educational objectives of AMSAT. A
highlight for the team was the ARISS contact conducted during the 2012 Pacificon
Convention in October 2012 in Santa Clara, CA that provided an opportunity for
a group of selected young people from the Santa Clara area to ask questions
directly to an astronaut on board the International Space Station with an
audience of the participant's family members and amateur radio operators in
attendance. Managing a school contact during an ARRL Convention provided a
unique opportunity to highlight ARISS before a much wider audience that
appreciated both the technical details of communications technology and the
wonder of students speaking to an astronaut. Members of Mark's Education Team,
including Joe Spier, K6WAO, Dale Hunzeker, KJ6VUC and E.Mike were all involved
in the management of the ARISS contact at Pacificon.

In his 22 months of service, Mark developed a strong working relationship with
the ARRL Education Department,  NASA Education at Johnson Space Center, various
universities which AMSAT had established working relationships, plus AMSAT
members interested in finding ways of placing amateur radio satellites in the
classroom.  Mark has served as a member of the review team (which included ARRL
and JSC Education) which evaluated applications for ARISS school contacts.  His
close working relationship with Mark Spencer, WA8SME encouraged "Spence" to
develop some creative educational concepts, such as the Fox-1 Attitude
Determination Experiment Simulator that was featured in the July/August 2013 of
the AMSAT JOURNAL.  Mark also represented AMSAT-NA at the 2012 AMSAT-UK Space
Colloquium at Guilford, which provided an opportunity for him to interact with
the AMSAT-UK FUNCube-1 team responsible for developing educational materials in
support of that satellite's educational objectives.

Mark's resignation is due to his appointment effective September 1, 2013 as vice
president of academic affairs and provost of Campbell University, Buies Creek,
NC. The increased workload and travel associated with his new position has
forced Mark to re-evaluate his diminishing available time. His conclusion was
that he could not devote the time necessary to fulfill his AMSAT educational

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW notes, "Mark re-invigorated a critical area
for AMSAT, establishing new relationships with key organizations outside of
AMSAT and helping us to better understand and respond to the challenges of
fulfilling our vision of using amateur radio satellites in support of STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the classroom. AMSAT's
loss is Campbell University's gain, and we wish Mark well in his new position."
Barry also observed, "Fortunately for AMSAT, Mark will serve as a member of the
AMSAT Board of Directors, having just been elected by the AMSAT membership,
which allows AMSAT to benefit from Mark's insight and perspective in dealing
with AMSAT's strategic issues."

Mark's leadership on education has enhanced AMSAT's focus on an important aspect
of AMSAT's mission. "Over the past two years I've had the distinct pleasure of
interacting with some very capable individuals who are passionate about
integrating amateur radio satellites into the classroom as well as working with
individuals who make the ARISS program such a worldwide success," reflected
Mark. "I have every confidence in E.Mike as he continues to further enrich
AMSAT's education outreach program by not only continuing initiatives already
set into motion, but by establishing new and exciting ones as well."

With Mark's resignation, the appointment of "EMike" McCardel, KC8YLD of
Danville, OH as the new VP-Educational Relations is also announced. First
licensed in 2003, EMike's initial interest in amateur radio was due to the ISS
and the desire to interact with the astronauts on board. That initial interest
broadened in its scope to include amateur radio satellites and AMSAT, joining in
2011 and was subsequently drawn to the educational outreach efforts of Mark
Hammond's new Educational Relations team.

E.Mike's professional background incorporated teaching and working with young
people inside and outside the classroom, including having worked with the
developmentally disabled. For the past 18 years, he has served as an IT manager
at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH as a member of the college's Library and
Information Services Department. EMike retired from Kenyon this past June.

McCardel's interest in education outreach has also been reflected in his
volunteer work under the ARRL with the "Ohio Section Educational Outreach
Initiative" which E.Mike notes, "focuses on building relationships with teachers
and students beginning with our own children and grandchildren and their
teachers. As teachers become aware and have a better understanding of our
resources, they adjust to find ways to fit it into the curriculum."

From this experience, E.Mike is hopeful that the focus on reaching out to
teachers can be encouraged under AMSAT.  "I hope to expand on this theme with
AMSAT while continuing to build the strong relationships Mark has been
developing with our Colleges and Universities. I am challenged to follow in
Mark's shoes. He has been a good mentor and friend and I believe that he
constructed a firm foundation upon which we can build and move AMSAT's
educational outreach forward."

[ANS thanks AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, for the above information]


2013 Symposium Commemorative Shirt Order Deadline

A reminder that the deadline for ordering 2013 Symposium commemorative shirts is
October 1st. The shirts will be available for pickup at the Symposium, but
cannot be ordered there, or on the AMSAT Store. More information, and a
downloadable order form, can be found on the AMSAT web site:

[ANS thanks Alan, WA4SCA, for the above information]


September/October AMSAT Journal is Ready

The September/October 2013 AMSAT Journal is ready. This issue was sent
to the print shop this week. The next stop will be the post office and
then your mailbox.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

+ Apogee View by Barry Baines, WD4ASW

+ Exploring the Fox-2 Maximum Power Point Tracking System
  by Mark Spencer, WA8SME

+ W7LRD Grid Expedition to CN77 by Bob Johnson, W7LRD

+ AMSAT-UK Prepares for November Launch of FUNcube-1

+ 2013 AMSAT Field Day Results by Bruce Paige, KK5DO

+ Museum Ships Weekend 2013 - Satellites and a Balloon
  by Andy MacAlister, W5ACM and Allen Mattis, N5AFV

+ Kitty Litter Radio Carrier for Portable Operation
  by Randy Hall, K7AGE

+ AMSAT at Dayton 2013 by Keith Baker, KB1SF/VA3KSF

+ Ham Video Transmitter Aboard Columbus by Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Journal Editors: JoAnne, K9JKM; Bernhard,
VA6BMJ; Douglas, KA2UPW/5; Mike, K4ERA; and James, K3JPH for the above


Chesapeake VA Club Conducts Demos in Support of STEM Education

Amateur Memorial Radio Club K4AMG recently completed a program using
the AMSAT CubeSat Simulators and presented it to the following

CUBE SAT Presentations:
* STEM Technology teachers Chesapeake Schools 200 +  (K5VIP)
* Western Tidewater Amateur Radio Club  30  (W4VX)
* Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 54 at the WHRO Studios 30
* Virginia Beach Amateur Radio Club 30  (KN4KL)
* Virginia Beach Hamfest Forum and table 75  (W4VX / W4BUE)
* Chesapeake Center for Science and Technology High School VO TECH,
  WFOS / W4FOS. 8 students

They are in "standby" for STEM teachers to discuss lesson plan(s).

Presentations information:  (1 hour)
*  Video of edited clips from Dayton Youth Forum and our VO Tech
   about 20 mins.  Clips: - SAT COM - Robots - DX - High Altitude
   Balloon MIT Letter Hack - School Club Roundup
*  STEM presentation

They also use their new Kenwood TS-2000 purchased with the grant
form ARRL. The radio will be used by the Students at The Chesapeake
Center for Science and Technology.  The students will partake in
Satellite Communications, using the portable antenna system the
students built.

Their goal is to place "electronics, wireless communications and
amateur radio" into the STEM program.  They have been in the VO Tech
formally for 5 years and informally for about 10 years.

Their website proudly promotes in its banner
K4AMG, "Mentors in Electronics and Wireless Communication" for the
Next generation.

They are currently rendering a video of their experience.

Visit their website HTTP://http://www.k4amg.org/

[ANS thanks Rich Siff, W4BUE for the above information]


New AMSAT Shirts and Hat Rolled Out for 2013

Be seen as the Satellite Guy (or gal) at hamfests and club meetings
with official AMSAT apparel. The AMSAT Store guys invite you to visit
http://tinyurl.com/New-AMSAT-Apparel (amsat.org) to get the new goods
for 2013 featuring:

+ AMSAT Golf Shirt - light blue with a pocket over the left
  breast with the AMSAT logo in red and a cubesat logo in blue
  with white stars above the pocket.

+ AMSAT Hat - grey in color. It sports the AMSAT logo with the
  words "AMATEUR RADIO IN SPACE" as well as a logo of a satellite.

+ Fox Tee Shirt - navy blue colored tee with Fox logo and CubeSat
  image across the front in white.

Visit the main page of the AMSAT Store to see all of the AMSAT
products for sale: http://store.amsat.org/catalog/

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Store Team for the above information]


Successful ARISS Contact in Italy

Successful direct contact with Istituto Comprensivo Statale "E. Fermi - A. Oggioni" in Villasanta, Italy

16 September, 2013 at 08.04 UTC, 10.04 local time, Istituto Comprensivo Statale
"E. Fermi - A. Oggioni" in Villasanta, Italy established a direct contact with
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano KF5KDP, onboard the  International Space Station.

The Fermi-Oggioni Middle School is located in the centre of Villasanta, near
Monza (Milano). There are 403 students and 43 teachers. One class (25 students)
is involved in the project named "Space to Space". These students are thirteen
years old and they are attending the third and final year of middle school.

Gianpietro Ferrario IZ2GOJ, ARISS mentor and radio contact coordinator, managed
for a direct contact from the school in Villasanta, assisted by the ARISS
Lombardia team. The questions were read by students at school. More than 100
students, parents, visitors and media attended he event (indirect attendance
about 300).

The contact was established by IZ2GOJ in Villasanta. ARISS telebridge station
IK1SLD in Casale Monferrato was connected per phone line with the school, ready
to take over the radio link in case of problem. Contact was established with
IRĜISS at 08.04 UTC, 10.04 local time. Immediately after AOS, astronaut Luca
Parmitano switched to backup channel following some noise heard onboard. Luca
Parmitano answered 15 questions, and exchanged greetings with the school
administrator before LOS. Signals from the ISS were loud and clear during most
of the pass.

National Television and newspapers covered the event:

Streaming video is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDkg0PYPY2o

Congratulations to ARISS Lombardia and IK1SLD teams!

[ANS thanks Gianpietro, IZ2GOJ, 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 Office.

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 http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans