May 22, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

AMSAT

Via AMSAT: ANS-288 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

In this edition:
* Estonia’s ESTCube-2 Digipeater in Orbit
* 2023 AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting Next Weekend
* AMSAT-UK Colloquium Ongoing
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for September 15, 2023
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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 satellites.
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
You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/
ANS-260 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2023 October 15

Estonia’s ESTCube-2 Digipeater in Orbit

ESTCube-2 is a 3U Cubesat largely designed and built by undergraduate students at the University of Tartu, Estonia. It was launched into sun-synchronous orbit as an auxiliary payload on the European Space Agency (ESA) Vega flight VV23 from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou on October 8 at 01:36 UTC.
Among ESTCube-2’s several missions, it will conduct in-orbit signal strength mapping in the 2m and 70cm amateur bands, using periodical full band received signal strength indicator (RSSI) measurements in order to check how polluted these two radio amateur bands are in low Earth orbit.
In addition, a cross-band AX.25 digipeater mode will be used to allow amateur radio operators to use satellite for two-way digital communication. 9600 bps G3RUH AX.25 data uplink will be in 2m amateur band and transmission of digipeated packet in 70cm amateur radio band. Transmission speed and modulation will be the same as for uplink. [Similar to the now re-entered FalconSat-3.] There are plans to include periodic short audio announcements (similar to FOX-1) to indicate that the digipeater is active.
The high-speed communications system is a COTS transmitter system called HiSPiCO from IQ Technologies. It is used when downloading preselected Earth observation scientific camera full-resolution images using the 2.4 GHz amateur radio band. (See https://www.iq-spacecom.com/products/hispico for details.) Data will be downlinked using QPSK modulated up-to 1 Mbps data-rate signal. Software tools (e.g. GNU Radio, web browser- based) will be published before the satellite launch, in order to enable reception of high speed downlink by the amateur radio community.
The optional multi-station radio frequency ranging experiment will be used to determine satellite distance to Earth in order to improve accuracy of satellite orbit determination. For the experiment, the 70cm radio amateur band will be used in conjunction with four or more amateur ground stations using SDR-based equipment that can provide stable and accurate frequency and time measurements. The satellite downlink will be listened to from several ground stations at the same time.
To educate the next generation of radio amateurs, the satellite will transmit analog messages from space using an NBFM signal containing pre-recorded audio greetings. This activity will infrequently take place according to a schedule published publicly to schools and the AMSAT/HAM community. The transmitted signal will be received by participating Estonian secondary and high schools, using their own built radio antennas and SDR-based receiver systems. This activity is targeted primarily to promote amateur radio and satellite communication (and in general STEM fields) among the younger generation.
The Primary transceiver, shared with the amateur payloads, is using the 70 cm amateur radio band for uplink and downlink purposes. It will be used as the housekeeping beacon for a simple overview of the satellite status and as the main transceiver for receiving tele-commands and firmware upgrades. As well transmitting mission data, like telemetry from each subsystem (< 256 bytes per subsystem) and payload data, e.g. compressed, low resolution image thumbnails (~100 KiB), in AX.25 data packet format with 9600 baud data-rate with G3RUH modulated signal. The spacecraft will have experimental capability to change data-rate up-to 38600 baud using 2GFSK (or 4GFSK for testing) different modulation schemes. During the mission, it is planned to transmit a housekeeping telemetry beacon periodically (~1 KiB), typically once per minute, containing telemetry, health data packets from every subsystem.
The 70 cm amateur radio band downlink will be used to send Plasma brake tether experiment [link] and housekeeping data of the payload module such as temperature measurements, information about the attitude of satellite, energy production etc. (< 256 bytes).
After performing measurements of a material science experiment on corrosion resistant coating, the 70cm amateur radio band downlink will be used to transmit a very small amount of acquired sensor data (~ 200 B per day). The satellite will measure the electrical continuity of the coating material to determine its lifespan after exposure to atomic oxygen in LEO.
Proposing UHF 9k6 using GFSK/G3RUH modulation or 38k4 GFSK/4GFSK or, alternatively, FM voice downlinks, and on S Band downlink DQPSK modulation with 1 Mbps data-rate, downlinks on 435.800 MHz and 2425.000 MHz have been coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
The Vega C VV23 launch plan was to put ESTCube-2 into a 555km Sun-Sychronous Orbit (SSO). Actual orbit parameters have yet to be confirmed. More info is at https://www.estcube.eu/projekt/ESTCube-2 and https://www.estcube.eu/blogi/Raadio
[ANS thanks IARU, ESA, and the University of Tartu for the above information]
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Join us for the 41st Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and
Annual General Meeting
October 20-21, 2023 – Dallas, TX
More Information at:
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2023 AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting Next Weekend

Although the deadline for the banquet and Sunday morning Members’ Breakfast has passed, there’s still time to join us for the 41st AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting next weekend.
A livestream of the Symposium Presentations and Annual General Meeting will be available on AMSAT’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/amsatna
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3RZ1rk0
Schedule (Times CDT)
Thursday, October 19, 2023
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM AMSAT Board Meeting
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Pre-Registration Check-in
Friday, October 20, 2023
8:00 – 12:00 Noon AMSAT Board Meeting (Closed Session)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Registration
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM AMSAT Symposium Kickoff, President’s Welcome
1:15 PM – 5:00 PM Paper Sessions
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Informal Dinner on your own
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM AMSAT Reception and Auction, Cash Bar Available
Saturday October 21, 2023
8:00 AM – 11:45 AM Registration
8:00 AM – 8:15 AM AMSAT Symposium Welcome
8:15AM – 12:00 Noon Paper Sessions
1:00 PM – 3:15 PM Paper Sessions
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM AMSAT Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Attitude Adjustment (Social), Cash Bar
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM AMSAT Banquet, Cash Bar
Sunday October 22, 2023
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM AMSAT Member Breakfast
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
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 The 2023 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
    To commemorate the 40th anniversary of its launch
on June 16, 1983, this year’s coin features
an image of AMSAT-OSCAR 10.
  Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
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AMSAT-UK Colloquium Ongoing

Although the first day of the AMSAT-UK Colloquium has concluded at the time of publication, a livestream of Sunday’s presentations is available.
Volunteers from the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) are providing a live stream of the presentations from the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium which takes place as part of the RSGB Convention on October 14-15.
BATC volunteers have been recording and streaming the Colloquium for over 11 years.
Watch the AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentations on Sunday from 09:30-15:15 BST (GMT +1) at
The AMSAT-UK talks are in Lecture Room 5 and PDF’s of the talk schedule can be downloaded from the RSGB site at https://rsgb.org/main/rsgb-2023-convention/2023-convention-lectures/
Further information on the BATC is available at http://batc.org.uk/
Individual videos of Colloquium presentations will also be available on AMSAT-UK’s YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK) over the coming weeks.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
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        Need new satellite antennas? Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack
        from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
           AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
                  Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
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Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 13, 2023

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated Thursday evenings around 2300 UTC, or more frequently if new high interest satellites are launched. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/
The following satellites have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:
AstroBioCubsat NORAD Cat ID 53107 Probably defunct, USSF no longer providing element sets.
Aurorasat NORAD Cat ID 56312 Decayed from orbit on or about 9 October 2023
Lightcube NORAD Cat ID 56314 Decayed from orbit on or about 12 October 2023
[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]
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      Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
            Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
        from our Zazzle store!
        25% of the purchase price of each product goes
            towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
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ARISS News

Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.
Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:
Valley Stream South High School, Valley Stream, NY, telebridge via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled crewmember is Andreas Mogensen, KG5GCZ
The ARISS mentor is AB1OC
Contact is go for: Tue 2023-10-17 12:25:03 UTC 38 deg
St Peter in Thanet CE Junior School, Broadstairs, Kent, United Kingdom, direct via GB4SPT
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM
The ARISS mentor is MØXTD
Contact is go for: Wed 2023-10-18 09:57:49 UTC 89 deg Contact is go for: Wed 2023-10-18 09:57:49 UTC 89 deg
Comments on making general contacts
I have been seeing a lot of traffic on Facebook and I suspect on other social media sites with people asking why they are not hearing the crew make general contacts.  First off the crew is very busy on the ISS and they simply may not have the time to just pick up the microphone and talk.  Also, one needs to be aware of their normal daily schedule.  I have listed below the constraints that we at ARISS have to follow in order to schedule the school contacts.  Hopefully this will help you better schedule your opportunities.
Typical daily schedule
Wakeup to Workday start= 1.5 hours
Workday start to Workday end=12 hours
Workday end to Sleep= 2 hours
Sleep to wakeup= 8.5 hours
The crew’s usual waking period is 0730 – 1930 UTC. The most common times to find a crew member making casual periods are about one hour after waking and before sleeping, when they have personal time. They’re usually free most of the weekend, as well.
SSTV events are not that often.  So please check out https://bit.ly/3vKe2LF for the latest information or watch for the ARISS announcements.
And don’t forget that the packet system is active.
As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.
ARISS Radio Status
Columbus Module radios:
IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS – Configured. Default mode is for cross band repeater (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down).
* Powering off for USOS EVA on Oct 19. OFF  TBD. ON TBD.
* Powering off for ROS EVA on Oct 25. OFF TBD . ON TBD.
* Powering off for USOS EVA on Oct 30. OFF TBD. ON TBD.
* Powering off for TBD on TBD. OFF TBD . ON TBD.
* Capable of supporting USOS scheduled voice contacts, packet and voice repeater ops.
Service Module radios:
IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS – Configured. Default mode is fo packet operations (145.825 MHz up & down)
* Powering off for TBD on TBD. OFF TBD . ON TBD.
* Capable of supporting ROS scheduled voice contacts, packet, SSTV and voice repeater ops.
SSTV (Kenwood D710) – STATUS – OFF. Default mode is for scheduled SSTV operations (145.800 MHz down)
* Next planned operation date(s) TBD.
* Specifically configured for SSTV ops.
The latest information on the operation mode can be found at  https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Adrian, N8AJM, will be QRV from EM85 (TN) 16th – 20th October. This will be LEO/MEO. Details are available at hams.at
[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
+ 41st AMSAT Space Symposium & Annual General Meeting
October 20-21, 2023
Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel
4440 W John Carpenter Fwy, Irving, TX 75063
AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, says,
“Think a 75-minute presentation on “working the easy satellites” would be appropriate for your club or event? Let me know by emailing me at k6lcsclint (at) gmail (dot) com or calling me at 909-999-SATS (7287)!”
Clint has NEVER given the exact same show twice: EACH of the 150+ presentations so far has been customized/tailored to their audiences.
[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, and AMSAT for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ The first PCBs for AMSAT-UK’s next FUNcube satellite arrived this past week. This satellite will provide a Mode U/v linear transponder, an FM transponder with an uplink at 1267 MHz and downlink on 2 meters (Mode L/v), and an experimental QPSK downlink at about 20 kbps. (Thanks to G0MRF for this information)
+ ITU‑R WP5A meeting #30 could not achieve consensus on the measures needed to protect the RNSS in the 23cm band. (Relating to WRC-23 AI 9.1b)  Link to the IARU report on WP5A meeting is at the end of https://www.iaru-r1.org/2023/itu-r-wp5a-meeting-30-could-not-achieve-consensus-on-the-measures-needed-to-protect-the-rnss-in-the-23cm-band-relating-to-wrc-23-ai-9-1b/ (Thanks to AMSAT-UK and the IARU for this information)
+ VU2JO has created a post detailing tips and tricks for working LEO satellites. The blog post is available at https://johnsonfrancis.org/techworld/tips-and-tricks-for-working-leo-satellites/ (Thanks to VU2JO for this information)
+ The Psyche mission to all-metal asteroid Psyche successfully lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 13, 2023 on a Falcon Heavy. This was NASA’s first user of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. https://spacenews.com/nasa-launches-psyche-mission-to-metal-world/ (Thanks to SpaceNews.com for this information)
Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:
* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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 student rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.
Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm [at] amsat.org

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