ERRATA: the subject for the Weekly Bulletin was marked as ANS-270 which is
incorrect. The text of the bulletin was correct however.
My apologies, 73,
Jack Spitznagel - KD4IZ
Assistant Editor - AMSAT News Service
Cell: (410) 207-5123
kd4iz dot arrl.net
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation 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 commun-
icating 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:
You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service
Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:
In this edition:
* ARRL Comments in Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 15, 2020
* PREDICT-2.2.7 for Linux, Unix, Android, and Raspberry Pi Platforms
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
* Tips for the New Operator
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-292.01
ANS-271 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 292.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 September 27
To All RADIO AMATEURS
ARRL Comments in Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding
In comments to the FCC, ARRL targeted two specific areas of concern
regarding a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in IB Docket
18-313 - mitigation of orbital debris in the new space age. In an
earlier phase of the proceeding, ARRL filed comments and met with FCC
staff to discuss the proposed rules. In comments filed on October 9,
ARRL focused on the areas of indemnification and maneuverability/propul-
sion. Indemnification places the liability for any possible damage from
a satellite on an individual or entity. ARRL reiterated its assertion
that, as a practical matter, an indemnification requirement "would
seriously impair the ability of amateur and university experimenters to
launch and operate satellites under US auspices" due to the potential
liability and high insurance cost.
Additional information is available at the ARRL Web Site:
[ANS thanks ARRL News for the above information]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for October 15, 2020
The following satellites have decayed from orbit and have been removed
from this week's AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
MO-106 - Cat ID 44830 (decay epoch = 2020-10-09 per Space-Track).
TRSI-Sat - Cat ID 44831 (decay epoch = 2020-10-11 per Space-Track).
The following satellite has an estimated decay epoch determined by Space-
Track as follows:
EnduroSat One - Cat ID 43551 - estimated decay epoch = 2020-10-15 per
(Still in orbit as of 2020-10-15 at 04:53 UTC.)
An updated set of Orbital Elements for October 15, 2020 have been dis-
tributed via the AMSAT /keps list and are available at the AMSAT website:
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the
Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
PREDICT-2.2.7 for Linux, Unix, Android, and Raspberry Pi Platforms
John Maglicane, KD2BD, has announced the release of PREDICT version
2.2.7, an Open Source satellite tracking / orbital prediction applic-
ation for Linux and Unix computing environments, including PCs, laptops,
and Raspberry PIs.
New in this release is a version of PREDICT that operates on Android
platforms under a Termux environment. Now you can carry your smartphone
in your shirt pocket while voice announcements made by PREDICT's
"vocalizer" tell you where to locate the ISS, Hubble, or other visible
satellites in the night sky! There's even an alarm to alert the observer
when the spacecraft enters into eclipse or into sunlight.
Android screenshots are available here:
The Linux/Unix version of PREDICT-2.2.7 is available here:
And the Android/Termux release is available here:
Both versions are source code releases. An included "configure" script
will configure and compile PREDICT and its associated utilities for your
specific platform while you wait.
Termux is an Android terminal emulator and Linux environment application
that is available at no cost through Google Play. Further details are
Further details on PREDICT are available at:
Stay safe, stay well, and Happy Tracking!
73 de John, KD2BD
[ANS thanks John Magliacane, KD2BD for the above information]
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
ARISS NEWS (awaiting update from AJ9N)
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.
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2020-10-14 18:00 UTC
Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:
Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
The scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR
Contact was successful: Wed 2020-10-14 16:26:13 UTC
ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools and
the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancellations
or postponements of school contacts. As always, I will try to provide
everyone with near-real-time updates.
The following schools have now been postponed or cancelled due to
Postponed: No new schools
Cancelled: No new schools
The ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/
Watch for future COVID-19 related announcements here also.
Note that there are links to other ARISS websites from this site.
The main page for Applying to Host a Scheduled Contact may be found at
ARISS Contact Applications (United States)
Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own
orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed
All dates and times listed follow International Standard ISO 8601 date
and time format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team men-
tors for the above information]
AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.
Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
Jerome, F4DXV, is plans to operate from a 1500 meter summit in JN15jo on
Monday, 19October. He will be on RS-44 beginning at 2000utc specifically
for North America. The footprint covers much of eastern NA. This is a
difficult operation after dark and Jerome hopes that many will take
advantage of the opportunity to work this very rare grid. RS-44 will be
DN13/23 and DN22: @KI7UNJ, 10/16 - 10/19: No pass list, just follow
Twitter, BEACON APRS KI7UNJ-9 KI7UNJ-IOS
16th DN13/23 Line
19th DN13/23 Line
KQ2RP is heading to FN44/54 again. Will be on FM birds from FN54 with
occasional FN44/54 line. FN53 possible. Oct 11-16th. Logging as KQ2RP/1.
EL Grids, @N1PEB 10/10 -10-14: 10/10 EL95 Key Largo, 10/11 EL94 Key
West, 10/12 EL84 Dry Tortuga, 10/13 EL94 Key West, 10/14 TBD
>From TI2BSH: October 16, 2020 I will be working in EK71 and will go out
on the satellites:
AO-91 at 04: 22z,05:57z, 16:38z
SO-50 at 04: 48z, 15:16z
If you hear me and want that grid call in international phonetic
Doug N6UA and Ron AD0DX are planning to activate DL88 on Sunday Oct 25th.
This will be a daytime activation only because the Talley Campground is
currently closed. We will be on FM and Linear satellites. Thanks to
everyone that donated back in April before the COVID restrictions. K5Z
on qrz.com has more details including passes:https://www.qrz.com/db/K5Z
Currently the weather looks good and we will be monitoring the weather
throughout the week. If there is a chance of rain in the forecast we
will have to find another date.
We are looking forward to giving out this rare grid!
Ron AD0DX and Doug N6UA
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
Clint Bradford, K6LCS will give his "Work the FM Voice Satellites With
Minimal Equipment" Zoom presentation on the following dates for:
10/27/2020 - Cherryland ARC / Traverse Bay ARC
Additional presentations are in the planning stage:
TBD - Antelope Valley (CA) ARC and a private presentation for a
Boy Scout troop in Danville, Pennsylvania
Club Groups are asked to update their copies of the Zoom application
prior to the scheduled session by directly downloading it from
[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6CLS for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ NASA will provide live coverage of the return to Earth for agency
astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and two Russian cosmonauts Wednes-
day, Oct. 21, after six months aboard the International Space Sta-
tion. Cassidy, the Expedition 63 commander, and cosmonauts Anatoly
Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos, will close the hatch to their
Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 20:10 UTC Wednesday. Their Soyuz will un-
dock at 23:32z. A parachute-assisted landing is set for 02:55z on
Oct. 22 on the steppe of Kazakhstan. Complete coverage of the return
will be available on NASA TV and the agency's website,
(ANS thanks NASA for the above information)
+ Joe Werth, KE9AJ Tweets about a new distance record set for AO-7 Mode A:
"Amazing QSO with Olivier, @F5RRO on AO-7 MODE A. Breaking a 40 year old
AMSAT distance record at 6,879 km. Olivier used a MA5B Yagi and I used
my Moxon..... Thanks Olivier!" The path map may be seen at:
(ANS thanks Joe Werth, KE9AJ for passing along the above information)
+ GNU Radio Project (@gnuradio) tweeted at 3:52 PM on Tue, Oct 13, 2020:
Wylie Standage-Beier's @thewyliestcoyot workshop on Writing GNU Radio
Blocks is up on YouTube! A hands on intro to blocks, flowgraphs, and
systems from simple Python simulation of a phase shift keyed signal in
white noise to a functioning communications system. Link to Twitter
Feed and Youtube link: https://t.co/XldgMCJeLy
(ANS thanks JoAnn Maenpaa, K9JKM for relaying the above information
+ OSIRIS-REx, which launched in 2016 and has been orbiting the asteroid
Bennu in microgravity since 2018, is going to try its first Touch And
Go (TAG) maneuver next week. This maneuver involves autonomously des-
cending toward the asteroid with the craft's sample arm extended,
briefly making contact, using nitrogen gas to blow loose material in-
to a sample collection head, and returning to orbit. The pristine
sample should arrive back on Earth in September 2023. Visualization
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ Blue Origin's reusable suborbital New Shepard flew on October 13 for
the first time since December 2019, completing its 13th flight, and
seventh reuse for this booster. The mission successfully carried sev-
eral NASA experiments, including a "microgravity LilyPond"--a hydro-
ponic chamber for growing edible aquatic plants in space--and a sys-
tem for precise planetary landing that uses both terrain relative
navigation (for high altitude use, soon to be used for landing by
Mars 2020) and LiDAR (for final propulsive landing), with a planned
application to upcoming lunar landing missions.
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ Tweeted on October 13: Premier signers of Virgin Orbit's payload wall,
@AMSAT RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E is out of our hands and in the hands of
@Virgin_Orbit to fly as part of Launcher One's first payload. Great fun
sharing in their new experience and first integration. And tours of
their facilities to boot!
(ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP Engineering, for the above
+ Soyuz crew docks with International Space Station: In a mission marking
the end of an era, NASA astronaut and former virus hunter Kate Rubins,
using NASA's last currently contracted seat on a Russian Soyuz
spacecraft, rocketed into orbit Wednesday with two cosmonaut crewmates
on a record-setting flight to the International Space Station.
Celebrating her 42nd birthday, Rubins' launch came just two weeks
before 20th anniversary of the arrival of the station's first crew on
Nov. 2, 2000. Since then, the lab complex has been continuously staffed
by rotating crews, or expeditions, of American, Russian, Japanese,
European and Canadian fliers along with a handful of space tourists.
Additional information is avalable at: https://bit.ly/31brNUw
(ANS thanks Spaceflight Now and CBS News for the above information)
+ Oxygen supply fails on Russian segment of ISS, crew not in danger
(Oct 15, 2020) The oxygen supply system has failed in a module on the
Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) but the crew
is in no danger, Russian space agency Roscosmos said Thursday.
The oxygen supply system on the Zvezda module on the orbital lab failed
late on Wednesday but a second system on the American segment is
operating normally, a Roscosmos spokesperson told AFP.
"Nothing threatens the security of the crew and the ISS," said the
spokesperson, adding this repair work to fix the issue would be carried
out on Thursday.
The issue arose after three new crew -- two Russian cosmonauts and an
American astronaut -- reached the ISS on Wednesday to bring the number
of current crew on board to six. Additional information
(ANS thanks Spacetravel and AFP for the above information)
Tips for the New Satellite Operator [Tentative Add-on FOR CONSIDERATION]
This is the first of a what I hope to be a monthly New Satellite Opera-
tors Corner. I will offer AMSAT New Operator tips and links to AMSAT
resources for new operators and posts from various interest groups where
useful info is published. This weeks tip comes from Rick, WA6NDR via
TH-D74A(a)groups.io. I hope you find this as useful as I have.
Jack, KD4IZ, Editor, AMSAT News Service.
Tip of the month: TH-D74A ISS APRS settings
From: Rick - WA6NDR
"I was able to make an ISS APRS contact today with just the TH-D74A and
an Arrow antenna (details at the end). I started with a video from Don
W6GPS and documented what I ended up doing including minor changes.
Change the call sign and email address to yours. "Personal preference"
settings are optional. The reasoning behind most of the settings is
given in Don's video. I am using TH-D74A firmware v1.10 (with v1.11
released 8/26/2020 but not seeming worth the installation time)."
. Menu 800 = SD Card, Export, Config Data (FOR LATER IMPORT AND NORMAL
. Menu 999 = Config, System, Full Reset
. [F]DUAL to set A band only.
. Menu 900 = Config, Display, Backlight Control = On
. Menu 404 = GPS, Basic Settings, Battery Saver = Off
. Menu 500 = APRS, Basic Settings, My Callsign = WA6NDR-7
. Menu 503 = APRS, Basic Settings, Status Text = 1/1, "VIA ISS
. Menu 504 = APRS, Basic Settings, Packet Path = Others1, "ARISS"
. Menu 507 = APRS, Basic Settings, DCD Sense = Detect Data
. Menu 511 = APRS, Beacon TX Control, Initial Interval = 30 min.
. Menu 512 = APRS, Beacon TX Control, Decay Algorithm = Off
. Menu 513 = APRS, Beacon TX Control, Prop. Pathing = Off
. Menu 514 = APRS, Beacon TX Control, Speed = Off
. Menu 903 = Config, Display, Power-on Message = "WA6NDR ISS"
. Menu 904 = Config, Display, Single Band Display = GPS(GS)
. Menu 920 = Config, Battery, Battery Saver = Off
. Menu 921 = Config, Battery, Auto Power Off = Off
. Menu 950 = Config, Date & Time, Setting = <local>, UTC -7:00
. VFO, set frequency to 145.825 MHz
. [F]APRS (see "APRS 12" on the top display, GPS info on bottom).
. Personal preference, for SD Card recording and save to PC.
o Menu 941 = Config, Auxiliary, PF2 = Recording (on/off)
o Menu 944 = Config, Auxiliary, PF3 (Mic) = Screen Capture
o Menu 980 = Config, Interface, USB Function = Mass Storage
. Menu 800 = SD Card, Export, Config Data (FOR ISS OPERATION).
o Arrow 146/437-10WBP antenna: Use only the 2m 3-element part.
o Open squelch: [F]MONI, KNOB CCW, ENT. Listen, watch...
o BCON to send a beacon. BCON again (off). Repeat.
(ANS thanks Rick Nungester, WA6NDR for this 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
73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week's ANS Editor, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ
kd4iz at amsat dot org
Doug N6UA and Ron AD0DX are planning to activate DL88 on Sunday Oct 25th.
This will be a daytime activation only because the Talley Campground is currently closed.
We will be on FM and Linear satellites.
Thanks to everyone that donated back in April before the COVID restrictions.
K5Z on qrz.com has more details including passes:https://www.qrz.com/db/K5Z
Currently the weather looks good and we will be monitoring the weather throughout the week.If there is a chance of rain in the forecast we will have to find another date.
We are looking forward to giving out this rare grid!
Ron AD0DX and Doug N6UA
Just a reminder that registration for Saturday's AMSAT Symposium
closes in just under an hour and a half at 5:00pm CDT / 22:00 UTC.
AMSAT members are encouraged to register for the Symposium at
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBER ACCOUNT IN ORDER TO REGISTER,
PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY BY 5:00 PM CDT / 22:00 UTC SO WE CAN GET YOU
Registered members will be eligible
for prize drawings and will be able to participate in Q&A sessions
during the event. There are a lot of great presentations scheduled, so
you do not want to miss this event!
AMSAT members who are not able to log in to their accounts in order to
register should consult the instructions for gaining access at
Login details for the Zoom Webinar as well as a link to the 2020 AMSAT
Symposium Proceedings will be emailed to registered attendees shortly
after registration closes tomorrow evening.
If you are not an AMSAT member, please consider joining AMSAT and
registering for the webinar. An annual membership is just $44 ($22 for
students) and includes access to The AMSAT Journal (including archives
dating back to 2014), access to all Proceedings of AMSAT Symposia
dating back to 1986, and access to special events such as this Virtual
If you do not wish to join AMSAT at this time, or prefer to view
another way, the Symposium will also be simulcast via YouTube to the
public at https://youtu.be/EHDgrI_w8hY
If you are not able to join us or watch for the day, the YouTube
replay will remain available for future viewing at the above link.
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Executive Vice President
I hope everyone gets a chance to tune into the AMSAT symposium Saturday the
17th. I will try to if I can, but I do have a presentation and demo of
Amateur Radio in space for the Bedford, TX radio club on Saturday morning
via Zoom from my back yard. I am hoping to work one SO-50 FM pass, (1533Z
AOS for me) and then one XW-2A pass (1602Z) while doing the presentation.
We had hopes of doing something in person but COVID.... I have been told
that in an edited form, this might end up on the Ham Radio 2.0 video podcast
so we will see.
Please look for me, N5HYP, or give me a call outright and help promote AMSAT
and Amateur Radio in space to a broader audience.
Tom Schuessler, N5HYP
I've looked all over LoTW and I can't find a place where they give definitions for their mode and submode abbreviations. Is PKT the abbreviation for packet as used for ISS APRS? Where do they define their abbreviations?
On Tuesday, LeoLabs, a company that monitors the paths of space junk in
low-Earth orbit, announced on Twitter it was tracking a potential
conjunction—that's space-speak for a mid-orbit crash—tonight between a
defunct Soviet satellite and a discarded Chinese rocket stage.
According to the company's latest calculations, the objects are expected to
come within 80 feet of each other (±59 feet). The probability of a
collision is greater than 10 percent. If the satellites collide, the impact
could spread a network of debris throughout low-Earth Orbit.