AMSAT NEWS SERVICE ANS-059
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information 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 satellites.
The news feed on http://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 dot org.
In this edition:
* Tausat CubeSat with U/V FM Transponder Ready for Deployment from ISS * AMSAT-DL Operators Track Mars Probe * AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 25, 2021 * IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Two New Satellites * 23cm Band in the Spotlight with Regulators * The Perseverance Parachute's Secret Code * Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events * Upcoming Satellite Operations * ARISS News * Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-059.01 ANS-059 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 059.01 From AMSAT HQ 712 H Street NE Suite 1653, Washington, DC 20002 February 28, 2021 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-059.01
Tausat CubeSat with U/V FM Transponder Ready for Deployment from ISS
Tausat, a 3U Cubesat is currently aboard the ISS and is scheduled for deployment in February. The CubeSat was built by the Herzliya Science Center in Israel. It carries two payloads, one being a university student research project that will examine physical space radiation. The experiment will be active for about three months. The second payload is an Amateur Radio U/V FM transponder. The UHF beacon will transmit 9k6 BPSK AX25 telemetry on a downlink frequency of 436.400 MHz. Watch for upcoming details.
[ANS thanks the IARU for the above information.]
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AMSAT-DL Operators Track Mars Probe
Members of the German AMSAT organization, AMSAT-DL, in cooperation with the Sternwarte Bochum Institute in Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, have been using the Institute's 20-meter (65.6 foot) diameter dish antenna to listen directly to signals from probes in Mars orbit.
Signals have been copied from Tianwen-1, the Chinese spacecraft currently in Mars orbit, and from EMM/Hope, the Emirates Mars Mission, which is also orbiting Mars. Both spacecraft are transmitting in the 8.4 GHz band.
Recordings of the signals can be heard on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=413DdMua8ec&feature=emb_imp_woyt and regular updates can be seen by following @amsatdl on Twitter.
The Bochum Observatory dish was constructed in 1965 as part of the ground support network for the Apollo missions. Weighing in at 140 tons, it is protected from weather by an air dome 40 meters (131 feet) in height. In 2003, amateurs helped renovate some of the equipment, adding phase-locked receivers in the 2.3 GHz, 5.8 GHz, and 10.4 GHz amateur bands, as well as an 8.4 GHz receiver. There is also an S-band, 2.4 GHz amateur transmitter running 250 Watts PEP.
In 2006, the dish was used to copy signals from the Voyager 1 spacecraft at a distance of nearly 15 billion kilometers. Since 2009, AMSAT-DL operators have used the dish regularly to copy NASA/NOAA weather satellites. Also in 2009, the dish was used to copy planetary radar echoes bounced off the planet Venus. Since 2001, the dish has copied signals from at least a dozen different deep space probes, including Tianwen-1 and EMM/Hope.
In the summer of 2002, AMSAT Germany officially began planning and preparing to send its own space probe to the red planet. It is supposed to fly around Mars as a radio relay, take pictures, carry out scientific experiments and deposit a payload on the surface of Mars. The goal is to create a probe that can be received on amateur radio frequencies using a 2 to 3 meter parabolic antenna. Images and data would be displayed directly on your own computer with the appropriate software.
This ambitious plan is a long-term goal of AMSAT-DL, and the work of amateurs tracking the current Mars orbiters at Bochum Institute provides valuable experience toward reaching this goal.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-DL for the above information]
AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for February 25, 2021
Ray Hoad, WA5QGD released updated TLE data on February 25, 2021 and is available for download at: https://mailman.amsat.org/hyperkitty/list/[email protected]/.
Also noted by Ray is that the following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from this week's AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
PWSat 2 - NORAD Cat ID 43814 (Decayed 2-23-2021 per Space-Track).
For newcomers wondering about TLE's, they are two-line element set (TLE) is a data format encoding a list of orbital elements of an Earth-orbiting object for a given point in time, the epoch. Using a suitable prediction formula, the state (position and velocity) at any point in the past or future can be estimated to some accuracy. For more information, see the Wikipedia article at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-line_element_set
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD for the above information.]
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. https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/
IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Two New Satellites
The International Amateur Radio Union assigned coordinated frequencies for two upcoming Amateur Radio Satellites.
- FSI-SAT1 The Institute of Future Science at the Happy Science University in Japan will fly FSI-SAT1, a 1U CubeSat carrying a SSTV camera for transmission on an FM downlink, multispectral wavelength cameras and reception equipment for an infra-red uplink. A UHF downlink at 437.175 will operate CW, analog SSTV, 9k6 GMSK and 1k2 AFSK. A sun synchronous orbit at 500/560 km is planned.
- JAGSAT The University of Alabama will fly JAGSAT, a 2U CubeSat designed to measure plasma electron density in the upper F layer of the ionosphere between 400-800 km. The mission will be used to study space weather monitoring, specifically to understand and predict the effects of RF scintillation on Amateur Radio and other communication signals. A UHF downlink has been coordinated at 437.325 using 9k6 2-GFSK modulation with AX.25. JAGSAT is planned to be deployed from the ISS with other ELANA-37 missions in the second quarter of 2022.
More information on both satellites is available at: http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]
23cm Band in the Spotlight with Regulators
The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the meeting of the ITU-R Working Party 4C (WP4C) on February 15-19 which discussed the amateur radio allocation at 1240-1300 MHz.
On the IARU Region 1 site he writes:
During the week February 15–19, the preparatory work for WRC-23 agenda item 9.1b continued in ITU-R Working Party 4C (WP4C). The WRC agenda item has initiated technical studies on coexistence between the radio navigation satellite service (RNSS) and the amateur services in the 23cm band. As usual, the IARU participated in the meeting and delivered key information on amateur activities in this important microwave band. This information is vital to ensure the amateur services are realistically represented in the studies as they move forward.
It remains vital that national amateur communities present their views on the importance of this band to their national regulators in a consolidated and consistent manner.
To assist with this the IARU-R1 is developing supporting material that member societies can refer to when addressing the topic with their national regulator.
The work on this topic will continue throughout the year and beyond both in ITU-R and in the regional telecommunications organizations and the IARU is committed to ensure every organization understands the amateur position on this important microwave band.
The ITU-R WP4C Summary Meeting Report notes “The only administration that can be considered supportive towards proper treatment of the Amateur Services in this work is Germany”. Read the report at: https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Report-from-WP4C_Feb-2021...
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]
AMSAT's GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it all begins with GOLF-TEE - a technology demonstrator for deployable solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control. Come along for the ride. The journey will be worth it!
The Perseverance Parachute's Secret Code
A secret coded message was hidden on the gigantic parachute used to land the Perseverance rover safely on the surface on Mars. And no, it wasn't a clandestine message to the Martians. It was a message of inspiration for us humans. But it also came as a challenge.
During a news briefing on February 22, Allen Chen, the entry, descent and landing lead for the mission revealed there was a secret message in the parachute.
"In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope our efforts in our engineering can inspire others," he said. "Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find for that purpose, so we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work."
Puzzle lovers around the world quickly went to work, and it didn't take long.
Adam Steltzner, Perseverance's chief engineer, confirmed "the internet" had cracked the code late Monday night on Twitter.
Hidden in the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute's red and white pattern was a binary code with the phrase "Dare mighty things" - a famous expression from President Theodore Roosevelt, espoused by those who work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The outer rings of the pattern also feature GPS coordinates for JPL's offices in Pasadena, California: 34°11'58" N 118°10'31" W.
Chen later confirmed on Twitter that the code was the brain child of systems engineer Ian Clark, who helped conduct tests of the supersonic parachute, as well as performing several other tasks for the Perseverance rover team. Clark is a crossword hobbyist, and said only about six people knew about the coded message before this week.
Chen expressed how grateful he is for the ability to work with such creative people at JPL. "It's a feeling of being very fortunate at the end… that I get to work at a place with people who are both great engineers and great people, and we still get to dare mighty things together," he said at Monday's briefing.
Secret messages on the rovers are not new. The Curiosity rover has holes in its wheels that creates marks in the Mars regolith that spells out "JPL" in Morse Code.
It was also revealed that Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all five of NASA's Mars rovers in increasing size over the years - reminiscent of the decals on cars that portray the family riding inside.
Deputy project manager Matt Wallace said more hidden "Easter eggs" should start showing up on Perseverance when more images of the rover itself are taken and beamed back to Earth.
"Definitely, definitely should keep a good lookout," he said.
[ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- AMSAT Ambassador and ARRL registered instructor Clint Bradford, K6LCS has the following streaming presentations scheduled:
03/10 – Trenton, New Jersey 03/11 – Clearwater, Florida 03/13 – QSO TODAY 2021 Virtual Convention 03/16 – Palm Springs, CA 03/20 – Bonham, Texas 04/01 – Orem, Utah 06/15 – East Massachusetts
More information at: http://www.work-sat.com.
[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS 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 https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear
Upcoming Satellite Operations
- EM54; March 4-7, 2021 @K8BL will be in EM54 3/4 – 3/7.
- EL86, EL96; March 7-14, 2021 Spring Training Rove! KX9X will be heading down to Ft Myers, FL the week of March 7 for some sun and baseball. Will activate EL86 & 96 holiday style for sure, possibly a couple other grids as well. Linear/FM. Details soon.
- DN04/05/14/15/24/25/27/28/34/35/37/38/47/48; March 4-10, 2021 W7LT traveling to DN04/05/14/15/24/25/27/28/34/35/37/38/47/48. Schedule is subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Will try to stick to it as best he can. Follow him at: https://twitter.com/WL7T_/status/1364676616002052101.
- CM93; May 15, 2021 N6DNM claims a very long shot on CM93 but you "might want to put it on your calendar...if you can figure out where it is. For #SOTA folks, that would be W6/SC-336, Santa Rosa Island, activated only once before.
- Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr (at) gmail (dot) com. List updated February 21, 2021.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information.]
+ Upcoming Contacts
- Newcastle High School, Newcastle, WY Multi-point telebridge via NA7V The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG. Contact is go for Monday, March 1, 2021 at 16:20:56 UTC. (76 deg) Watch for live stream at: https://youtu.be/qdQlKQK5mT4.
- Peace Corps, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova Telebridge via NA7V The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG. Contact is go for Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 13:09:23 UTC. (27 deg) Watch for live stream at: https://m.facebook.com/PeaceCorpsMoldova/ and https://m.facebook.com/UTMoldova/.
+ Completed Contacts
- John F Kennedy High School, Denver, CO Multi-point telebridge via NA7V The ISS callsign was NA1SS. The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz. The astronaut was Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG. Contact was successful on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 18:41:13 UTC.
- Bishop Guertin HS, Nashua, NH Multi-point telebridge via AB1OC The ISS callsign was NA1SS. The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz. The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker, KD5DXB Contact was successful on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 17:56:36 UTC.
- Estes Park Elementary School, Estes Park, CO Multi-point telebridge via NØFH The ISS callsign was NA1SS. The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz. The astronaut was Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Contact was successful on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 17:09 UTC.
+ The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N for the above information.]
Satellite Shorts from All Over
+ Inside Sunsat — A Look Back at the First-Ever South African Satellite
The South African satellite Sunsat was launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Base on February 23, 1999. The Sunsat mission introduced the era of space exploration in South Africa, and even on the entire continent. The satellite was constructed by post-graduate engineering students at Stellenbosch University. Niki Steenkamp, a member of the Tech team with Dragonfly Aerospace, was involved in the Sunsat program. He recently shared how the university project grew to a full-fledged mission, proving to be a unique experience for future space engineers and pioneered South African space exploration. Read the story at: https://dragonflyaerospace.com/inside-sunsat-the-first-ever-south-african-sa...
[ANS thanks Dragonfly Aerospace for the above information.]
+ Media Hit: JAXA to Deploy Mauritian satellite MIR-SAT1 The satellite was designed by a team of Mauritian Engineers and an experienced Radio Amateur from the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society in collaboration with experts from AAC-Clyde Space UK. Read the full article at: https://www.broadcastprome.com/news/satellite/jaxa-to-deploy-mauritian-satel...
[ANS thanks Broadcast Pro Middle East for the above information.]
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73, This week's ANS Editor, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW n1uw at amsat dot org
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