AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North
America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS 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.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
In this edition:
* January 30 Announcement Date for NASA ELaNa CubeSat Launch Initiative
* ARISSat-1/KEDR Legacy Lives on in the DK3WN SatBlog
* Fifty Years: OSCAR-1 Celebration Continues
* Chibis-M RS-39 Deployed - Signals Heard Intermittently
* VEGA Preparations Proceeding Toward February 9 Launch
* Opportunity for Citizen Scientists: Globe At Night Project
* Last Call for SKN on OSCAR 2012 Best Fist Nominations
* SumbandilaSat SO67 Reported Beyond Repair
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-029.01
ANS-029 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 029.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January 29, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
January 30 Announcement Date for NASA ELaNa CubeSat Launch Initiative
AMSAT-NA is waiting to hear whether our proposal to include the
Fox-1 cubesat in NASA's "Educational Launch of NanoSat" (ELaNa)
program has been accepted. NASA selects projects that they deem
to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals.
Projects that are selected will be able to enter into a collabora-
tion agreement where NASA will cover the integration and launch
costs of the satellite.
AMSAT, working with ARRL, highlighted the educational merit of the
project including the incorporation of Fox-1 into the ARRL Teacher
Institute seminars. ARRL also provided a letter of support for the
project that was a key component of our proposal.
The Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and South-
field schools in Brookline, MA, also provided a letter of support
that was an important part of our proposal. The Clay Center noted
that they use AMSAT satellites such as ARISSat-1 in their educa-
tional activities for K-12 students and that they look forward to
making use of Fox-1.
The completed proposal, at 159 total pages, required a significant
effort that was all done by volunteers. NASA will select from all
of the submissions and announce the winning projects by January 30,
[ANS thanks the Fox-1 Project Team for the above information]
ARISSat-1/KEDR Legacy Lives on in the DK3WN SatBlog
Tune your browser to http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?p=25476 to enjoy a
unique ARISSat-1 sound archive on-line.
Thanks to Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN, ARISSat-1's identifier message,
"Hi this is ARISSat-1 Amateur Radio Satellite RS01S", has been re-
corded and archived on the web. The DK3WN SatBlog has posted the
ID, the female voice spoken telemetry, male voice spoken telemetry.
Also, 25 audio files of the messages by children of countries around
the world transmitted by ARISSat-1 along with the translated sentence
are included. The "secret word" appears in the last of the message of
ARISSat-1's international greetings are in Japanese, Bengali, Flemish,
Chinese, Dutch, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (South America), Spanish
(Puerto Rico), Afrikaans, Portuguese, French, English (UK), English
(Canada), English (USA), German, Swedish, Catalonian, Nepalese,
Russian, and Hebrew. The message is displayed in its native tongue
and an English translation.
[ANS thanks Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN and Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL for the
Fifty Years: OSCAR-1 Celebration Continues
The ARRL has posted a new, highly informative article on how the
world's first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR-1, came to be designed,
built and launched.
The ARRL's Space Communication web page has an English translation
of, "OSCAR-1 Launched 50 Years Ago", written by Andreas Bilsing,
DL2LUX. This article was first published in the German magazine Funk-
amateur. It is reprinted with their permission. OSCAR-1 was launched
just over 50 years ago, on December 12, 1961.
See the ARRL Space Communication web page at:
A direct link the the article in English is:
Andreas lives in Leipzig, Germany. He is a member of AMSAT-DL and
has written articles in the AMSAT-DL Journal and Funkamateur. He also
wrote the first German Summits on the Air (SOTA) manual. His other
interests include home brewing, qrp, digimodes and satellites.
Licensed since 1975 at age 16 he has held prior calls of DM4MTG,
DM2FAG, Y26AG, and Y23AM. He holds degrees in energy process engin-
eering and automation which is applies to his work in an engineering
company as project manager in natural gas, responsible for instrum-
entation of gas plants, pipelines and underground gas storage.
Andreas says the view from his shack includes Leipzig's St. Thomas
church where the famous composer J. S. Bach worked.
The AMSAT 2011 Space Symposium in San Jose, California featured Lance
Ginner, K6GSJ, one of the OSCAR-1 developers as our banquet speaker.
Lance's talk can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/EWSCCZY1FgQ.
MilSatMagazine.com mentions OSCAR-1 in an article about early U.S.
Recon Satellites in the October 2011 issue:
OSCAR-1 rode to orbit with the Discoverer-36 satellite.
A copy of the OSCAR 1 slides used at AMSAT's display during Space
Day at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. can
be downloaded from AMSAT-NA at:
http://tinyurl.com/OSCAR-1-Presentation (pdf ~5MB)
[ANS thanks the ARRL, AMSAT, Andreas Bilsing DL2LUX and amsat-bb
for the above information]
Chibis-M RS-39 Deployed - Signals Heard Intermittently
The Chibis-M satellite, RS-39, was deployed from the Progress M-13M
cargo ship into a 500 km orbit on January 24, as planned. RS-39 has
CW beacons on 435.315 and 435.215 MHz.
The RS-39 team requested support from amateur radio operators for
any initial reception reports of Chibis-M as its first orbits were
outside of the range of the satellite's control stations. Reception
reports are being received by e-mail to:
amateur-rs39(a)chibis.cosmos.ru. Each report will be confirmed by a
special QSL card.
Shortly after RS-39 was deployed reception reports posted on amsat-bb
said strong signals initially were heard in India (VU3TYG, VU2WMY),
United States (KB1PVH), Australia (VK5DG), Argentina (LU4EOU), and
central Europe (Jakub Hruska).
Nitin, VU3TYG posted a short video of receiving RS-39 at his QTH:
On later orbits VKFAK reported the telemetry showed a drop in voltage
aboard RS-39 to 2.8 volts in USUN telemetry field. At this time a re-
port from VU2WMY said the CW signal was only heard briefly at AOS.
RS-39 was not heard on a morning pass on January 25 over North Amer-
ca from a report by W1MSG.
Google translation of http://chibis.cosmos.ru/ reports that the con-
trol station switched off RS-39 after initial testing was completed
on the fourth orbit to save battery power. When testing resumes plans
included calibration of the magnetometer, calibration of solar sen-
sors, and testing the three-axis attitude determination algorithm
using the magnetometer and sun sensor. Later postings from the con-
trol station show they are switching RS-39 on and off at various
Mike Rupprecht DK3WN has made available software to decode the RS-39
telemetry. A description of the program is posted by AMSAT-UK at:
http://www.uk.amsat.org/4029. This page includes links to download
the software. Mike has created telemetry decoder software for several
satellites. These can be found DK3WN satellite software page:
http://tinyurl.com/DK3WN-Sat-Software (in Google English).
Amateur stations tracking RS-39 reported that elements associated
International launch number 11062C, catalog 38051 correlated with
RS-39. Other stations reported success using the tracking elements
for the Progress M-13M cargo ship, however the orbits between RS-39
and Progress were beginning to separate.
Web tracking of Chibis-M, RS-39 can found at this page:
Keplerian elements can be found by clicking the two small gears
icon in the upper left corner of the map; then select Satellites
from the menu that pops up; then select RS-39.
A video from Roscosmos showing the RS-39 deploymnet from the Pro-
gress M-13M cargo ship an be found here:
[ANS thanks the reporting stations for their signal reports and the
VEGA Preparations Proceeding Toward February 9 Launch
Space-Travel.com published an article reporting that final checkout
of Europe's new Vega launcher has been completed marking another
milestone towards its February 9 maiden flight from Europe's Space-
port in Kourou, French Guiana.
All four stages have undergone final acceptance, including the test-
ing of the avionics, guidance, telemetry, propulsion, separation
pyrotechnics and safety systems. These steps culminated on 13 Jan-
uary with Vega's 'synthesis control checks', where all systems were
put into launch mode for the vehicle's final acceptance. This in-
cluded pressurizing the AVUM propulsion systems that actuate the
thruster valves. The rocket's elements were switched on from the
control bench to simulate the launch countdown. The onboard soft-
ware then took over and simulated the different stages of a flight.
The interfaces between the vehicle and the control bench were also
tested. The test review confirmed that everything ran as expected
and that the launcher is ready for flight.
Vega is designed to launch payload masses ranging from 300 kg to
2500 kg, depending on the type and altitude of the orbit required
by the customers. The benchmark is for 1500 kg into a 700 km
altitude polar orbit.
+ Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA,
Spain) to demonstrate software-defined radio and solar panel
+ Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France) to test and evaluate
radiation effects (low dose rate) on bipolar transistor electronic
+ [email protected] (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) to demonstration of an
active 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control system including
an inertial measurement unit.
+ Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania) to provide imaging of
the Earth surface using a digital camera and in-situ measurement
of radiation dose and micrometeoroid flux.
+ PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland) to test a deploy-
able atmospheric drag augmentation device for de-orbiting CubeSats.
PW-Sat carries an FM to DSB amateur radio transponder with an FM
input on 435.020 MHz and DSB output on 145.900 MHz.
+ MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology and Economics): to dem-
onstrate various spacecraft avionics, including a power condition-
ing system, transceiver and on-board data handling.
+ UniCubeSat GG - (University of Rome): The UNICubeSat mission goal
is the in situ measurement of atmospheric density. Downlink fre-
quencies are 437.305 MHz or 437.345 MHz 9k6 FSK.
ESA CubeSats delivered for first Vega flight news web page:
ESA Education - CubeSats
A picture of ALMASat-1 and the six CubeSats is posted at AMSAT-UK:
Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL provides complete coverage of the Vega launch
on his 'ESA CubeSats Update' web pages. You'll find an overview of
each of the satellite missions, frequencies, modulation/protocols,
and links to the developers home web pages posted at:
[ANS thanks Space-Travel.com, ESA, JE9PEL for the above information]
Opportunity for Citizen Scientists: Globe At Night Project
The GLOBE at Night program is an international campaign to raise
public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citi-
zen scientists to measure their night sky brightness and to submit
their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone.
The GLOBE at Night campaign has run for two weeks each winter/spring
for the last six years. People in 115 countries have contributed 66,000
measurements, making GLOBE at Night one of the most successful light
pollution awareness campaigns.
See http://www.globeatnight.org/ for details.
In 2012 there remain three opportunities to participate in GLOBE at
Night: February 12-21, March 13-22, April 11-20.
This project consists of five Easy Star-Hunting Steps:
1) Find your latitude and longitude.
2) Find Orion, Leo or Crux by going outside more than an hour
after sunset (about 8-10pm local time).
3) Match your nighttime sky to one of our magnitude charts.
4) Report your observation.
5) Compare your observation to thousands around the world.
Teacher Activity Packets and Family Activity Packets are available
from the website.
[ANS thanks the Globe At Night project for the above information]
Last Call for SKN on OSCAR 2012 Best Fist Nominations
Many thanks to all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night on
OSCAR 2012. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to
nominate someone you worked for Best Fist. Remember, your nominee need
not have the best fist of those you heard, only of those you worked.
Send your nomination to w2rs(a)amsat.org.
This year's event is dedicated to the memory of Don Brown, W1JSM, who
passed away in 2011, aged 90. Don was a longtime, enthusiastic VHF/UHF
and satellite operator, and one of our most frequent Best Fist winners.
Those nominated will be recognized in an ANS bulletin in early Feb-
ruary, and in The AMSAT Journal.
[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS for the above information]
SumbandilaSat SO67 Reported Beyond Repair
The Southern Africa SA AMSAT web page (http://www.amsatsa.org.za/)
lists the current status of SumbandilaSat SO67 as, "No service all
activities suspended; Beacon is not operational."
AMSAT-UK has published the news from South African Defence Web pages
(http://www.defenceweb.co.za) in an article titled, "SumbandilaSat
beyond repair", South Africa's second satellite, SumbandilaSat, is
no longer fulfilling its main purpose due to technical problems and
is essentially beyond repair, its maker SunSpace says.
SunSpace, told defenceWeb that although contact can still be made
with the satellite, it cannot capture images and is thus "not ful-
filling its main purpose".
He said that chances of repairing the satellite are virtually zero
and that SunSpace has moved on to other projects.
SumbandilaSat was damaged during a solar storm in the June last
year. The power supply to SumbandilaSat's onboard computer stopped
working and the satellite stopped sending back images.
According to DefenceWeb, South Africa's Department of Science and
Technology (DST) is planning to launch a constellation of satellites
similar to SumbandilaSat in the next 10 to 15 years. One of these
will be SumbandilaSat 2, which will be larger and more reliable than
its predecessor. Funding for SumbandilaSat 2 will be sought during
the next financial year, starting April 1. Development will take
about four years. The image processing methods and mission control
systems pioneered on SumbandilaSat will be used on future satellites.
The news item at AMSAT-UK can be found at:
The news at DefenceWeb can be found at:
Southern Africa SA-AMSAT web page at:
[ANS thanks SA-AMSAT, AMSAT-UK, and DefenceWeb.co.za for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK has posted videos of his station and oper-
ting tips about working the non-FM satellites with two radios.
VO-52 with Yaesu FT-817ND transmitter, as my Kenwood TH-F6A
receiver, Elk Antennas handheld 2m/70cm log periodic for antenna:
AO-27 pass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0IdEPsajkU
FO-29 pass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP80fVF9Lek
+ Watch a time-lapse video taken from the ISS as it passed above cen-
tral Africa, Madagascar and the southern Indian Ocean. The night
time flyover shows numerous lightning storms and the thin band of
our atmosphere, with a layer of airglow above, set against a stun-
ning backdrop of the Milky Way and a barely-visible Comet Lovejoy,
+ Richard Garriot has released a documentary of his trip to space.
See the trailer at http://firstrunfeatures.com/intheaters.html
His web site is http://firstrunfeatures.com/manonamission/
+ The article on the FUNcube satellite has now appeared in the
printed publication Electronics Weekly (Jan. 25-31). For details
of how to download a PDF of the article see:
+ The ARISS monthly teleconference was held on Tuesday, January 17.
Topics of discussion included the ITU notification of ARISS fre-
quencies, an update on the Columbus module and a status report on
ARISSat-1. Minutes have been posted:
+ Yuri, UT1FG/MM, has been reported on the DX boards (Jan. 11-Jan. 18)
to be back at sea, traveling across the Atlantic Ocean activating
"Wet Grids". This may be a chance to work him via satellite if you
find him within range.
+ Students working on the Aalto-1 CubeSat have released a 4 minute
video showing a visualization of the launch and deployment of the
satellite, see: http://www.uk.amsat.org/3883
[ANS thanks everyone 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. And with that, please keep in mind the planet Neptune was
discovered more than 150 years ago in 1846, and since then it still
has to complete an orbit around the Sun, as one Neptune year equals
to 165 Earth years.
This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE SPECIAL BULLETIN
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-004.01
ANS-004 ANS Special Bulletin ARISSat-1/KEDR Goes Silent
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 004.01
>From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January 4, 2012
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Reception reports indicate that ARISSat-1/KEDR has stopped trans-
mitting on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. The last full telemetry
captured and reported to the ARISSatTLM web site at 06:02:14 UTC
on January 4 were received from ground stations as the satellite
passed over Japan.
See: http://www.arissattlm.org/live (full telemetry display)
See: http://www.arissattlm.org/mobile (condensed telemetry)
Telemetry reports showed that the temperature aboard ARISSat-1/KEDR
had been rising as atmospheric drag began to affect the satellite.
Final temperatures received via ARISSatTLM reported this data:
IHU 75 ° C / 167.0 ° F
PSU 76 ° C / 168.8 ° F
RF 88 ° C / 190.4 ° F
Control Panel 61 ° C / 141.8 ° F
Experiment 64 ° C / 147.2 ° F
Stations receiving telemetry from ARISSat-1 at any time over the
last few months, please forward all of your .CSV telemetry files
to telemetry AT arissattlm.org.
Konstantin, RN3ZF sent a reception report of his copy of the 0842 UTC
pass that, "the telemetry was absent, voice messages were not legible,
very silent and interrupted. Most likely, I saw last minutes in the
life of the satellite."
Dee, NB2F reported, "Nothing heard from ARISSat-1/KEDR on any fre-
quency during the first USA pass at 16:00 UTC, January 4."
ARISSat-1/KEDR was deployed from the International Space Station on
August 3, 2011 during during EVA-29 on by Cosmonaut/Flight Engineers
Sergei Volkov and Alexander Samokutyaev.
The satellite carried a student experiment from Kursk State University
in Russia which measured atmospheric density. Students from around the
world provided the voices for the FM voice announcements.
The amateur radio payload aboard ARISSat-1/KEDR achieved many "firsts"
for amateur radio in space:
+ First flight test of AMSAT Software Defined Transponder which trans-
- FM voice downlink cycling between student messages, spoken
telemetry and SSTV from cameras on the spaceframe.
- 16KHz bandwith linear transponder,
- CW beacon with telemetry and callsigns of radio amateurs noting
their significant contributions to amateur radio in space.
- Robust, forward error corrected 1K rate BPSK downlink with sat-
ellite telemetry and Kursk experiment telemetry.
+ Development and release of the ARISSatTLM software for PC and Mac
platforms enabled amateur stations worldwide with reliable reception
of the BPSK telemetry, CW telemetry, display on the station's com-
puter, and automatic upload of received data via the internet to the
ARISSat engineering team.
+ A new Integrated Housekeeping Unit was developed and successfully
+ A new Power Management System was developed and successfully
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW noted, ARISSat-1/KEDR marked a
new type of satellite which has captured the attention of the national
space agencies around the world for the unique educational opportunity
we have been able to design, launch, and operate. By designing an edu-
cational mission aligned with NASA's Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Mathematics goals amateur radio operators around the world have
been able enjoy a new satellite in orbit."
ARISSat-1/KEDR Project Manager, Gould Smith, WA4SXM said, "Dozens of
amateur radio volunteers, AMSAT, ARRL, NASA, and Energia teamed up for
this successful mission to bring you the most unique and innovative
amateur radio satellite mission. Congratulations to all who made
[ANS thanks the ARISSat-1/KEDR Team for the above information]