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:
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:
In this edition:
* March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted
* Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator
* Let's Take Some Pictures
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
* The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One
* New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* ARISS News
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-117.01
ANS-117 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 117.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE 2020 April 26
To All RADIO AMATEURS
March/April 2020 Edition of Apogee View Posted
The March/April 2020 edition of Apogee View, a comprehensive update
on AMSAT's activities from AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG,
has been posted to the AMSAT website.
[ANS thanks AMSAT the above information]
Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator
Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has made the news once again for tracking down
yet another "zombie" satellite. Scott was the subject of a report
broadcast on National Public Radio on Friday, April 24.
This time, he managed to identify signals from LES-5, an experimental
military UHF communications satellite built by the Massachusetts Insti-
tute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory and launched in 1967. Even
though the satellite was supposed to shut down in 1972, it's still go-
ing. As long as the solar panels are in the sun, the satellite's radio
continues to operate.
In 2018, Tilly found a signal from a NASA probe called IMAGE that the
space agency had lost track of in 2005. With Tilley's help, NASA was
able to reestablish contact. He has rediscovered several other long-
forgotten birds, including Transit 5B-5, a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy
navigation satellite launched in 1965.
Scott announced his findings on LES-5 through his Twitter account,
@coastal8049, on March 24. The full NPR story may be found at:
[ANS thanks NPR.org for the above information]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Let's Take Some Pictures
The command team has had a few requests for camera mode on AO-92 over
the last few weeks, and it’s been a while, so let’s take some pictures
Next Tuesday morning, April 28th, we’ll attempt to command the camera
on at approximately 1440Z and 1612Z. We’ll also try the 1750Z pass.
If we can’t command on the 1750Z pass, we’ll find a suitable pass
later in the week for the west coast.
Take a look at
for a guide on how to set up FoxTelem, and
https://www.amsat.org/tlm/showImages.php?id=4 for near-live images
as we go. Remember, the more stations submitting telemetry during
the event, the better the chance of complete images!
[ANS thanks Andrew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations,
for the above information]
Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
Last week's AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletin (ANS-110.01) contained
a news item entitled "Receiving SMOG-P and ATL-1 Nano Satellites With
an RTL-SDR" from Zoltan Doczi, HA7DCD.
Please note that on December 19, 2019 AMSAT designated SMOG-P as
Magyar-OSCAR 105 (MO-105) and ATL-1 as Magyar-OSCAR 106 (MO-106).
In the AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution, the TLEs for these two Hungarian
satellites are shown as follows:
MO-105 is NORAD Cat ID 44832 (SMOG-P)
MO-106 is NORAD Cat ID 44830 (ATL-1)
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the
The W4AMI Award and How to Obtain One
Just a little history, Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI, was a very prolific
operator and in his honor this certificate was created and the first
certificate was issued to him on June 27, 1994. He has since become an
SK and his local club has taken over his call sign. The award was
originally the W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement Award. The local
club asked me not to use their call sign for the award. I changed the
award to The Robert W. Barbee, Jr. W4AMI Satellite Operator Achievement
Award. And here we are today, finally having issued over 100
certificates and over 30 of the 5,000 certificates.
This award is for making 1,000 contacts with any station any time. You
can say hello to your friend on every satellite on every pass every day
and count those contacts. That being said, any contact you log counts.
The award has endorsements for making 1,000 more contacts up to 4,000.
Another 1,000 contacts will earn a special W4AMI 5,000 certificate.
To submit for the award, please email me an extract from your log either
in Microsoft Excel XLS(X) format or ADI(F) format. Either will work just
fine. Then wait for me to get back to you notifying you to go online and
make your payment. I need nothing from LoTW, confirmed contacts are not
an issue, this award is for simply making a contact.
[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards,
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.
New OSCAR T-Shirt Available from AMSAT Zazzle Store
Thanks to an post on Twitter from Michael Styne, K2MTS, AMSAT is
pleased to offer a new t-shirt on the AMSAT Zazzle Store. This t-
shirt design is available in variants suitable for printing on either
dark or lightly colored shirts.
The shirt features a representation of AMSAT-OSCAR 7 in orbit with the
tagline "OSCAR - Adventure and Excitement in Space Age Communication"
This image was used in advertisements for the 1978 ARRL book "Getting
to Know OSCAR." The ARRL has granted AMSAT permission to republish
this classic image as a t-shirt.
Get yours today! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping
Amateur Radio in Space.
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive VP, for the above
Upcoming Satellite Operations
ZW8, BRAZIL (Special Event). Operators Freddy/PY3YD, Joselito/PS8BR,
Fernando/PS8CW, Raimundo/PS8DX, Jose/PS8ET, Milton/PS8HF, Nelson/PS8NF,
Pirajah/PS8RF, Dalton/PS8TV and Andre/PT9AL are using the special event
callsign ZW8THANKS as a tribute to health care professionals fighting
COVID-19. Activity will be on all bands and modes including the satel-
lites. QSL via direct, eQSL or LoTW.
(ANS thanks the Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1461 for the above information)
Due to COVID-19, there are no other announced satellite operations at
this moment. Any roving activity of which AMSAT becomes aware will be
Until then, stay safe and keep making contacts from home.
Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at) amsat.org
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the
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/
ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking
directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspir-
ing them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology,
engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology
through amateur radio.
Northern Virginia Schools Group, Woodbridge VA, Multi-point telebridge
contact via AB1OC is scheduled for Thursday, April 30. The ISS call-
sign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS, and the scheduled astronaut
is Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR. The contact is go for 13:35:00 UTC at a max-
imum elevation of 62 degrees. Stations in the eastern U.S. should be
able to listen in on this contact on 145.80 MHz FM. A multi-point tele-
bridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from
their own home.
The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS
contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions.
ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff mem-
ber in their own homes (even quarantined).
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space?
AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating
through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meet-
ings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have
been canceled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the
information contained below is correct, there may be some that we
missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest
near you soon.
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
September 26, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been
May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from:
https://bit.ly/2ygVFmV This color brochure is designed to be printed
double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.
To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration,
please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services for the
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Diwata-2 (PO-101) has been active daily to provide emergency access
during Covid-19 pandemic. Check https://twitter.com/Diwata2PH
For Daily activation schedule
(ANS thanks DIWATA-2 Ground Team for the above information)
+ On this 50th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 13, the BBC has pro-
duced a documentary video series, "13 Minutes to the Moon," along
with associated web resources and podcasts. The documentary can be
accessed worldwide at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xttx2
(ANS thanks Peter Green, G0ABI, for the above information)
+ Happy 30th anniversary, Hubble! The Hubble Space Telescope was laun-
ched into LEO on April 24th, 1990 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery
STS-31 launch video). Featuring a 2.4 m mirror and optics that are
smooth to 10 nanometers (but were in the wrong shape until corrected
by the first of five servicing missions in 1993), Hubble takes images
of the Universe with never-before-seen quality. The telescope may
work into the 2040s, hopefully being joined by its more-advanced sib-
ling, the JWST, next year. Take a moment to browse some of Hubble’s
most stunning snapshots of the Universe at:
(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information)
+ Astronauts onboard the International Space Station have gotten a
first good look at the controversial Starlink satellites. On April
13th, they photographed a train of 16 Starlinks cutting through
Southern Lights over the Antarctic. Learn more about their unique
photo + corresponding ground-based sightings on Spaceweather.com
(ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information)
+ SpaceX launched 60 more spacecraft Wednesday to join the Starlink
fleet. The successful launch Wednesday marked the 84th flight of a
Falcon 9 rocket since June 2010. That makes SpaceX’s Falcon 9 the
most-flown orbital-class U.S. launcher currently in operation, ex-
ceeding the 83 missions performed by the Atlas 5 rocket built by
rival United Launch Alliance. With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has
delivered 422 Starlink satellites to space. The company is seeking
regulatory approval to fly 4,400 of the satellites in the project's
first phase. SpaceX’s next Starlink launch after Wednesday could
happen as soon as early May on another Falcon 9 rocket mission. That
will be followed by SpaceX’s first launch with astronauts on-board —
scheduled for May 27 — to begin a test flight of the company’s Crew
Dragon spaceship to the International Space Station.
(ANS thanks spaceflightnow.com for the above information)
+ A series of unusually severe spring storms parading across the south-
eastern USA had residents taking shelter this week from hail and tor-
nadoes. High above the maelstrom, sprites were dancing. Sprites are
a form of electricity in powerful storm clouds. While regular light-
ning lances down, sprites leap up. They can reach all the way to the
edge of space 90 km or more above Earth’s surface.
(ANS thanks Southgate ARC and spaceweatherarchive.com for the above
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, Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ
ki7unj at amsat dot org