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:
* Newly Revised 2020 Digital Edition of “Getting Started with Amateur
Satellites” Now Available
* Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Team in
the United States Creates a New Organization: ARISS-USA
* AMSAT President's Statement on Creation of ARISS-USA
* Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal Available to AMSAT Members
* AO-73 Now in Full-Time Transponder Mode
* VUCC Awards-Endorsements for June 2020
* KG5FYJ Assigned to Upcoming ISS Mission
* A New Way to Obtain GP Data (aka TLEs)
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-159.01
ANS-159 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 159.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE June 7, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Newly Revised 2020 Digital Edition of “Getting Started with Amateur
Satellites” Now Available
The 2020 edition of AMSAT's "Getting Started with Amateur Satellites"
is now available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting
Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite
information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation.
This definitive reference is written for the new satellite operator,
but includes discussions for the experienced operator who wishes to
review the features of amateur satellite communications. The new
operator will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology
unique to this mode. Additionally, there are many practical tips and
tricks to ensure making contacts, and to sound like an experienced
satellite operator in the process. The book is presented in DRM-free
PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first
contacts on a ham radio satellite.
Joining the cover art for the first time this year is a depiction of
the next generation of AMSAT satellites - AMSAT's GOLF series of 3U
The digital download is available for $15 at
[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Team in the
United States Creates a New Organization: ARISS-USA
In late May, the USA team of the ARISS International working group
became an incorporated non-profit entity in the state of Maryland,
officially becoming ARISS-USA. This move allows ARISS-USA to work as
an independent organization, soliciting grants and donations. They
will continue promoting amateur radio and STEAM—science, technology,
engineering, arts, and math within educational organizations and
inspire, engage and educate our next generation of space enthusiasts.
ARISS-USA will maintain its collaborative work with ARISS
International as well as with US sponsors, partners, and interest
groups. The main goal of ARISS-USA remains as connecting educational
groups with opportunities to interact with astronauts aboard the
International Space Station (ISS). ARISS-USA will expand its human
spaceflight opportunities with the space agencies, beyond low Earth
orbit, starting with lunar opportunities including the Lunar Gateway.
ARISS-USA will continue to review and accept proposals for ISS
contacts and expand its other educational opportunities to increase
interest in space sciences and radio communications.
Becoming an independent organization has been discussed for quite some
time. ARISS-USA lead Frank Bauer, KA3HDO said “The scope and reach of
what ARISS accomplishes each year has grown significantly since its
humble beginnings in 1996. Our working group status made it cumbersome
to establish partnerships, sign agreements and solicit grants. These
can only be done as an established organization.” Bauer further
elaborated, “The ARISS-USA team remains deeply indebted to our working
group partners—ARRL and AMSAT, who enabled the birth of ARISS—and our
steadfast sponsors, NASA Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) and
the ISS National Lab (INL).” ARISS-USA aims to keep earning high
regards from all these partners and sponsors.
While ARISS-USA is now an incorporated non-profit entity, we are in
the process of applying for tax exemption as a Section 501(c)(3)
charitable, scientific or educational organization. Until that status
is approved by the USA Internal Revenue Service, donations made
directly to ARISS-USA will not be tax deductible for taxpayers in the
USA. Those wanting to make a tax deductible donation for the benefit
of ARISS-USA can, in the meantime, continue to make donations to ARISS
sponsor AMSAT-NA through the ARISS website at: www.ariss.org
As ARISS-USA begins a new era as a human spaceflight amateur radio
organization, it acknowledges those who were so instrumental in the
formation of human spaceflight amateur radio. These include Vic Clark,
W4KFC and Dave Sumner, K1ZZ from the ARRL; Bill Tynan, W3XO and Tom
Clark, W3IO from AMSAT; Roy Neal, K6DUE a major guide for SAREX and
ARISS; and NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL. Also remembered is
Pam Mountjoy, NASA education, who had the vision to develop the ARISS
working group as a single amateur radio focus into the space agencies.
All of these giants’ shoulders are what ARISS-USA rests upon.
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
AMSAT President's Statement on Creation of ARISS-USA
Announced June 5, 2020, ARISS-USA has been formed as a non-profit
corporation to operate independently of The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation (AMSAT). Since the formation of Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) in the mid-1990s, AMSAT has been
a consistent supplier of technical expertise, funding, and operational
logistics. AMSAT will work with ARISS-USA to ensure a smooth
transition for operations and funding.
Over the years, as the scope and activity of ARISS grew, AMSAT
continued its financial backing in times of need, providing hundreds
of thousands of dollars to fund projects and operations. Many of
AMSAT’s members are an integral part of the ARISS team. The human
spaceflight element of AMSAT’s vision has been realized through these
I offer my best wishes to ARISS-USA for a successful future.
[ANS thanks Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, AMSAT President, for the above
Back Issues of The AMSAT Journal Available to AMSAT Members
All issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 are now available
to AMSAT members on AMSAT's new membership portal. The 1969-2013
archive will be added at a later date. Stay tuned for additional
member benefits coming soon.
If you're a current AMSAT member, get logged on today. If you are
not yet a member, consider joining today.
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, AMSAT Executive Vice President, and
Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President - User Services for the
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!
AO-73 Now in Full-Time Transponder Mode
After some eight months in continuous sunlight, AO-73 (FUNcube-1) has
now started to see some eclipses during each orbit.
The telemetry received has shown that the spacecraft continued to
function perfectly during this period and the on board temperatures
did not reach excessively high levels.
After this became clear, our next concern was the battery. Having been
kept fully charged for this period, would it actually hold a charge
and do its job when in eclipse?
After three weeks of increasing eclipse periods we can now see that
indeed the Li battery appears to be ok and the bus voltage has not yet
dropped below 8.1 volts.
So today we have changed the operating mode from high power telemetry
educational mode to continuous amateur mode with the transponder ON.
The telemetry continues to be available, albeit at low power.
We will, of course, continue to carefully monitor the data but are
planning to leave the spacecraft in this mode for at least the next
week. Please enjoy using it!
[ANS thanks Graham Shirville, G3VZV, of the FUNcube Team, and AMSAT-UK
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
VUCC Awards-Endorsements for June 2020
Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the
ARRL for the period May 1, 2020 through June 1, 2020.
Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!
CALL May June
W5CBF 564 657
K9UO 565 575
KI7UNJ New 510
WA9JBQ 250 275
W4DTA 240 261
W4ZXT 202 252
KE0WPA 152 200
W5CBF(EM21) 179 184
DL4ZAB 172 178
KE4BKL 101 125
N4BAF 100 118
AA0CW New 105
N5EKO New 102
W8EH New 101
W8EH New 100
KN4GQB New 100
KX9X New 100
W9TTY New 100
If you find errors or omissions. please contact me off-list at
<mycall>(a)<mycall>.com and I'll revise the announcement. This list was
developed by comparing the ARRL .pdf listings for the two months. It's
a visual comparison so omissions are possible. Apologies if your call
was not mentioned. Thanks to all those who are roving to grids that
are rarely on the birds. They are doing most of the work!
[ANS thanks Ron Parsons, W5RKN, for the above information]
KG5FYJ Assigned to Upcoming ISS Mission
NASA has assigned astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, to a six-month mis-
sion to the International Space Station as a flight engineer and member
of the Expedition 63/64 crew.
Rubins, along with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch Oct. 14
on the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakh-
Among some of the hundreds of experiments ongoing during her mission,
Rubins will conduct research using the Cold Atom Lab to study the use
of laser-cooled atoms for future quantum sensors, and will work on a
cardiovascular experiment that builds on an investigation she completed
during her previous mission.
NASA selected Rubins as an astronaut in 2009, she was licensed as a
Technician class amateur in 2015, and she completed her first space-
flight in 2016 as an Expedition 48/49 crew member. She launched July 6,
2016, and spent 115 days in space, during which she conducted two space-
walks totaling 12 hours and 46 minutes before her return to Earth Oct.
29, 2016. During her stay on the space station, Rubins helped advance i
mportant science and research and became the first person to sequence
DNA in space.
Born in Farmington, Connecticut, and raised in Napa, California, Rubins
received a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology from the
University of California, San Diego, in 1999 and a doctorate in cancer
biology in 2005 from Stanford University School of Medicine’s Depart-
ment of Biochemistry and Department of Microbiology and Immunology in
Palo Alto, California. Before joining NASA, Rubins worked as a fellow/
principal investigator at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Re-
search in Cambridge and headed 14 researchers studying viral diseases
that primarily affect Central and West Africa.
[ANS thanks NASA 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.
A New Way to Obtain GP Data (aka TLEs)
The US government has provided GP or general perturbations orbital
data to the rest of the world since the 1970s. These data are produced
by fitting observations from the US Space Surveillance Network (SSN)
to produce Brouwer mean elements using the SGP4 or Simplified General
Perturbations 4 orbit propagator.
Many of you are familiar with this data in the form of TLEs or Two-
Line Element Sets. TLEs were designed to provide the minimum data
necessary to propagate the orbit of a resident space object (RSO) at a
time when both bandwidth for transmission or digital storage were
extremely limited. In fact, at the time, transmission might be via
fax, hard copy (postal delivery), or even read over the phone and
storage was handled using punch cards or magnetic tape.
While this format has served us well for many decades, it has not been
without its share of problems. For example, the choice of a two-digit
year caused many problems approaching Y2K—problems that were side-
stepped by redefining what those two digits represented—but that Y2K
problem persists fully 20 years into the 21st century. And now we are
approaching another milestone where we will no longer be able to
catalog all the objects we track within the 5-digit catalog number
limitation of the TLE format.
One of the key drivers forcing us to consider tracking more than
100,000 objects is the activation of the Space Fence on Kwajalein
Atoll. The Space Fence reached initial operational capability (IOC)
on 2020 Mar 27 and is expected to track far more than the ~26,000
objects currently tracked by the SSN—perhaps by as much as an order
And we are expecting to see public availability of data from the Space
Fence starting some time this summer (2020). The 18th Space Control
Squadron (18 SPCS) has already transitioned internally to using 9-
digit catalog numbers in support of these changes and we expect 18
SPCS to release data from the Space Fence using 9-digit catalog
For the complete article, please see:
[ANS thanks Dr. T.S. Kelso of CelsTrak for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in
AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating
through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club
meetings, 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
We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you
The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Com, Plano, TX
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President - User
Services, 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
EN55: @KC9KKA Currently planning the somewhat elusive EN67 on June 12
for a couple passes and some POTA.
EM98, EM98 and EM97: @NoTEL_0738, I will be in West Virginia from June
10-13. I will be in EM88/98 and possibly EM97. FM sats only. I will
probably activate a couple different grids going to WV on June 9 and
returning home on June 14 (no set plans).
W6KSR (@W6KSR) He’s goin’ fishin’ end of this week in DM06. Be up
there June 4th through 7th, working Panther Martin lures and FM
CN81: Friday 6/5. @WB7VUF will be on AO91 and AO92 from 18:07 to 19:48
and may try SO50
FN54 and Maybe the FN44/54 line: KQ2RP/1 from June 6th to the 12th,
Holiday style, listen for him on the FM birds.
Hey you guys from the EU: @N4DCW be in EM56 June 5-7 with a semi-
decent N-E horizon from his sister-in-law’s house. He will be on RS-44
and AO-7 looking for y’all.
AD0DX is heading out again! Check out his QRZ page for details!
Friday, June 12th:
DM77, DM76 and DM75
Saturday, June 13th:
Sunday, June 14th:
DM66,DM67,DM76 and DM77 Corner
DN98, 97, 96 & EN08,07,06,17,18,27 and 28: @AD0HJ North Dakota Mega
Rove Part II: Another trip out to North Dakota between June 10th and
June 14th to rove the grids I missed there (blue grids) two weeks ago.
Look for a simplified pass schedule to be posted early next week.
Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) are making another run at the elusive
DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know they tried this grid
back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never
ones to quit, off they go again. Today the tentative date is Monday,
July 6th, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More
information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ FoxTelem / Fox-in-a-Box Tips: 1) Use a short USB extension cord to
physically isolate your SDR dongle from the computer/Pi. There will be
less mechanical stress, and a better electrical connection, which will
give fewer errors. 2) If you use an RTL-SDR dongle (not really
supported, but mostly works), don't turn on DUV and High Speed at the
same time. You will get an error when the decoder starts. Note
especially if you have it set up to start when the satellite comes
over the horizon. [ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, AMSAT
FoxTelem Developer, and Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, AMSAT Flight Software,
for this information]
+ The Harbin Institute of Technology released a short cartoon video
entitled "Longjiang-2: Journey to the Moon" about LO-94, the world's
smallest spacecraft which entered lunar orbit independently.
thanks the Harbin Institute of Technology for this information]
+ Kylee Shirbroun, KE0WPA, posted a short portion of the science fair
video she made about amateur radio satellites. It can be found at
thanks Kylee Shirbroun, KE0WPA, for this information]
+ Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL, maintains a Doppler.sqf file for using active
amateur satellites in SatPC32. It can be found at:
+ The AMSAT Folding at home team continues to climb the rankings. Now in
the top 1,200 of all teams at the time of this writing, the team has
grown to 44 members with 77 active CPUs within the past 50 days and
includes ten members in the top 100,000 of all users. Alex Free,
N7AGF, is our top contributor with over 92,000,000 points credited
to AMSAT's team. For more information about the Folding at home project
and how you can contribute to scientific research, including the
fight against COVID-19, see https://foldingathome.org/
. AMSAT's team
number is 69710: https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/69710
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,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org