AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation 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
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
In this edition:
* AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots Due by 15 September
* 2015 AMSAT Symposium Dayton Hotel Reservation Correction
* AMSAT-NA Office Closed until September 9th
* New Distance Record Set on FO-29 by KG5CI and F4CQA
* Bring the Space Station Into Your Classroom With NASA's STEM on Station
* IARU Reiterates Commitment to Coordinate Satellites Only Within
* CPUT planning successor to Africa’s first nanosatellite
* ASU Chosen to Lead Lunar CubeSat Mission
* AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-242.01
ANS-242 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 242.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE August 30,
To All RADIO AMATEURS
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots Due by 15 September
Ballots were mailed to AMSAT-NA members in good standing by 15 JULY
must be returned to the AMSAT-NA office by 15 SEP 2015 in order to be
Those sent outside North America were sent by air mail. Your completed
should be returned as promptly as possible, and those from outside North
America preferably by air mail or other expedited means.
This year there are eight candidates:
Barry Baines, WD4ASW
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
Steve Coy, K8UD
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
Mark Hammond, N8MH
EMike McCardel, KC8YLD
Bob McGwier, N4HY
Bruce Paige, KK5DO
The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be seated as
voting Board Members with two year terms. The two candidates receiving the
next highest number of votes will be non-voting Alternate Board Members
terms of one year. Please vote for no more than four candidates.
Please take the time to review the candidate statements that accompany the
ballot and determine who you wish to see on the Board. Election of Board
members is both an obligation as well as an opportunity by our
help shape the future direction of AMSAT-NA.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]
2015 AMSAT Symposium Dayton Hotel Reservation Correction
The 2015 AMSAT Space Symposium will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct 16,
17, 18, 2015 in Dayton, Ohio.
This year we will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 33 East 5th Street, in
downtown Dayton, a 3.5 star Hotel which has been recently renovated.
Here is the corrected and latest hotel reservation information provided by
+ Reservations toll-free phone number: 1-800-689-5586
+ Group rate reservation code: "AMSAT"
+ Deadline for discounted reservations: September 17, 2015
by 3:00 PM US eastern time
The Symposium Committee announced that arrangements are made for a tour of
the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton for
Monday, October 19. You may wish to extend your hotel reservation until
Monday if you would like to participate on this tour.
You must call the 800 number for Crowne Plaza to make your hotel
reservations. Registration for the Space Symposium and events can be done
on-line via the AMSAT Store:
The latest 2015 AMSAT Space Symposium information is posted on the web at:
-or- click on the "Events" tab at the top
of the page at
[ANS thanks the 2015 AMSAT Symposium Posse for the above information]
AMSAT-NA Office Closed until September 9th
The AMSAT Office in Kensington, MD will be closed until Wednesday,
September 9th. Enjoy the last of summer!
[ANS thanks Martha at AMSAT-NA for the above information]
New Distance Record Set on FO-29 by KG5CI and F4CQA
Dave, KG5CCI reported that at 1732UTC on August 27th, 2015, a QSO was made
between himself, KG5CCI, and F4CQA on via the FO-29 satellite.
Dave explained, "This was not a scheduled contact, I simply answered
Christophe's CQ call. I knew it was a good contact at the time, but as I was
portable up on Arkansas' Shinnall Mountain, I did not have the resources
available to calculate distances. After returning to my office I began to
log the contacts I had made, and noticed the estimated distance between EM34
and JN17 was in excess of 7500km. About the same time I came to this
realization, my email chirped with a message from Christophe, who had came
to the same conclusion."
After some quick exchanges, and verifying 10 digit locators, Dave and
settled on an official distance of 7599.959km between Dave's grid of
EM34ST11TL and Christophe's grid of JN17EA22OT. The
website was used for distance
Dave concluded, "To the best of our knowledge, referencing data found on
) this breaks
the previous distance records of 7537.799km between W5CBF and G4DOL, and the
7538.685km contact between K4FEG and DK1TB.
Dave had a camera setup to record the pass as well, and you can view a raw
clip of the contact here:
If anyone has any questions about the contact, Dave will be happy to answer
them. Special thanks and a solid *GOOD-DX* to Christophe for the contact.
[ANS thanks Dave, KG5CCI for the above information]
Bring the Space Station Into Your Classroom With NASA's STEM on Station
NASA is celebrating NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail
Kornienko and their yearlong mission to the International Space Station with
the launch of the new STEM on Station website!
The website features lesson plans, videos and up-to-the-minute education
news. Follow along with Scott and Mikhail to find out what we hope to learn
from their extended mission. Get to know the International Space Station,
and learn how work there benefits life on Earth as well as prepares us for
our future journey to Mars.
The STEM on Station website also features Learning Launchers. These "Teacher
Toolkits" focus on research and activities related to the space station.
Each month, a new Learning Launcher will feature One-Year Mission research
or another topic related to the space station. Use lesson plans, videos and
related resources to bring the International Space Station into your
classroom. Since more topics will be featured, check back often to see
what's coming next.
We are working "Off the Earth, For the Earth . and in the Classroom"!
To check out the new website, visit
[ANS thanks the NASA Education Express Message -- Aug. 27, 2015]
IARU Reiterates Commitment to Coordinate Satellites Only Within
In apparent reference to efforts by China's Amateur Satellite Group
(CAMSAT) to coordinate operating frequencies for nine satellites set
to launch in early September, the International Amateur Radio Union
(IARU) has made it clear that it will not coordinate frequencies
that do not conform with accepted band plans for all three IARU
regions. The IARU has informed CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, that it
was only able to coordinate uplink and downlink frequencies for two
of the nine spacecraft (CAS-3/XW-2D and E), but it has not made that
letter public. CAMSAT has said it plans to launch the nine
satellites, all carrying Amateur Radio payloads, on September 7 or
"The IARU Satellite Adviser, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, and
his advisory panel are mandated to coordinate frequencies within the
IARU band plans for amateur satellites," said a public statement
released on August 20 by IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD.
"Coordinated frequencies must comply with band plans that are common
to all three IARU regions. Satellites coordinated outside these
plans could cause interference to terrestrial amateur operations in
The IARU statement suggested that the popularity and high occupancy
of 2 meters "led to a request by satellite builders for coordination
outside the spectrum reserved for satellites in the IARU band plans
(145.800-146.000 MHz), as not enough channels are available to
satisfy their requirements."
The IARU said that, in theory, satellites could be programmed only
to operate while orbiting above their countries of origin, but
"because satellite orbits make it difficult to pinpoint operations,
spillover to other regions may occur during parts of the orbit.
Accordingly, IARU will not coordinate frequencies for satellites
which are planned to operate outside the internationally aligned
IARU band plans for amateur satellites."
The IARU statement noted that its frequency coordination service
aims to "maximize spectrum utilization and avoid possible
interference to other satellites and ground stations." The IARU
recommended that satellite groups "work on a sharing plan or use
other parts of the Amateur Service spectrum designated for satellite
operation," and it suggested resurrecting 10 meters - once popular
as a satellite band, but largely unused today - as one possibility
for uplink channels.
"The band segment 29,300-29,510 MHz has been used for
Amateur-Satellite downlinks for more than 40 years, beginning with
Australis-OSCAR 5 in 1970 and AMSAT-OSCAR 6, AMSAT's first
communication satellite, in 1972," the IARU statement noted. Just
one amateur satellite actively uses a 29 MHz downlink - AMSAT-OSCAR
7, launched in 1974. Conceding that 29 MHz downlink frequencies
"would not be practical for today's very small satellites" due to
antenna size considerations, the IARU said the band could be used
for uplinks, even with small receiving antennas, because Earth
stations can run sufficient transmit power to overcome the
disadvantage. "The IARU Satellite Adviser and his panel believe that
the 10 meter band offers a good alternative to 2 meter uplinks," the
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said his organization's
Advanced Satellite Communications and Exploration of New Technology
(ASCENT) initiative is exploring alternatives to address the
proliferation of CubeSats and the resulting pressure on 2 meters and
70 centimeters. He pointed out that the 200 kHz IARU allocation on 2
meters "is not very wide" given the number of satellites being
launched, but the use of 10 meters is impractical in this era of
"It is incumbent upon the Amateur-Satellite community to develop new
ways of 'keeping Amateur Radio in space' that take advantage of
other bands and provide enhanced services through appropriate
technologies, given the need to find suitable bandwidth for an
increasing number of satellites," Baines told ARRL. He said using
digital technology could provide multi-channel capability, and
design work is already under way. Transitioning to "underutilized
amateur spectrum on bands such as 5 GHz and 10 GHz is also a
possibility, Baines added, although he was quick to point out that
AMSAT does not intend to abandon use of 2 meters and 70 centimeters
for its own satellite projects.
The IARU said that when a large group of satellite sharing the same
band is launched, "they will soon drift apart which enhances the
opportunity to share the same frequencies. For example, during the
initial phase, just after launch, a time-sharing system could be
used to monitor the payloads before initializing transponders and
"Currently the IARU team also coordinates frequencies for satellites
built by universities and educational groups in an effort to
maximize spectrum utilization and mitigate any possible interference
to Amateur Radio operations," the IARU statement concluded. "The
IARU is committed to work with these groups and with the ITU to find
other spectrum for these satellites."
[ANS thanks the ARRL for the above information]
CPUT planning successor to Africa’s first nanosatellite
Following on the successes of ZACube-1, a.k.a. TshepisoSat, ZACube-2 is the
second instalment in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)
The satellite will serve as technology demonstrator for essential subsystems
and form the basis on which an innovative Software Defined Radio (SDR)
will be developed as primary payload. The SDR is highly flexible to
wide range of communication needs and will be a test bed to validate vessel
detection. Additionally, the satellite will feature a medium resolution
as secondary payload to demonstrate the feasibility of future remote sensing
applications such as ocean colour monitoring and large fire tracking.
This paper details the conceptual design and highlights the choices made
around the proposed development
Read the recent article by Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV in EngineerIT
Southern African Amateur Radio Satellite Association (SA AMSAT)
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
ASU Chosen to Lead Lunar CubeSat Mission
A spacecraft the size of a shoebox with Arizona origins will soon be
our nearest neighbor to create a map of water-ice on the moon.
The NASA-selected CubeSat will be designed, built and operated at Arizona
State University and is one piece of the agency's larger mission to fully
characterize the water content at the lunar South Pole in preparation for
exploration, resource utilization and improved understanding of the moon's
The spacecraft, called the Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper, or "LunaH-Map" for
short, will produce the most detailed map to date of the moon's water
unveiling new details about the depth and distribution of the ice that
tentatively identified from previous missions. Confirming and mapping those
deposits in detail will help NASA understand how much water might be
and will help inform NASA's strategy for sending humans farther into the
The ability to search for useful assets, such as hydrogen, can potentially
enable astronauts to manufacture fuel and other provisions needed to
crew for a journey to Mars, reducing the amount of fuel and weight that NASA
would need to transport from Earth.
This is the third major space project for which NASA has selected ASU in the
past year, and it is the first planetary science spacecraft mission that
be led by ASU. It represents a major achievement for planetary geologist
Hardgrove, the School of Earth and Space Exploration postdoctoral research
associate who proposed the mission and will be overseeing it as principal
"All of our previous NASA mission involvement has consisted of us having
instruments on other people's missions. This is ASU's first interplanetary
mission - this is our mission, our chance to trail blaze," said Jim Bell,
professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration and mission deputy
"It's a privilege to be leading this fantastic team, and I want to make sure
we do it right and deliver on our promise to NASA," Hardgrove said.
CubeSats are part of a growing movement that is revolutionizing space
exploration because of their small size and low cost of construction and
operation, effectively opening the door to early-career scientists,
them an opportunity to operate missions of their own.
"How much good science can we do with these small missions? We don't
answer, but we will be one of the first groups to try to answer the
Although this is one of NASA's first forays into deep-space science
experiments with CubeSats, the technology isn't new to NASA and
which have recognized their value and have been building them for years.
"CubeSats are a model for a new way to gain access to space, but they
a model for how to teach students how to design, build, operate and
troubleshoot a real space mission," said Bell, who also directs ASU's
Initiative. "Students want to know how a spacecraft works, but not just
PowerPoint presentation. This is their opportunity to build something. Break
it. Fix it. Test it again. Launch it. Operate it. And that is the beauty of
CubeSats; they provide students with the experience of going through the
complete mission process."
LunaH-Map will be designed, built and tested on ASU's Tempe campus, in
partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several other partners
supplying space-qualified hardware and services. LunaH-Map leverages
from at least six small commercial space companies with expert knowledge and
experience in building spacecraft hardware: Radiation Monitoring Devices,
Busek, KinetX, NASA's Ames Research Center, Catholic University of
Overseeing all aspects of the spacecraft engineering is the mission's chief
engineer and co-investigator, Jekan Thanga, an assistant professor in ASU's
School of Earth and Space Exploration. Much of the design and development of
LunaH-Map will be done in his Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration
(SpaceTREx) Laboratory and clean rooms in ASU's state-of-the-art
Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4, which with their glass
windows offer an opportunity for visitors to watch the spacecraft being
tested and operated.
In total, there will be 15 to 20 ASU professionals, including students,
working on all aspects of the design, development, testing and delivery
"Within the United States there only about seven institutions that are doing
interplanetary CubeSat missions," Thanga said. "ASU brings together
and engineers to work on radical new concepts together, from the start. This
innovative collaboration strategy leads to greater science return, and more
creativity and capability."
Other co-investigators from ASU include Professor Mark Robinson and
Research Professor Paul Scowen from the School of Earth and Space
LunaH-Map, along with a number of other deep-space CubeSats, is a
fly to lunar orbit on Exploration Mission-1, the first flight of NASA's
Launch System (SLS), which will be the most powerful rocket ever built
enable astronauts in the Orion spacecraft to travel deeper into the solar
system. NASA will provide several CubeSat missions spots on the maiden SLS
LunaH-Map is a 6U ("6 unit") CubeSat. One "unit" is a cube measuring
inches on a side; LunaH-Map strings six of these CubeSat building blocks
together and weighs as much as a small child (about 30 pounds).
But just because it is small, doesn't mean it is less sophisticated - in
case, as with our smartphones, size doesn't compromise capabilities. LunaH-
Map's design allows for all the necessary sensors and instruments to be
securely packaged inside. A jack-in-the-box-like deployer releases the
spacecraft and panels pop out like little wings.
Once it arrives at the moon, the tiny spacecraft will embark on a 60-day
science mission, consisting of 141 science orbits, using a suite of science
Its main instrument is a neutron detector designed to sense the presence of
hydrogen by measuring the energies of neutrons that have interacted with and
subsequently leaked back out of the material in the top meter of the lunar
"We know from previous missions there is an increased abundance of
the lunar poles. But we don't know how much or exactly where," Hardgrove
"NASA has funded three different CubeSats to learn more: Lunar IceCube,
FLASHLIGHT and LunaH-Map. They all look for water in different ways and
different types of information."
As LunaH-Map flies over the lunar South Pole at a very low altitude, it
the energies of neutrons that have leaked out of the lunar surface. The
distribution of the neutrons that hit the detectors tells us about the
of hydrogen that's buried in the top meter of lunar soil.
LunaH-Map will map the hydrogen content of the entire South Pole of the
including within permanently shadowed regions at high resolution. LunaH-Map
will measure the bulk hydrogen content, up to a meter beneath the lunar
surface, while the instruments on both Lunar IceCube and FLASHLIGHT will
us about the very top few microns. LunaH-Map will create the
maps of regional near-surface (top-meter) water-ice distribution across the
entire South Pole of the moon.
"Science is a human endeavor, and part of that is knowing each other and
trusting each other. And when it comes to a NASA mission and taxpayer
to do exploration, you got to have the credentials. You have to be
need to have proven yourself, you need to show that you can make it
you won't fail. And we've got a history now where that's the case," said
Elkins-Tanton, director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration.
[ANS thanks SpaceDaily.com
for the above information]
Information about AMSAT activities at other important events around
the country. Examples of these events are radio club meetings where
AMSAT Area Coordinators give presentations, demonstrations of working
amateur satellites, and hamfests with an AMSAT presence (a table with
AMSAT literature and merchandise, sometimes also with presentations,
forums, and/or demonstrations).
*Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 September - ARRL Roanoke Division Convention
Shelby, NC Hamfest, AMSAT Forum scheduled for Saturday
*Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 16-18 2015, AMSAT Symposium in
Dayton OH (Dayton Crown Plaza)
*Saturday, 7 November 2015 – Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club Hamfest in
*Saturday and Sunday, 7-8 November 2015 – Stone Mountain Hamfest and ARRL
Georgia Section Convention in Lawrenceville GA
*Saturday, 5 December 2015 – Superstition Superfest 2015 in Mesa AZ
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]
The direct ARISS contact with Kantonschule am Burggraben, Switzerland on
August 24, 12:24 UTC, via HB9SG was successful.
Contact was established at 12:24 UTC, only 50 seconds later than expected.
18 questions were answered.
The downlink signal was loud and clear. Only during the first 4 questions
there was a bit QRM due to the antenna location in the middle of the city.
The audience was about 300 persons in the contact room and about 1000
and 230 others via the live-stream on the Internet.
TV stations, 3 radio stations "Radio SRF3" and nationwide newspapers covered
(TV-Ostschweiz) „Erde an ISS“
001691193/ (Tele Top)
(look at minute 16.07)
funkt-mit-der-iss (SRF3 - Nationales Radio)
Pictures can be found on
Maconaquah School Corporation, Bunker Hill, IN, direct via WD9GIU
The ISS callsign was NA1SS
The astronaut was Kimiya Yui KG5BPH
Maconaquah had a very successful contact. All 20 questions were asked and
there was one extra. They might have been able to have a few more but they
signed off about 1 minute before LOS. It was an outstanding contact.
Upcoming ARISS Contacts
Sochi, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled cosmonaut is Mikhail Kornienko RN3BF
Contact is a go for 2015-08-29 11:15 UTC
Ulvila Upper Secondary School, Finland, direct via OH1F
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS
Contact is a go for: Tue 2015-09-01 11:44:03 UTC
Kazakhstan, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled astronaut is Aidyn Aimbetov
Contact is a go for 2015-09-08 07:10 UTC
for information about upcoming contacts as they are scheduled.
[ANS thanks ARISS, and Charlie, AJ9N 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
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
This week's ANS Editor,
Joe Spier, K6WAO
k6wao at amsat dot org