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:
* Mail your AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots TODAY
* US Space Fence Shut Down
* Say HI to Juno
* Space Station Slow Scan TV Active
* FUNcube-1 is in its Pod
* 2013 AMSAT Symposium Tours Announced
* CEPT Considers Use of 5830-5850 MHz Satellite Band
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-251.01
ANS-251 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 251.01
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Mail your AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Ballots TODAY
A reminder that, if you haven't done so already, mail your Board of
Director Ballots ASAP. All members in good standing should have
received their ballots. In order for your ballott to be counted, it
will need to be RECEIVED at the AMSAT office by September 15th.
This year we have 8 candidates for 4 voting Board members and 2 non-
voting Alternates. Your vote is especially important this year in
selecting those who will help guide AMSAT-NA. If you have not
submitted your ballot, please review the candidate biography and
position statements you received, as well as the Minutes of the Board
Meeting published in the May/June issue of the AMSAT Journal. Then
make your voice heard by voting.
[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]
US Space Fence Shut Down
It is reported on SatWatch that the 216 MHz US Space Fence, used to
detect orbital objects, was turned off on September 1, 2013 at 0000
The Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS), known as the Space
Fence, is a U.S. government multistatic radar system built to detect
orbital objects passing over the United States. There are three
transmitter sites operating on 216.983, 216.97 and 216.99 MHz and six
According to Wiki the system is understood to be capable of
detecting a 10 cm object at an altitude of 30,000 km and makes 5
million satellite observations each month.
Early in August Space News reported that: Gen. William Shelton,
commander of Air Force Space Command, “has directed that the Air
Force Space Surveillance System be closed and all sites vacated”
effective Oct. 1, the memo said.
It seems appear the closure may have occurred earlier than initially
The reason for the shutdown has been reported as being because
Federal Government expenditure is exceeding budget resulting in
automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, however, a Space Review
article suggests another reason
Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) officials say they have devised
modified operating modes for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar
Characterization System at Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D., and for
the space surveillance radar at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which
allows the discontinuation of AFSSS operations while still
maintaining solid space situational awareness.
Air Force Space Surveillance System
Air Force Space Command to discontinue space surveillance system
Space News, August 6, 2013
High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) shuts down
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Say HI to Juno
NASA’s Juno mission is inviting amateur radio operators around the
world to transmit a coordinated message on the 28 MHz band to the
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly past Earth on October 9, 2013 to
receive a gravity assist from our planet, putting it on course for
To celebrate this event, the Juno mission is inviting amateur radio
operators around the world to say “HI” to Juno in a coordinated Morse
Code message. Juno’s radio and plasma wave experiment, called Waves,
should be able to detect the message if enough people participate.
Juno will have a better chance of detecting the signal from many
operators if the signal is spread out across the spectrum. The Juno
Waves instrument is a broadband receiver, and the detector being used
for this event has a band width of 1 MHz. It is better for detection
of the signal to have a broadband signal coming in.
For this experiment, the Juno team would like to ask those
participating to spread out in frequency across the 10 meter band.
They have supplied a table of suggested frequencies between 28 and 29
MHz, based on the last letter of your call. When the HFR receiver is
tuned to 28MHz, the center frequency is 28.5 MHz. A 50 kHz high pass
filter limits low frequencies hitting the detector, so the frequency
table excludes 28.5 MHz ±50 kHz. The natural signals the team expect
to measure at Jupiter will consist of a large number of discrete
tones, so spreading the signals out in this manner is a good
approximation to the signals Juno is expected to detect. But at
Jupiter, they don’t expect to be able to decode CW in the telemetry!
The 28 MHz band was chosen for this experiment for several reasons.
The Waves instrument is sensitive to radio signals in all amateur
bands below 40 MHz, but experience with the University of Iowa
instruments on the Galileo and Cassini earth flybys shows significant
shielding by the ionosphere at lower frequencies. As sad as it
sounds, the team hope for lousy band conditions on October 9, so an
appreciable fraction of the radiated energy escapes the ionosphere
into space, and is not refracted back down to the ground somewhere
else on the planet.
Juno’s antenna consists of a pair of tapered 2.8 meter long titanium
tubes, deployed from the bottom deck of the spacecraft under the +X
solar array and magnetometer boom. A high impedance radiation
resistant preamp sits at the base of the antenna and buffers the
signals from 50 Hz to 45 MHz. The elements are deployed with an
opening angle of about 120 degrees. Ten meters is above the resonant
frequency of the antenna and NEC analysis indicates a lobe generally
along the spin axis of the spacecraft. This will be good for
detection on the inbound part of closest approach to Earth.
The Waves instrument uses four receivers to cover the frequency
range of 50 Hz to 41 MHz. Signals up to 3 MHz are bandpass filtered,
sampled by A/D converters and FFT processed into spectra using a
custom FFT processor developed by The University of Iowa under a
grant from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.
The Juno team point out that All transmissions must follow local and
Please join in, and help spread the word to fellow amateur radio
NASA – Say “HI” to Juno!
See How do I participate ? for the frequency list.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-BB and Glenn AA5PK for the above information]
Space Station Slow Scan TV Active
Dmitry Pashkov UB4UAD has posted two images that he received on
145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station (ISS) on
Wednesday, September 4, 2013.
All you need to do to receive the SSTV pictures from the space
station is to connected the audio output of a scanner or amateur rig
via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple
iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive
pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.
The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld
with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM
transmission uses 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the
Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow
deviation FM filters so select the wider deviation. Handhelds all
seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.
On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode
the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app. The ISS
Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.
For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The
How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV)
Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS
on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work
For the latest status of amateur radio activity on the ISS and real
time tracking see http://www.issfanclub.com/
ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and for the above information]
FUNcube-1 is in its Pod
The AMSAT FUNcube team are delighted to be able to announce that the
FUNcube-1 CubeSat has now completed all its final testing and been
placed into its launch POD.
ZACUBE-1 prior to being shipped to the Netherlands - Image credit CPUT
ZACUBE-1 prior to being shipped to the Netherlands – Image credit CPUT
This work was completed during a three day programme at the premises
of ISIS BV in Delft in the Netherlands and was finished, on time,
late Wednesday afternoon on September 4, 2013.
FUNcube-1 is actually the middle 1U CubeSat of three sharing a 3U
ISIPOD. It is sharing the ISIPOD with ZACUBE-1 from South Africa
and HiNCube from Norway.
ZACube-1, in addition to carrying VHF and UHF communications
equipment also has a 20 metre beacon which will operate on 14.099 MHz
This ISIPOD, with the spacecraft inside, will be transported to
Russia, early next month, for launch and will eventually be attached
directly to the launch vehicle.
FUNcube-1 carries a U/V linear transponder and the educational
telemetry beacon using 1k2 BPSK for school outreach purposes.
The current launch info has lift off scheduled for November 21st at
Full initial orbit details and TLE’s, together with decoding
software will be made available over the next few weeks.
FUNcube-1 communication subsystem:
• 400 mW Inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- Uplink 435.150 – 435.130 MHz
- Downlink 145.950 – 145.970 MHz
• 400 mW BPSK Telemetry 145.935 MHz
A recent presentation about the FUNcube project by Graham Shirville
G3VZV and Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG can be viewed online at
or downloaded from
A PDF of the slides from that presentation is here
FUNcube information sheets:
• FUNcube_Project Information_aug2013
• FUNcube_Educational_Outreach aug2013
FUNcube Yahoo Group http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
FUNcube website http://www.funcube.org.uk/
Some of the other satellites that may be on the same Dnepr launch
vehicle are listed at
AMSAT-UK on Facebook
AMSAT-UK on Twitter
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
2013 AMSAT Symposium Tours Announced
AMSAT has arranged for two special tours as part of this year's
Battleship USS Texas BB-35
On Sunday there will be a tour of the Battleship Texas BB-35, the
only surviving US Navy warship that served in both World Wars. It is
currently opened to the public while undergoing extensive restoration
to ready her for the 100th anniversary of her commissioning in 2014.
A special tour has been arranged for AMSAT Symposium participants.
Transportation will depart the Marriott at 1030, and the formal tour
will be completed at 1400. Transportation will be available directly
to Houston Hobby airport from the ship. There will be an optional
lunch at a popular local restaurant followed by a return to the
Marriott at 1600. Cost per person, not including the optional lunch,
will be $20.
Johnson Space Center and W5RRR JSC ARC
On Monday there will be a tour of the NASA Johnson Space Center.
The tour will include the Sonny Carter Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the
Building 9 Training facility containing high fidelity full scale
mockups of the International Space Station modules as well as the
Soyuz spacecraft. The ISS tour will include special emphasis on the
amateur radio stations on the ISS. The tour will also include the
Building 30 historic mission control room as well as the current
International Space Station control room, and s a visit to the JSC
ARC station W5RRR. Transportation will depart the Marriott at 0800.
On the return trip transportation will stop at Houston Hobby airport
at 1415 before returning to the hotel. Cost per person will be $30.
Details, registration and up to date information may be found on
[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]
CEPT Considers Use of 5830-5850 MHz Satellite Band
The CEPT SE24 Short Range Devices meeting M72 took place in Vienna
on August 26-27, 2013.
The meeting discussed the use of the frequency bands 5350-5470 MHz
and 5725-5925 MHz ('WAS/RLAN extension bands') for wireless access
systems including radio local area networks (WAS/RLANs).
Any use of Amateur Satellite Service downlink band of 5830-5850 MHz
for this purpose would inevitably raise the noise floor making the
weak satellite signals even harder to receive.
Links to the CEPT documents are posted on the AMSAT-UK web page:
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
+ A Successful contact was made between Mill Springs Academy,
Alpharetta, GA, USA and Astronaut Christopher J. Cassidy, KF5KDR,
using callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2013-09-04 14:15 UTC and
lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was direct via
KK4OVR.The ARISS Mentor for the contact was K4SQC.
Mill Springs Academy is an accredited independent school with a
college-prep program dedicated to the academic, physical and social
growth of students who have not realized their full potential in a
traditional classroom setting. Since 1981 we have been supporting
student learning by raising expectations and developing self-
motivation, while providing skills and values for life.
The population consists of average to above average, students in
grades 1-12, with learning disabilities and/or Attention Deficit
Disorder. Small classes and an individualized curriculum help them to
capitalize on their strengths while learning coping strategies. Mill
Springs offers a broad range of fine arts options, a variety of
competitive sports, and an extended day program. In the summer
months, summer school, summer camp and sport workshops are offered.
Our 85-acre campus is nestled in the beautiful rolling hills and
pasture land of Alpharetta. We can be found on Twitter
(@millspringsacad), Facebook and Pinterest or on our website:
Our school motto is Success In School. Success In
Joining in this ARISS Radio Contact were students and faculty from
the Brandon Hall School. Brandon Hall is located in Dunwoody, another
northern suburb of Atlanta. Brandon Hall's mission as a coeducational
boarding and day school is to provide a challenging college
preparatory experience immersed in technology. Also joining us were
students from Crabapple Crossing Elementary, a nearby public school.
+ A Successful contact was made between Duluth Children's Museum,
Duluth, MN, USA and Astronaut [ISSOP, CALLSIGN] using callsign NA1SS.
The contact began 2013-09-07 15:03 UTC and lasted about nine and a
half minutes. Contact was direct via W0GKP.
The Duluth Children's Museum is a place where children begin their
lifelong exploration of an ever-expanding world. The mission of the
Duluth Children's Museum is to spark children's curiosity. One of the
first children's museums in the country, the Duluth Children's Museum
opened in 1930 as a resource for teachers, schoolchildren and
families to learn more about their world neighbors. The Duluth
Children's Museum serves more than 80,000 children, caregivers and
educators annually through its exhibition and education programs. The
museum's primary constituency is children age three to eight and
their families. The extended constituency is children birth to three
and children eight to twelve and family members.
Upcoming ARISS contacts
+ S.A.M.T. (Scuola Arti Mestieri Trevano), Canobbio, Switzerland,
direct via HB9OK Contact is a go for: Mon 2013-09-09 07:17:03 UTC
[ANS thanks ARISS, Charlie AJ9N, David, AA4KN for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Clayton Started It!
Clayton W5PFG started it - on the AMSAT-BB. Poetry, Haiku actually,
lamenting there not being HEOs. It seems this meme may have a life of
its own. Catch the fun and submit your own verse - Haiku or not on
the AMSAT-BB. So far this editor's favorite is by Doug Phelps' K9DLP
Working to keep us in space
Thank you, job well done
+ Move away from the center of the passband
Drew KO4MA suggests moving away from the center of the passband
while working the linear birds. Previous to SatPC32 being the
ubiquitous way to operate the transponders, people tended to spread
out much more on the linear sats. CW was generally in the lower third
to maybe middle, and voice was often spread out over much more of the
passband. Now...I love Sat PC32, and I like full Doppler tuning, but
just because the program defaults to the middle of the passband
doesn't mean everyone should operate within 10 KHz of there.
Spread out and use the VFO! There's no reason to pile up like
sardines in the middle. Maybe even (GASP) edit the doppler.sqf file
to put you elsewhere in the passband to fine tune things at the start
of the pass? Got a schedule, or operating from a rare grid? Let
everyone know where to look (i.e. 25 khz up from the middle) and save
yourself and others some QRM?
Erich, DK1TB, offers this tip, if you want SatPC32 to start off the
center of the passband of an SSB/CW satellite do the following: Run
the program choose that satellite. Tune the radio to the start
frequency you want - say 8 kHz above the center of the passband. Then
click menu CAT > Change/Store Data File > RX/TX Freq. Data. From the
next program start the program will start at the new downlink and
+ It seems we are having problems with the mailing of the
It is indeed unfortunate to have the commendable efforts of the
volunteer contributors and editorial staff to the AMSAT Journal be
undone by problems at a PAID contractor.
If you have not received your 2013 July/August AMSAT Journal via the
postal mail please let the AMSAT office know via e-mail at
Source: Joanne K9JKM
+ Wouter, PA3WEG, has kindly created a unique video that shows the
correct process for inserting three 1U CubeSats into their 3U ISIPOD.
This is now available here:
Source: Graham Shirbille via AMSAT-BB
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,
EMike McCardel, KC8YLD
kc8yld at amsat dot org