AMSAT NEWS SERVICE ANS-016
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: * Satellite Protocol * ARISSat-1 Update * SKN Reminder * SA Request for Assistance * ARISS Report * Satellite Shorts * AMSAT China Report on HO-68 Health
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.01 Satellite Protocol
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.01 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.01
Recently, there has been comments on activity on the LEO satellites. With newcomers added to the mixture everyday, it is a good idea to re-read a Guideline from many years ago.
Enjoy and use as a reminder of our resposibilities.
[ANS thanks Drew, KO4MA, for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.02 ARISSat-1 Update
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.02 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.02
The ARISSat-1 satellite/amateur radio experiment is in Baikonur. RSC Energia has information and photographs about the satellite on their news site http://www.energia.ru/en/news/news-2010/news_12-31.html .
The NASA Phase 3 Safety Review for ARISSat is scheduled for Thursday 20 January 2011. The Progress 41P launch carrying ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-V is scheduled for late January and the release of the satellite is scheduled for the end of February 2011. Energia is also calling the satellite KEDR, after Yuri Gagarin's callsign in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight 12 April 1961. Sergey Samburov, RV3DR is shown in the photos with the satellite on the RSC Energia site.
[ANS thanks Gould, WA4SXM, for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.03 SKN reminder
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.03 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.03
Ray, W2RS thanks all who participated in AMSAT's Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2011 and reminds us to please nominate someone you worked for 'Best Fist.' Your nominee need not have the best fist of those you heard, just of those you worked. Nominations should be sent to [email protected]. A list of those nominated will be published in ANS in early February, and in a forthcoming issue of The AMSAT Journal.
[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.04 SA Request for Assistance
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.04 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.04
SA AMSAT Cubesat project needs programmers
The development team for the planned South African CubeSat project is taking shape nicely.
Radio amateurs with diverse specialist skills are offering their expertise from all over. "However, we still need a person with experience in programming PIC or 8051 microprocessors," Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, told SARL News.
"This person will be a critical member of the team and will be responsible for the development of the onboard controller soft- ware. Other amateurs who are interested in the development of the satellite and would like to join the development team are still welcome to send their Amateur Radio CVs to: [email protected]," Hannes said.
The team will meet for its first formal teleconference on Wed- nesday evening 26 January 2011 at 20:00. Team members will re- ceive a formal notification.
[ANS thanks SARL, SA AMSAT, and SouthGateARC site for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.05 ARISS Report
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.05 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.05
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Status Report January 10, 2011
1. Upcoming School Contacts
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact scheduled for Tsutsujigaoka Minami Elementary School in Akishima, Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday, January 12 was completed. Students participating in the contact are learning about space science and the global cooperation required to operate the ISS.
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact has scheduled for Istituto Comprensivo Marco Polo-Viani Scuola Secondaria 1° Grado, Viareggio, Lucca, Italy on Wednesday, January 12 Has been completed. Through this contact, the school hoped to increase students' interest in science, technology, space research and other space-related subject matter.
Istituto Comprensivo Via Toscana 2 in Civitavecchia, Italy has been scheduled for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, January 15 has also been successful. The school, with an enrollment of 750 children, ages 3-14, had prepared questions about life in space and the research performed on the ISS.
2. Italian Students Chat with Astronaut through ARISS Contact
On Saturday, January 8, University of Bari "Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza" in Bari, Italy participated in an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA. Prior to the contact, ARISS mentor Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF introduced the event via phone line. Nespoli made the radio link with the students, answering 14 of their questions. A second contact was established on the following ISS pass to finish up the questions and exchange greetings. Approximately 100 students, teachers, visitors and media attended. Regional television, local media and newspapers covered the event and video was streamed over the internet, receiving more than 100 connections. Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza promotes technology and scientific knowledge in schools of all grades using projects that encourage academic research.
3. Astronaut Training Status
Astronaut Chris Cassidy was given an introductory session on ARISS this past week. He will train for his amateur radio license and plans to participate in the ARISS program. He is currently scheduled to fly in the spring of 2013.
4. ARRISat Featured in February QST
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) posted a story in its January 6 ARRL Letter about the February issue of QST which features ARISSat-1 on its front cover. The ARRL monthly journal has a circulation of 156,000. See: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2011-01-06
5. AMSAT Posts ARISSat-1 Update to Web Site
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) posted an update on its Web page covering the current status of ARISSat-1. "ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-V Integration and Testing Underway in Moscow," may be viewed here: http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php
6. AMSAT Articles on ARISS News
On January 9, the AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) News Service bulletin (ANS-009) included two ARISS-related news items. "ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-V Update" and "ARISS School Contacts Resume for 2011" may be found at: http://www.amsat.org/amsat/archive/amsat-bb/48hour/msg83129.html
[ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI, for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.06 Satellite Shorts
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.06 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.06
NASA Redoubling Efforts to Contact Spirit Rover on Mars
A news item carried on UniverseToday.com (http://tinyurl.com/2ccsnku) reports that NASA is stepping up operational efforts to contact the Martian Spirit rover with more communications commands; more listening time; more frequencies. Spirit last communicated with mission control- lers back on Earth on March 22, 2010. The rover entered hibernation mode, some nine months ago, as the available sunlight to power the life giving solar panels was diminishing. NASA hopes to reawaken Spirit from a long slumber and reignite her breakthrough campaign of explora- tion and discovery from a scientific goldmine on the surface of the red planet.
At Spirit's location in the southern hemisphere of Mars, Southern Summer has not yet arrived. Right now it's mid Southern Spring and daylight hours are increasing. And Summer doesn't even start until mid-March 2011. The question is whether Spirit's unheated electronics components have endured the extremely harsh and frigidly cold condi- tions of her 4th winter on Mars - her coldest ever. At about -100 C.
Spirit entered a low-power fault mode in March 2010 with minimal activ- ity except charging and heating the batteries and keeping its clock run- ning. With most heaters shut off, Spirit's internal temperatures dipped lower than ever before on Mars. That stress could have caused damage, s uch as impaired electrical connections, that would prevent reawakening or, even if Spirit returns to operation, would reduce its capabilities.
"Components within the rover electronic module (REM) inside the rover's warm electronic box (WEB) are experiencing record low temperatures," said Doug McCuistion, the director of Mars Exploration at NASA Head- quarters in Washington, DC, in an interview about Spirit's predicament. "The expectation is for the REM hardware to reach -55C at the coldest part of the winter. We have tested the REM down to -55C".
NASA's Deep Space Network of antennas in California, Spain and Australia has been listening for Spirit daily in coordination with the spacecraft orbiting Mars; Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In X-band, the DSN listens for Spirit during one pass each day. The rover team has also been sending commands to elicit a response from the rover even if the rover has lost track of time.
Now, the monitoring is being increased. Additional listening periods in- clude times when Spirit might mistake a signal from NASA's Mars Recon- naissance Orbiter as a signal from Earth and respond to such a signal. Commands for a beep from Spirit will be sent at additional times to cover a wider range of times-of-day on Mars when Spirit might awaken.
"DSN does an average of 4 "sweep & beep" commands in each day's pass," according to JPL spokesman Guy Webster. Also, NASA is listening on a wider range of frequencies to cover more possibilities of temperature effects on Spirit's radio systems.
[ANS thanks UniverseToday.com for the above information]
This is to let you know that AMSAT has updated the Main/Top news item at http://www.amsat.org to:
ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf-V Integration and Testing Underway in Moscow
[ANS thanks Joanne, K9JKM, for the above information]
Hi all (Happpy 2011!) The next "HV Satcom" Net is Thursday January 20 at 8PM (UTC -5); (Host) Mt. Beacon ARC) on the 146.970MHz. Repeater (-600;Pl;100) with an Echolink Node of "N2EYH-L" ("HV Satcom"net): www.hvsatcom.org/ E-Mail: [email protected] ("HV Satcom"Net)
[ANS thanks Stu, WA2BSS, For above information.]
January SatMagazine Covers CubeSats
Amateur Radio satellites NanoSail-D and O/OREOS get a mention in the January edition of SatMagazine, now available for free download.
NanoSail-D and O/OREOS feature on pages 61/62.
Pages 14-18 have a article by Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd. (SSTL) project lead Shaun Kenyon on the recent increase in interest in NanoSats and pages 20-22 cover "The Power Of Picosatellites".
The US military are making use of NanoSats and the recently launched US Army satellite SMDC-ONE, a 3U CubeSat, is covered on page 60.
Download a copy of the January SatMagazine from http://www.satmagazine.com/2011/SM_January_2011.pdf
Free subscription to SatMagazine and SatNews http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/regester.cgi
[ANS thanks the SouthGateARC Site for the above information]
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-016.07 AMSAT China Report on HO-68 Health
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 016.07 From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 16, 2011 To All RADIO AMATEURS BID: $ANS-016.07
AMSAT China Report on HO-68 Health
HO-68 (XW-1) Project Manager, Alan Kung, BA1DU sent an update on the satellite's operational status. Alan wrote, "This week I received many reports from all over the world about faults of HO-68's tele- metry beacon."
Alan continues, "After we analyzed the situation of the satellite, we think that the software in the payload management MPU was not running properly. Software crashes stopped communication between the payload management MPU and the satellite management unit. This caused the prob- lem with the beacon and caused an abnormal switch of the transponder mode."
On January 14 AMSAT China controllers switched the satellite into safe mode at 0300Z. They turned off most of the onboard units, and then at 0440Z re-powered up. The satellite returned to normal operating mode and so far the beacon has continued to operate normally.
AMSAT China said they will not upload commands to the satellite to change the transponder operating schedule for the next week. The com- mand team will continually monitor HO-68 operational status this week. Please send Alan a report if you observe any abnormal operation of HO-68. Alan can be reached at: [email protected]
AMSAT China web page: http://www.camsat.cn
[ANS thanks Alan Kung, BA1DU 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 additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.
73, This week's ANS Editor Dee Interdonato, NB2F Nb2f at amsat dot org