AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and
information 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 satellites.
The news feed on http://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 dot org.
In this edition:
* Ballot Return Date is September 15
* Two-Minute Engineering Video Update Available
* New Distance Records
* ORI's Digital Microwave Broadband Communication System Determined to
be Free of ITAR
* SmallSat 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings Available Online
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-236.01
ANS-236 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 236.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
August 23, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Ballot Return Date is September 15
With four weeks of balloting remaining, I think a reminder of
procedures is warranted.
Ballots for the AMSAT board of directors election must be received
by 5 p.m. US Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 15. If you have
received your ballot and wish to vote, please mail your ballot
with sufficient time to arrive by this time.
If you have not received your ballot and were a member of AMSAT on
July 1, please email me at brennanprice(a)verizon.net to request a
replacement ballot. All such requests that were made by today
(Monday, August 17) have been fulfilled no later than today.
A note to non-US based members: The printed return envelope does
not specify that the return address is in the United States. The
design of the envelope (my effort alone) may be fairly criticized
on this basis. Several non-US members have added USA to the printed
return address and successfully returned the ballot. This is my
recommended remedy, but if for whatever reason it's too late for
that (and I know of one such case), I will gladly send a replacement
(as I have in said case).
I am verifying envelopes against the voter list and keeping them
unopened until the time of counting, when they will be opened face
down and separated from the ballot without immediate counting to
maintain secrecy. This is a key part of verifying that each ballot
going out generates no more than one ballot coming back in.
Presumably out of an understandable but self-defeating desire to
ensure the secrecy of the ballot beyond this procedure, about ten
members have sought to obscure the return address or use a different
envelope, either with no return address or a different return address.
In all but one of those cases, the printed address was
insufficiently obscured, or the alternate address was traceable to
a member who had not yet voted. The attention required to verify the
nonconforming envelope in each case substantially exceeded the
attention normally necessary, and actually increased the possibility
of me inadvertently discerning the contents without opening the
envelope through inspection I would ordinarily forego. Nevertheless,
these envelopes have been accepted for eventual accounting.
[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary for
the above information.]
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Two-Minute Engineering Video Update Available
Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Vice President-Engineering has published a two-
minute video update on the progress of AMSAT projects. Among the
- The RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E satellite is ready for delivery and
integration and is expected to launch by the end of the year.
- The University of Maine will use an AMSAT LTM-1 module for command
and control of their upcoming CubeSat mission, MESAT-1. The LTM-1
also provides a linear transponder for amateur radio use. AMSAT is
in discussions with additional partners about flying LTM-1 modules.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vendors have been delayed in
supplying printed circuit boards for the GOLF-TEE project. The
impact of the pandemic has also affected the amount of time
AMSAT's volunteer engineers have for their hobby work. Completion
of GOLF-TEE is expected by the end of June 2021.
- Dependent on fulfilling its primary mission, the GOLF-TEE satellite
may include a X-band downlink parrot of the V-band uplink and L/S
band uplinks which are planned for GOLF-1.
- Research is underway to place GOLF-1 into a higher orbit while
meeting regulatory requirements.
- GOLF-TEE is a candidate for a launch on an upcoming DoD mission.
You can view Jerry's update at: https://youtu.be/9H4iM1hoVG4
[ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Vice President-Engineering for the
New Distance Records
Congratulations to Jerome LeCuyer, F4DXV and Joseph Werth, KE9AJ on
extending their record distance on AO-7 by another 140 km! The new
record stands at 8,204.592 km. KE9AJ was in DM79IQ58 and F4DXV was in
Jerome also claimed two other records during his trip to JN14. First,
on 10-Aug-2020, he worked VE1VOX in Nova Scotia on AO-92, a distance
of 5,011 km. Three days later, a QSO with Nathan White, N5LEX in FN11
set a new record distance covered of 6,183 km on AO-91. The QSO
occurred at 13:37 UTC on 13-Aug-2020.
[ANS thanks Paul Stoetzer, N8MH, AMSAT Executive Vice President for
the above information.]
ORI's Digital Microwave Broadband Communication System Determined to
be Free of ITAR
The United States Department of State has ruled favorably on Open
Research Institute's commodity jurisdiction request, finding that
specified “Information and Software for a Digital Microwave Broadband
Communications System for Space and Terrestrial Amateur Radio Use” is
not subject to State Department jurisdiction under ITAR, the
International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Export regulations divide both technical information and actual
hardware into three categories. The most heavily restricted
technologies fall under ITAR, which is administered by the State
Department. Technologies subject to more routine restrictions fall
under EAR, the Export Administration Regulations, administered by the
Department of Commerce. Technologies that are not subject to either
set of regulations are not restricted for export.
On 20 February 2020, Open Research Institute (ORI) filed a Commodity
Jurisdiction (CJ) Request with the US State Department, seeking to
establish that key technologies for amateur radio are not subject to
State Department jurisdiction. “Information and Software for a Digital
Microwave Broadband Communications System for Space and Terrestrial
Amateur Radio Use” was assigned the case number CJ0003120. On 11
August 2020, the case received a successful final determination: the
technology is not subject to State Department jurisdiction.
The Final Determination letter can be found at
[ANS thanks Open Research Institute, Inc., for the above information]
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!
SmallSat 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings Available Online
The 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference was a virtual event hosted
and Utah State University, Logan, Utah. The event
attracted 8,100 participants over three days August 1-3, 2020. With
the conference theme, "Space Mission Architectures - Infinite
Possibilities", the conference explored the realm of possible space
mission architectures and how they can be practically achieved to
support the diverse needs of the global space community.
Organized along twelve technical tracks, all 162 presentations are
available to the public. Additionally, literally hundreds of posters
can be downloaded for viewing. Especially useful is a search function
on the site that can search keywords to help find presentation and
posters that deal with specific topics.
For those interested in the future of small satellites, including
those in the Amateur Radio Satellite Service, there is one especially
pertinent presentation entitled " Small Satellite Regulation in 2020"
with attorneys Lynne Montgomery and Christopher Bair of Wilkinson
Barker Knauer LLP. In this twelve minute presentation,
Ms. Montgomery thoroughly covers the range of regulations affecting
small satellite operations, the agencies involved, licensing
procedures and what future legal burdens are looming for small
The complete collection of presentations and posters can be seen at:
[ANS thanks SmallSat.org
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.
Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Quick Hits:
DM97/98 & EM08/09, 8/29 & 8/30: Super Rover @ADoDX is heading out
for the Kansas QSO party and N0E. More to come.
* Major Roves:
@WA9JBQ is heading out to Idaho DN24,DN25,DN26 DN34, DN16, DN15, and
DN14 starting August 15th. Then moving into Montana for DN35,DN36,
DN37, DN38 DN49 DN47. He will be out a total of 5-6 weeks. Mostly
FM some linear. Will post to twitter details.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information.]
* Upcoming Contacts:
Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, NY, direct via K2ZRO
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Chris Cassidy KF5KDR
Contact is go for: Wed 2020-08-19 18:21:55 UTC 85 deg
Watch for live stream starting about 20 to 30 minutes ahead
of AOS at: https://youtu.be/1Pwcc2rilz0
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N 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/
Shorts from All Over
* NASA At Home Offerings Updated Regularly
As was reported before, NASA continually offers a variety of videos,
podcasts, virtual tours, e-books and activities. This service has
offerings that are of interest to adults as well as students with an
interest in space exploration. The lineup changes weekly so, if you
haven't been back in a while, take a moment to see the current
[ANS thanks NASA for the above information.]
* Build a Simple ISS Tracker with Raspberry Pi
Fancy tracking the ISS’s trajectory? Looking for a project beyond
using your smart phone app? All you need is a Raspberry Pi, an
e-paper display, an enclosure, and a little Python code. Check out
The MagPi Magazine issue #96. The download is free and can be
found at: https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/issues/96
[ANS thanks RaspberryPi.org
for the above information.]
*ARS Technica Review Launch Prospects
ARS reviews four smallsat rockets that might launch this year:
Astra (this month?), Firefly (November?), Virgin Orbit (EOY?),
and ExPace’s Kuaizhou-11 (?). Read it at https://bit.ly/3gkyLv6
[ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information]
*Faster Than the Speed of Light?
If you’re a fan of science fiction, chances are you've
encountered spaceships that use a warp drive, “fold space,”
or “jump” drive. Unfortunately, the immutable laws of physics
tell us that this is simply not possible. Those same laws,
however, also tell us that near-light-speed travel comes
with all sorts of challenges. Luckily for all of us, NASA
addresses these in a recently-released animated video that
covers all the basics of interstellar travel! See it at:
[ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information]
*NASA Investigating Air Leak on ISS
NASA is tracking down the source of a minor air leak on the
International Space Station. Crewmembers of the station's
current Expedition 63 are in no immediate danger and will
spend the weekend in the orbiting laboratory's Russian segment,
inside the Zvezda service module, NASA officials said in an
update on Thursday, 20 August. Full story at https://bit.ly/34lVnZZ
[ANS thanks Space.com
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
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
student rate for a maximum of six post-secondary years in this
Contact Martha at the AMSAT office for additional student
This week's ANS Editor,
Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ
ki7unj at amsat dot org
Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org
. AMSAT-NA makes this open forum
available to all interested persons worldwide without requiring
membership. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author
and do not reflect the official views of AMSAT-NA.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite