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:
* W5PFG/P Northern Maine Grid Expedition
* Opportunities to Help at AMSAT User Services
* Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!
* 73 on 73 Award #5 - EC4TR
* Geosynchronous Es'hail-2 with Amateur Payload Contracted for 2016 Launch
* DESPATCH FO-81 Concludes Operations
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-004.01
ANS-004 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 004.01
From AMSAT HQ Kensington, MD.
January 4, 2015
To All RADIO AMATEURS
W5PFG/P Northern Maine Grid Expedition
Weather permitting, a grid expedition to northern Maine will begin Saturday,
January 10, 2015. Planned grids will be: FN53-54, FN57, FN65-67. The
to try to operate as many satellite passes and gridlines as possible in
fashion as AC0RA's March 2014 trip. The trip will end up in FN42 by Sunday,
January 11 evening.
Twitter via @w5pfg will be the primary form of communications with
follow-up afterwards with some pictures at www.w5pfg.us
[ANS thanks Clayton, W5PFG, for the above information]
Opportunities to Help at AMSAT User Services
AMSAT's User Services Department is recruiting for several volunteer
positions to augment our dedicated and elite staff! The User Services
Department provides support in several areas including:
+ AMSAT News Service
+ The AMSAT Journal magazine
+ AMSAT's web presence at www.amsat.org
The AMSAT News Service
We need two or more volunteers to step forward who can dedicate time on a
rotating shift of news editors. The AMSAT News Service (ANS) sends out a
weekly news bulletin of everything of interest to amateur radio in space.
The entire ANS crew (currently 3 editors) helps round up the news and each
ANS editor takes a week as editor to compile the week's ANS bulletins. We'll
get you into the bulletin rotation and you'll take your turn as the ANS
editor this week.
The AMSAT Journal Magazine
We need two or more volunteers who can help compile one of AMSAT's key
membership benefits ... The AMSAT Journal Magazine. An assistant editor is
needed to help our existing team of editors (currently 3) to locate articles
and establish contact with potential authors. All you need is an eye for
articles of interest to amateur radio in space. You'll compile input from
AMSAT HQ, volunteer authors, and amateur radio news sources into articles
for publication in our bi-monthly magazine.
We also need one volunteer who is capable of assuming the position of
editor-in-chief of the AMSAT Journal. You'll help develop article sources
and using AMSAT provided software and templates compile the 32-page magazine
for six issues per year. Our publishing system is the Adobe InDesign CS6
package. This can be learned quickly by any computer literate ham. InDesign
is MS-Word on steroids.
AMSAT's Web Presence
Help is needed on the front to locate and publish up to date content for the
AMSAT web. We publish late breaking news of amateur radio in space. We also
publish reference information to help operate on the satellites ...
software, radios, antennas, operating techniques. Web content containing
late-breaking operating news and reliable operator tips currently has
several gaps needing to be filled. Our WordPress environment makes the web
display easy but you'll be spending your volunteer time on the content. This
is a job for 5 or more volunteers and needs to be filled immediately!
AMSAT also is looking for a webmaster who will assume responsibility for the
display of all content in a WordPress environment. The basic framework is in
place but can definitely stand to be fine tuned and made into a world class
display of amateur radio in space. For most hams on-line www.amsat.org
our "front door" and we are looking for the most capable help on this
important user interface!
Our team is the "voice of AMSAT". News, operator tips, and membership
benefits are important products for AMSAT User Services. For questions or to
volunteer please contact AMSAT's Vice President of User Services, JoAnne
Maenpaa, K9JKM at k9jkm(a)amsat.org
[ANS thanks AMSAT Vice President of User Services, JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM for
the above information]
Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!
At the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium AMSAT Vice President - Engineering
Jerry Buxton announced the plan for the next generation of AMSAT
satellites. "The door is open for everyone, to submit their ideas.
AMSAT Engineering has a long term strategy and this is the first
The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals:
- Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications
- Enhance international goodwill
- Grow and sustain a skilled pool of amateur radio satellite engineers
- Establish and maintain partnerships with educational institutions
- Develop a means to use hardware common to all opportunities
With respect to the last goal Jerry said "Within the bounds of the
type of satellite it takes to achieve any of the various orbit
opportunities, let's consider in those plans the possibility of
developing a platform that can suit any and all orbits. Perhaps a
modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we did in Fox-1, which gives
great flexibility in building and flying different sizes and
configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware
Submissions should be thorough and contain the following
information. The purpose of the proposal is not just in suggesting an
idea; being an all-volunteer team AMSAT needs your help in carrying
out the idea.
Design Implementation - CubeSat platform Estimated timeline Cost -
volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units Launch - how does it get
to orbit Strategy - how it fits into AMSAT's Engineering long term
As mentioned above the idea should be based on the CubeSat platform.
This is the standard through which we will look for launches in the
In considering your proposal, Jerry encourages you to contact him
for more details on the criteria. A guidebook to the criteria is now
available for download here. In particular, if you plan to include a
university as a partner to provide experiments or other support and
you are not representing that university, please contact Jerry for
assistance in working with our existing partners or establishing a
"Being amateur radio operators, it is easy for us to fall into a
particular trap because of our history of communicating with other
amateurs throughout the world" says Jerry. "Specifically, most people
who are not already involved in the world of satellite technology are
unaware of or simply overlook the provisions of the current ITAR and
soon to be EAR export rules particularly with regard to deemed
exports which requires governmental permission to discuss satellite
projects with foreign nationals."
While all amateurs are invited to submit ideas, U.S. amateurs must
take particular care of they choose to become involved in a
collaboration which includes individuals from other countries. It is
permissible to receive ideas and proposals from outside the U.S., but
it is not permitted for U.S. Persons to export or share design ideas
with other countries unless they have taken the proper steps to
insure compliance with ITAR and deemed export rules.
Additionally, those wishing to work on proposals should use care in
presenting themselves in their contacts. While the goal is for AMSAT
to build and launch the satellite, it is not an AMSAT project until
it is accepted by the AMSAT Board of Directors. It is acceptable to
represent yourself as members of a project team that plans to submit
a proposal to AMSAT for a future satellite project, as the AMSAT name
is well known.
"It is not our intention that ideas be submitted to AMSAT-NA which
would be more appropriately handled by an AMSAT organization in a
country where AMSAT is established. AMSAT-NA is seeking ideas from
amateurs in North America and will certainly consider ideas from
amateurs in countries which do not have an established AMSAT
organization or relationships with an existing AMSAT organization."
The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2015. After the submission
date the ideas will be screened for completeness and then reviewed by
a board consisting of the AMSAT Engineering Team, AMSAT Senior
Officer and Board of Directors representatives, and aerospace
industry members. The review board may modify or consolidate ideas
and will consider which meet the criteria to become a project based
on feasibility, cost, and the ability to bring value to the amateur
satellite community. The review process is expected to be completed
in September 2015.
For those ideas selected to become a project which satisfy the
requirements for an ELaNa launch, the idea authors will be asked to
work with the AMSAT Engineering Team on an ELaNa proposal.
The Engineering Team will then work on the details of execution for
the selected project(s) and present a proposal to the AMSAT Board of
Directors in October 2015 for final approval to begin work. Once
approved, any ELaNa proposals will be submitted in November 2015 and
the project(s) will move forward.
Now is the time for YOU to begin working on the next AMSAT satellite!
[ANS thanks Jerry, N0JY, for the above information
73 on 73 Award #5 - EC4TR
Congratulations to Jose Luis Peña Sanchez, EC4TR, for becoming the
fifth recipient of the 73 on 73 Award. He submitted a list of 73
stations worked via AO-73 between September 1, 2014 and December 31,
For more information on the award see
[ANS thanks Paul, N8HM, for the above information]
Geosynchronous Es'hail-2 with Amateur Payload Contracted for 2016 Launch
The new satellite will be positioned at 26° East. In September 2014, a
with MELCO was signed to build the satellite based on the DS-2000 bus. In
December 2014, a launch contract was signed with SpaceX to launch the
on a Falcon-9 v1.1 booster in late 2016.
Es'hail 2 will also provide the first Amateur Radio geostationary
capability linking Brazil and India. It will carry two "Phase 4" Amateur
transponders. The payload will consist of a 250 kHz linear transponder
for conventional analogue operations in addition to another transponder
will have an 8 MHz bandwidth. The latter transponder is intended for
experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. The
will be in the 2.400-2.450 GHz and the downlinks in the 10.450-10.500 GHz
amateur satellite service allocations. Both transponders will have broad
antennas to provide full coverage over about third of the earth’s
Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating
amateur radio project. AMSAT-DL is providing technical support to the
[ANS thanks Gunter Krebs for the above information]
DESPATCH FO-81 Concludes Operations
The following update was provided by Akihiro Kubota.
One month has past since Deep Space Sculpture "ARTSAT2:DESPATCH(FO-81)"
was put into an Earth-escape orbit as a piggyback payload of H-IIA F26
launched at December 3, 2014 from Tanegashima Space Center, JAXA. It is
estimated to have stopped sending radio waves since the battery of
DESPATCH already ran out (We predicted that the battery will work for 27
days according to the running time of the transmitter).
Today January 3, the main control station, Tama Art University Ground
Station, decided to conclude the operation of DESPATCH. Many people
supported and cooperated us throughout the design and development of
DESPATCH. In addition, many excellent many ham radio operator received
and reported super weak radio waves of DESPATCH from deep space. To
have this opportunity, I would like once again to thank all of them very
Reception reports of DESPATCH are summarized on the following page.
Finally, we had two reception reports at 4.7 million kilo-meters from
the Earth (more than 12 times of the distance to the Moon). They were
far beyond what we expected. They are the the longest communication
distance in the world between two amateur radio stations.
Orbital elements of DESPATCH is as follows (J2000 heliocentric ecliptic
- Semi-major axis a : 1.003881127 [AU]
- Eccentricity e : 0.08741828512
- Inclination i : 6.796995362 [deg]
- Argument of perihelion w : 96.90057903 [deg]
- Longitude of the ascending node W : 250.5520871 [deg]
- Mean anomaly at epoch M : 101.6280436 [deg]
- Epoch : 2457023.50000 [JD]
(Time of perihelion : 2456919.7870655278675 [JD])
cf. Orbital elements of EARTH :
Celestial sphere position and orbital trajectory of DESPATCH can be
checked anytime on the following web pages.
- Celestial Sphere
- Orbital Position
Transmission of the radio wave from DESPATCH has ended. However, the
life of DESPATCH as a sculpture around the sun is almost eternal.
We calculated the orbit (the distance from the Earth) of DESPATCH for
500 years from now.
DESPATCH will continue to orbit around the sun as an artificial
asteroid. By examining the calculated results for the local minimum
value of the distance between the Earth, DESPATCH will approaches to
less than 1 million km from Earth after about 350 years. Possibly it
will approach more closer to the Earth due to the interaction with
unpredictable other celestial bodies.
We are glad if you think of DESPATCH as the most distant artwork in the
world sometimes in the future.
ARTSAT project will continue to the future. We already started the
conceptual design of next ARTSAT3. We kindly ask for your continuous
support and cooperation for the project.
[ANS thanks Akihiro Kubota 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,
Lee McLamb, KU4OS
ku4os at amsat dot org