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:
* ARISS Celebrates School Contact #1000!
* AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at the Dayton Hamvention
* Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D Waiting for delivery to Spaceflight Industries
* The CBS "This Morning" show reportsa on STMSat-1
* Supporting Disaster Communications from Space
* Proposal Window for Scheduled US Contacts is Open
* Application Window Open for ARISS Europe Region
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-073.01
ANS-073 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 073.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
March 13, 2016
To All RADIO AMATEURS
ARISS Celebrates School Contact #1000!
March 10, 2016: Today the Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station team (ARISS team) proudly celebrated its 1000th school radio
The very first ARISS contact took place in 2000, and Astronaut Tim
Kopra, amateur call sign KE5UDN, on the International Space Station
(ISS) did the honors for today’s 1000th link-up to the University of
North Dakota. Kopra spoke in real time to excited scholars in Grand
Forks at the event organized by the North Dakota Space Grant
Consortium (NDSGC). An additional program milestone—this was the
first amateur radio contact with the ISS that has been hosted in
During the 10-minute ARISS contact Astronaut Kopra answered
questions formulated by 20 different pupils in kindergarten all the
way up to graduate school. A member of the winning 10th grade team
from the Space Grant’s high altitude balloon competition last fall
was awarded one of the slots to interview Kopra.
An ARISS event is more than the amateur radio contact, and in this
case the NDSGC team that included college student volunteers made
multiple visits to pupils in the second through fifth grades at
Emerado Elementary (Emerado, ND); Highland Elementary (Crookston,
MN); Century Elementary (Grafton, ND); Century Elementary (Grand
Forks, ND); and Discover Elementary (Grand Forks, ND). The university
teams led the young students in hands-on activities and learning
about aerospace, priming the youth for the interview with Kopra. The
students, many from smaller rural communities, built and launched
rockets, crafted and tested parachutes similar to those on NASA’s
Orion capsule, and designed and tested neutral buoyant objects.
Students in today’s audience for the 1000th contact numbered 500. TV
and newspaper reporters captured the action; the university media
team filmed it, and live-streaming was handled by John Spasojevich,
amateur radio call sign AG9D.
One student asked Tim, “What advice would you give to students, such
as myself, who wish to work for NASA one day?” Tim advised: “Study
very hard and work hard in school because if you do well in school
you'll learn a lot and it's like money in the bank for you and your
future career.” A UND staff member said, “Experiential learning has
proven to be the most effective method of knowledge retention, so
this [ARISS] experience would grant them [students] the skills
necessary to be successful individuals in their future careers. The
problem-solving, creativity, and perseverance required by radio
communications are cross-disciplinary skills that students can
utilize as they enter STEM fields and careers, enhancing the NASA-
relevant workforce of North Dakota.”
Frank Bauer, International Chairman for ARISS congratulated the
ARISS team on this noteworthy accomplishment:
“With the outstanding support of NASA and the International Space
Agencies participating in ISS, the ISS on-orbit crew members
encompassing all 48 expeditions and the hundreds of ARISS volunteers
world-wide, the ARISS team has reached a tremendous milestone: 1000
ARISS contacts between schools on the ground and the ISS crews on-
orbit. Since our first contact in December 2000 to today’s contact in
North Dakota, hundreds of thousands of students have participated in
hands-on STEM learning that ARISS affords and many millions from the
general public have witnessed Human Spaceflight in action through an
ARISS contact. My congratulations to the ARISS international team and
our ARISS stakeholders and sponsors on this phenomenal
The NASA ISS Program Office produced several videos to celebrate the
achievement of ARISS contact #1000, and the first three are online at:
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
ARISS: 1,000 Calls and Counting
ARISS: Talking to Astronauts
ARISS telebridge station W6SRJ operators Tim Bosma, W6MU, and Don
Dalby, KE6UAY, in Santa Rosa, California, skillfully supported the
North Dakota ham radio linkup as the ISS passed overhead, relaying
astronaut Tim Kopra’s radio signal to the students. Charlie Sufana,
AJ9N, the ARISS Mentor from the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
(AMSAT) and the lead operator for ARISS Contact #1, guided the UND
Dakota Student Amateur Radio Association and the FORX Amateur Radio
Club in all aspects of the ARISS contact.
Congratulations go to the entire ARISS team on its #1000 successful
amateur radio contact with ISS astronauts and cosmonauts!
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a
cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the
space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In
the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary
goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled
contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and
students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of
experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with
large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during
these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities
learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio.
For more information, see www.ariss.org
Join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS)
Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at the Dayton Hamvention
The tenth annual joint AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be held on Friday
evening, May 20th. This dinner is one of the main AMSAT activities
during the Hamvention. Tickets ($35 each) may be purchased from the
AMSAT store at www.amsat.org
. The banquet ticket purchase deadline
is Tuesday, May 17th.
The Banquet will take place at the Kohler Presidential Banquet
Center, 4572 Presidential Way, Kettering, OH 45429 (just south of
Dayton). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a cash bar with the buffet
dinner served at 7:00 p.m.
AMSAT and TAPR alternate the task of providing a speaker for the
banquet. It is AMSAT¹s responsibility this year.
Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, will present "It¹s just software, right?"
She will survey the AMSAT Ground Terminal: Who, what, when, where,
why, and how we¹re designing open source radio solutions for the next
generation of AMSAT payloads.
Michelle is AMSAT¹s Team Leader for the design and execution of the
AMSAT Ground Terminal. The goal is to create a ³5 and Dime² (5 and
10 GHz) digital SDR transceiver that will support both voice and data
modes, for both general QSOs and emergency communication, for the
Phase 4B satellite and for future AMSAT projects. This is an effort
to design an inexpensive ground terminal for amateurs that would cost
tens of thousands of dollars commercially, for as much under $1,000
as we can get it.
A true renaissance woman, in addition to being an engineer and a
licensed amateur radio operator, Michelle has worked for Qualcomm,
attends Burning Man, and is a longtime DEFCON participant. She is
also the lead for Organ Donor (an AI pipe organ). Her Phase 4B Weekly
Ground Engineering Reports are fascinating reading.
Seating is limited to the number of meals we reserve with the Kohler
caterers based on the number of tickets sold by the deadline. Tickets
purchased online may be collected at the Books, Shirts & Memberships
corner of the AMSAT booth (445-446).
[ANS thanks Steve N9IP and the AMSAT Office for the above information]
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D Waiting for delivery to Spaceflight Industries
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D successfully finished environmental testing on
February 8 and are now ready and waiting for delivery to Spaceflight
Industries for integration into their Sherpa payload dispenser which
will be making its maiden flight. Launch is on target to occur in
in the first half of 2016 on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
The CubeSats will be kept in a clean condition sealed in anti-static
bags, opened occasionally to charge the batteries so that they are
fully topped off for delivery.
Launched into a sun synchronous orbit, Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D will
both carry an FM repeater as Fox-1A (AO-85) has, as well as a camera
experiment built by students at Virginia Tech which will take images
of Earth for downlink in the high speed Data Mode. Fox-1Cliff will
also contain a radiation experiment from Vanderbilt University ISDE
like that in AO-85, and Fox-1D will host the University of Iowa HERCI
(High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument) experiment to map the Van
Allen radiation belts.
With Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D completed, the Fox Engineering Team is
focusing on RadFxSat/Fox-1B which is currently set to launch in
[ANS thanks Jerry N0JY for the above information]
The CBS "This Morning" show reports on STMSat-1
The CBS This Morning show reports on an amateur radio SSTV satellite
built by elementary students which is to be deployed in space in the
Astronauts on the International Space Station have conducted
hundreds of experiments and launched many satellites, but now they
are set to deploy a satellite that elementary age students at a
school in Virginia built. Their satellite hitched a ride on a NASA
rocket late last year, and it will be released into space in the next
few days. Mark Albert reports.
Watch the CBS report at
For the latest deployment date check the STMSat-1 Twitter account
In a tweet from STMSAT-1 on Saturday:
"Looks like I will be a houseguest just a bit longer. With 4
launches in the next 20 days. astronauts are quite busy! Try again. 3
[ANS thanks CBS and Southgate ARN for the above information]
Supporting Disaster Communications from Space
Conventional lines of communication can be impacted after a
disaster. This we know. Phone lines can go down, cell service can be
overrun with calls, texts, and emails and it can be difficult for
survivors as well as first responders to get in touch. This isn’t a
far-fetched scenario or intellectual exercise. It’s a reality we’ve
seen happen over and over during disasters small and large.
Enter Amateur Radio—or what those involved in the hobby refer to as
Amateur radio enthusiasts—or “hams” as they’re often called—often
step in during emergencies to help bridge communication gaps between
first responders to keep people safe when smartphones, cell towers,
and internet technologies we rely on every day go down. Volunteer
hams also serve as a valuable source of information during the
initial states of an emergency. Often, hams provide this public
service in association with volunteer groups like Community Emergency
Response Teams, who are always ready to spring into action quickly
We owe it to these volunteers to do everything we can to support
their work to help communities bounce back when disaster strikes.
That’s why we’ve partnered with the American Radio Relay League and
researchers from Virginia Tech’s Ted and Karyn Hume Center for
National Security and Technology in Blacksburg, Virginia—one of the
leaders in amateur radio technology—to develop a new communications
satellite that will help amateur radio operators transmit radio
signals across the United States 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
After all, disasters can happen any place and any time.
With this new satellite, scheduled to launch in 2017, Hams involved
in supporting disaster communications will have a more reliable
connection and a new level of capability in their communications.2
Right now, radio signals used by amateurs must often be bounced off
the ionosphere to accommodate communication over long distances.
Unfortunately, this type of radio propagation isn’t reliable because
signal reach and quality can be impacted or even halted by space
weather events like solar flares and geomagnetic storms.2 This
satellite is unique because it will provide another layer of support
for emergency services by providing a dedicated communications hub
for hams orbiting above the U.S. in geosynchronous orbit every day.
It will help emergency managers deployed to disasters support long-
term communications for first responders on the ground—and become
another invaluable tool at their disposal.2
Amateur radio operators have come to the rescue on more than one
occasion—like during Hurricane Sandy—when landlines and cell phones
were left out of commission throughout New York and New Jersey.
Hams also made a difference in 2013, when Colorado was hit with
historic flooding. As floodwaters ravaged areas across the state,
they threatened a wastewater plant that served over 80,000 people.
Volunteers from the Amateur Radio Emergency Service—the American
Radio Relay League’s disaster communications arm—leapt into action,
creating a network to monitor the situation and collect data. As a
result, they were able to take remote control of the facility and
helped prevent any wastewater from spilling out with the floods.3
This new partnership with hams will help make our communities more
resilient, and we look forward to a successful launch.
FEMA Editor’s Note: Jessica Stapf contributed research to this post.
Amateur Radio Relay League Page: Amateur Radio Emergency Communication
Virginia Tech Press Release: "First amateur radio in geosynchronous
orbit will aid disaster communications."
Case Study: Amateur Radio Volunteers Protect Community Water Supply
[ANS thanks Rafael Lemaitre and FEMA for the above information]
Proposal Window for Scheduled US Contacts is Open
Message to US Educators
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Call for Proposals
Proposal Window February 15 – April 15, 2016
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program
is seeking formal and informal education institutions and
organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur
Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates
that the contact would be held between January 1, 2017 and June 30,
2017. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact
dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is
looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of
participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed
The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2016. Proposal
information and documents can be found at
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate
in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are
approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students and educators
to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer
An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via
Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space
station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford
education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from
astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn
about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an
opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless
technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human
spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the
ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate
changes in contact dates and times.
Amateur Radio organizations around the world, NASA, and space
agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe sponsor this educational
opportunity by providing the equipment and operational support to
enable direct communication between crew on the ISS and students
around the world via Amateur Radio. In the US, the program is managed
by AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) and ARRL (American
Radio Relay League) in partnership with NASA.
Interested parties can find more information about the program at
For proposal information and more details such as expectations,
proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of
Information Sessions go to
Please direct any questions to ariss(a)arrl.org.
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
Application Window Open for ARISS Europe Region
Schools and Youth organizations in the ARISS-Europe Region (Europe,
Africa and Middle East) interested in setting up an ARISS radio
contact with an astronaut onboard the International Space Station are
invited to submit an application and an educational project. The
application submission window will be open February 1 to April 30,
2016, for space conversations that will tentatively be scheduled in
the period extending from February to June 2017.
Please see http://www.ariss-eu.org/school-contacts
for details and
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
+ A Successful contact was made between Slovanské Gymnázium Olomouc,
Olomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic and Astronaut Timothy Peake KG5BVI
using Callsign OR4ISS. The contact began 2016-03-08 08:22 UTC and
lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was direct via OK2KYJ.
ARISS Mentor was Armand SP3QFE. This was the 998th ARISS contact.
+ A Successful contact was made between Atlanta Science Festival,
Atlanta, Georgia and Astronaut Tim Kopra KE5UDN using Callsign
NA1SS. The contact began 2016-03-08 16:11 UTC and lasted about nine
and a half minutes. Contact was telebridge] via K6DUE.
ARISS Mentor was John K4SQC. This was the 999th ARISS contact.
+ A Successful contact was made between North Dakota Space Grant
Consortium (NDSGC), Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA and Astronaut Tim
Kopra KE5UDN using Callsign NA1SS. The contact began 2016-03-10
19:07:08 UTC and lasted about nine and a half minutes. Contact was
telebridge via W6SRJ.
ARISS Mentor was Charlie AJ9N. This was the 1000th ARISS contact.
Last week the Mentors for the successful ARISS contacts were
misreported. AA8EM assumes full responsibility for the error. Below
are the correct mentors for contacts #995, #996 and #997.
The mentor for contact #995 on 2/29/2016 between Tim Kopra KE5UDN
and Gesamtschule Leverkusen Schlebusch, Leverkusen, Germany, was
The Mentor for contact #996 on 3/1/2016 between Tim Kopra KE5UDN and
National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), Syosset, New
York, was Dave AA4KN.
The mentor for contact #997 on 3/5/2016 between Timothy Peake KG5BVI
and Powys Secondary Schools, Mid Wales, UK was Ciaran MØXTD.
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
Booker T. Washington Senior High, Miami, Florida, direct via W4SVI
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Timothy Peake KG5BVI
Contact is a go for: Mon 2016-03-14 15:48:48 UTC
Walter Jackson Elementary, Decatur, Alabama, direct via N8DEU
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Tim Kopra KE5UDN
Contact is a go for: Thu 2016-03-17 14:46:07 UTC
[ANS thanks ARISS, Charlie AJ9N and David AA4KN for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Patrick Stoodard WD9EWK will be part of the booth for the
University of Arizona's radio club (K7UAZ) for this weekend's
ScienceCity science fair, on the University of Arizona campus in
Tucson AZ. This is a two-day event, on Saturday and Sunday (12 and
13 March 2016). The event will be open from 9.30am to 5.30pm (1630
to 0030 UTC) each day. More information about the ScienceCity event
is available at:
[ANS thanks Patrick WD6EWK for the above information]
+ Space Station 360: Zarya
Explore the Space Station’s first module with your mobile phone or
[ANS thanks the European Space Agency 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,
EMike McCardel, AA8EM (Former KC8YLD)
kc8yld at amsat dot org