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:
* Amateur Radio Satellite Payloads Lost in Antares Launch Explosion
* Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!
* ARISS U.S. Partners Now Accepting Proposals for Contacts in 2015
* Recent ARISS Contacts
* Beta Testers Sought for New Heavens-Above Android app
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-306.01
ANS-306 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 306.01
From AMSAT HQ Kensington, MD.
November 2, 2014
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Amateur Radio Satellite Payloads Lost in Antares Launch Explosion
The RACE and GOMX-2 CubeSats were among more than 2 dozen satellites
an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded
spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28,
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern
Both satellite packages carried Amateur Radio payloads. The rocket exploded
about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling
ground, which set a massive fire at the NASA launch site.
The RACE (Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment) CubeSat was a joint
between The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at the University of
and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Built by a 30-student team, it
carried a 183 GHz radiometer, a new science instrument designed by JPL. The
spacecraft was equipped to transmit using GMSK at 38.4 k and CW
telemetry on a
downlink frequency of 437.525 MHz.
TSL’s Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, a UT engineering professor, oversaw the
project that worked hand-in-hand with NASA staff in creating a satellite
aimed to measure water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere.
“It’s unfortunate, but it is also part of the aerospace industry,”
the Texas Statesman newspaper. “The nature of building space vehicles is
is not a 100 percent reliable process. Getting into space is really the
The 2U GOMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by
University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as the
operator” on International Amateur Radio Union frequency coordination
The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k MSK data downlink on
MHz. Also on board was an optical communications experiment from the
University of Singapore. The mission also aimed to flight qualify a new
speed UHF transceiver and SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.
The Antares 130 launcher was on a resupply mission, carrying some 5000
cargo to the International Space Station.RACE, GOMX-2 and the other
onboard the rocket were to be launched into orbit from the International
The Antares 130 also was carrying the Flock-1d array of 26 satellites as
Arkyd-3 and Cygnus CRS-3.
[ANS thanks ARRL 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.
is open for everyone, to submit their ideas. AMSAT Engineering has a
strategy and this is the first step.”
The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals
Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications skills
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
any and all orbits. Perhaps a modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we
Fox-1, which gives great flexibility in building and flying different
configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware changes.”
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.
Implementation – CubeSat platform
Cost – volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units
Launch – how does it get to orbit
Strategy – how it fits into AMSAT’s Engineering long term strategy
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 foreseeable future.
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
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 new partnership.
“Being amateur radio operators, it is easy for us to fall into a
because of our history of communicating with other amateurs throughout the
world” says Jerry. “Specifically, most people who are not already
the world of satellite technology are unaware of or simply overlook the
provisions of the current ITAR and soon to be EAR export rules
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
and proposals from outside the U.S., but it is not permitted for U.S.
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
themselves in their contacts. While the goal is for AMSAT to build and
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
appropriately handled by an AMSAT organization in a country where AMSAT is
established. AMSAT-NA is seeking ideas from amateurs in North America
certainly consider ideas from amateurs in countries which do not have an
established AMSAT organization or relationships with an existing AMSAT
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
of the AMSAT Engineering Team, AMSAT Senior Officer and Board of Directors
representatives, and aerospace industry members. The review board may
consolidate ideas and will consider which meet the criteria to become a
based on feasibility, cost, and the ability to bring value to the amateur
satellite community. The review process is expected to be completed in
For those ideas selected to become a project which satisfy the
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
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
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
ARISS U.S. Partners Now Accepting Proposals for Contacts in 2015
The ARISS U.S. partners have opened a window seeking formal and informal
education institutions and organizations in the U.S., individually or
together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board
during 2015. The proposal window is October 17 – December 15, 2014. Read the
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 education plan.
More details on expectations, audience, proposal guidelines and proposal
and dates and times of Information Sessions are available at
. Please direct any questions about
hosting a contact in the U.S.to ariss(a)arrl.org.
[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]
Recent ARISS Contacts
A direct contact via 8N4STAR with students at Bisei Elementary School,
Japan was successful Mon 2014-10-27 08:52:46 UTC 41 deg. Astronaut Alexander
Gerst, KF5ONO answered 6 questions for students.
Bisei Elementary School with 162 students was established at 1970 in the
town of Bisei. It is the home of the Bisei Astronomical Observatory.
A telebridge contact with members of The Explorers Club, New York City, New
York, USA via IK1SLD was successful Sat 2014-10-25 16:36:09 UTC 56 deg.
Astronaut Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO responded to nine questions, which
questions from Apollo astronauts Charles Duke, Apollo 16 moon walker,
Cunningham, Apollo 7 Lunar Module pilot. Two ticket holders for Virgin
SpaceShip 2 also were among those who asked questions.
The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional
dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is
preserve the instinct to explore. Founded in New York City in 1904, The
Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air,
by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological
sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious
famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first
summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first
surface of the moon—all accomplished by Club members.
[ANS thanks Charlie, AJ9N, for the above information]
Beta Testers Sought for New Heavens-Above Android app
A few features of the app:
- Spacecraft visibility predictions based on current GPS location
- Visibility calculations are done on the device, so you only need to go
online once every few days to update the list of orbital elements
- Works on phones and tablets
- Live Sky Chart, which shows all currently visible satellites
- Prediction of Iridium flares
There will be two versions of the app, one will be free of charge and will
include advertisements, the other will be a paid for version without ads.
The price is still to be determined.
To participate, just send me an email to chris.peat(a)heavens-above.com
google mail account (or let Chris know the name of your Google account)
will be added to the Heavens-Above testers community. You will then
invitation with further instructions on how to download and install the test
version of the app. The first official release will be available to all for
download from the Google play web site.
A forum is also available on the Heavens-Above site;
[ANS thanks Chris Peat 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