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:
* AO-85 Testing November 8 and 9
* US Radio Amateurs Back in Space and SA AMSAT Kletskous Update
* SAREX Reflector Has Been Shut Down
* ISS Astronauts Link-Up with ITU WRC-15 in Geneva
* Help Wanted Astronauts
* QB50 project 2016
* BRICSAT-1 recovery challenge
* Hawaii Launch of Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Fails
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-312
ANS-312 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 312
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
November 8, 2015
To All RADIO AMATEURS
AO-85 Testing November 8 and 9
*Summary of AO-85 testing:*
* Please do not try to uplink to AO-85 during the following times
(all of which occur while AO-85 is over North America) even though
the transponder will be active and you may hear activity.
*Sunday November 8, 15:35 through 15:55 UTC*
*Sunday November 8, 17:15 through 17:35 UTC*
*Monday November 9, 00:05 through 00:25 UTC*
*Monday November 9, 01:45 through 02:10 UTC*
All dates and times are UTC, all passes are Sunday local time in
North America. Stations in North, Central, and northern South America
are asked to comply.
You are encouraged to copy telemetry with FoxTelem during these
times to forward to the server to help us analyze the test results.
*Details of this AO-85 testing:*
Sunday, November 8 and into early Monday, November 9 (UTC) the Fox-1
Engineering Team will be testing the COR (carrier operated relay)
mode of AO-85. COR is the backup to the IHU failing, if IHU fails AO-
85 should continue operating as a simple COR repeater with no CTCSS
necessary as long as there is power. In COR mode no telemetry or
voice ID is present because those are generated by the IHU.
Orbit 443 ascending, at approximately 15:35 UTC over North America we
will test a telemetry high/low reset command. Following the command
look for Ground Resets = 2 in the Computer window of FoxTelem. Once
that is confirmed, we will command the IHU OFF on the same pass.
Please keep the uplink clear in order to help us test and monitor
Orbit 444 ascending, at approximately 17:15 UTC over North America
AMSAT command and engineering stations will test the COR mode on the
air to observe performance. Please keep the uplink clear so that we
may test without interference, to expedite the testing and allow for
good measurements. We may command IHU ON during the pass in order to
observe battery voltage in the telemetry. Please have FoxTelem
running even if there is no telemetry seen, it may turn on at any
time during this pass.
Orbit 448 descending, at approximately 00:05 UTC Monday over North
America we will command AO-85 IHU ON. Please keep the uplink clear in
order to help us test and monitor the telemetry after the IHU is
Orbit 449 descending, at approximately 01:45 UTC Monday over North
America if we were unable to command IHU ON on orbit 448, we will
attempt to command again. Please keep the uplink clear in order to
help us test and monitor the telemetry after the IHU is turned on.
During the testing stations outside North, Central and northern South
America are invited to use the COR repeater mode and share your
assessment of AO-85 receive sensitivity and audio on amsat-bb.
Stations in North, Central, and northern South America may use the COR
repeater on orbits 445 through 447 and are also invited to share your
assessment of AO-85 receive sensitivity and audio on amsat-bb.
Please share this widely to help reach everyone who may be operating
The AO-85 team thanks you for your support.
[ANS thanks Jerry N0JY for the above information]
US Radio Amateurs Back in Space and SA AMSAT Kletskous Update
The launch of the Fox 1A CubeSat on 8 October 2015 marked the return
of satellites built by AMSAT North America (Amateur Radio Satellite
Corporation). US amateurs were the first to build and launch
satellites just a few years after the Russians stunned the world with
Sputnik 1 in 1957. For several decades they led the pack and built
bigger and better satellite. That that came to an end some five years
ago when free rides into space dried up.
AMSAT had to refocus its activities and look at CubeSat as the best
alternative possible option as free and more affordable launches
became available. One of the options is the NASA ELaNa program.
NASA and the Launch Services Program are partnering with several
universities to launch small research satellites. These missions
provide NASA with valuable opportunities to test emerging
technologies and economical commercial off-the-shelf components that
may be useful in future space missions. NASA nanosatellites are
designed for a wide spectrum of space missions, including biology
experiments, testing advanced propulsion and communications
CubeSats are only 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weigh under 1,3 kg. NASA’s
Kennedy Space Centre in Florida has adapted the Poly-Picosatellite
Orbital Deployer (PPOD) to put these CubeSats into orbit. This
deployment system was designed and is manufactured by the California
Polytechnic State University in partnership with Stanford University.
Fox-1A was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of the
ELaNa-XII group of satellites. In addition, Fox-1C and Fox-1D are now
scheduled to fly together under contract with Spaceflight, which is
expected to launch in first quarter 2016. Fox 1B also known as
RadFXSat has been assigned a launch that is currently expected to take
place in November 2016 from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of
“The next 14 months will be rewarding ones for our volunteers, who
spent countless hours designing, documenting, collaborating,
fabricating, testing and integrating ourFox-1 design into flight
hardware,” AMSAT president Barry Baines said. “These satellites will
be used by radio amateurs, students, and scientists who will benefit
from amateur radio capabilities on board, educational opportunities
that our spacecraft can provide to the classroom, and the scientific
data that will be available from payloads on board provided by
university students and faculties,” he said.
Organizationally, AMSAT has benefited tremendously from the Fox-1
program as it provides the basis for training anew generation of
satellite builders who are now seasoned veterans, capable of tackling
more complex and challenging projects.
“AMSAT’s reputation as a satellite innovator is enhanced as the Fox-1
design allows seamless integration of scientific payloads that can
benefit from a reliable communications downlink capable of low speed
and high speed data transmissions,” Baines said.
Fox-1A is the first FM repeater satellite in a 1U CubeSat form
factor, capable of sending low speed telemetry as well as payload
data while the FM repeater is in normal amateur service.
Fox-1B will fly with the Vanderbilt University radiation experiments
expected in 2016. Fox-1C will launch on Spaceflight’s maiden mission
of the SHERPA multi-cubesat deployer planned for the 1st quarter of
2016. U- and L-band uplinks with the VHF band downlink will be
available. Fox-1D will launch with Fox-1C. It will include the
University of Iowa HERCI experiment. IA Virginia Tech camera will
also be included. U- and L- band uplinks with the VHF band downlink
will be available. Fox-1E “Evolution” will carry a Mode J linear
transponder. The transponder is planned to be 30 kHz wide and will
also have a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon.
South African AMSAT’s (SA AMSAT) CubeSat, named Kletskous
(chatterbox) is making good progress with the third generation space
frame to be completed before the end of the year. Good progress is
being made with all the subsystems and it is expected that by the end
of February 2016, a breadboard layout will be tested. The breadboard
layout is also referred to as flatsat as all the subsystems are wired
together on the test bench and tested as a fully operational satellite.
SA AMSAT is also planning to include experimental projects and is
inviting high school learners and tertiary education students to
submit proposals for their science project to be included in
Kletskous and make use of the transponder facilities to have the data
of their projects downloaded as part of the telemetry stream. Because
of the size of a CubeSat and the limited power budget available,
proposals must be for projects which have few components and require
For more details about Kletskous visit
Proposals should be submitted to saamsat(a)intekom.co.za and reach the
Kletskous team by 28 February 2016.
[ANS thanks Hans, ZS6AKV for the above information]
SAREX Reflector Has Been Shut Down
As previously announced the SAREX Reflector was shut down November
1. What follows is Frank Bauer's KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P. for Human
Spaceflight Programs and the ARISS International Chair, final
comments to the SAREX Reflector.
"SAREX Reflector Participants:
As previously announced, on November 1, 2015 we are shutting down
the SAREX Reflector for future message postings. This posting
represents the SAREX reflector’s last message.
It is not clear when the SAREX reflector was first started, but from
a query to Paul Williamson, who started all the AMSAT reflectors, it
has been in operation since at least 1992.
Over the years, many of you have used this forum to gather and share
information on our “frequent flyer” SAREX missions on the Shuttle,
our operations on the Space Station Mir and, since 2000, our
operations on ISS. But times have changed since the early 1990s.
For starters, we have moved from the SAREX activities on the Shuttle
to ARISS on the International Space Station. AMSAT, ARRL and the
ARISS international team of volunteers have also transitioned our
ARISS communications to you and are providing you many ways to get
information on ARISS. This includes the ARISS Web Site
, the ISS Fan Club web site www.issfanclub.com
AMSAT web site, www.amsat.org
. The ARISS team noticed that many on
the AMSAT BB reflector were not seeing late-breaking opportunities
for ARISS connections (School, SSTV, QSOs) unless these messages were
cross-posted between SAREX and BB. So the decision was made by me to
move all the SAREX real-time traffic over to BB and to end the SAREX
reflector postings on this date.
Before we hit “send” and closeout this reflector, I encourage you to
sign up and continue to get these messages on AMSAT-BB. If you feel
there is too much traffic on BB, you can always sign up for the
digest mode, which combines many messages and sends them out
periodically (usually daily). And don’t forget that the SAREX
archives will still be available on the AMSAT web site, so you can
research past messages.
On behalf of AMSAT-NA and the ARISS International Team, I want to
thank you for your sustained participation in this phenomenal amateur
radio human spaceflight journey. Moreover, we look forward to your
further participation and volunteer support in the future.
While there are many ARISS volunteers to thank for their outstanding
support, I want to send a particular shout out to Charlie Sufana,
AJ9N, who has provided all SAREX reflector participants frequent
updates on ARISS status. Thanks Charlie!
As I close this final e-mail, I want to announce that over the next
couple months, ARISS will be celebrating its 15ths anniversary of
continuous operations on the ISS, starting with November 13, 2015
when we conducted our first ham radio contacts on ISS and on December
21, 2000 when we conducted our first school contact with the Burbank
School in Burbank, Illinois. Stay tuned on BB and our web site for
ham radio activities that we will be conducting over the year to
commemorate these historic events.
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
ARISS International Chair"
[ANS thanks SAREX and Frank KA3HDO for the above information]
ISS Astronauts Link-Up with ITU WRC-15 in Geneva
The ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) is taking
place in Geneva from November 2-27. On Tuesday, November 3 at 1241 UT
there was an amateur radio link-up between WRC-15 and two astronauts
on the International Space Station (ISS).
The contact took place using the permanent amateur radio station at
the ITU. The station’s normal call sign is 4U1ITU but during the
conference the special call sign 4U1WRC is being used.
Students from Institut Florimont were able to use the ITU station to
talk to astronauts Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS and Kimiya Yui KG5BPH who
were using the amateur radio station in the ISS Columbus module,
call sign OR4ISS.
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program
established the first permanent amateur radio presence in space 15
years ago. The inaugural ARISS contact took place on December 21,
2000, between a member of the ISS Expedition 1 crew and youngsters at
Luther Burbank Elementary School near Chicago. Several pupils and a
teacher got to chat using amateur radio with “Space Station Alpha”
Commander William “Shep” Shepherd KD5GSL.
The ARISS program lets students worldwide experience the excitement
of talking directly with crew members of the International Space
Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science,
technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio
science technology through amateur radio.
A video of the contact event can be viewed at:
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and WRC15 for the above information]
Help Wanted Astronauts
NASA Press Release: Job Openings for Astronauts
In anticipation of returning human spaceflight launches to American
soil, and in preparation for the agency's journey to Mars, NASA
announced it will soon begin accepting applications for the next
class of astronaut candidates. With more human spacecraft in
development in the United States today than at any other time in
history, future astronauts will launch once again from the Space
Coast of Florida on American-made commercial spacecraft, and carry
out deep-space exploration missions that will advance a future human
mission to Mars.
The agency will accept applications from Dec. 14 through mid-
February and expects to announce candidates selected in mid-2017.
Applications for consideration as a NASA Astronaut will be accepted
The next class of astronauts may fly on any of four different U.S.
vessels during their careers: the International Space Station, two
commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S.
companies, and NASA's Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.
From pilots and engineers, to scientists and medical
selects qualified astronaut candidates from a diverse pool of U.S.
citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds.
"This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars
generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of
putting boot prints on the Red Planet," said NASA Administrator
Charles Bolden. "Those selected for this service will fly on U.S.
made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and
research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the
boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space."
The space agency is guiding an unprecedented transition to
commercial spacecraft for crew and cargo transport to the space
station. Flights in Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon
will facilitate adding a seventh crew member to each station mission,
effectively doubling the amount of time astronauts will be able to
devote to research in space.
Future station crew members will continue the vital work advanced
during the last 15 years of continuous human habitation aboard the
orbiting laboratory, expanding scientific knowledge and demonstrating
new technologies. This work will include building on the regular six-
month missions and this year's one-year mission, currently underway
aboard the station, which is striving for research breakthroughs not
possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic
exploration into deep space.
In addition, NASA's Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft,
now in development, will launch astronauts on missions to the proving
ground of lunar orbit where NASA will learn to conduct complex
operations in a deep space environment before moving on to longer
duration missions on its journey to Mars.
"This is an exciting time to be a part of America's human space
flight program," said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "NASA has taken the next step
in the evolution of our nation's human spaceflight program - and our
U.S. astronauts will be at the forefront of these new and challenging
space flight missions. We encourage all qualified applicants to learn
more about the opportunities for astronauts at NASA and apply to join
our flight operations team."
To date, NASA has selected more than 300 astronauts to fly on its
increasingly challenging missions to explore space and benefit life
on Earth. There are 47 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, and
more will be needed to crew future missions to the space station and
destinations in deep space.
Astronaut candidates must have earned a bachelor's degree from an
accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical
science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Candidates
also must have at least three years of related, progressively
responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-
in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the
NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.
For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and
application requirements, visit:
[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]
QB50 project 2016
As reported to the AMSAT-BB, Mineo Wakita JE9PEL informs us "For the
purpose of the demonstration and development of CubeSats of the
technology of the universities around the world, it is scheduled to
be launched all 50 satellites by Ukraine Tsiklon-4 rocket on February
1, 2016. There are still also uncertainties, but I, JE9PEL
investigated the current frequencies and summarized it in an Excel
file. I'm going to issue in the future this revised version."
[ANS thanks Mineo JE9PEL for the above information]
BRICSAT-1 recovery challenge
If anyone has 9600 baud satellite capability and is looking for a
challenge, you could be successful in recovering BRICSAT (NO83).
BRICSAT simply has a negative power budget. When it wakes up, it
should be possible to get in the command to tell it to turn off
unnecessary loads and then let it achieve full recovery. As is, it
wakes up, sends a few feeble 20 second packets and dies again.
Bricsat has another excellent PSK31 transpodner on it too. You can
detect BRICSAT when it awakes by the 20 second packet on the downlink
OR by the occasional PSK31 beacon on 435.350 MHz (+/- Doppler). Do
not be confused by PSAT which also has a PSK31 tranpsonder on the
same frequency. But they have different audio tones for the beacon.
Downlink: 437.975 MHz, 9600 baud
Uplink: 145.825 MHz, 9600 baud
Latest “guess” at the TLE (not sure if this is BRICSat)
1 90722U 15294.38156592 +.00051032 +00000-0 +11686-2 0 0166
2 90722 054.9895 030.6075 0226665 199.3544 159.8861 15.1979213102332
The commands are simple keyboard dumb terminal commands.
If you think you want to take on this challenge, contact us.
(bruninga at usna.edu
[ANS thanks Bob WB4APR and Jin KB3UKS for the above information]
Hawaii Launch of Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Fails
The November 4 inaugural launch of an experimental US military
vehicle carrying several satellites with Amateur Radio payloads into
orbit failed in mid-flight shortly after taking off at 0345 UTC from
Hawaii. The experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle, carrying a
collection of small satellites into orbit as part of the ORS-4
mission for the Department of Defense, was fired from a truss-mounted
rail system from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, off Barking
Sands on Kauai. According to Spaceflightnow.com
, the Super Strypi
rocket is designed for low-cost, quick-reaction satellite launches.
Destroyed in the demonstration flight were 13 small research
spacecraft clustered on the mission for NASA researchers and
None of the satellites carried Amateur Radio transponders, but
several were equipped to transmit beacon signals and telemetry on 2
meter, 70 centimeter, and 13 centimeter amateur frequencies. The
satellites lost included Argus, EDSN, HawaiiSat-1, ORS-Squared,
PrintSat, STACEM, STU-1, and Supernova-Beta. PrintSat carried a 3D
printed structure and was designed to measure the performance of the
material over the course of its 3 year mission.
said the experimental launcher apparently lost
control and broke up downrange from the launch site. The November 4
maiden flight took place following several delays. The test flight
was one of two planned demonstrations of the launcher.
View the Super Strypi & ORS-4 Launch On PMRF 3 November 201 at
Spaceflightnow's detailed coverage of the event can be found at
[ANS thanks ARRL Newsletter for the above information]
+ The scheduled contact with Dragonskolan, Umeå, Sweden was postponed
because the scheduled astronaut was tied up in other activities. The
contact will be rescheduled for a later date.
+ A Successful contact was made between ITU World Radio
Communication Conference 2015 WRC-15, Geneva, Switzerland and
Astronaut Kimiya Yui KG5BPH using Callsign OR4ISS.
The contact began 2015-11-03 11:47 UTC and lasted about nine
and a half minutes. Contact was direct via 4U1WRC.
ARISS Mentor was ON4WF.
+ A Successful contact was made between Eleanor Palmer School,
London, United Kingdom and Astronaut Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS using
The contact began 2015-11-03 11:47 UTC and lasted about nine
and a half minutes. Contact telebridged via VK6MJ.
ARISS Mentor was MØXTD.
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
BORG Monsbergergasse, Graz, Austria, direct via OEØARISS. The ISS
callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS. The scheduled
astronaut is Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS
Contact is a go for: Mon 2015-11-09 09:42:15 UTC
Ste. Genevieve du Bois Catholic Elementary School, Warson Woods,
Missouri, direct via NØKBA. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled
to be NA1SS. The scheduled astronaut is Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS
The contact is a go for: Thu 2015-11-12 16:25:16 UTC
[ANS thanks ARISS, Charlie AJ9N and David AA4KN for the above
Satellite Shorts From All Over
Very nice coverage, and features Keith, W5IU, with the ARISS contact
with Daggett Montessori School in Ft. Worth, Texas:
[ANS thanks JoAnne K9JKM and the Star-Telegram for the above
ARISS Contact Documentary
WKTV did a really nice job producing a documentary of the October 23
ARISS contact with West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Here is a link to the youtube video.
[ANS thanks Les Brown, Chief Pilot, West Michigan Aviation Academy
and WKTV ro 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, KC8YLD
kc8yld at amsat dot org