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Amateur Radio News

RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Status Update

AMSAT news - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 17:27

AMSAT Fox-1E Engineering Team is going through their orbit checklist and with the Operations Team exercising the steps to analyze and resolve the low or no signal situation with the telemetry beacon.  We will let you know as soon as soon as the status changes.

We ask that all continue to track and listen for RadFxSat-2.

Thanks for your patience and support.

73,

Robert Bankston, KE4AL
President
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)

Categories: Amateur Radio News

HamCation QSO Party Set

ARRL News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:00
Categories: Amateur Radio News

ARRL on the Purpose of Amateur Radio

ARRL News - Sun, 01/17/2021 - 10:24
Categories: Amateur Radio News

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory: Radio Users Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

ARRL News - Sun, 01/17/2021 - 09:44

The FCC has released an Enforcement Advisory: Amateur and Personal Radio Services Licensees and Operators May Not Use Radio Equipment to Commit or Facilitate Criminal Acts.

[Complete text of FCC Enforcement Advisory follows.]

FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY

DA 21-73

Released:  January 17, 2021

WARNING:  AMATEUR AND PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES LICENSEES AND OPERATORS MAY NOT USE RADIO EQUIPMENT TO COMMIT OR FAC...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan 17, 2021

AMSAT news - Sat, 01/16/2021 - 17:00

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
ANS-017

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:

  • RadFxSat-2 Launch Delayed Until Sunday, January 17, 2021
  • November/December 2020 AMSAT Journal Now Online
  • UVSQsat Scheduled for January 21, 2021 Launch
  • Seven US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
  • CubeSat to Test Harnessing Earth’s Magnetic Field for Propulsion
  • CHESS CubeSat Constellation to Carry FUNcube Transponders
  • International Amateur Radio Union Preparing for WRC-23
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-017.01
ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 017.01
From AMSAT HQ Washington, DC
January 17, 2021
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-017.01

RadFxSat-2 Launch Delayed Until Sunday, January 17, 2021

Virgin Orbit announced a new launch date of No Earlier Than (NET) Sunday, January 17, 2021 with additional windows in January if needed. The specific window is 10:00 to 14:00 PST (1800 to 2200 UTC). Virgin Orbit seems to be using its Twitter account to make their public announcements, so that may be worth watching at https://twitter.com/Virgin_Orbit.

AMSAT does not have preliminary TLE for the upcoming launch. If you are hoping to snag the first contact, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP – Engineering suggests checking the nasabare.text TLE just prior to launch, maybe thirty-minutes after launch or until they are posted.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

November/December 2020 AMSAT Journal Now Online

AMSAT members can read the November/December 2020 edition of the AMSAT Journal online. This edition includes:

  • Apogee View – Robert Bankston, KE4AL
  • Engineering Update – Jerry Buxton, N0JY
  • Educational Relations Update – Alan Johnston, KU2Y
  • Development Update – Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
  • For Beginners – Amateur Radio Satellite Primer VIII – Keith Baker, KB1SF/VA3KSF
  • Working FalconSat-3 Packet BBS with the Kenwood TH-D72A – Brian Wilkins, KO4AQF
  • Testing a More Fade-resistant BPSK Demodulator for Fox Linear Transponder Spacecraft – Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ
  • The Success Story of SMOG-P, the World’s Smallest Satellite – Gabor Geczy
  • Starting My Adventure With Amateur Radio Satellites – James Johnson, VE7HJ

The AMSAT Journal is a bi-monthly magazine for amateur radio in space enthusiasts, published by the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). Each issue is your source for hardware and software projects, technical tips, STEM initiatives, operational activities, and news from around the world. Join AMSAT today to start receiving your bi-monthly issue of The AMSAT Journal. Members can access the latest issue of The AMSAT Journal as well as archived editions at https://launch.amsat.org/The_AMSAT_Journal/.

[ANS thanks AMSAT 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!

                  https://tinyurl.com/ANS-GOLF

UVSQsat Scheduled for January 21, 2021 Launch

The launch of UVSQsat is scheduled for January 21, 2021 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. UVSQ-SAT is a nanosatellite designed by LATMOS (Atmospheres Spatial Observation Laboratory) and developed at the Observatory of Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines.  Its scientific and technological goals are observing essential climate variables, namely shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere and UV solar spectral irradiance.

In addition to experimental and educational missions, it will provide the Amateur Radio community with a new FM transponder. AMSAT-Francophone and the radio club F6KRK have been involved throughout the project. AMSAT-Francophone offers software to interpret the data and send it to the AMSAT-F & Satnogs database. The software is in beta mode and available for testing and giving feedback for improvement. The software runs on both Windows and Linux platforms. Information for downloading is available at:
https://code.electrolab.fr/xtof/josast/-/blob/21-ecr-uvsqsat/ApplicationUVSQsatDecoder/src/site/markdown/UserManual.md

Two audio files are available for testing the software:
– 1200 bps (BPSK / G3RUH): SDRSharp_20201023_143925Z_437017790Hz_IQ—Beacon_1200.wav
– 9600 bps (BPSK / G3RUH): SDRSharp_20201023_144839Z_437011810Hz_IQ—Beacon_9600.wav

The satellite will transmit on the frequency: 437.020 MHz.

More information on the satellite frequencies: http://amsat-f.org/AMSATLIST/SatellitePage/UK/0UVSQsat.html

More information on the project: http://uvsq-sat.projet.latmos.ipsl.fr/index.php

[ANS thanks AMSAT-F for the above information.]

Seven US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process

January 7, 2021 – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the schools/host organizations selected for the July-December 2021 contact window. A total of seven of the submitted proposals during the recent proposal window have been accepted to move forward in the processes of planning to host a scheduled amateur radio contact with crew on the ISS. The primary goal of the ARISS program is to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities and raise their awareness of space communications, radio communications, space exploration, and related areas of study and career possibilities.

The ARISS program anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for the seven US host organizations during the July through December 2021 time period. They are now at work completing an acceptable equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by the ARISS Technical Mentors, the final selected schools/organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities offered by NASA.

The seven schools advancing in the selection process are:

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Tarwater Elementary, Chandler, AZ
Museum of Science & Technology, Syracuse, NY
SpaceKids Global and Girl Scouts of Citrus, Winter Park, FL
Civil Air Patrol – Illinois Wing, St Charles, IL
Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC
Savannah River Academy, Grovetown, GA

[ANS thanks Dave Jordan, AA4KN for the above information.]

CubeSat to Test Harnessing Earth’s Magnetic Field for Propulsion

Although not an Amateur Radio satellite, a student-built CubeSat is of interest to the Amateur Radio Satellite Service. Built at the University of Michigan, it will investigate whether small satellites can be maintained in low Earth orbit without thrusters or propellant. Scheduled to launch from the Mojave Air and Space Port on Virgin Orbit’s Launch Demo 2 on January 10, 2020, the Miniature Tether Electrodynamics Experiment-1 (MiTEE-1) will test the concept of using the Earth’s magnetic field to generate thrust.

The usual way to overcome this is to use thrusters to boost the satellite into a higher orbit, but for smaller spacecraft, and especially CubeSats, this isn’t currently an option – although efforts like the ThermaSat design are looking to bring lightweight propulsion systems to CubeSats. The result is that many perfectly good pieces of hardware are destroyed prematurely, deorbiting in a matter of months or even days.

The MiTEE project will test the feasibility of using electromagnetism to provide propulsion by stringing a wire tether 33 to 100 feet (10 to 30 m) long between two CubeSats. The idea is that solar panels would provide electricity, which would run through the wire. As the satellite orbits the Earth, the ionosphere completes the circuit and, because a force is exerted on a wire when it conducts a current in a magnetic field, the tether generates thrust that can be used to boost the spacecraft into a higher orbit. As the force isn’t very great, such an approach wouldn’t be feasible for larger satellites, but the hope is it will be enough to allow small satellites to compensate for the drag of the atmosphere.

The result of two and half years of work, MiTEE-1 won’t actually produce any thrust. Instead, it will consist of a satellite about the size of a loaf of breadbox and another about the size of a smartphone that deploys on a one-meter (33-in) rigid boom. This will measure how much current can be drawn from the ionosphere under various conditions.
The data from the mission will be used for planning and building the next MiTEE satellite, which will demonstrate the electric propulsion system concept in operation.

More information is available at: https://newatlas.com/space/cubesat-earth-magnetic-field-boost-orbit/.

[ANS thanks Jeff Davis and newatlas.com 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/

CHESS CubeSat Constellation to Carry FUNcube Transponders

In 2020, a project between AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL and Swiss universities started with the aim of equipping two Swiss satellites with a linear transponder for Amateur Radio.

With a linear transponder, several QSOs can take place simultaneously. The satellites can be operated in CW/SSB with the simplest equipment. The satellites also include features for classroom demonstrations and experiments. In numerous teleconference discussions, the technical possibilities could be sounded out and the realization prepared.

The CHESS [Constellation of High Energy Swiss Satellites] project includes two satellites, which will be built simultaneously and later launched as a constellation. Both will provide a linear transponder for amateur radio use. The first satellite will have a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 400 km. The second will have an elliptical orbit with an altitude of 350×1000 km.

The satellites themselves are a project of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with support from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU – Institute of Electrical Engineering IET), the University of Bern, the Valais University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES-SO), the Haute École Neuchâtel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich. The amateur radio payload is a project of AMSAT-UK/-NL.

On 18 December 2020, the successful system requirements review took place. The project coordination between CHESS and AMSAT lies with the Amateur Radio Association of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Technology & Architecture, Horw.

The Swiss AMSAT Operators provide information about the CHESS project at https://www.amsat-hb.org/funcube-chess/

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]

International Amateur Radio Union Preparing for WRC-23

Preparations are under way by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sponsors WRCs, typically every 4 years, to consider revisions to the international Radio Regulations that define frequency allocations for various radio services.

The next WRC is expected to be held in 2023. Potentially affected bands are 50 – 54 MHz (a new service has been proposed in an adjacent band); 1240 – 1300 MHz; 3300 – 3400 MHz; 10.0 – 10.5 GHz, and 241 – 250 GHz. In addition, studies are being conducted to identify protection requirements for space weather sensors that operate in frequency bands from 13 kHz to at least 15 GHz.

Read the complete story at: http://www.arrl.org/news/international-amateur-radio-union-preparing-for-wrc-23.

[ANS thanks the ARRL 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/

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo; March 13,14 2021
The second QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will be held on March 13-14, 2021.  There is an Amateur Radio speaker track and AMSAT will have a virtual booth during the event. Advance tickets are now on sale.

More information at: https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/

[ANS thanks Virtual QSO Virtual Ham Expo for the above information.]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

EL86; January 17-18, 2021
@KK4YEL: is heading out to EL86 for two days starting this Sunday evening.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR for the above information.]

           Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
          25% of the purchase price of each product goes
            towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
              https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

ARISS News

Upcoming Contacts

Hisagi Junior High School, Zushi, Japan
Direct via 8N1ZH
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz.
The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker KD5DXB.
Contact is go for Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 08:17:59 UTC. (70 deg)

Maine Regional School Unit #21, Kennebunk, ME
Multi-point telebridge via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS.
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz.
The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins KF5LJG.
Contact is go for Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 18:27:40 UTC. (52 deg)

Completed Contacts

Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School, Higashioumi, Japan,
Direct via 8N3SG
The ISS callsign was NA1SS.
The downlink frequency was 145.800 MHz.
The astronaut was Shannon Walker KD5DXB.
Contact was successful on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 10:38:29 UTC.

A multi-point telebridge contact means that each student will be on the telebridge from their own home.

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N  for the above information.]

Shorts from All Over

New Keplerian Element Set orb21007.2l.amsat Available
Updated Keplerian elements were released on January 7, 2021 and are available at:
https://mailman.amsat.org/hyperkitty/list/keps@amsat.org/.

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD for the above information.]

31st Anniversary of LO-19
Members of AMSAT Argentina will celebrate the 31st anniversary of the LUSAT (LO-19) satellite with the callsign LU7AA January 16-24, 2021. Stations will be QRV on HF on SSB, FT8, and CW. An award is also available. QSL via LU7AA direct or by eQSL.
More information is available at http://lu4aao.org/lu7aa/cert_31_aniv_lusat_2021.htm.

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM 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 AMSAT office.

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 status.

Contact info at amsat dot org for additional student membership information.

73,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
n1uw at amsat dot org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The K7RA Solar Update

ARRL News - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 07:30

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: What happened? Solar Cycle 25 seemed well under way, but no new sunspots have emerged since December 23. The last time any sunspot was visible was January 2. On January 14, Spaceweather.com posted, “Welcome back, solar minimum.”

Average daily solar flux declined from 78.6 to 73.8. Geomagnetic A index remained quiet. Predicted solar flux for the next 30 days is 7...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

International Amateur Radio Union Preparing for WRC-23

ARRL News - Tue, 01/12/2021 - 09:55

Preparations continue on the part of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sponsors WRCs, typically every 4 years, to consider revisions to the international Radio Regulations that define frequency allocations for v...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

New Amateur VLF Transatlantic Record Set

ARRL News - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 16:03

Very low frequency (VLF) enthusiast Joe Craig, VO1NA, reports that Stefan Schaefer, DK7FC, copied his 50-character message transmitted from Newfoundland on 8.271 kHz, with a radiated power of 10 mW.

“This is a new record for amateur transatlantic VLF,” Craig told ARRL. “The mode used was EbNaut by Paul Nicholson. EbNaut is a synchronous coherent BPSK mode for use at VLF and low LF. Craig’s tower...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Dayton Hamvention Cancels 2021 Show

ARRL News - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 13:44
Categories: Amateur Radio News

Former RAC President John "Hoppy" Hopwood, VE7RD, SK

ARRL News - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:20

Former Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) President John Farrell “Hoppy” Hopwood, VE7RD, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, died on December 8. He was 91. Hopwood was instrumental in the founding of RAC and was inducted in 2015 as a member of the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.

Hopwood spent his career in telecommunications, once working as a telegraph lineman. In 1971, he formed a Systems C...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ARRL Life Member Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, is 2021 Carole Perry Educator of the Year

ARRL News - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 09:39

Orlando HamCation® has announced that ARRL Life Member Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, of Bloomington, Indiana, is the 2021 recipient of the Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award. The award recognizes an outstanding individual contribution in educating and advancing youth in amateur radio. It was first awarded in 2018 to its namesake, Carole Perry, WB2MGP, in honor of her work as an educator teaching stud...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-010 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan. 10, 2021

AMSAT news - Sat, 01/09/2021 - 17:01

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, 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://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@amsat.org

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see: https://mailman.amsat.org/postorius/lists/ans.amsat.org/

In this edition:

* Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Launch Demo 2 is Go for Launch
* Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS
* Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise
* AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705
* AMSAT Ambassador Activities
* AMSAT – Changes in Orbital Elements
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-010.01
ANS-010 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 010.01
From AMSAT HQ WASHINGTON, DC
DATE 2021 January 10
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-010.01

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is Go for Launch with RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E Cubesat

LauncherOne is scheduled for launch on Sunday, January 10 at 13:00 EST. The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 11 satellites including the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2 cubesat.
RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E Frequencies:
Telemetry Downlink – 435.750 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Uplink – 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz
Inverting Linear Transponder Downlink – 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz

See https://bit.ly/2XboF8H and https://bit.ly/3hLlDl3 for more information

[ANS thanks Mark Johns, K0JM AMSAT News Editor, the AMSAT-UK editorial team, and SpaceLaunchNow for the above information]

Cargo Dragon to Return to Earth from ISS

The SpaceX Dragon that arrived at the International Space Station on the company’s 21st resupply services mission for NASA is scheduled to depart on Monday, Jan. 11, loaded with 5,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 9 a.m. EST (1400z).

The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will execute the first undocking of a U.S. commercial cargo craft from the International Docking Adapter at 9:25 a.m. (1425z), with NASA astronaut Victor Glover, KI5BKC, monitoring aboard the station.

Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module, then initiate a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth’s atmosphere. Dragon is expected to make its parachute-assisted splashdown around 9 p.m. (0200z on Jan. 12) the first return of a cargo resupply spacecraft in the Atlantic Ocean. The deorbit burn and splashdown will not air on NASA TV.

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center Space Station Processing Facility, and back into the hands of the researchers. This shorter transportation time frame allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects. For splashdowns in the Pacific Ocean, quick-return science cargo is processed at SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas, and delivered to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Dragon launched Dec. 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station just over 24 hours later and achieving the first autonomous docking of a U.S. commercial cargo resupply spacecraft. Previous arriving cargo Dragon spacecraft were captured and attached to the space station by astronauts operating the station’s robotic Canadarm2. The spacecraft delivered more than 6,400 pounds of hardware, research investigations and crew supplies.

The upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission contains double the powered locker availability of previous capsules, allowing for a significant increase in the research that can be carried back to Earth.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
https://www.amsat.org/amsat-office-closed-until-further-notice/

Portable QO-100 station activated on Antarctic cruise

A portable satellite station for the QO-100 geostationary satellite (Es’hail-2) was commissioned on the icebreaker FS “Polarstern” at 14:23 UTC on December 27, 2020, with an initial QSO between DP0POL/mm and DK3ZL. A very special experiment, originated from an idea of Felix DL5XL and Charly DK3ZL. AMSAT-DL spontaneously supported this project by providing a complete 6 Watt transverter radio station, as well as a 75 cm dish on a tripod.

Charly DK3ZL first tested this system extensively via QO-100 at his home for a few days before he personally brought it to Felix DL5XL in Bremerhaven for handover on December 6, 2020. On the same day, all the equipment was loaded onto the research vessel Polarstern, while the entire crew remained in quarantine for almost 2 weeks. On 20 December 2020, the Polarstern then set sail from Bremerhaven and embarked on the long voyage to Antarctica, non-stop.

In agreement with the responsible board engineer of Polarstern, Jörg DJ0HO, who is responsible for the callsign DP0POL on Polarstern, the station could be set up in front of a container on the upper deck, depending on the weather situation (see cover picture). Theresa DC1TH and Felix DL5XL are thus able to make radio calls in their spare time during the several-week trip to Antarctica. After the premiere there was an impressive “pile-up” of up to 40 kHz on the NB transponder on the following days.

Additional information may be found at: https://bit.ly/3bjx1Um

[ANS thanks Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, President AMSAT-DL for the above information]

AMSAT-SM releases a satellite memory set for the ICOM IC-705

Lars Thunberg, Webmaster for AMSAT-SM has posted a satellite memory set for the new IC-705 QRP radio from ICOM. Lars has provided two .CSV files which may be merged into your existing memory groups as a dedicated group. You will need to use the CS-705 software from ICOM to perform the merge. Please carefully read the instructions that Lars gives at:
https://bit.ly/3obNm0R

The .CSV files in the EU/Swedish format and the North American/US format are posted at the above URL.

PLEASE NOTE: Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ found this format was difficult to import into the RT Systems IC-705 Programmer, so it would be most efficient to use CS-705 to merge the memories into a new group, then to save the settings back into the RT Systems Programmer software. He will provide a import template for the RT SYstems software once it has been tested by others. Lars indicated that he will post this file as well when it is ready.

Lars also has provided a nice tutorial for users of the PstRotator Satellites Tracking Sofware at:
https://bit.ly/2LewbNt
Lars plans to update his memory settings file to add additional satellites in the future.

[ANS thanks Lars Thunberg, SM0TGU, Webmaster AMSAT-SM and Jack Spitznagel, Editor AMSAT News 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.
https://amsat.org/product-category/hardware/

 

AMSAT Ambassador Activities

AMSAT Ambassador and registered ARRL instructor Clint Bradford K6LCS has a couple Zoom presentations lined up to begin 2021.In the first week of February, an “abbreviated” presentation will be given to a Southern CA ARES group, but later in the month, a “normal” show will be presented. Clint adds: “There are up-to-five spots available for you to attend! Just send me an email message (email address below) for details.

Would a 90-minute informative, personalized-to-your-club, FUN presentation on working the “easy” satellites would be appropriate for your club? Send me an email message, and let’s book a date!”

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS (k6lcs@ham-sat.info) for the above information]

Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
from our Zazzle store!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 7, 2021

The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:

UBAKUSAT – NORAD Cat ID 43467 (Decayed on December 27, 2020 per Space-Track).

[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]

ARISS NEWS

Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.

Shigagakuen Junior & Senior High School, Higashioumi, Japan, direct via 8N3SG The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html The scheduled astronaut is Shannon Walker, KD5DXB. Contact is go for: Wed 2021-01-13 10:38:29 UTC, 26 degrees maximum elevation

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors 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/

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Quick Hits:
+Thursday 1/14/21 KF6JOQ “Planning to rove DM16 and maybe 16/15 line,Thursday 1/14/21. Will be FM and linear.”
+Watch for additional rove tweets from WL7T: @WL7T Is headed to Colorado for 3 weeks in January. “Will be in DM69 most of the time but might be able to be persuaded to go as far south as DM66. I am heading to Denver on Thursday (1/7) morning. I’ll be in DM79 for a few hours starting at 20z and will try working whatever I can as time permits. Will get to DM69 by Thursday evening and will get on the later passes as soon as I arrive.”

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

1/10/2021, from 1300Z-1700Z, N4DCW will be working satellite passes from West Virginia in EM88. Passes are listed at: https://t.co/YbgeMyu3Vv?amp=1
Michael asks: “Please, no blind calling (calling me before I have AOS). I will have *at least* 5-10 degree horizons in all directions. (It’s West Virginia!) Rest assured, when I can hear the satellite, I will let you know. :)”
Rove updates can be found on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/MWimages

[ANS thanks Michael Whitman, N4DCW posting to AMSAT-BB for the above information]

Major Roves:
There are no major roves scheduled as of 1/6/2021

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

None on the immediate schedule.

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Reminders from Drew Glasbrenner about AO-92 and AO-91 – AMSAT-BB 1/6/2021: “Today I turned AO-92’s transmitter off after resetting the min-max readings. We’ve been watching the battery minimum voltage decline steadily over the last few days, and needed to give it a rest for a bit. Immediately afterwards, there was an AO-91 pass. I turned on the transmitter, and a few moments later reset the min-max readings. The command team will monitor telemetry and determine if we can leave it on for a while. Please remember to not transmit to either satellite while it is in eclipse. If you do not use software that indicates eclipse state, just avoid the evening passes. We are in the endgame for both satellites, and your cooperation will give us more operational time over the coming months.” (ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations for the above information)

+ Alba Orbital, the space broker that manages the launch of AMSAT-EA (AMSAT Spain) EASAT-2 and Hades satellites, has informed us of a delay in the scheduled one for January 14, 2021 with SpaceX. “This delay has nothing to do with our satellites, or with Alba Orbital itself. It is attributable to Momentus, which acts as an integrator with SpaceX.”
“The delay means the next try would probably go to March, coinciding with the Starlink mission and being located in an estimated orbit between 450 and 550 km with an inclination of 53 degrees.” “As for the satellites themselves, this should not be a major setback. AMSAT-EA does does not expect a significant drain on the batteries.” (ANS thanks Felix Paez, EA4GQS of AMSAT EA for the above information)

+ Roy Dean, K3RLD commented on LilacSat-2 operations: “Just a reminder for those who may not know, LilacSat-2 frequently turns on with a downlink about 12 kHz higher than it’s published value. It seems to “jump around” sometimes between the two frequencies. Here is a good illustration of the the recently completed 21:55z pass:”

https://network.satnogs.org/observations/3416149/

Roy continues: “It was just me and KC1OCA on this pass, but I don’t think Michael could hear me. The downlink was very strong, so I suspect he was using a radio with no waterfall – which would make it difficult to know that you are getting in. If anybody knows KC1OCA – please let him know that I have a recording of the pass if he would like (no email on qrz.com). Thanks!” (ANS thanks Roy Dean, K3RLD for the above information)

+ Rocket Lab announces “Another One Leaves The Crust” launch window: The mission will launch a single communication microsatellite for OHB Group that will enable specific frequencies to support future services from orbit. The launch will be Rocket Lab’s 18th Electron mission and was procured for OHB Group through OHB Cosmos International Launch Service GmbH, the launch service division of OHB Group. OHB Cosmos is responsible for launching the spacecraft built by the Group’s satellite manufacturers based in Germany, Sweden, and Czech Republic. The mission will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula (ANS thanks Terry Osborne, ZL2BAC of RocketLab for the above information)

+ Want to add a bit of space to your Google Calendar? CNET has launched the SPACE CALENDAR (all caps for dramatic cosmic effect), covering all the big rocket launches, mesmerizing meteor showers, epic eclipses and even an assortment of scientific milestones. The Google Calendar is constantly updating, and can be added to your existing Google app at https://bit.ly/38lfWHC For other calendars, such as Outlook, a static computer file of dates as they are presently scheduled can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3hQm6T2 (ANS thanks CNET.com for the above information)

/EX

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 AMSAT Store.

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 6 post-secondary years in this status. Contact info@amsat.org for additional student membership information.

73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,
This week’s ANS Editor, Jack Spitznagel, KD4IZ
kd4iz at frawg dot org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

FCC Invites Comments on Expanding the Number of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators

ARRL News - Fri, 01/08/2021 - 08:42

In a January 5 Public Notice, the FCC requested comments on whether the current 14 Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) are sufficient to facilitate the efforts of their accredited Volunteer Examiners (VEs) in administering amateur radio examinations. The ARRL VEC is the largest of the 14 VECs in the US. Comments are due by February 5, and reply comments are due by February 19. After Congress...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The K7RA Solar Update

ARRL News - Fri, 01/08/2021 - 03:44
Categories: Amateur Radio News

2021 AM Rally Set for First Weekend in February

ARRL News - Thu, 01/07/2021 - 08:32

The 2021 running of the AM Rally will take place from 0000 UTC on Saturday, February 6 to 0700 UTC on Monday, February 8. The annual AM Rally operating event encourages all operators to explore amateur radio’s original voice mode by showcasing the various types of amplitude modulation equipment in use today, ranging from early vacuum-tube radios to the latest SDR-based transceivers.

“Participati...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

SEA-PAC Cancels In-Person Convention

ARRL News - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 17:16

SEA-PAC, designated as the 2021 ARRL Northwestern Division Convention, will not take place as an in-person gathering this June.

“The SEA-PAC Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the continuing COVID-19 pandemic situation and has determined that the safest course of action for all is to cancel the 2021 in-person event,” SEA-PAC 2021 Chair John Bucsek, KE7WNB, announced this week. “This...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The Japan International DX Meeting (JIDXM) Committee Announces Awards

ARRL News - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 11:47

The Japan International DX Meeting (JIDXM) committee, in cooperation with CQ magazine, has announced awards to DXpedition teams and individuals who made outstanding contributions to the world’s DX community. The 2020 JIDXM award program will recognize the VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition Team (February 2020), the VP2VB Yasme Memorial Expedition Team (March 2020), and the TO0Z St. Barthelemy Expedi...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

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