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ANS-112 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Sat, 04/20/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

  • Nine US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
  • AMSAT Thanks First Quarter 2024 President’s Club Members
  • AMSAT Engineering Team Powering Up for Hamvention
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for April 19, 2024
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 [at] amsat [dot] 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/

ANS-112 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2024 Apr 21

Nine US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) announced on April 18, 2014 the US schools/host organizations newly selected for 2024 ARISS contacts. A total of 9 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.

ARISS News

The ARISS program anticipates that NASA will be able to provide scheduling opportunities for the 9 US host organizations during the July – December 2024 time period. They are now at work starting to implement their 4–6-month education plan which was outlined in their proposal. These STEAM based educational activities help prepare students for their contact as well as create an on-going exploration and interest in aerospace and amateur radio topics. They are also completing an acceptable equipment plan that demonstrates their ability to execute the ham radio contact. Once their equipment plan is approved by ARISS, the final selected schools/organizations will be scheduled as their availability and flexibility match up with the scheduling opportunities offered by NASA.

The schools and host organizations are:

  • Arizona Science Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Bayou Academy, Cleveland, MS
  • Bishop O’Connell High School, Arlington, VA
  • Greenville Junior High School, Greenville, IL
  • Hillsboro Charter Academy, Purcellville, VA
  • Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA
  • Sally Ride Elementary School, Orlando, FL
  • South Carolina Regional Workforce Advisors-Office of Statewide Workforce Development, Columbia, SC
  • TEACH-NW Charter School, Springfield, OR

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

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus

Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/

AMSAT Thanks First Quarter 2024 President’s Club Members

Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT VP – Development happily reports, “Each year for the past four years of its re-incarnation, the AMSAT President’s Club has picked up speed and becomes a more important factor in AMSAT’s annual fund raising efforts. The first quarter of the 2024 the President’s Club is off to a great start. With our regular dedicated contributors plus many first-time members, contributions have already raised almost $16,000 in the first three months of 2024.

“So often, our members think about AMSAT’s having to raise funds for satellite hardware – the costs for electronic components, solar panels, batteries and so on. But, there are many background costs. A good example is software licenses needed for actual satellite development. The volunteer engineers can often swap licenses so they can limit the number of licenses needed. But, as they draw closer to finalizing drawings for circuit boards, spaceframes and deployable solar panels, the team can stretch software licenses only so far before work flow becomes handicapped. Some software licenses, even with the best educational or non-profit discounts, easily exceed the $1,000 mark. And, those licenses need to be renewed on an annual basis.

“The engineering team can always use more electrical and mechanical engineers to move the FOX-PLUS and GOLF programs along. But, being able to leverage the efforts of our current volunteers with enough software licenses would be a huge plus. Contributions from members of the President’s Club make a big difference in giving the engineering team the tools they need.”

To date, the generous donors members of the 2024 AMSAT President’s Club include:

  • Titanium ($4,800+)
    Barry Baines, WD4ASW
    William Brown, K9LF

  • Gold ($1,200+)
    Anonymous
    Burns Fisher, WB1FJ
    John Kludt, K7SYS
    Glenn Miller, AA5PK

  • Silver ($600+)
    Donald Coker, KM6TRZ
    Richard Dittmer, KB7SAT
    Mark Johns, K0JM
    Joseph, Lynch,N6CL
    Bruce Paige, KK5DO
    Jason Schwarz, N4JJS

  • Bronze ($300+)
    Donald Pettigrew, K9ECT
    Dave Taylor, W8AAS

  • Core ($120+)
    David Batzle, N2VDY
    Robert Beatty, WB4SON
    Alan Boggs, K7IIV
    James Gallagher III, KB3SQS
    David Hartrum, WA3YDZ
    Steven Husey, KB1UOJ
    William Pesci, N4WLP
    Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
    Stefan Wagener, VE4SW
    Wayne Wagner, AG1A

Members can learn more about joining the President’s Club at https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/.

[ANS thanks Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT VP – Development for the above information.]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase 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 Engineering Team Powering Up for Hamvention

Given hams’ inherent interest in all things technical, it’s no wonder that the Engineering table at AMSAT’s Hamvention booth is always popular. Not wanting to disappoint our members, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP- Engineering and his team are making plans for an informative and entertaining presence. No fewer than ten members of the engineering team will attending this year’s Hamvention.

Probably the most interesting exhibit will be a full-scale model of the GOLF-TEE (Technology Exploration Environment) satellite. The 3-D model printed by team member Tom Karnauskas, N0UW, gives an interesting look at the challenges that satellite designers face when trying to fit stacks of circuit boards, bundles of batteries, attitude sensing and control systems, and experimental payloads inside a 10cm x 10cm x 30cm spaceframe. The model also gives a look at the challenge of adding deployable solar panels to the exterior of the spacecraft. Given the fact that the GOLF program represents AMSAT’s return to Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), engineers will no-doubt be busy answering questions on all facets of the GOLF program.

Engineers will also be on hand to answer questions about the ongoing development of the Fox-Plus series of satellites. Recognizing the success of the original Fox series as an entry level introduction to amateur satellites, the engineers working the Fox-Plus birds are committed to improving on the original concept and setting the stage for future capabilities for these Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

For those interested in a look even further into the future, engineers working the ASCENT program will also be present. ASCENT, meaning, Advanced Satellite Communication and Exploration of New Technology, is a “sandbox” for future satellite communications and related systems to be explored and pursued for eventual flight use. A radiation-tolerant internal-housekeeping-unit (RT-IHU), software defined radio (SDR) methods, and a 10 GHz PA design ideas are some ASCENT projects that will fly on GOLF-TEE. Engineers at the table can also discuss other ASCENT projects in the works such as a slow-scan television (SSTV) payload, a packet repeater payload and propulsion systems suitable for CubeSat operation.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Engineering Team 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 April 19, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

The following satellites have been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

  • Clark sat-1 NORAD Cat ID 58613 Decayed from orbit on or about 16 April 2024
  • AISTechSat 3 NORAD Cat ID 44103 Decayed from orbit on or about 18 April 2024

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, 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.

Successful Contacts
Mrs Ethelston’s CE Primary Academy at Axminster Community Academy Trust, Lyme Regis, United Kingdom, direct via GB4ACA.
The ISS callsign was NA1SS.
The crewmember was Matthew Dominick, KCØTOR.
The ARISS mentor was Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD.
Contact was successful on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 10:44 UTC.

Mountain View Elementary, Marietta, GA, direct via KQ4JVI.
The ISS callsign was NA1SS.
The crewmember was Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU.
The ARISS mentor was Daryl Young, K4RGK.
Contact was successful on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 17:48 UTC.

Upcoming Contacts
American International University, Salmiya, Kuwait, direct via 9K9AIU.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS.
The scheduled crewmember is Mike Barratt KD5MIJ.
The ARISS mentor is Stefan Dombrowski, ON6TI.
Contact is go for Monday, April 22, 2024 at 08:29:15 UTC.

Pleasant Knoll Middle School, Ft. Mill, SC, direct via K4YTZ.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The scheduled crewmember is Matthew Dominick, KCØTOR.
The ARISS mentor is Charles Sufanam AJ9N.
Contact is go for Monday, April 22, 2024 at 16:10:29 UTC.
Watch for Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/@YorkCountyAmateurRadioSociety and note that this might change.

Thrive Home School Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, direct via AFØS.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The scheduled crewmember is Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU.
The ARISS mentor is Gordon Scannell, KD8COJ.
Contact is go for Monday, April 22, 2024 at 17:42:36.
Watch for Livestream at http://www.hsd2.org/

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system is also active (145.825 MHz up & down).

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

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

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information.]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

No operations reported at this time.

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

2024 CubeSat Developer’s Workshop
April 23-25, 2024
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA
https://www.cubesatdw.org/

Dayton Hamvention 2024
May 17-19, 2024
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

38th Annual Small Satellite Conference
August 3-8, 2024
Logan, UT, USA
https://smallsat.org

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Events page for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over
  • The CubeSat Developers Workshop announced Dr. Puig-Suari will be the keynote speaker for the 2024 event. Dr. Puig-Suari received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. Degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. Dr. Puig-Suari is a professor emeritus in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In 1999, Dr Puig-Suari and Prof. Bob Twiggs at Stanford developed the CubeSat standard. Dr. Puig-Suari’s team was responsible for the development of the standard CubeSat deployer (the P-POD) and has supported launches for over 130 CubeSats in the U.S. and abroad. More information on the workshop can be found at https://www.cubesatdw.org/. [ANS thanks cubesat.org for the above information.]

  • AMSAT-DL has announced planning for the Bochum Space Conference 2024 to be held September 20-22, 2024. AMSAT-DL is organizing a symposium, flea market and general meeting in the radome of the Bochum Observatory. The radome will once again be dedicated to satellite and space research. AMSAT Deutschland e.V. and the Bochum Observatory are taking the positive experience of the anniversary conference in 2023 as an opportunity to inform AMSAT members and other space enthusiasts about current and future prospects for national and international space projects with a varied program. As the Radom is also the location of ESA’s education office in Germany (esero Germany), they want to make the symposium even more attractive in future and at the same time focus even more on current European space travel. More information at https://amsat-dl.org/en/bochum-space-conference-2024/. [ANS thanks AMSAT-DL for the above information.]

  • Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner embarked on its last big road trip before its journey to the International Space Station next month. In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning, the capsule and its service module made the slow trek from Kennedy Space Center to Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The rollout of the vehicle, named Calypso, is another key step towards the Crew Flight Test (CFT) of the Starliner spacecraft, the first time that it will carry astronauts to and from the ISS. The mission’s crew, NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, KD5PLB, were on hand to witness the departure of their ticket to ride. [ANS thanks Spaceflight Now for the above information.]

  • A dead spacecraft the size of a truck ignites with plasma and pulverizes into dust and litter as it rips through the ionosphere and atmosphere. This is what happens to internet service satellites during re-entry. When the full mega-constellation of satellites is deployed in the 2030s, companies will do this every hour because satellite internet requires thousands of satellites to constantly be replaced. Recent research has led some physicists to believe that the space trash generated by dead and dying commercial satellites could compromise our ionosphere or magnetosphere. Unlike meteorites, which are small and only contain trace amounts of aluminum, these wrecked spacecraft are huge and consist entirely of aluminum and other exotic, highly conductive materials. And highly conductive materials can create charging effects and act as a magnetic shield. [ANS thanks Dr. Sierra Soter, writing in the Guardian, for the above information.]

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

  • Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
  • 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.
  • Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat [dot] org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

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

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-105 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Sat, 04/13/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

* NASA Astronaut Loral O’Hara, Crewmates Return from ISS
* 2024 AMSAT/TAPR Banquet To Be Held Friday, May 17
* New NASA Strategy Envisions Sustainable Future for Space Ops
* Trash From The ISS May Have Hit A House In Florida
* VUCC and DXCC Satellite Standings for April 2024
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for April 12
* Ending an Era, Final Delta Rocket Launched This Week
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 [at] 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/

ANS-105 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

DATE 2024 April 14

NASA Astronaut Loral O’Hara, Crewmates Return from ISS

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, KI5TOM, returned to Earth after a six-month research mission aboard the International Space Station on April 6, along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, and Belarus spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya.

The trio departed the space station aboard the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft at 03:54 UTC, and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 07:17 (12:17 p.m. Kazakhstan time), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.


NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara returned to Earth on April 6, 2024, after a six-month research mission aboard the International Space Station.
(NASA image)

O’Hara launched Sept. 15, 2023, alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, and Nikolai Chub, who both will remain aboard the space station to complete a one-year mission. Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya launched aboard Soyuz MS-25 on March 23 along with NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson, who will remain aboard the orbiting laboratory until this fall.

O’Hara spent a total of 204 days in space as part of her first spaceflight. She completed approximately 3,264 orbits of the Earth and a journey of more than 86.5 million miles. O’Hara worked on scientific activities aboard the space station, including investigating heart health, cancer treatments, and space manufacturing techniques during her stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Following post-landing medical checks, the crew returned to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. O’Hara then boarded a NASA plane bound for her return to the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

(Oct. 4, 2023) — The official Expedition 71 crew portrait with (bottom row from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin and NASA astronauts Mike Barratt, Matthew Dominick, and Jeanette Epps. In the back row (from left) are, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Chub and Oleg Kononenko. (NASA photo)

With the undocking of the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft with O’Hara, Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya, Expedition 71 officially began aboard the station. NASA astronauts Michael Barratt, KD5MIJ, Matthew Dominick, KCØTOR, Tracy C. Dyson, and Jeannette Epps, KF5QNU, as well as Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Chub, Alexander Grebenkin, RZ3DSE, and Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, make up Expedition 71 and will remain on the orbiting laboratory until this fall.

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus

Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/

2024 AMSAT/TAPR Banquet To Be Held Friday, May 17

The 15th annual AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be held at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center on Friday, May 17th at 18:30 EDT. This dinner is always a highlight of the TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio) and AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.) activities during the Dayton Hamvention. This year’s banquet speaker will be Bill Reed, NX5R, AMSAT PACSAT Project Manager, who will highlight the forthcoming PACSAT digital communications payload.

The Kohler Presidential Banquet Center is located at 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, Ohio – about 20 minutes away from the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Tickets ($60 each) may be purchased from the AMSAT store. The banquet ticket purchase deadline is Friday, May 10th. Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the AMSAT booth. There will be no tickets to pick up at the AMSAT booth. Tickets purchased on-line will be maintained on a list with check-in at the door at the banquet center. Seating is limited to the number of meals reserved with the Kohler caterers based on the number of tickets sold by the deadline.

Menu

Set out as guests arrive

Crudite Platter
with dip on the side

Dinner Buffet

Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au jus
Carved on site. Served with horseradish and au jus on the side.

Almond Chicken

Deep Fried Tempura Shrimp
with Tomato Lemon Aioli

Risotto Cake

Fresh Asparagus

Smashed Cauliflower

Served to the table

Strawberry Fields

Assorted Dinner Rolls
Served with butter

Separate table

Assorted Layer Cake

Cheesecake

Beverages

Cash Bar

Regular and Decaf Coffee, Hot & Iced Tea, Water

New NASA Strategy Envisions Sustainable Future for Space Operations

To address a rapidly changing space operating environment and ensure its preservation for generations to come, NASA released the first part of its integrated Space Sustainability Strategy, on April 9, advancing the agency’s role as a global leader on this crucial issue.

“The release of this strategy marks true progress for NASA on space sustainability,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Space is busy – and only getting busier. If we want to make sure that critical parts of space are preserved so that our children and grandchildren can continue to use them for the benefit of humanity, the time to act is now. NASA is making sure that we’re aligning our resources to support sustainable activity for us and for all.”

For decades, NASA has served as a proactive leader for responsible and sustainable space operations. Entities across the agency develop best practices, analytic tools, and technologies widely adopted by operators around the world. The new strategy seeks to integrate those efforts through a whole-of-agency approach – allowing NASA to focus its resources on the most pressing issues. To facilitate that integration, NASA will appoint a new director of space sustainability to coordinate activities across the agency.

Key aspects of our approach include providing global leadership in space sustainability, supporting equitable access to space, and ensuring NASA’s missions and operations enhance space sustainability.

Space environments currently are seeing the rapid emergence of commercial capabilities, many of them championed by NASA. These capabilities include increased low Earth orbit satellite activity and plans for the use of satellite constellations, autonomous spacecraft, and commercial space destinations. However, this increased activity also has generated challenges, such as an operating environment more crowded with spacecraft and increased debris. Understanding the risks and benefits associated with this growth is crucial for space sustainability.

Developed under the leadership of a crossagency advisory board, the space sustainability strategy focuses on advancements NASA can make toward measuring and assessing space sustainability in Earth orbit, identifying cost-effective ways to meet sustainability targets, incentivizing the adoption of sustainable practices through technology and policy development, and increasing efforts to share and receive information with the rest of the global space community.

NASA’s approach to space sustainability recognizes four operational domains: Earth, Earth orbit, the orbital area near and around the Moon known as cislunar space, and deep space, including other celestial bodies. The first volume of the strategy focuses on sustainability in Earth orbit. NASA plans to produce additional volumes focusing on the other domains.

Learn more about the Space Sustainability Strategy at: https://www.nasa.gov/spacesustainability

[ANS thanks NASA for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase 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/

Trash From The ISS May Have Hit A House In Florida

A few weeks ago, something from the heavens came crashing through the roof of Alejandro Otero’s Florida home, and NASA is on the case.

Otero wasn’t home at the time. A Nest home security camera captured the sound of the crash at 2:34 pm local time (19:34 UTC) on March 8. That’s an important piece of information because it is a close match for the time—2:29 pm EST (19:29 UTC)—that US Space Command recorded the reentry of a piece of space debris from the space station. At that time, the object was on a path over the Gulf of Mexico, heading toward southwest Florida.


In all likelihood, this nearly 2-pound object came from the International Space Station.
Otero said it tore through the roof and both floors of his two-story house in Naples, Florida.
(Photo by Alejandro Otero on X)

This space junk consisted of depleted batteries from the ISS, attached to a cargo pallet that was originally supposed to come back to Earth in a controlled manner. But a series of delays meant this cargo pallet missed its ride back to Earth, so NASA jettisoned the batteries from the space station in 2021 to head for an unguided reentry.

NASA has recovered the debris from the homeowner, according to Josh Finch, an agency spokesperson. Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will analyze the object “as soon as possible to determine its origin,” Finch told Ars. “More information will be available once the analysis is complete.”

The entire pallet, including the nine disused batteries from the space station’s power system, had a mass of more than 2.6 metric tons (5,800 pounds), according to NASA. Size-wise, it was about twice as tall as a standard kitchen refrigerator. It’s important to note that objects of this mass, or larger, regularly fall to Earth on guided trajectories, but they’re usually failed satellites or spent rocket stages left in orbit after completing their missions.

In a post on X, Otero said he is waiting for communication from “the responsible agencies” to resolve the cost of damages to his home. If the object is owned by NASA, Otero or his insurance company could make a claim against the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, according to Michelle Hanlon, executive director of the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi.

“It gets more interesting if this material is discovered to be not originally from the United States,” she told Ars. “If it is a human-made space object which was launched into space by another country, which caused damage on Earth, that country would be absolutely liable to the homeowner for the damage caused.”

This could be an issue in this case. The batteries were owned by NASA, but they were attached to a pallet structure launched by Japan’s space agency.

NASA typically doesn’t want large chunks of space debris falling to Earth with an uncontrolled reentry. You can trace the reason this object came down unguided back to a Russian launch failure more than five years ago. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian commander Alexey Ovchinin aborted their launch on a Soyuz spacecraft when their rocket failed shortly after liftoff.

One of Hague’s jobs at the International Space Station would have been to go outside on spacewalks to help install a new set of lithium-ion batteries recently delivered by a Japanese HTV cargo ship. But Hague didn’t reach the station in 2018, so NASA put off the spacewalks until a new team of astronauts arrived at the complex.

This interruption to the space station’s carefully choreographed schedule threw off the entire multiyear plan for upgrading the batteries on the outpost’s electrical system. Instead of putting the old batteries back into the HTV for a guided destructive reentry over the open ocean, NASA held onto the cargo pallet at the station when the HTV supply ship needed to depart.

Each of the subsequent HTV missions delivered more fresh batteries to the space station and then departed the complex with the cargo pallet and decommissioned batteries from the previous HTV mission. That was the case until there were no more HTVs to fly. Japan’s last HTV spacecraft departed the ISS in 2020 with the cargo pallet and batteries from the prior flight, stranding the last battery pallet at the station.

The space station’s other cargo vehicles—SpaceX’s Dragon, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus, and the Russian Progress—can’t accommodate the HTV cargo pallet.

So NASA decided to jettison the battery pallet using the space station’s robotic arm in March 2021 in order to free up real estate on the lab. Without any propulsion of their own, the batteries were adrift in orbit for three years until aerodynamic drag finally pulled the pallet back into the atmosphere on March 8, almost exactly three years later.

It is notoriously difficult to predict where a piece of space junk will reenter the atmosphere. US Space Command precisely tracks tens of thousands of objects in Earth orbit, but the exact density of the upper atmosphere is still largely an unknown variable. Even a half-day before the reentry, US Space Command’s estimate for when the battery pallet would fall to Earth had a window of uncertainty spanning six hours, enough time for the object to circle the planet four times.

And if you don’t know when something will reenter the atmosphere, you can’t predict where it will come down.

If NASA confirms the projectile that fell through Otero’s house last month came from the ISS, it would join a small handful of incidents when an object falling out of orbit damaged someone’s property.

Earth is a big place. It’s fairly common for someone to find a piece of fallen space junk in a field or washed up on a beach. But it is rare for a reentry to hit a structure or injure a person.

Falling space debris has never killed anyone. According to ESA, the annual risk of an individual human being injured by space debris is less than 1 in 100 billion.

[ANS thanks ARS Technical for the above information. Read the entire story at https://bit.ly/3xFJs9W.]

VUCC and DXCC Satellite Standings for April 2024

————————————————————
VUCC Satellite Award/Endorsement Change Summary for March 01, 2024 to April 01, 2024.
————————————————————
CallsignMarch 2024April 2024 K8DP16291701 AA5PK14501500 N8RO14441455 KF7R11281154 XE1AO10001111 KE8RJU9501030 WI7P9751008 K9UO9501001 KQ4DO880906 K0JM702801 KK4YEL728768 N8MR684700 A65BR554632 JS1LQI500617 N3CAL580610 SV8CSNew511 JR0GAS360500 KO9A434472 N7UJJ308462 HC2FG350413 PA7RA408409 DL8GAM375400 HB9RYZ248365 W6AER302355 K6VHF300325 JH0BBE322324 XE1BMG120300 KA9CFD126283 I1FQH173249 AG1A100200 JO4JKL135188 W0PRNew176 JK4JMONew161 AA0K100155 WD9EWK(DM25)120138 N6UTC(DM05)101128 N8HRZNew102 WD5GRWNew101 K9DOGNew100 W9FFNew100
————————————————————

Congratulations to the new VUCC holders.
SV8CS is first VUCC Satellite holder from KM07

DXCC Satellite Standing April 2024
————————————————————
DXCC Satellite Award/Endorsement Change Summary for March 01, 2024 to April 01, 2024.
————————————————————
CallsignMarch 2024April 2024 SV8CS153159 KB8VAO135148 HB9RYZ145147 DL4ZAB138139 NK1K129138 DL2MIH111132 XE1MEX122125 KK5DO106108 K9UO101106 DL8GAM100101 XE1LNew100
————————————————————

Congratulations to the new DXCC Satellite holder.
XE1L is first DXCC Satellite holder from DL80

[ANS thanks Jon Goering, N7AZ, 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 April 12

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

This week there are no additions or deletions to the AMSAT TLE distribution.

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]

Ending an Era, Final Delta Rocket Launched This Week

Ending an era in U.S. rocketry, United Launch Alliance fired off its 16th and final triple-core Delta 4 Heavy Tuesday, launching a classified spy satellite in the last hurrah of a storied family of rockets dating back to the dawn of the space age.

The Heavy’s three hydrogen-fueled RS-68A first stage engines ignited with a rush of bright orange flame at 12:53 p.m. EDT, smoothly pushing the 235-foot-tall rocket away from pad 37 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.


The last Delta 4 Heavy rocket climbs away from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on April 9, 2024,
carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite. (United Launch Alliance photo.)

The launch came 12 days late, primarily because of work to replace a pump in a system that supplies nitrogen gas to multiple launch pads from a pipeline running through the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. There were no problems Tuesday.

Mounted atop the rocket was a classified satellite provided by the National Reconnaissance Office, the secretive government agency that manages the nation’s fleet of sophisticated optical and radar imaging reconnaissance satellites and electronic eavesdropping stations.

In keeping with standard NRO-U.S. Space Force policy for such missions, no details about the NROL-70 payload were released. But about six hours after launch, the National Reconnaissance Office declared the launch a success, indicating the satellite reached its planned orbit.The final appearance of a Delta rocket 63 years after the first variant’s maiden flight was an emotional milestone for the managers, engineers and technicians who assembled and launched the last member of the family.

The Delta family of stages and rockets had its roots in the early space program, first serving in the nation’s fleet of intermediate-range ballistic missiles and evolving through multiple versions used to put military, NASA and civilian payloads into orbit.

The now-retired Delta 2 debuted in 1990, putting the first Global Positioning System satellites into orbit and sending multiple planetary probes into deep space, including Messenger to Mercury, multiple Mars orbiters, the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, the Spitzer Space Telescope and many more.

The single-core Delta 4 first flew in 2002 with the first Heavy following two years later. The single-core version flew the program’s final flight in 2019. Tuesday’s launch was the 45th flight of a Delta 4 and the 16th and final Delta 4 Heavy.

“Launching the last Delta 4 is bittersweet for me,” Col. Eric Zarybnisky, director of NRO’s Office of Space Launch, said in a statement. “I was part of the team that launched the first Delta 4 for the NRO. Since that time, the Delta 4 has put amazing capability on orbit for this nation.”

Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, also called the flight a “bittersweet” moment as the company continues its transition to next-generation Vulcan rockets, phasing out its more expensive Delta and Atlas families.

“Soon, Vulcan will pick up that mantle and we’re going to retire this venerable rocket that has made so much important work for our country,” he said after launch in a pre-recorded video.

[ANS thanks William Harwood, CBS News, 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.

RECENTLY COMPLETED

ARTADEMIA, Milano, Italy, AND Scuola Secondaria I grado “A. Moro”, Ponte Lambro (CO), Italy, direct via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign was OR4ISS. The crewmember was Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU. The ARISS mentor was IZ2GOJ.
Contact was successful: Wed 2024-04-10 13:16:48 UTC 53 degrees elevation
Congratulations to the ARTADEMIA and Scuola Secondaria I grado “A. Moro” students, Jeanette, mentor IZ2GOJ, and ground station IK1SLD!
Watch the recorded Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/live/sJoKzK2292U?si=BxXWi41cfsJJv4c2

UPCOMING

Mrs Ethelston’s CE Primary Academy at Axminster Community Academy Trust, Lyme Regis, United Kingdom, direct via GB4ACA
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The scheduled crewmember is Matthew Dominick, KCØTOR. The ARISS mentor is MØXTD.
Contact is go for: Wed 2024-04-17 10:44:49 UTC 81 degrees elevation
Watch for Livestream at https://live.ariss.org

Mountain View Elementary, Marietta, GA, direct via KQ4JVI
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS. The scheduled crewmember is Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU. The ARISS mentor is K4RGK.
Contact is go for: Thu 2024-04-18 17:48:40 UTC 44 deg
Watch for Livestream at https://youtube.com/live/lDjyV6P9x6I

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system (145.825 MHz up & down) is currently misconfigured and not in operation.

The Ham TV system (2395.00 MHz down) is aboard but currently stowed. The BATC Ham TV wiki is at https://wiki.batc.org.uk/HAMTV_from_the_ISS and there is also a discussion channel available on the site.

The SSTV system (145.800 MHz down) is currently stowed.

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

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

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

Doug, N6UA will soon embark on a big circuitous rove covering parts of MT, ID, OR and NV. I’m guessing this will take place in the next week or two, but only Doug knows for certain. APRS is gonna be your friend here.

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

2024 CubeSat Developer’s Workshop
Tuesday April 23rd – Thursday April 25th
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA
https://www.cubesatdw.org/

Dayton Hamvention 2024
Friday May 17th – Sunday May 19th
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Events page for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ NASA now knows what knocked Voyager 1 offline, but it will take a while to fix. Voyager 1’s remaining Flight Data Subsystem (its redundant copy failed in 1982) is the reason that the distant spacecraft is currently offline. Voyager’s FDS were the first computers on a spacecraft to use volatile memory. Unfortunately, one of Voyager 1’s FDS memory chips is malfunctioning—NASA hopes they can work around it, but it will likely take months.(ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.)

+ If you have 26 minutes to spare, and want to explore more intricacies of Ohm’s Law than you were taught in school, watch electricity flow through a wire a nanosecond at a time at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AXv49dDQJw (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.)

+ Following repairs to a liquid oxygen leak in the Falcon Heavy’s core booster, NASA and SpaceX have rescheduled the launch of the GOES-U satellite, the final installment in NOAA’s GOES-R Series, for June 25. The adjustment aims to ensure thorough examination and resolution of the issue, discovered during a routine inspection in February. With preparations now back on track, the deployment of GOES-U from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A will proceed using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Managed cooperatively by NOAA and NASA, the GOES-R Series Program encompasses satellite operations, data dissemination, and ground systems oversight, with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center leading spacecraft acquisition and instrument development. Lockheed Martin’s contributions include design, construction, and testing of the satellites, while L3Harris Technologies has provided key instruments and ground systems essential for capturing atmospheric observations. (ANS thanks Clarence Oxford, SpaceDaily, for the above information)

+ The European Union is poised to finalize a security deal with the United States, enabling payments to Elon Musk’s SpaceX for satellite launches due to delays in Europe’s Ariane rocket system. Approved by national general affairs ministers, the agreement grants European Union and European Space Agency (ESA) personnel continuous access to launch facilities and prioritized debris retrieval rights in case of SpaceX rocket failures. With a 200 million deal already struck last year, SpaceX is contracted to launch four Galileo satellites as Ariane 6 faces further delays. While Ariane 6 is slated for a summer launch, commercial missions await later scheduling. The arrangement with SpaceX allows for two Galileo satellite launches this year, necessitated by Soyuz launcher cancellations and Ariane 6 delays. The security pact ensures access to classified Galileo equipment, with provisions for debris retrieval and a sunset clause by 2027 to address concerns about reliance on SpaceX over Ariane. (ANS thanks Joshua Poaaner, Politico Europe, for the above information)

+ NASA has been tasked by the White House to establish a lunar-centric time reference system, known as Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC), to aid missions requiring extreme precision on the moon. The agency has until the end of 2026 to set up LTC, which is not akin to Earth’s time zones but provides a frame of time reference for the moon. LTC will accommodate the slightly faster passage of time on the moon, approximately 58.7 microseconds each day compared to Earth, due to its lower gravity. It will serve as a benchmark for timekeeping for lunar spacecraft and satellites, crucial for their missions. NASA’s Artemis program, set to begin astronaut missions to the lunar surface in 2026, necessitates LTC for synchronization among Earth, lunar satellites, bases, and astronauts, without which data transfers and communications could be compromised. Developing LTC will require international agreements, possibly influenced by the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) standard, with potential implementation involving atomic clocks on the moon and adherence to existing space agreements like the Artemis accords. (ANS thanks Diana Ramirez-Simon, The Guardian, for the above information)

 

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor, Mark Johns, KØJM
k0jm [at] amsat.org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

2024 AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at Hamvention to be Held Friday May 17th

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 04:55

AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin ANS-103
April 12, 2024

In this edition:

  • 2024 AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at Hamvention to be Held Friday May 17th

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 https://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

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/

2024 AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at Hamvention to be Held Friday May 17th

The 15th annual AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be held at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center on Friday, May 17th at 18:30 EDT. This dinner is always a highlight of the TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio) and AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.) activities during the Dayton Hamvention.  This year’s banquet speaker will be Bill Reed, NX5R, AMSAT PACSAT Project Manager, who will highlight the forthcoming PACSAT digital communications payload.

The Kohler Presidential Banquet Center is located at 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, Ohio – about 20 minutes away from the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Tickets ($60 each) may be purchased from the AMSAT store. The banquet ticket purchase deadline is Friday, May 10th. Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the AMSAT booth. There will be no tickets to pick up at the AMSAT booth. Tickets purchased on-line will be maintained on a list with check-in at the door at the banquet center. Seating is limited to the number of meals reserved with the Kohler caterers based on the number of tickets sold by the deadline.

Menu

Set out as guests arrive

Crudite Platter
with dip on the side

Dinner Buffet

Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au jus
Carved on site. Served with horseradish and au jus on the side.

Almond Chicken

Deep Fried Tempura Shrimp
with Tomato Lemon Aioli

Risotto Cake

Fresh Asparagus

Smashed Cauliflower

Served to the table

Strawberry Fields

Assorted Dinner Rolls
Served with butter

Separate table

Assorted Layer Cake

Cheesecake

Beverages

Cash Bar

Regular and Decaf Coffee, Hot & Iced Tea, Water

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

  • Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
  • 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.
  • Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Contributing Editor,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm [at] amsat.org

ANS is a service of AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, 712 H Street NE, Suite 1653, Washington, DC 20002

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-098 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Sat, 04/06/2024 - 18:00

In this edition:

* AMSAT Seeks Volunteers to Assist with 2024 Hamvention AMSAT Booth
* AMSAT AO-109 (Fox-1E) Satellite Sets New Processor Uptime Record
* ESA Unveils Proba-3 Mission: Artificial Solar Eclipses on Demand
* GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers April 2024 Rankings
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for April 5, 2024
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 https://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

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/

ANS-098 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2024 April 07

AMSAT Seeks Volunteers to Assist with 2024 Hamvention AMSAT Booth

With less than six weeks until the 2024 Dayton Hamvention, scheduled for May 17th to May 19th in Xenia, Ohio, excitement mounts for the 72nd installment of this premier gathering for ham operators worldwide. In 2023, attendance surged to 33,861, surpassing both the previous year and pre-pandemic records, indicating growing enthusiasm. The 2024 event, anticipated to draw even larger crowds, will also host the ARRL National Convention.

AMSAT, a key exhibitor, will once again occupy a spacious 1,200 square foot area at Building 1’s north end, known as the Maxim building. This location, ideally situated for its ventilation and access to the outdoor satellite ground station, is perfect for showcasing AMSAT’s exhibits. The booth will feature various attractions, including engineering team members, CubeSatSim, Beginner’s Corner, Youth Initiative, merchandise sales, software demonstrations, and membership sign-ups. Notably, this year’s booth will spotlight the revamped AMSAT Ambassador program, offering opportunities for engagement.

Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, shares her satellite expertise at the AMSAT Dayton Hamvention booth. [Credit: Katie Allen, WY7YL]AMSAT is actively seeking volunteers to assist with booth activities and invites enthusiasts to dedicate their time. Last year, around 20 volunteers played crucial roles in fostering meaningful interactions with attendees. Volunteers, whether able to commit a few hours or the entire weekend, are warmly encouraged to participate.

Aligned with this year’s theme of “Expanding our Community,” AMSAT aims to strengthen its presence by recruiting new members and volunteers. For those eager to be part of AMSAT’s presence at Dayton Hamvention or request more information about volunteering, Phil Smith, W1EME, AMSAT Hamvention Team Leader, serves as the point of contact. To volunteer or inquire further, individuals can reach out to Phil via email at w1eme [at] amsat.org. Your involvement not only enriches the event but also contributes to the vibrant amateur radio community.

[ANS thanks Phil Smith, W1EME, AMSAT Hamvention Team Leader, for the above information]

AMSAT AO-109 (Fox-1E) Satellite Sets New Processor Uptime Record

AMSAT’s AO-109, also known as Fox-1E, has recently achieved a remarkable milestone. Launched in January 2021, this satellite operates with an 8 mW signal, best suited for CW and FT4 communications among amateur radio enthusiasts. Recent telemetry data from the Dwingeloo Radiotelescope in The Netherlands has revealed an impressive feat: AO-109 has set a new record for processor uptime. This information was gathered by Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, who has meticulously monitored telemetry reports on a daily basis and calculated the duration of each reset, allowing for precise correlation of telemetry frames with UTC time.

The Fox satellites are designed to undergo onboard computer resets triggered by factors like radiation exposure and low battery voltage. Time on these satellites is measured by counting resets plus the duration since the last reset. It is common for the Fox satellites to reset every few days or weeks, especially when passing over the South Atlantic Anomaly. However, the processor on AO-109 has been running continuously since September 2023, accumulating over 18 million seconds of uptime—far surpassing any other Fox satellite.

Launched on January 17, 2021, as part of the ELaNa 20 mission using a LauncherOne rocket operated by Virgin Orbit, AO-109 was carried aloft by a modified Boeing 747 named “Cosmic Girl” from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, United States. After reaching an altitude of approximately 35,000 feet (11,000 meters), the rocket was released into space. This launch, conducted under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative program, marked the beginning of the satellite’s mission to facilitate amateur radio communications and technology research.

AO-109 (Fox-1E) Satellite is Expected to Re-enter Earth’s Atmosphere in April 2024. [Credit: AMSAT]AO-109 represents the fifth iteration of the “Fox” 1U amateur radio satellites series developed by AMSAT, featuring a 30KHz linear transponder radio. Upon becoming operational on July 20, 2021, AO-109 embarked on a mission to serve both amateur radio and technology research objectives. Among its key payloads is RadFXSat-2, a collaboration with Vanderbilt University, aimed at studying the effects of space radiation on specific SRAM types. Consistent with the Fox 1A design blueprint, Fox-1E is equipped with a 2-meter whip antenna and a 70 cm whip antenna.

With its anticipated re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in the coming weeks, users are encouraged to make the most of AO-109 while it’s still operational. Current reports suggest the satellite’s altitude is around 300 km, which is lower than the ISS orbiting altitude of 370–460 km.

[ANS thanks Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, and Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, for the above information]

The 2024 AMSAT President’s Club coins are here now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus Join the AMSAT President’s Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
https://www.amsat.org/join-the-amsat-presidents-club/ ESA Unveils Proba-3 Mission: Artificial Solar Eclipses on Demand

Next week, a celestial spectacle will unfold across North America as millions of people witness a total solar eclipse. Alongside eager spectators, solar physicists worldwide are gearing up for the event, drawn by the opportunity to study the Sun’s enigmatic corona, typically obscured by its intense luminosity. However, thanks to a innovative initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA), sustained examination of the solar corona will soon become feasible through the Proba-3 mission.

In Belgium last week, the European Space Agency revealed the spacecraft pair which constitute the Proba-3 mission. This initiative aims to generate orbital solar eclipses at will, providing researchers with extended periods to scrutinize the Sun’s ethereal corona. The mission comprises two spacecraft: the Occulter and the Coronagraph. Positioned approximately 150 meters apart, these spacecraft will align meticulously with the Sun, with the Occulter casting a shadow onto the Coronagraph, effectively blocking out the Sun’s glare and unveiling the corona.

Dietmar Pilz, ESA’s Director of Technology, Engineering, and Quality, explains, “The two spacecraft will act as if they are one enormous 150-meter-long instrument.” However, achieving such precision poses immense technical challenges. Even the slightest misalignment could disrupt the mission’s efficacy. Consequently, the development process, spearheaded by a consortium of ESA Member States led by Spain and Belgium, has been extensive.

Rendering of Proba-3 Occulter and Coronagraph Spacecraft above Earth [Credit: European Space Agency]The fundamental concept of generating artificial solar eclipses in orbit isn’t novel. Previous attempts, such as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, have explored similar endeavors. However, Proba-3 seeks to institutionalize this capability through precise formation flying, enabling up to six hours of continuous observation per orbit lasting 19 hours and 36 minutes.

Solar eclipses, a consequence of the fortunate alignment of the Sun and the Moon, unveil the solar corona — a region of profound scientific and practical significance. Significantly hotter than the Sun’s surface, the corona influences space weather, solar wind, and phenomena like coronal mass ejections, which can impact satellite operations and terrestrial communications networks.

Proba-3’s groundbreaking approach involves orchestrating the Occulter and Coronagraph to operate as a unified entity, thus minimizing diffraction effects and maximizing the observation of the corona. This collaboration, facilitated by advanced positioning technologies, promises to unveil the mysteries of the corona within the range of 3 to 1.1 solar radii from the Sun.

Occulter and Coronagraph Spacecraft Undergoing Integration Testing at Redwire’s Belgium Facility [Credit: ESA]The mission’s autonomy is paramount, with precise formation flying orchestrated autonomously to minimize external perturbations. This autonomy enables the spacecraft to maintain precise alignment for optimal observation of the corona while passively drifting during the remainder of the orbit.

Beyond its scientific implications, the success of Proba-3 could herald a new era of space missions, facilitating endeavors like in-orbit satellite servicing and deploying larger-scale space infrastructure. Moreover, the mission’s instruments, like ASPIICS and the radiometer, hold promise for climate modeling and advancing our understanding of solar dynamics.

As the world awaits the North American total solar eclipse, members of Proba-3’s science team seize the opportunity to test mission hardware. Components like polarizing filter wheels and alternative LED technologies will undergo rigorous examination, further refining the mission’s capabilities.

[ANS thanks the European Space Agency for the above information]

GridMasterMap Satellite Top 100 Rovers April 2024 Rankings

The April 2024 rankings for the Top 100 Rovers (Mixed LEO/MEO/GEO) in satellite operations, as determined by @GridMasterMap on Twitter, has been released. The ranking is determined by the number of grids and DXCC entities activated, taking into account only those grids where a minimum number of QSOs logged on the gridmaster.fr website have been validated by a third party. Grid numbers do not directly reflect the exact number of activations. Satellite operators are encouraged to upload their LoTW satellite contacts to https://gridmaster.fr in order to provide more accurate data.

Updated: 2024-04-02

1 ND9M 26 N5BO 51 SP5XSD 76 FG8OJ 2 NJ7H 27 K8BL 52 AD7DB 77 PT9BM 3 JA9KRO 28 LU5ILA 53 JL3RNZ 78 KJ7NDY 4 N5UC 29 KE4AL 54 F4DXV 79 KI7UXT 5 UT1FG 30 DL2GRC 55 KE9AJ 80 YU0W 6 OE3SEU 31 VE3HLS 56 KI7QEK 81 WA9JBQ 7 DL6AP 32 KB5FHK 57 PA3GAN 82 N4DCW 8 WI7P 33 KI7UNJ 58 N8RO 83 HB9GWJ 9 HA3FOK 34 LA9XGA 59 XE1ET 84 KB2YSI 10 K5ZM 35 F4BKV 60 KM4LAO 85 N0TEL 11 N6UA 36 N7AGF 61 VE1CWJ 86 VE3GOP 12 N9IP 37 JO2ASQ 62 SM3NRY 87 KI0KB 13 WY7AA 38 XE3DX 63 N4UFO 88 JM1CAX 14 W5PFG 39 K7TAB 64 VA3VGR 89 CU2ZG 15 AK8CW 40 KE0PBR 65 W1AW 90 K0FFY 16 AD0DX 41 KE0WPA 66 VA7LM 91 KG4AKV 17 DP0POL 42 N6DNM 67 PT2AP 92 AF5CC 18 WD9EWK 43 PR8KW 68 M1DDD 93 VE6WK 19 AD0HJ 44 AC0RA 69 DL4EA 94 W8MTB 20 ON4AUC 45 EB1AO 70 AA8CH 95 VE7PTN 21 KX9X 46 JK2XXK 71 N4AKV 96 DK9JC 22 KG5CCI 47 W7WGC 72 LU4JVE 97 K6VHF 23 ND0C 48 EA4NF 73 VE1VOX 98 N6UTC 24 DJ8MS 49 VK5DG 74 W8LR 99 PT9ST 25 F5VMJ 50 AA5PK 75 DF2ET 100 VO2AC

[ANS thanks @GridMasterMap for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack 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/ Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for April 5, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated daily in the first hour of the UTC day. New bulletin files will be posted immediately after reliable elements become available for new amateur satellites. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/.

The following satellite has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

XW-2F NORAD Cat ID 40910 Decayed from orbit on or about 01 April 2024

[ANS thanks AMSAT Orbital Elements page 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.

Recently Completed Contacts

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, direct via NN4ER
The ISS callsign was NA1SS
The crewmember was Matthew Dominick KCØTOR
The ARISS mentor was AJ9N
Contact was successful: Wed 2024-04-03 15:22:17 UTC
Watch the contact at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/eraudaytona/portal.htm?eventId=754085&streamType=video
Congratulations to the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students, Matthew, NN4ER, mentor AJ9N!

Ryazan State Radio Engineering University, Ryazan, Russia, direct via RK3SWB (***)
The ISS callsign was RSØISS
The crewmember was Oleg Novitskiy
The ARISS mentor was RV3DR
Contact was successful for Wed 2024-04-03 12:30 UTC
Congratulations to the Ryazan State Radio Engineering University students, Oleg, RK3SWB, and mentor RV3DR!

Aznakaevsky District students, Tatarstan, Russia, direct via RC4P
The ISS callsign was RSØISS
The crewmember was Aleksandr Grebyonkin RZ3DSE
The ARISS mentor was RV3DR
Contact was successful: Thu 2024-04-04 10:10 UTC
Congratulations to the Aznakaevsky District students, Aleksandr, mentor RV3DR, and RC4P!

University College of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia, direct via R2FDB
The ISS callsign was RSØISS
The crewmember was Marina Vasilevskaya
The ARISS mentor was RV3DR
Contact was successful: Thu 2024-04-04 13:19 UTC
Congratulations to the University College of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University students, Marina, mentor RV3DR, and R2FDB!

Collège Théodore Monod, Gagny, France, direct via TM2ISS
The ISS callsign was OR4ISS
The crewmember was Matthew Dominick KCØTOR
The ARISS mentor was F6ICS
Contact was successful: Thu 2024-04-04 14:51:07 UTC
Congratulations to the Collège Théodore Monod students!

Upcoming Contacts

Volga State University, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Aleksandr Grebyonkin RZ3DSE
The ARISS mentor is RV3DR
Contact is go for Sun 2024-04-07 09:20 UTC

Tooele County School District, Tooele, UT, direct via W7CBL
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Mike Barratt KD5MIJ
The ARISS mentor is AJ9N
Contact is go for: Mon 2024-04-08 17:45:07 UTC

ARTADEMIA, Milano, Italy, AND Scuola Secondaria I grado “A. Moro”, Ponte Lambro (CO), Italy, direct via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled crewmember is Jeanette Epps KF5QNU
The ARISS mentor is IZ2GOJ
Contact is go for: Wed 2024-04-10 13:16:48 UTC

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down). If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

The packet system is also active (145.825 MHz up & down).

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

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

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations

EL, LIBERIA: Satellite activations include RS-44, IO-117, and QO-100
The Czech DXpedition Team (Petr/OK1BOA, Palo/OK1CRM, Petr/OK1FCJ,
Pavel/OK1GK, Ruda/OK2ZA, Ludek/OK2ZC, Karel/OK2ZI, and David/OK6DJ)
signs A8OK between April 9 and 16 from Liberia. QRV on 160-6m (CW,
SSB, RTTY, PSK, FT8/4) and via satellite. For more information see:
https://www.cdxp.cz and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1472348776313779
QSL via OK6DJ OQRS or via LoTW.

(Thanks to DXNL 2400 – April 3, 2024 DX Newsletter)

A growing number of satellite rovers are currently engaged in sharing their grid square activations on https://hams.at. By visiting the website, you gain easy access to comprehensive information about the operators responsible for activating specific grid squares. Additionally, you have the ability to assess the match score between yourself and a particular rover for a given pass, while also being able to identify the upcoming satellite passes that are accessible from your location.

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT Rover Page Manager, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

2024 CubeSat Developer’s Workshop
Tuesday April 23rd – Thursday April 25th
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA
https://www.cubesatdw.org/

Dayton Hamvention 2024
Friday May 17th – Sunday May 19th
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get an 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 Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ NASA will launch three scientific-sounding rockets into the moon’s shadow on April 8 during a partial solar eclipse across North America, coinciding with a total solar eclipse in certain areas. The project, named Atmospheric Perturbations Around The Eclipse Path (APEP), aims to investigate how the sudden drop in sunlight and temperature during the eclipse affects Earth’s upper atmosphere. Named after the serpent deity from ancient Egyptian mythology, APEP will involve rockets launched from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. These rockets, equipped with secondary instruments, will measure changes in electric and magnetic fields, density, and temperature as they penetrate the ionosphere during the eclipse. Understanding these perturbations in the ionosphere is crucial for predicting disturbances that impact satellite communications and ensuring the smooth operation of our communication-dependent world. (ANS thanks Jamie Carter, Senior Contributor, Forbes, for the above information)

+ The final launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta Heavy IV rocket is scheduled for April 9, marking the end of a 64-year legacy for the Delta family. The highly successful career of the Delta Heavy IV comes to a close as it launches a classified payload, NROL-70, on behalf of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The NRO, responsible for the country’s surveillance satellites, maintains secrecy about the specifics of its missions. This final launch aims to enhance the NRO’s capabilities in providing intelligence to national decision-makers and supporting global humanitarian efforts. United Launch Alliance plans to retire both the Delta IV Heavy and the Atlas V to pave the way for its new Vulcan Centaur rocket, with the Atlas V scheduled for missions until 2029. The era of the Delta family concludes amidst a transition towards more advanced launch technologies and capabilities. (ANS thanks Brett Tingley, Managing Editor, Space.com, for the above information)

+ Despite facing numerous challenges, including malfunctioning temperature sensors and unused battery cells, Japan’s SLIM Moon lander has defied expectations by surviving a second lunar night, despite being in a precarious position with its thrusters pointed upward and solar arrays facing away from the Sun. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) received a signal from the lander indicating it had restarted after hibernating to avoid freezing temperatures on the Moon’s surface. Initially forced to shut down due to insufficient electricity generation from its solar cells, SLIM has persisted against the odds, reviving itself twice since its landing on January 19. Although not designed to endure the Moon’s harsh conditions, the lander has continued to function, prompting uncertainty about JAXA’s future plans for the resilient spacecraft after it successfully achieved its primary mission goal of a precise lunar landing within a 328-foot radius. (ANS thanks Passant Rabie, Gizmodo, for the above information)

+ China’s Queqiao-2 satellite successfully launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Site on March 20th, reaching lunar orbit after a perilune braking maneuver near the Moon’s surface on March 24th. Positioned to relay communications for future lunar missions, including Chang’e-4 and Chang’e-6, Queqiao-2’s orbit will be adjusted to facilitate these missions and support China’s ambitious lunar exploration program. Accompanying experimental satellites, Tiandu-1 and -2, also entered lunar orbit, conducting tests in communication and navigation. Queqiao-2’s strategic orbit placement in the Moon’s maria region holds significance for China’s lunar exploration history, including past probe landings fifteen years ago on March 1, 2009. China’s lunar missions, aiming to scout resources and establish a lunar base, signify a substantial endeavor parallel to NASA’s Artemis Program, which plans to establish a sustained presence on the Moon with international collaboration. (ANS thanks Matt Williams, Universe Today, for the above information)

Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/

In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:

* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* 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.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.

Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor, Mitch Ahrenstorff, ADØHJ
ad0hj [at] amsat.org

Categories: Amateur Radio News

ANS-091 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

Sat, 03/30/2024 - 18:00

AMSAT News Service ANS-091
March 31, 2024

In this edition:

  • AMSAT-DL Proposes Next Generation GEO/MEO Amateur Radio Payload
  • AMSAT-DL’s ERMINAZ Satellites Complete IARU Frequency Coordination
  • LoRa Digipeater Satellite from the U. S. Naval Academy Scheduled for 2025 Launch
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for March 29, 2024
  • ARISS News
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

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 https://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

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/

AMSAT-DL Proposes Next Generation GEO/MEO Amateur Radio Payload

At the request of the IARU, the European Space Agency (ESA) is supporting an initiative to define a future amateur radio satellite payload in geostationary orbit. The implementation is to take place through collaborative cooperation between internal, industrial and amateur radio participants. This activity will consolidate the requirements of the amateur and commercial satellite industry, weigh up different payload options, address the future user segment, develop scenarios for the financing, procurement and operation of such a payload, and investigate possibilities for placement on geostationary platforms.

This past weekend, AMSAT-DL released their proposal. AMSAT-UK, along with the British Amateur Television Club, AMSAT-NA, and the UK Microwave Group previously made a separate proposal. AMSAT-DL’s proposal is written by the authors Kai Siebels, DH0SK and Matthias Bopp, DD1US. The proposal takes into account the technical requirements and needs of radio amateurs. Various aspects such as orbit, satellite and platform as well as payload are taken into account.

Among the possible orbits such as MEO, HEO and GEO, the GEO orbit has proven to be the most suitable due to the extensive experience with OSCAR-100. A good compromise for the orbit position would be at ~43 degrees West to also support Eastern European countries and most of North America.

A payload for amateur radio should allow the greatest possible scope for experiments on different bands. Six bands could be used for the uplink to enable experiments with different frequencies. The main uplink band is the 13 cm band, the main downlink band is the 3 cm band. All proposed band / NB transponder combinations can be implemented at the ground station with very reasonable effort.

A dedicated AMSAT (Amateur Radio) mission based on an ESA-supported Micro GEO provides opportunities for several additional experiments that support AMSAT’s education, science and development goals to inspire young people with amateur radio technology. Finally, such a mission could also provide an excellent platform for disaster/emergency communications directly via the GEO satellite transponders.

Micro GEO and QO-100

Micro GEO satellites are a new class of small geostationary communications satellites. They are around a tenth of the size of traditional geostationary satellites and typically measure just one cubic meter. This smaller size makes them significantly cheaper to manufacture and launch, allowing satellite operators to offer customized regional services or gap fillers that would not be financially feasible with large satellites.

The amateur radio payload “QO-100” on the Es’hail-2 geostationary satellite, is a groundbreaking platform for the amateur radio community as it represents the first geostationary payload for amateur radio. The exemplary collaboration between AMSAT-DL, QARS and commercial partners on this project to integrate amateur radio payloads into a commercial satellite is a sign of the ongoing cooperation between the amateur radio community and the commercial space industry. This synergy can open up new avenues for amateur radio projects in space. QO-100 serves as a bridge between traditional approaches and new possibilities, while remaining firmly rooted in the principles of amateur radio. Its presence in geostationary orbit is a triumph for the amateur radio community and a sign that amateur radio can continue to play an important role in the exploration and use of space.

SYNCART 2.0 on the Heinrich Hertz satellite

The Heinrich Hertz Satellite Mission (also known as H2Sat) is a national, geostationary communications and research satellite. It was planned by the Space Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on behalf of the BMWi as part of the German government’s space strategy and serves both independent payloads (“hosted payloads”) and the in-orbit verification (IOV) of technologies as well as for research purposes.

In July 2012, AMSAT-Germany (AMSAT-DL) proposed an amateur radio payload on the Heinrich Hertz satellite with the name “SYNCART 2.0”. This was a further development of the transponders of the P3-D AMSAT-OSCAR-40 satellite in the X and K amateur radio bands and a beacon in the 76 GHz band.

The objectives of the amateur radio payload were as follows:

  • Development of the geostationary orbit for the amateur radio service
  • Communication resource for emergency and disaster radio (with low-power, small, simple technology)
  • In-orbit verification of SDX technologies
  • Promoting the spread of microwave technology
  • Gaining new insights by studying propagation conditions in the 76 GHz band for satellite applications
  • Provision of a signal for the calibration of antennas, converters and receivers, in particular for radio astronomical applications
  • Stimulating the acquisition of scientific and technical education, especially among schoolchildren and young people, by providing a permanently available satellite resource, e.g. for use in teaching, research and education
  • Acquisition of concrete knowledge and experience with satellite technologies and corresponding research opportunities in order to provide the space industry with highly qualified specialists.

The concept aimed to make efficient and effective use of any remaining H2Sat capacity.

The Heinrich Hertz feasibility study was completed in 2010. Planning phase B was carried out from 2011 to 2013. In July 2012, AMSAT-DL submitted its proposal for an amateur radio payload. Unfortunately, important positions on the antenna deck and with the payloads were already occupied at this point. There was also an approach for a Ka/Ka relaying transponder, but its use would have been limited to two small spot beams to northern Germany and southern Germany. At the time, this did not seem justifiable to our members and the amateur radio community in terms of the cost/benefit ratio. After it became clear that an amateur radio payload on the Heinrich Hertz satellite in the proposed form was not feasible, the proposal was finally withdrawn in September 2012.

Miraculously, however, a new window opened just a few months later! Initial talks and contacts were held as early as December 2012, which ultimately led to an amateur radio payload on the Es’hail-2 satellite, also known as Qatar-OSCAR 100 or QO-100. Es’hail-2/QO-100 was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 15, 2018. This project is a joint initiative of the Qatar Satellite Company, the Qatar Amateur Radio Society and AMSAT-DL. The satellite was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Japan and is located in a geostationary orbit at 26° East.

Links

[ANS thanks AMSAT-DL for the above information]

AMSAT-DL’s ERMINAZ Satellites Complete IARU Frequency Coordination

AMSAT-DL’S ERMINAZ satellites have completed frequency coordination with the IARU.

The ERMINAZ mission is a syndicated multi-PocketQube mission with a total of 7 PQs under the leadership of AMSAT-Germany, which also holds the launch contract with RFA under DLR support. The project is in collaboration between AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-EA (Spain), ESERO-Germany (Bochum Observatory) and Libre Space Foundation (Greece). The mission is to promote, advance and develop knowledge about space and amateur radio. ERMINAZ-1U & ERMINAZ-1V will transmit telemetry, images, provide a digipeat/store/forward functionally to all radio amateurs worldwide. ERMINAZ-1U will operate in the UHF amateur satellite band, while ERMINAZ-1V will operate in the VHF amateur satellite band. Only non-proprietary, open source and documented protocols, accessible to radio amateurs, will be used. This includes CCSDS telemetry, CW beacon, SSDV images, digipeater, AX.25 und possibly other modes. Telemetry and sensor data from radiation sensor and triaxial accelerometer / gyroscope / magnetometer will allow any radio amateur to participate by extending his knowledge about space. In addition, a digipeater and store & forward function will allow licensed radio amateurs to use ERMINAZ-1U/1V as a relay to communicate with other radio amateurs worldwide. The mission will conduct several experiments with different types of modulations, bandwidths, data rates and framing schemes: GFSK with data rate from 9600 up to 19200 GFSK with data rate from 9600 up to 19200 bits/s GMSK with data rate from 9600 up to 19200 bits/s BPSK with data rate from 9600 up to 19200 bits/s QPSK data rate from 19200 up to 38400 bits/s Frames will using three different framing schemes configurable upon the mission requirements: CSDS (residual or suppressed carrier) or IEEE 802.15.4 (preamble, sync) or AX.25. Planning a launch by RFA-Rocket Factory Augsburg AG from SaxaVord Spaceport into a 500km polar orbit not earlier than August 2024 together with UNNE-1 (HADES-E) and MARIA-G (HADES-F) from AMSAT-EA and QUBIK 5 from LibreSpace.

Up and downlinks on 145.965 MHz (ERMINAZ-1V) and 435.775 MHz (ERMINAZ-1U) have been coordinated.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-DL and the IARU for the above information]

LoRa Digipeater Satellite from the U. S. Naval Academy Scheduled for 2025 Launch A 3U CubeSat. USNA-16 will provide UHF LoRa digipeater service to the amateur radio service. Additionally, USNA-16 is a university-student educational amateur radio mission. It will test a modular CubeSat design and integration, as well as the efficacy of student-designed passive magnetic pointing scheme for S-band operation. INCHsat payload will provide UHF service to the amateur radio service. In addition INCHsat payload is a university, student lead, educational amateur radio mission. It will test custom designed and built components. Specifically it will test a custom on-board computer, a custom radio (based off the OpenLST), a custom motherboard, and a custom antenna deployment system. USNA-16 is a student educational amateur radio mission. It will test a modular CubeSat design and integration, as well as student-designed passive magnetic pointing scheme. TT&C will occur at UHF (437.235 MHz, will be designated as UHF-TTC in this document) and data downlinks will occur at 2.42GHz, both within the amateur bands and both using the LoRa protocol. This will be the first satellite launched by USNA using LoRa, with a potential future application of APRS over LoRa. USNA-16 will also provide UHF LoRa digipeater service at 437.235 MHz to facilitate communication between amateur operators. INCHSat is a student educational amateur radio mission built by students at the University of Maryland, including the licensee, KC3VBJ. There are no paid employees. The main goal is to enhance the aerospace skills of students in a professional context. The students are learning about satellites and space mission development and space communication by designing, building, and launching a payload onboard a cube satellite. The payload consists of a custom onboard computer, the radio, basic sensors, motherboard, and an antenna deployment system. Communication with the payload will be performed on the 437 MHz band from a ground station that will be constructed on the UMD campus. This payload radio (437MHz) will be designated as UHF-PLD in this document. USNA-16 will have a LoRa digipeater to serve the amateur satellite community. LoRa offers low-power beyond-line-of-sight digital UHF communications to the amateur community. Additionally, USNA-16 is a student educational amateur service mission that communicates on amateur frequencies. This will be the first satellite launched by USNA using the LoRa protocol, with a potential future application of APRS over LoRa. INCHsat payload is for the purpose of the training of UMD students in the construction and development of aerospace components. It also tests the components that we have developed on our own for future missions and research purposes with no commercial benefit. INCHsat payload will have a radio based on the open source OpenLST from Planet Labs to serve the amateur satellite community. INCHsat payload is also a student educational amateur service mission that will be communicating data obtained on amateur frequencies. Pending the mission success the code and schematics of the components used will be published as a cheaper alternative for amateur teams looking to launch a cube satellite. Proposing these downlinks UHF-TTC, 437.235 MHz, U/D, LoRa protocol @ 3.42 kbps data rate and on S-band, 2.42 GHz, LoRa protocol @ 60 kbps data rate. UHF LoRa Digipeater: 437.235 MHz UHF-PLD : Frequency range is 430-445 MHz GSFK-2 @ 7416 baud protocol. Planning an NG STP-29A launch from Vandenberg in Jan 2025 into a 500 km 60 degree inclination orbit with 10 CubeSats to orbit as part of the OSP-4 program, with a total approximate mass of 400kg. Other university CubeSats on STP-29A include AggieSat-6, Auris, MOCI and INCA-2. More info at https://www.usna.edu/SSEL/Programs/index.php#nass  Coordination for downlinks on 437.235 MHz and 2420 MHz has been provided.

[ANS thanks the U.S Naval Academy and the IARU for the above information]

The 2024 Coins Are Here Now!
Help Support GOLF and Fox Plus.
Join the AMSAT President’s Club today!

Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for March 29, 2024

Two Line Elements or TLEs, often referred to as Keplerian elements or keps in the amateur community, are the inputs to the SGP4 standard mathematical model of spacecraft orbits used by most amateur tracking programs. Weekly updates are completely adequate for most amateur satellites. TLE bulletin files are updated Thursday evenings around 2300 UTC, or more frequently if new high interest satellites are launched. More information may be found at https://www.amsat.org/keplerian-elements-resources/

The following satellite has been removed from this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE distribution:

XW-2E NORAD Cat ID 40909 Decayed from orbit on or about 28 March 2024

[ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas?
Purchase an M2 LEO-Pack from the
AMSAT Store! When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

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.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, direct via NN4ER

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled crewmember is Loral O’Hara KI5TOM, Matthew Dominick KCØTOR, Jeanette Epps KF5QNU, or Mike Barratt KD5MIJ
The ARISS mentor is AJ9N

Contact is go for: Wed 2024-04-03 15:22:17 UTC 34 deg

Collège Théodore Monod, Gagny, France, direct via TM2ISS

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled crewmember is Loral O’Hara KI5TOM, Jeanette Epps KF5QNU, Matthew Dominick KCØTOR, or Mike Barratt KD5MIJ
The ARISS mentor is F6ICS

Contact is go for: Thu 2024-04-04 14:51:07 UTC 55 deg

Volga State University, Russia, direct via TBD

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The scheduled crewmember is Aleksandr Grebyonkin RZ3DSE
The ARISS mentor is RV3DR

Contact is go for Sun 2024-04-07 09:20 UTC

As always, if there is an EVA, a docking, or an undocking; the ARISS radios are turned off as part of the safety protocol.

The crossband repeater continues to be active (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down),  If any crewmember is so inclined, all they have to do is pick up the microphone, raise the volume up, and talk on the crossband repeater. So give a listen, you just never know.

Note, all times are approximate. It is recommended that you do your own orbital prediction or start listening about 10 minutes before the listed time.

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

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]

Upcoming Satellite Operations Quick Hits:

Jay Stephenson, WA1JAY, pays a visit to Paradise Isl. from March 15 to April 2. QRV as C6A/WA1JAY on HF (SSB, FT4/8) and via FM satellites. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, LoTW.

Major Roves:

NOIRMOUTIER ISLAND SAT DXPEDITION 2024

First bits from TM4J…!

Additionally, F4DXV will be QRV for RS-44 at 1227z on 1st April, listening for NA, Caribbean, and SA. No QRG info at the moment.

 

F4DXV Jérôme (@F4DXV) and EA4NF Philippe (@EA4NF_SAT) announce that they will be actívating Noirmoutier island EU-064  IN86 from April 1 to 4, 2024 with the special callsign TM4J

In an exciting initiative, Jérôme F4DXV and Philippe EA4NF are preparing for an exceptional expedition to the island of Noirmoutier from 1 to 4 April 2024. Bearing the special call sign TM4J, this experienced team will devote themselves entirely to exploring satellite possibilities, offering a unique opportunity to radio enthusiasts the world over. This international expedition will focus entirely on the LEO, GEO (QO-100) and MEO (GREENCUBE IO-117) satellites, with a variety of modes and operators. Jérôme and Philippe, experts in the field of portable satellite communications, will provide 24-hour coverage over several days, offering an unrivalled experience from this picturesque island in the Vendée.

This International DXpedition is the 1st 100% SAT from this French island.

Jérôme F4DXV: 120 DXCC LEO SAT 6 international DX expeditions by satellite 24 world distance records on LEO SAT Philippe EA4NF: 126 DXCC LEO SAT 16 international DX expeditions by satellite 1 world distance record on LEO SAT Captivating videos of their performances are available on YouTube, offering a glimpse of their expertise in amateur satellite communications in portable situations. The main objective of this expedition is to maximise contacts with various countries during the 3-day activation, while offering operators around the world the rare opportunity to contact the highly coveted IN86 grid, in addition to accumulating DXCC and IOTA contacts. Funded entirely by the two operators, the expedition will benefit from state-of-the-art technical resources, enabling uninterrupted activity 24 hours a day. This initiative also aims to raise awareness of amateur radio among the general public, by highlighting satellite communication both to visitors on site and through the media. Jérôme and Philippe will be happy to answer any questions you may have about amateur radio communication via satellite. Some picture are available on : Expédition Satellite sur l’Île de Noirmoutier en 2024 | AMSAT Francophone (amsat-f.org)

Updates available on @TM4J_SAT

[ANS thanks Ian Parsons, K5ZM, AMSAT Rover Page Manager, for the above information]

 Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get an 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

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

AMSAT Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, says,

“Think a 75-minute presentation on “working the easy satellites” would be appropriate for your club or event? Let me know by emailing me at k6lcsclint (at) gmail (dot) com or calling me at 909-999-SATS (7287)!”

Clint has NEVER given the exact same show twice: EACH of the 150+ presentations so far has been customized/tailored to their audiences.

Scheduled Events

2024 CubeSat Developer’s Workshop
April 23-25, 2024
San Luis Obispo, CA
https://www.cubesatdw.org/

Dayton Hamvention 2024
Friday May 17th through Sunday May 19th, 2024
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center
120 Fairground Road
Xenia, OH 45385
https://hamvention.org

[ANS thanks Clint Bradford, K6LCS, and AMSAT for the above information]

Satellite Shorts from All Over

+ Shields up! On October 19, 1989, a monstrous X13 class solar flare triggered a geomagnetic storm so strong that auroras lit up the skies worldwide the following day. Had you been flying around the Moon at that time, you would have absorbed a dose that would most likely kill you within a month or so. This is why the Orion spacecraft that is supposed to take humans on a Moon fly-by mission this year has a heavily shielded storm shelter for the crew. But shelters like that aren’t sufficient for a flight to Mars. To obtain protection comparable to what we enjoy on Earth would require hundreds of tons of material, and that’s simply not possible in orbit. The primary alternative—using active shields that deflect charged particles just like the Earth’s magnetic field does—was first proposed in the 1960s. Today, we’re finally close to making it work. Fascinating full article at https://bit.ly/3PANp67 (ANS thanks ARS Technica for the above information.)

+ Not an April Fool’s joke: The U.S. Army has conducted a series of experiments, beginning in 1904 and continuing into the 1970s, on using trees as shortwave antennas. “It would seem that living vegetation may play a more important part in electrical phenomena than has been generally supposed. If, as indicated… in these experiments, the earth surface is already generously provided with efficient antennas which we have but to utilize for communications.” For complete details on how to turn the oak in your yard into a radiator for the 60 meter band, there’s a 55-page scientific paper at https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/AD0742230.pdf (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.)

+ I’ve been workin’ on the railroad: Northrop Grumman Corporation was selected this month by DARPA to further develop the concept of building a moon-based railroad network as part of the broader 10-year Lunar Architecture Capability Study. The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, supplies and resources for commercial ventures across the lunar surface. (ANS thanks The Orbital Index for the above information.)

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73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

This week’s ANS Editor,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm [at] amsat.org

ANS is a service of AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, 712 H Street NE, Suite 1653, Washington, DC 20002

Categories: Amateur Radio News