• [ans] ANS-024 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    From Paul Stoetzer@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jan 23 21:07:26 2021
    XPost: rec.radio.info


    The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
    mation 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 commun-
    icating 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/

    In this edition:

    * Update on the Status of RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E
    * UVSQ-SAT Launch Now January 24th
    * Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 21, 2021
    * ftp.amsat.org Service to be Terminated
    * ARISS News
    * Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
    * Upcoming Satellite Operations
    * Satellite Shorts from All Over

    SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-024.01
    ANS-024 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    AMSAT News Service Bulletin 024.01
    DATE January 24, 2021
    BID: $ANS-024

    Update on the Status of RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E

    RadFxSat-2 was launched Sunday, January 17, on Virgin Orbit
    LauncherOne launch vehicle. Reports from the launch provider stated
    that telemetry confirmed that the deploy commands had been sent and
    that all of the doors opened successfully, resulting in payload orbits
    that were all within the ICD limits.

    Nominally, we expected to see “First (digital) Veronica” fr
    om the
    RadFxSat-2 telemetry beacon commencing 54 minutes after our deployment
    from the launch vehicle. That did not occur as expected.

    For each of our launches, we follow a number of steps documented in
    the “In Orbit Checklist” (IOC) spreadsheet. Confirmation of
    and deployment are the first steps and then, confirmation of beacon
    reception. All other steps follow that but there are steps in case of
    anomaly, beginning with the detection of the beacon.

    As always, from the moment we are deployed we look for signs of the
    beacon through the ears of amateur radio operators and other means,
    SatNOGS and webSDR to name a few. The antenna deployment and full
    start of the IHU to bring up the beacon can occur anywhere around the
    globe. AMSAT greatly appreciates the ongoing and reliable help we
    receive from you and it is by far the best satellite ground network
    even beyond that of many commercial players, for LEO orbits.

    Command coverage is limited to the United States for various reasons
    including regulatory requirements, so the opportunity to exercise the
    steps of the IOC occurs a few times per day as the orbit passes over

    With no sign of the beacon after a few orbits offering good footprints
    for reception, we proceeded with the contingency steps to verify the
    presence of or activate the beacon. This past week our Engineering
    and Operations Team members have been at work literally 20 hours per
    day exercising all of the contingencies outlined in the IOC steps.
    These steps have grown and matured with each launch of a Fox-1 program
    CubeSat and are tailored to the specific satellite. RadFxSat-2, while
    she may seem to be much the same as the others with the exception of
    the transponder vs. FM radio, does present a number of variations to
    be included in the IOC. As the results of those steps were exhausted
    with no beacon detected, we added meetings and increased emails
    including all of our engineers to discuss possible causes by any of
    the systems and to develop further steps.

    From those we drew new steps of command sequences that might overcome
    whatever anomaly existed and make the beacon heard. As the week drew
    on, we continued brainstorming and steps to activate other functions
    that would provide proof of life. We continue to do so today and for
    whatever time until we exhaust all possibilities that we are able to
    draw from the expertise and satellite experience of our Engineering
    Team and Operations Team drawing from the design of RadFxSat-2 and
    lessons learned in the Fox-1 program as well as any from missions
    prior to AMSAT’s first CubeSats.

    AMSAT still needs your help as always, to help detect any sign of
    activity from RadFxSat-2. This includes ability to listen for local
    oscillators or transponder driver output in the case of a failed PA.

    I personally ask that those of you who are and have been interested in
    the entire process of bringing a new amateur radio satellite to orbit
    and through end of life to continue to contribute your curiosity and
    enthusiasm in exploring from your own station, to pursue the
    possibilities of a successful RadFxSat-2 mission along with us. I
    have received reports and queries from some of you, and I greatly
    appreciate your contributions. You are in fact volunteers in the
    AMSAT Engineering Team through your contribution.

    If you are interested, I ask that you do due diligence in your
    procedure if you think you have identified a signal by re-creating (if possible) and verifying to yourself that what you have is credible, as
    we do, before contacting us. That “standard” procedure is w
    hat adds
    value by making the information actionable rather than placing the
    onus of determining if it is even real upon us, because we are of
    course quite busy with that already. Please email your findings to foxtelem@amsat.us and allow us a day or two to acknowledge and/or

    While we tend to talk about our involvement with RadFxSat-2 above all,
    a real effect reaches outside our mutual desire for amateur radio
    satellite fun. RadFxSat-2 is sponsored by Vanderbilt University as
    part of our long partnership going back to Fox-1A. RadFxSat-2’s
    mission belongs to Vanderbilt University as part of their RadFX series
    of missions seeking to verify and explore radiation effects on COTS
    components. Their mission coincides well with AMSAT’s desire to fly
    lower cost satellite missions using COTS components, in the unfriendly radiation environment of Earth orbit and beyond. Vanderbilt also
    sponsored the CSLI for RadFxSat (one) in our Fox-1B spacecraft back in
    2012. Their proposal was selected by NASA, flown on the ELaNa XIV
    mission in November of 2017.

    RadFxSat’s mission was very successful in the information provided
    through the combined telemetry-gathering of all of those who pursue
    our missions through FoxTelem. Vanderbilt University published their
    results giving praise to AMSAT and our Fox-1 CubeSats. The experiments
    we host are built by students and Vanderbilt shares the experiences
    with the educational community in their area. That is a success for
    AMSAT as well in our goal to provide STEM and other educational

    While the RadFxSat-2 mission is problematic at this time, we will
    pursue every possibility to make her work for the amateur community
    and for our partner. I certainly hope to continue our partnership
    with Vanderbilt, the mutual benefit is a wonderful and fun undertaking
    that adds to the value of our satellites.

    [ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President - Engineering,
    for the above information]


    Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
    25% of the purchase price of each product goes
    towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space


    UVSQ-SAT Launch Now January 24th

    The launch of UVSQ-SAT, which carries an FM transponder for amateur
    radio use is now planned for January 24, 2020 at 15:00 UTC.

    The project team is offering a gift to the first 5 people who receive
    the satellite's signal and the first 5 people who receive and decode
    the signal and submit it to the AMSAT-F server and/or SatNOGS.

    For more information on UVSQ-SAT, see the following links:



    [ANS thanks Christophe Mercier, AMSAT-F President, for the above


    AMSAT's GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it
    all begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable
    solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control. Come along for the
    ride. The journey will be worth it!



    Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for January 21, 2021

    On January 19, 2021 at about 22:28 UTC Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Demo 2
    placed 11 new satellites into orbit. AMSAT's RadFxSat-2 was among the
    11 new satellites. The following is a summary of identified and not
    yet identified satellites from that launch as the date of this email.

    So far, the following satellites have been identified and added to
    this week's AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
    CAPE 3 - Cat ID 47309
    MiTEE 1 - Cat ID 47314
    ExoCube 2 - Cat ID 47319
    Thanks to Nico Janssen (PA0DLO), Alan Biddle (WA4SCA), and SatNogs
    for the above IDs.

    The object Cat ID 47316 is the Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket body
    and has not been added.

    The following are unidentified satellites that have been added to this
    week's AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution:
    OBJECT B - Cat ID 47310
    OBJECT C - Cat ID 47311
    OBJECT D - Cat ID 47312
    OBJECT E - Cat ID 47313
    OBJECT G - Cat ID 47315
    OBJECT J - Cat ID 47317
    OBJECT K - Cat ID 47318
    OBJECT M - Cat ID 47320
    Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, notes that the unidentified OBJECTS C, D, and M
    are in the center of the pack and are good candidates for being

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

    ftp.amsat.org Service to be Terminated

    User habits have evolved over the decades favoring file transfer via
    HTTP(S) and we are now seeing very little activity via the FTP
    protocol. AMSAT will eliminate the administrative burden and other
    costs of FTP operation and is proposing to terminate FTP services on
    15 April 2021.

    Please let us know at webmaster at amsat.org if this will cause any
    difficulty with any automated systems, especially with respect to
    dissemination of orbital elements. If you have such a system, please
    adjust them to get elements from the following locations:

    https://www.amsat.org/tle/current/nasabare.txt https://www.amsat.org/tle/current/nasa.all

    Editor's Note: The gigabytes of historical files and information
    available at ftp.amsat.org will continue to be available. Details for
    accessing this archive will be made available at a later date.

    [ANS thanks Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT IT Team Leader for the above information]


    ARISS News

    Maine Regional School Unit #21, Kennebunk, ME, multi-point telebridge
    via IK1SLD

    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
    The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
    The scheduled astronaut is Mike Hopkins KF5LJG

    Contact was successful: Thu 2021-01-21 18:27:40 UTC 52 deg
    Watch for live stream at https://youtu.be/LN70OpJFMgs

    Newcastle High School, Newcastle, WY, multi-point telebridge via

    The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be Mike Hopkins KF5LJG
    The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
    The scheduled astronaut is Victor Glover KI5BKC

    Contact is go for Option #5: Thu 2021-01-28 17:46:13 UTC 80 deg

    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, ARISS Operations, for the above


    Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

    Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in

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

    From Clint Bradford, K6LCS

    THANK YOU to The Villages Amateur Radio Club in Florida! We just had a
    great time (01/21/2021) discussing working amateur satellites. One of
    their members' sons is THE control op for AO-27 - don't you DARE
    delete those memories from your radios just yet!

    Upcoming Zoom “How to Work Amateur Satellites With You HT”

    February 8 - An ARES meeting in Los Angeles county
    March 1 - Western Amateur Radio Association, Orange County, CA
    TBD - Palm Springs Desert RATS
    June 15 - Wellesley Amateur Radio Society, Eastern Massachusetts

    Think a 90-minute, informative, and FUN presentation on working
    satellites would be appropriate for YOUR club? Let me know!

    Clint Bradford K6LCS

    909-999-SATS (7287)

    [ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, and Clint Bradford, K6LCS, for the
    above information]


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


    Upcoming Satellite Operations

    ****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately, and
    I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

    WL7T is roving in the Western US. Check https://twitter.com/Tyler_WL7T
    for updates.

    K7ZOO is roving DL88 or DL89. and others in the area. Check https://twitter.com/K7ZOO_rover for details.

    Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr at gmail.com

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


    AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur
    radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
    be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.

    Support AMSAT's projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/


    Satellite Shorts From All Over

    + The first satellite with a Hall-effect thruster has gone to space.
    Check out the Universe Today article at

    + An iodine propellant has been used to change a satellite's orbit for
    the first time. Check out the European Space Agency article at

    + Videos of the 2021 Ham Radio University presentations are posted at

    Presentations handouts and slide decks are available at

    The HRU 2021 - The Art of Operating Amateur Satellites with an HT
    by Peter Portanova, W2JV is posted at:

    + Sean Kutzko, KX9X, discussed amateur satellites on the DX
    Engineering YouTube channel. Check out the replay at

    + The November/December 2020 issue of The AMSAT Journal is available
    for AMSAT members at https://launch.amsat.org/The_AMSAT_Journal/

    + Several new products are available on the AMSAT Zazzle store,
    including a set of coasters, a watch, a t-shirt featuring the AMSAT
    round logo, and more. Check out the new items! 25% of the purchase
    price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

    + All issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 are now
    available to AMSAT members on AMSAT's new membership portal. The
    1969-2013 archive will be added at a later date. All editions of
    AMSAT's Symposium Proceedings are also available for members. If
    you're a current AMSAT member, get logged on today. If you are not
    yet a member, consider joining today at https://launch.amsat.org/

    + The 2020 edition of AMSAT’s Getting Started with Amateur Satellit
    is now available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting
    Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite
    information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The
    book is presented in DRM-free PDF format, in full color, and covers
    all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.
    The digital download is available for $15 at
    https://tinyurl.com/2020GettingStarted. The print edition is $30
    plus shipping and is available at



    In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
    President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
    donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive addi-
    tional benefits. President's Club donations may be made at https://tinyurl.com/ANS-PresClub.

    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.

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

    73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space,

    This week's ANS Editor,

    Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
    n8hm at amsat dot org

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