• [ANS] ANS-346 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    From Mark Johns, K0JM@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 11 23:38:08 2021
    XPost: rec.radio.info


    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]

    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:

    * Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, Appointed Assistant VP, Engineering
    * AMSAT-HB Has Been Established
    * World's Smallest Lander from Japan will Put Ham Radio on the Moon
    * Analyzing Starlink Satellite Downlink Communications With SDR
    * ARISS Named Amateur Radio Newsline Newsmaker of the Year
    * Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 9, 2021
    * ARISS News
    * Upcoming Satellite Operations
    * Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
    * Satellite Shorts From All Over

    ANS-346 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

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

    DATE 2021 Dec 12

    Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, Appointed Assistant VP, Engineering

    At a meeting with the Board of Directors on Tuesday, December 7 VP
    Engineering appointed Jonathan Brandenburg as Assistant Vice President, Engineering to oversee a new program tentatively named "Fox Plus".

    "Jonathan brought a new idea to me, for continuous LEO presence through a refresh of AMSAT's Fox-1 FM Satellite. In using the basic Fox-1 bus
    design, the ability to fly not only student STEM experiments but our own
    radio experiments as well, provides an opportunity to refresh the presence
    of LEO "Easy-Sat" type communications and bring in new volunteer engineers
    to develop the new transceiver and power supply needed to resurrect Fox-1
    type CubeSats" said Jerry Buxton, VP Engineering.

    "In addition, Jonathan has further intentions targeting frequent deliveries
    of Fox Plus CubeSats into orbit, wide use of open-source in the program,
    and utilizing the ASCENT platform for development of future iterations of
    Fox Plus."

    "The Fox Plus working title indicates both the continued Fox-1 type
    presence in LEO as well as the added growth in technology and human
    resources that will come with the program. I think it is a well thought,
    and very suitable name for the new program."

    The 2022 Engineering budget which was also part of the meeting and passed
    by the Board includes funds for the startup of the new program.

    "Jonathan has a good vision and plan for this new program that will
    generate new engineering opportunities, especially focused on new
    volunteers working in groups on parts of the whole. Fox Plus will also
    provide the open source startup that we were seeking, and work on Fox Plus
    and through ASCENT should provide new technology for use beyond LEO as
    well, as we continue our course in returning to HEO" Buxton said.

    Jonathan has already begun work, and will be reaching out with updates and information on how to volunteer as the program gets into gear in early 2022

    [ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, AMSAT VP Engineering, for the above information]


    AMSAT-HB Has Been Established

    A new amateur radio satellite organisation AMSAT-HB was formed in
    Switzerland on November 26, 2021.

    With QO-100, interest in amateur radio services via satellites has also
    risen sharply in Switzerland. But not only the geostationary satellite fascinates the radio amateurs: The ARISS project (space station ISS), low-flying satellites, tracking of scientific deep space missions, etc.,
    are attracting more and more attention. More and more experiments are being carried out with SDR technology in these areas.

    But the colleges and universities are also increasingly concerned with the topic and are looking for help from various radio amateurs in Switzerland. These and other radio amateurs were of the opinion that it was time to join forces in Switzerland. For this reason, the AMSAT-HB was founded on Friday, November 26th, 2021 in Nottwil, Lucerne. The association has set itself the goal of promoting the amateur radio service via satellites in Switzerland,
    but also internationally.

    The President of AMSAT-DL, Peter Gülzow - DB2OS, was involved in this
    project in advance. He suggested the establishment of an AMSAT-HB early on
    and also used his knowledge to help design it. When it was founded, Peter Gülzow took on the role of godparent and led the founding meeting live
    Hanover via Web.

    The following radio amateurs were involved as founding members
    (alphabetically according to callsign - the board positions in brackets)

    • DB2OS, Peter Gülzow (founding god and now honorary member of
    • HB9ARK, Martin Klaper (Technical Responsible)
    • HB9CQK, Frédéric Furrer
    • HB9DUN / DH2VA, Achim Vollhardt
    • HB9MFL, Armin Rösch
    • HB9SKA, Thomas Frey (Actuary and Treasurer ad interim)
    • HB9RYZ, Wolfgang Sidler (Vice President)
    • HB9WDF, Michael Lipp (President)

    One of the first decisions of the association was to apply to the USKA for collective membership.



    [ANS thanks Thomas Frey, HB9SKA, Actuary AMSAT-HB for the above information

    Join the 2021 President's Club!
    Score your 2" 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin.
    This gold finished coin comes with
    Full Color Certificate and Embroidered "Remove Before Flight" Key Tag
    Donate today at
    You won't want to miss it!

    World's Smallest Lander from Japan will Put Ham Radio on the Moon

    Japan's OMOTENASHI, the world's smallest moon lander, will have an X-band
    and UHF communication system, although it will not carry an amateur band transponder. OMOTENASHI is a 6U CubeSat set for launch via a NASA SLS
    rocket as early as February 2022. It will have a mission period of from 4
    to 5 days. The name is an acronym for Outstanding Moon Exploration
    Technologies demonstrated by Nano Semi-Hard Impactor. Wataru Torii of the
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Ham Radio Club, JQ1ZVI, said
    radio amateurs can play a role in gathering data from the spacecraft.

    The spacecraft is made up of two separable components, both having
    independent communication systems -- an orbiting module and a surface
    probe. The orbiting module will take the surface probe to the moon. It will transmit beacon or digital telemetry data on UHF (437.31 MHz). The surface probe -- the moon lander -- will transmit digital telemetry or three-axis acceleration analog-wave with FM modulation on UHF (437.41 MHz).
    Transmitter power will be 1 W in both cases.

    "If we succeed in receiving the UHF signal from the surface probe, we could know the acceleration data on the impact on the moon and the success of the landing sequence," Torii explained.

    "We already have a station for uplink and downlink at Wakayama in Japan --
    used as an EME [moonbounce] station. However, if the satellite is invisible from Japan, we cannot receive the downlink signal. So, we need a lot of
    help from ham radio stations worldwide."

    The orbiting module beacon will transmit on 437.31 MHz using PSK31. The
    surface probe beacon will transmit on 437.41 MHz using FM, PSK31, and PCM-PSK/PM.

    Contact Torii, JQ1ZVI, at torii.wataru [at] jaxa.jp for more information.

    [ANS thanks ARRL 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.

    Analyzing Starlink Satellite Downlink Communications With SDR

    Often, mere curiosity is sufficient to do something. This is also the case
    with people trying to analyze the communication setup and protocol which
    SpaceX is using with their Ku-band based Starlink satellites.

    One of these fine folk is Christian Hahn, who has recently posted some
    early findings to r/StarlinkEngineering over at Reddit. Some of the
    captured data seems to include the satellite ID system that ground-based
    user stations would presumably use to keep track of overhead Starlink satellites.

    For the capturing itself, Christian is using a second-hand dish for capture
    and a DIY SDR using KC705 FPGA-based hardware – which may have begu
    n its
    life as crypto mining hardware – along with the usual assortment of
    and other common components with this kind of capture.

    Even at this early time, some features of the Starlink protocol seem quite obvious, such as the division into channels and the use of guard periods. Nothing too earth-shattering, but as a fun SDR hobby it definitely checks
    all the boxes.

    Christian has also announced that at some point he’ll set up a webs
    ite and
    publish the findings and code that should make Starlink signal analysis
    easy for anyone with a readily available SDR receiver.

    https://hackaday.com/2021/11/26/analyzing-starlink-satellite-downlink-commu nications-with-software-defined-radio/

    [ANS thanks Stephen Walters, G7VFY, and Southgate ARC for the above information]


    AMSAT's GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it all
    begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable sol
    panels, propulsion, and attitude control, now manifested for launch on
    NASA's ELaNa 46 mission. Come along for the ride. The journey will be
    worth it!



    ARISS Named Amateur Radio Newsline Newsmaker of the Year

    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has been named
    Amateur Radio Newsline Newsmaker of the Year.

    “This group, based across 15 countries around the world, has been
    supporting amateur radio from the space station and performing school links around the world to astronauts for over 20 years,” the announcement
    out. “As well as enthusing youngsters in the magic of space and rad
    io, they
    have also generated publicity for amateur radio in the mainstream media channels of radio, TV, and newspapers.”

    [ANS thanks ARRL 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

    Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for December 9, 2021

    The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has removed from this
    week's AMSAT TLE Distribution:
    EcAMSat - NORAD Cat ID 43019 (Decay date per Space-Track was 12-08-2021)

    The following satellite is now End of Mission and has been removed from
    this week's AMSAT TLE Distribution:
    HO-107 (HuskySat-1) - NORAD Cat ID 45119 (per www.amsat.org)

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



    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 unless noted otherwise below.

    Notre Dame Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School, Kyoto, Japan, direct via 8N3ND. Contact with crewmember is Raja Chari KI5LIU was scheduled for
    Thursday 2021-12-09 08:33:35 UTC 83 deg.

    DLR_School_Lab Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany, multi-point telebridge
    via DN2DLR. Contact with crewmember Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, was scheduled
    for Friday 2021-12-10 13:50:53 UTC 61 deg.

    Savannah River Academy, Grovetown, GA, direct via K4RGK. Contact with crewmember Thomas Marshburn, KE5HOC, was scheduled for Friday 2021-12-10 15:09:58 UTC 54 deg

    Wolfgang-Kubelka-Realschule (WKR), Schondorf am Ammersee, Germany,
    telebridge via IK1SLD. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be
    OR4ISS. Contact with crewmember Matthias Maurer, KI5KF, is go for Monday 2021-12-13 09:51:56 UTC 46 deg. Starting about 5 minutes before AOS, watch
    for Livestream at: www.ariotti.com

    Technisches Bildungszentrum Mitte (TBZ Mitte), Bremen, Germany, direct via DN3HB AND Carl Prueter Oberschule, Sulingen, Germany, direct via DN6OE. The
    ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be DPØISS. Contact WITH crewmem
    is Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, is go for Thursday 2021-12-16 10:45:25 UTC 74

    The next mode change to packet is expected to occur in early December.

    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]

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

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

    Upcoming Satellite Operations

    K4DCA: Still in planning stages, but has mentioned EM97,EM96, FM07, FM08

    Radio Operadores del Este Club (KP3RE) and its FB Ham Satelites Puerto Rico page will be giving away a certificate until December 31, 2021 to all the stations that have contacted Puerto Rico’s 4 grids FK67, FK68, FK77
    FK78 on Sat Mode. Need LOTW evidence (Photos) request via kp4rv@yahoo.com

    [ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, 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.

    None currently scheduled.

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


    Satellite Shorts From All Over

    + The U.S. Senate has confirmed FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel for a
    new term on the Commission with a vote of 68 - 31. President Joe Biden appointed Rosenworcel as Chair of the FCC in late October. For now, the FCC will continue with two Democrats and two Republicans led by Chairwoman Rosenworcel. (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information)

    + Scientists have developed a hi-tech sleeping bag that could prevent the vision problems that some astronauts experience while living in space. Its development was led by Dr Benjamin Levine, professor of internal medicine
    at University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who is working on having the device deployed on the International Space Station
    (ISS). In zero-gravity, fluids float into the head and squash the eyeball
    over time. It's regarded as one of the riskiest medical problems affecting astronauts. The sleeping bag, developed with outdoor equipment manufacturer REI, fits around the person's waist, enclosing their lower body within a
    solid frame. A suction device, that works on the same principle as a vacuum cleaner, creates a pressure difference that draws fluid down towards the
    feet. This prevents it from building up in the brain and applying damaging pressure to the eyeball. (ANS thanks BBC.com for the above information)

    + The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is once again fully operational after experiencing technical issues. With this latest restoration of operations, Hubble is well on its way to completing 32 years of service. [Not quite matching AO-7, which is approaching the age of 48! - Editor] (ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information)

    + NASA announced Dec. 3 its intent to purchase three more commercial crew missions from SpaceX as a hedge against further delays in the certification
    of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. These missions will be in addition t
    o the
    six missions that SpaceX won as part of its Commercial Crew Transportation contract in 2014. SpaceX launched the third of those six original missions, Crew-3, to the International Space Station on Nov. 10. It is scheduled to launch the Crew-4 mission in the spring of 2022, likely to be followed by Crew-5 in the fall of 2022. (ANS thanks Space News for the above

    + Operators are reminded that the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page is available at https://www.amsat.org/status/ Satellite operators are invited
    to consult the page for up to date information about which satellites are available and functioning. Operators ar also requested to contribute
    reports to the Status Page concerning their operations and observations.
    (ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information)

    + A key member of the WSJT-X development group — where FT8 and othe
    cutting-edge digital amateur radio technology has originated — has
    Bill Somerville, G4WJS, was reported to have passed away earlier this week.
    He was in his mid-60s, and his death was unexpected. (ANS thanks ARRL for
    the above information)

    + Not quite a Christmas miracle, nor the star of Bethlehem: Comet Leonard
    is a rather typical comet going about its typical path around the Sun.
    However, it might become visible to the naked eye around its close
    approach. On 12 December at 13:52 UTC, it will make its closest approach to Earth during this rotation, still an enormous 35 million kilometres away.
    Look low in the southwestern sky about 45 minutes after sunset. (ANS thanks
    ESA for the above information)

    + Please continue to use AO-91 and AO-92 only when the satellites are illuminated by the sun. AO-92 telemetry and repeater are intermittent.
    AO-91 telemetry is turned off but the FM repeater works when the satellite
    is in the sun. Reminder: Satellite in sun is approximately equal to user in daytime. For exact information on eclipse vs. illumination, check software
    such as SatPC32. (ANS thanks Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, AMSAT operations, 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, K0JM
    k0jm at amsat dot org

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