• [ANS] ANS-176 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    From Paul Stoetzer via ANS@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jun 24 20:08:13 2023
    XPost: rec.radio.info


    In this edition:

    * Two Awards Available from AMSAT-UK Regarding EO-88's Impending Re-Entry
    * URESAT-1 Deployed
    * Harbin Institute of Technology Developing New Lunar Amateur Radio
    * How Many Satellites Can We Safely Fit In Earth Orbit?
    * Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for June 22, 2023
    * 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]

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    ANS-176 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

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

    DATE 2023 June 25

    Two Awards Available from AMSAT-UK Regarding EO-88's Impending Re-Entry

    As you may be aware, Solar Cycle 25 has already shown that we cannot yet predict what the sun will be doing with any great accuracy.

    Sunspots, X-class solar flares and CMEs (coronal mass ejections) are
    increasing in frequency and intensity on a daily basis.

    The peak of Solar Cycle 25 was not expected until late 2024 or early 2025
    but it may be coming earlier and have a higher intensity than was predicted

    One result of this increased activity is that the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of the earth becomes warmer and expands upwards. This means that spacecraft in low earth orbit experience more drag or resistance as a
    result of the increase in the number atoms they are having to displace as
    they travel around the globe. As a consequence, the spacecraft loose more kinetic energy and start to descend lower in orbital height, which, of
    course, makes the problem worse and a fiery end to the spacecraft is

    The actual effect is also dependant on the drag coefficient of the
    particular spacecraft…simply how much mass (the more the better) to
    much surface area (the less the better). So in CubeSat terms, a 1U CubeSat, fairly full of stuff with a mass near the maximum of 1.3kg, will probably
    be better off than a half empty 3U CubeSat with deployable solar panels and other drag inducing protuberances.

    All TLEs (Two Line Elements) include a parameter called drag, it is usually
    a very small number preceeded by four or more zeros! Although this
    parameter is calculated by the system, it is not usually precise or even stable, so cannot be used to accurately predict deorbit dates when looking forward many weeks/months. It can give us a guide though! Alarm bells
    should ring when we only see two leading zeros.

    How does this effect our activities? Well for the FUNcube family, there are presently three active members!

    FUNcube-1, AO-73 was launched almost ten years ago in November 2013 into an elliptical polar orbit of approx 682×595 km. Presently those numbers a
    around 640×570 km so probably not too much to worry about. The drag nu
    from the TLEs is, at the time of writing, 0.000074, a good number.

    The same applies to JY1SAT, JO-97. This was launched in December 2018 into
    a 573×590 km polar orbit. Presently those numbers are around 557×
    573 km and
    the current drag is listed as 0.000076.

    Unfortunately, however, the same cannot by said for Nayif-1, EO-88. This spacecraft was launched in February 2017 into a 496×507 km polar orbit
    Currently the orbit parameters show a height of around 320 km with the drag
    at 0.00319. It is now well below the ISS and much lower than at launch.

    As mentioned, largely due to the random nature of the our star’s fl
    output on a day to day basis, it is not possible at this stage to
    accurately predict the likely deorbit date but it seems that it will
    certainly be before the end of this year. As the spacecraft continues to perform 100% nominally this is a great shame. Presently it is switching autonomously from high power telemetry when in daylight and with lower
    power telemetry and the transponder active when in darkness. The solar
    panels, battery and power system also continue to be reporting nominal
    numbers, essentially unchanged since the day of launch.

    It will therefore be a really sad moment when re-entry occurs but in the meantime everyone is encouraged to use the spacecraft whilst it remains available.

    To mark the event of EO-88/Nayif’s demise, AMSAT-UK is offering two
    These will be individual framed certificates.

    Firstly, to the station who submits the last telemetry to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and also to who “guesses” or calculates the re-en
    try time and
    date most accurately. Submissions for this award must be made to EO88@amsat-uk.org before midnight (UTC) on July 4th 2023. So time is short
    to get your entries in. Good luck!

    [ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

    The 2023 AMSAT President's Club coins are here now!
    To commemorate the 40th anniversary of its launch
    on June 16, 1983, this year's coin features
    an image of AMSAT-OSCAR 10.
    Join the AMSAT President's Club today and help
    Keep Amateur Radio in Space!

    URESAT-1 Deployed

    The URESAT-1 satellite, also known as HADES-B according to its ITU
    designation, successfully launched into space as part of the SpaceX Transporter-8 mission from Vandenberg AFB on Monday, June 12. The satellite
    is a joint effort between AMSAT-EA, URE (the Spanish equivalent of ARRL), private companies, and universities.

    The URESAT-1 satellite, contained within the D-Orbit ION Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), was not deployed directly from the Falcon-9 rocket. Instead, approximately one hour and twenty minutes after launch, the Falcon-9
    released the OTV. URESAT-1 was deployed from the OTV at approximately 12:10
    UTC on June 22, 2023. As of this writing, signals have not yet been
    received from the satellite.

    One of the primary objectives of URESAT-1 is to serve as an FM voice and
    FSK data repeater. Equipped with a Slow Scan Television (SSTV) camera, the satellite will transmit live images as well as stored images at regular intervals. It also features a chess game, enabling players on Earth to
    engage in a game against the satellite. Periodically, the satellite will transmit updates on the state of the game, including the chess board, the
    last movement made, and whether the next move belongs to the players or the satellite.

    The specified frequencies for communication with URESAT-1 are as follows:
    for uplink transmissions, 145.975 MHz or 145.925 MHz (auxiliary frequency) using FM voice without subtone, FSK 50 bps, AFSK, AX.25, APRS 1200/2400
    bps. For downlink transmissions, the frequency is set at 436.888 MHz, and
    modes include FM voice, CW, FSK 50 bps telemetry, SSTV Robot 36, and a
    voice beacon with the callsign AO4URE.

    To provide further information regarding URESAT-1's transmissions, the
    AMSAT-EA organization has made available a comprehensive document that can
    be accessed at the following link: https://www.amsat-ea.org/app/download/13366685/AMSAT+EA+-+URESAT-1+Transmis sions+description.pdf

    For those interested in decoding the telemetry, a Linux x86/ARM decoder is available for download at the following link: https://www.amsat-ea.org/app/download/13395017/URESAT-1_telemetry_decoder_L inux_X86_ARM_v1.0.zip

    A sample file containing the audio of a telemetry file can be found here: https://www.amsat-ea.org/app/download/13398144/URESAT-1_sample_FSK_telemetr y-chessboard_packet.wav

    If URESAT-1 operates as intended, the project team plans to release a Linux program that will allow players to send their chess moves to the satellite, further enhancing the interactive experience.

    [ANS thanks Félix Páez, EA4GQS, AMSAT-EA President for the above

    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.

    Harbin Institute of Technology Developing New Lunar Amateur Radio Satellite

    Lunar OSCAR II is a lunar amateur radio payload developing by a team
    consists of students in Harbin Institute of Technology and international amateur radio enthusiasts. Its baseline functions include telemetry,
    digital image downlink from an infrared camera, and digipeater with JT4G uplink/downlink. It will also provide chances for uploading and testing new waveforms and algorithms for radio communications and measurements in very
    long distance.

    Amateur radio orbit determination experiments, for example Very Long
    Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), are also possible with these links.

    Harbin Institute of Technology has previously successfully developed the
    first lunar amateur radio satellite, Longjiang-2 / DSLWP-B. (LO-94) As a subsequent mission, Lunar OSCAR II will continue offering various resources
    for communications relay and amateur radio research, and promoting the cooperation of amateur radio communities.

    The Lunar OSCAR II payload will be on board a lunar microsatellite with a volume of about 300x200x100 mm3 and a mass of about 14 kg and will utilize downlinks on UHF for telemetry and images using 250/500 baud GMSK with
    turbo codes and Digipeater using 4.375 baud $FSK with convolutional coding (JT4G). More information is available at https://by2hit.github.io/.

    The satellite is planned for a launch from Wenchang in 2024.

    A downlink on 437.750 MHz has been coordinated.

    [ANS thanks the IARU and Harbin Institute of Technology for the above information]


    How Many Satellites Can We Safely Fit In Earth Orbit?

    Just 10 years ago, a mere thousand or so operational satellites may have orbited our planet, but there will be tens or even hundreds of thousands a decade from now. Experts have been sounding alarm bells for years that
    Earth orbit is getting a bit too crowded. So how many satellites can we actually launch to space before it gets to be too much?

    Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and astronomer at the
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics warns the first signs that
    things are getting a little too tense are, in fact, already present. "It's going to be like an interstate highway, at rush hour in a snowstorm with everyone driving much too fast," he told Space.com when asked what the situation in orbit will be like if existing plans for satellite megaconstellations such as SpaceX's Starlink, OneWeb and Amazon Kuiper come
    to fruition. "Except that there are multiple interstate highways crossing
    each other with no stoplights."

    McDowell's British colleague Hugh Lewis is another frequently heard voice
    of caution. In a post published on Twitter on Jan. 13, Lewis stated that
    "the overall number of conjunctions predicted for 2022 was 134% higher than
    the number for 2020 and 58% higher than 2021, exceeding 4 million." That doesn't mean that on 4 million occasions objects in space came close to a collision — just that managing traffic in space is getting much mor
    complicated than it has ever been in the past.

    Take SpaceX's Starlink as an example. According to information submitted to
    the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December last year, SpaceX's autonomous collision-avoidance system performed 26,037 orbital avoidance maneuvers with its Starlink satellites in the two-year period
    between Dec. 1, 2020 and Nov. 30, 2022. That means each Starlink satellite
    of the nearly 4,000 that have been launched to date performed, on average,
    12 avoidance maneuvers during that time.

    But the size of SpaceX's current constellation is less than 10% of what the company plans to deploy. Within the next 10 years, the number of Starlink satellites in orbit may rise to 42,000. Add to that the up to 4,000
    satellites that OneWeb wants to launch, another 3,200 of Amazon's Kuiper
    craft and 13,000 satellites of China's envisioned Guowang system, and it becomes obvious that things are set to get much more heated.

    According to the FCC document, SpaceX claims that each of its satellites
    has a sufficient amount of fuel on board to perform 350 collision-avoidance maneuvers over its expected five-year lifetime. But that number could be reached remarkably soon, according to Lewis' calculations. In short, less
    than five years from now, Starlink satellites may be running out of fuel in
    a shorter period of time than their designed lifetime because of the sheer number of avoidance maneuvers they will have to perform.

    [ANS thanks Tereza Pultarova, writing for Space.com, for the above

    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 June 22, 2023

    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/

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

    [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.

    Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:

    No contacts currently scheduled

    The crossband repeater continues to be active. 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

    Comments on making general contacts

    I have been seeing a lot of traffic on Facebook and I suspect on other
    social media sites with people asking why they are not hearing the crew
    make general contacts. First off the crew is very busy on the ISS and they simply may not have the time to just pick up the microphone and talk.
    Also, one needs to be aware of their normal daily schedule. I have listed below the constraints that we at ARISS have to follow in order to schedule
    the school contacts. Hopefully this will help you better schedule your opportunities.

    Typical daily schedule

    Wakeup to Workday start.5 hours
    Workday start to Workday end hours
    Workday end to Sleep hours
    Sleep to wakeup.5 hours

    The crew's usual waking period is 0730 - 1930 UTC. The most common times to find a crew member making casual periods are about one hour after waking
    and before sleeping, when they have personal time. They're usually free
    most of the weekend, as well.

    SSTV events are not that often. So please check out https://www.ariss.org/
    for the latest information or watch for the ARISS announcements.

    And don’t forget that the packet system is active.

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

    ARISS Radio Status

    Columbus Module radios:
    IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS - Configured. Default mode is for cr
    oss band
    repeater (145.990 MHz up {PL 67} & 437.800 MHz down).
    * Powering off for Russian EVA targeting July 26. OFF July 25 about TBD. ON
    July 27 about TBD.
    * Capable of supporting USOS scheduled voice contacts, packet and voice repeater ops.

    Service Module radios:
    IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS - Configured. Default mode is fo pac
    operations (145.825 MHz up & down)
    * Powering off for Russian EVA targeting July 26. OFF July 25 about TBD. ON
    July 27 about TBD.
    * Capable of supporting ROS scheduled voice contacts, packet, SSTV and
    voice repeater ops.

    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

    Adrian (AA5UK) is heading back to the Cayman Islands. He will be operating
    as ZF2AE/ZF8 from Little Cayman June 25 to June 29th (EK99wp). He plans to
    rent a car June 28th/29th and will try to make it to FK09 grid at the other
    end to the island, time permitting. He will operate from Grand Cayman as
    ZF2AE June 30th to July 3rd (EK99ki) with focus on cross Atlantic contacts
    via AO7, RS44, FO-29 and IO-117. He will be relocating to Seven Mile Beach
    to operate from July 4th – July 7th in EK99hi and will try to mix i
    t up on
    the passes with focus on Western passes.

    The gear will be FT-1634 with Alaskan Arrow antenna. For IO-117, he will
    be using an IC-7000. Operation will be holiday style. Please follow him on Twitter @ZF2AE and @AA5UK and watch for the latest announcements. He also plans to periodically operate HF with focus on RTTY, FT8/FT4 and other
    digital modes. QSL information on QRZ.com. LOTW preferred.

    [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.

    + AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
    October 20-21, 2023
    Dallas, Texas

    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. An
    email message received after a recent presentation:

    "I really enjoyed Clint's presentation last night. The fact that he had
    taken the time to research and know something about his audience and
    welcomed interaction made it very informative and enjoyable. This was a refreshing change from many canned YouTube presentations I've tried to
    watch, which were poorly done, fuzzy video or muddy audio, or a badly
    prepared presenter stumbling his way through, with any valuable info lost
    along the way. Thanks for hooking this one up."

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


    Satellite Shorts From All Over

    + For rocket geeks, an interesting video shows the dynamics of SpaceX
    s new
    stage separation technique, which will be tested on Starship, separating
    the booster and upper stage without pusher pistons (like Falcon) or
    explosives (like many traditional rockets). The video may be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?vsni8HUEA4 (ANS thanks The Orbital Index
    for the above information)

    + Although their identities have been widely circulated previously, the European Space Agency (ESA), on June 20, formally announced the personnel
    who will make up SpaceX Crew-7. They are NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, KI5WSL, commander; ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, KG5GCZ, from Denmark,
    who will serve as pilot; as well as JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa,
    KE5DAW, from Japan, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, from
    Russia, who will both serve as mission specialists. This crew will launch
    from Cape Canaveral in Florida later this summer on a SpaceX’s Crew
    and will remain aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for
    approximately six months. (ANS thanks ESA for the above information)

    + Spei Satelles is a 3U CubeSat created by the students and teachers of the Polytechnic of Turin. During its stay in orbit, Spei Satelles will transmit
    a radio signal that can be received by amateurs. The signal contains
    messages of hope from the magisterium of Pope Francis. Spei Satelles (the
    Latin words for Satellite of Hope) operates in a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit at about 525 km of altitude from the Earth's surface. At a frequency
    of 437.5MHz (Editor's note - this satellite is not coordinated by the IARU
    and AMSAT encourages radio amateurs to decline to offer telemetry
    collection or other technical support to groups that launch satellites that
    are not IARU coordinated and do not offer amateur communications
    opportunities) it transmits GMSK at 9600 bit/s AX.25. Spei Satelles also contains a nanobook, a 2x2x0.2 mm silicon slab on which the images,
    speeches, and readings by Pope Francis on March 27, 2020, in the midst of
    the pandemic, were imprinted by nanotechnologies. The satellite hitched a
    ride aboard Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket launching from the Vandenberg
    Force Base in California on June 10, after being blessed by Pope Francis on March 29 at his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. (ANS thanks
    Religion News Service and Polytechnic of Turin for the above information)

    + Congratulations to Olivier Tymkiw, HB9GWJ, on receiving AMSAT Rover Award
    # 077! To earn the AMSAT Rover Award, participants must accumulate a
    combined total of 25 points through various achievements in portable
    satellite operations outside their home grid square. The AMSAT Rover Award
    was established to recognize and honor the accomplishments of satellite operators who engage in rover operations. Rover operations involve the activation of grid squares outside one's home grid, utilizing various
    satellite transponders and modes to establish communication links. A
    breakdown of the points system along with a list of past AMSAT Rover Award recipients can be found at https://www.amsat.org/amsat-rover-award/. Keep
    on roving, Olivier, and continue to inspire others in the AMSAT community!

    + Virgin Galactic will launch its first commercial spaceflight on June
    27th. https://www.space.com/virgin-galactic-first-commercial-spaceflight-june-202
    (ANS thanks space.com)


    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,

    Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
    n8hm [at] amsat.org


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