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Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Statement

Vie, 12/05/2014 - 13:42

Ofcom has published a decision to update the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence.  This follows a consultation published in September.

These include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences.

The decision is further to changes announced in our April statement on Public Sector Spectrum Release. In that statement, we set out a decision to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400 MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the Ministry of Defence.

This document is likely to be of interest to individuals authorised to use the radio spectrum in the UK for the purposes of amateur radio activities.

Ofcom Statement
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement

PDF which includes new sample licence
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement/Updating_the_Amateur_Radio_Licence.pdf

Comment regarding Ofcom’s proposed change for the 75875-76000 MHz Amateur Satellite allocation http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/ofcom-licence-changes-consultation-results.html#comment-189720

The RSGB has opened a forum to discuss guidance to accompany the licence. Anyone, RSGB member or not, can contribute to the discussion on the forum which is at http://forums.thersgb.org/implementation

RSGB Youth Committee Seek Input

Mié, 12/03/2014 - 16:26

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

The new Chair of the RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ seeks your opinions on some things that are planned for the forthcoming year.

The topics covered are:

• Youngsters on the Air 2015 DX (YOTA)
• Youngsters on the Air 2015 UK
• 2015 Isle of Man DXpedition – Note this is hoped to include Amateur Satellite operation

Read Mike’s message at
http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=acc8d476eba710615541e5667&id=3bb3329aa2&e=5d4b3409c9

Ham radio spacecraft launched into deep space

Mié, 12/03/2014 - 15:23

ARTSAT2-DESPATCH signal received

The amateur radio spacecraft Shin’en2 JG6YIG and ARTSAT2:DESPATCH JQ1ZNN were successfully launched on their journey to deep space at 04:22:04 UT on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 and signals from both spacecraft have been received.

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH Deep Space Sculpture

They were on the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 (H-IIA F26) which also carried the asteroid explorer “Hayabusa2″.

The two amateur radio spacecraft will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. The inclination will be almost zero, which means the spacecraft should stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

Shin’en 2

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH has a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz and is also the first 3D printed sculpture to be carried into deep space.

Shin’en2 has a CW beacon on 437.505 MHz (0.1 watt) and telemetry on 437.385 MHz (0.8 watt) using a mode which Seiji JH6RTO describes as similar to WSJT but not the same.

The Shin’en2 English language Ground Station page mentions WSJT but the equivalent Japanese language page does not.

The Shin’en2 site indicates there is also a F1D digital transponder with an uplink of 145.942 MHz with 435.270 MHz (0.4 watt) downlink.

Shin’en2 http://www.shin-en2.jp/index_E.html

Shin’en2 spacecraft prediction App
http://ji1izr.air-nifty.com/ham_satellite/2014/12/artsat2-despa-3.html

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH
Web http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Main_Page
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artsat
Twitter https://twitter.com/DESPATCH_ARTSAT

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH spacecraft prediction App
http://ji1izr.air-nifty.com/ham_satellite/in_english/index.html

Report reception of ARTSAT2DESPATCH at http://api.artsat.jp/report/

ARRL story 

Ham radio launches to deep space
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/19/ham-radio-launches-to-deep-space/

Japanese asteroid mission to carry amateur radio
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

Shin’en2 on left – ARTSAT2:DESPATCH on right

HAMSAT II – Dhruva Space and AMSAT India

Mié, 12/03/2014 - 10:45

Signing of memorandum of understanding for HAMSAT II – Credit AMSAT India

The Economic Times report Dhruva Space, a two-year-old start-up co-founded by space technologist and ham radio operator Sanjay Nekkanti VU3ISS/AB3OE, sealed a deal with AMSAT India on November 30, 2014 to develop HAMSAT II.

HAMSAT I – VO-52 – was a very popular amateur radio satellite

It will be the successor to HAMSAT VO-52 which went silent on July 11, 2014 due to the failure of the on-board lithium ion batteries. HAMSAT provided a valuable communications resource for the amateur radio community for over 9 years.

Dhruva’s satellites are expected to be launched on ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Nekkanti said his team is working closely with the space organization for design approvals and testing of the satellite.

The AMSAT India Secretary Nitin Muttin, VU3TYG has released this statement:

We are pleased to announce that AMSAT India and Dhruva Space Pvt. Ltd. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on November 30th 2014 to pursue the development of a follow up mission to HAMSAT launched in 2005 on-board the PSLV-C6. HAMSAT II is envisioned to fill the gap created by the recent end of life of HAMSAT and shall continue servicing the societal needs in disaster management, amateur/emergency radio communications and education.

Some of the contemplated payloads for HAMSAT II include:
• U/V Analog FM Transponder
• U/V Linear Transponder, 50 kHz
• APRS Digipeater
• Digitalker

Read The Economic Times article at
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45354501.cms

AMSAT India http://amsatindia.org/

Thanks to Dinesh, AB3DC for the above information.

COSMOS-2491 RS-46

Mar, 12/02/2014 - 18:40

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB reports that the COSMOS-2491 satellite carries RS-46 operating on 435.465 MHz and 435.565 MHz (+/- Doppler).

The satellite was launched on December 25, 2013 and is in a 1,515.8 km by 1,489.1 km 82.5 degree inclination orbit.

Watch COSMOS-2491/RS-46 (R4UAB)

Track COSMOS-2491 / RS-46 at http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=39497

Listen for RS-46 online with the SUWS WebSDR located near London
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

COSMOS-2499 Callsign RS-47 ! http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/30/cosmos-2499-callsign-rs-47/

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB
Web in Google English http://tinyurl.com/R4UAB-English
Twitter https://twitter.com/R4UAB

ARISS Officers for 2015-16

Mar, 12/02/2014 - 16:32

ARISS 2015-2016 Officers (L-R) ARISS Vice-Chair Oliver Amend, DG6BCE; ARISS Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, and ARISS Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO – Credit ARISS

The ARRL report the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) organization is continuing to explore the possibility of establishing a network of ground stations to enable the use of the Ham TV video system during ARISS school contacts.

Mark Steiner, K3MS, updated the ARISS International team on the topic during its November meeting, conducted by teleconference. Kerry Banke, N6IZW, who works on ARISS hardware issues, reported that a document under development will describe just what is required to build a ground station.

He and ARISS International Project Selection & Use Committee representative Lou McFadin, W5DID, have successfully received Ham TV transmissions.

The officers elected for new 2-year terms starting on January 1, 2015 were ARISS Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO; ARISS Vice-Chair Oliver Amend, DG6BCE, and ARISS Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/ariss-discusses-ham-tv-elects-new-international-officers

Read the minutes from the ARISS International November 18 meeting at
http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/november-2014

Previous ARISS International meeting minutes http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes

COSMOS-2499 Callsign RS-47 !

Dom, 11/30/2014 - 22:59

COSMOS-2499 signals received by Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB

COSMOS-2499 (2014-028E) was launched on May 23, 2014 and is now in a 1,510.6 km by 1,158.8 km 82.4 degree orbit. Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB has received signals from the satellite on approximately 435.465 MHz and 435.565 MHz (+/- Doppler). On November 30 the satellite started identifying itself in Morse code on 435.465 MHz as RS-47.

There has been some mystery concerning the purpose of COSMOS-2499. In a post updated November 20, 2014 Anatoly Zak @RussianSpaceWeb wrote: Ground observations indicated that the mystery satellite had not exceeded 0.3 meters in size. Previously, two Rockot launches with trios of Rodnik/Strela-3M launches also carried Yubileiny (a.k.a. MiR) experimental satellites with a reported mass from 48 to 100 kilograms. As with the previous launch, observers were at a complete loss about the possible purpose of the satellite.

Cosmos-2499 has made a number or orbital changes since it was first launched. For further information see http://www.russianspaceweb.com/Cosmos-2499.html

Watch RS-47 / COSMOS 2499 / 2014-028E (R4UAB)

Track COSMOS-2499 / RS-47 at http://www.n2yo.com/?s=39765

Listen for RS-47 online with the SUWS WebSDR located near London
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

RS-47 Telemetry data http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?p=52752

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB describes receiving the 435.465 MHz and 435.565 MHz signals at http://tinyurl.com/R4UAB-COSMOS-2499

Introduction to High Altitude Ballooning

Dom, 11/30/2014 - 19:36

Phil Crump M0DNY

In this video Phil Crump M0DNY of the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) gives an introduction to High Altitude Ballooning (HAB). The presentation was given to the BATC Convention on October 26, 2013.

Watch Introduction to High Altitude Ballooning

Noel Matthews G8GTZ, Chair of the BATC, has announced the first 11 presentation videos from the CAT13 convention on ATV/DATV, held October 26, 2013, have been put up on the BATC video archive area.

They can be found in the http://batc.tv/ Film Archive by selecting the BATC CAT13 category.

The direct links are available via http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/29/iss-hamtv-presentation-by-g3vzv/

UK High Altitude Society http://ukhas.org.uk/

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

RAGazine now available for download

Sáb, 11/29/2014 - 21:05

Volume 2 issue 2 of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine is now available for download.

In this edition:
– Meteor Scatter by Paul Hyde G4CSD
– VLF Report by John Cook G8EDG
– Update from the Hydrogen Line Group by Brian Coleman G4NNS and Gordon Dennis
– S7 and S8 14 Calibration Point Observations Brian Coleman G4NNS
– Airspy SDR Dongle by Tony Abbey G3OVH
– Choosing a Programming Language by Jeff Lashley 2E0ODF
– The rtl_power app by Jeff Lashley 2E0ODF
– Improving the accuracy of meteor data using the Scatterthon application by Victoria Penrice M6VXJ and Chris Jackson G7UPN/ZL2TPO
– European conference on Amateur Radio Astronomy by Paul Hyde G4CSD
– A Radio Astronomy Renaissance Man by Jeffrey M. Litchtman KI4GIY

RAGazine Vol 2 Iss 2 http://www.britastro.org/radio/ragazine/Ragazine_Vol2_iss2_11_2014.pdf

Download previous issues http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads.html

Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag

Surrey Space Centre SME-SAT

Sáb, 11/29/2014 - 16:21

SME-SAT – Surrey Space Centre

The Surrey Space Centre (SSC) are developing a 3U CubeSat SME-SAT expected to launch into a 550-620 km orbit using the ISIPOD CubeSat deployer.

The mission objectives are:
A: Outreach – The satellite will provide beacons for which amateur satellite users and ham radio users will be able to receive.
B: Space qualification and performance characterisation of sensors.
• High performance COTS Gyroscopes (x3).
• High precision MEMS accelerometers.
• 2 Aperture Star Camera, At a later point in the mission these will be used in conjunction with the ADCS to characterise the closed loop performance of the sensors.
C: Performance characterisation of Nano-Control Moment Gyros (CMGs) for agility. The mission is equipped with 4-Nano-CMGs in a pyramid configuration for ADCS. This part of the mission will evaluate the performance of this system on the ADCS and agility of the satellite.
D: Space qualification and performance characterisation of the EPS The EPS for this mission has heritage from the Delfi-C3 and other missions and includes additional improvements to be demonstrated on this mission.
E: Smart Thermal Radiation Devices (STRD tiles) SME-SAT is equipped with a number of STRD tiles on the outside faces of the satellite for passive thermal management of the internal structure.
F: Flux Gate Magnetometer The mission contains a scientific grade miniaturized flux gate magnetometer that sits on the end of a deployable boom to improve the performance of the sensor. This payload will be switched into the ADCS for evaluation of performance during parts of the mission but is not the primary magnetometer for ADCS.
G: GPS SME-SAT also contains an experimental GPS system that will be switched into the ADCS loop at stages in the orbit to evaluate the performance of the system.

Planning a 9k6 RC-BPSK UHF downlink using AX25.

Further information at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/research/space_vehicle_control/smesat/index.htm

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

Ham radio deep space launch postponed again

Vie, 11/28/2014 - 09:26

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH Internal Structure

The launch of the amateur radio spacecraft Shin’en2 JG6YIG and ARTSAT2:DESPATCH JQ1ZNN has again been postponed and should now be 04:22:04 UT on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. The launch was broadcast live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmrQ_ySfg starting at 03:30 UT.

Update: Launch was successful http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2014/12/20141203_h2af26.html

Shin’en 2

The launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 (H-IIA F26) which also carries the asteroid explorer “Hayabusa2″ had been rescheduled from November 30 to December 1 due to a freezing layer in the clouds that exceeded the weather restrictions for launch. Strong winds have caused a further postponement to December 3.

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH carries a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz and the first sculpture to be carried into deep space.

Shin’en2 has a CW beacon on 437.505 MHz (0.1 watt) and telemetry on 437.385 MHz (0.8 watt) using a mode which Seiji JH6RTO describes as similar to WSJT but not the same.

The Shin’en2 English language Ground Station page mentions WSJT but the equivalent Japanese language page does not.

The Shin’en2 site indicates there is also a F1D digital transponder with an uplink of 145.942 MHz with 435.270 MHz (0.4 watt) downlink.

The two spacecraft will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. The inclination will be almost zero, which means the spacecraft should stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Main_Page

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH spacecraft prediction App
http://ji1izr.air-nifty.com/ham_satellite/in_english/index.html

Shin’en2 http://www.shin-en2.jp/index_E.html

Shin’en2 spacecraft prediction App
http://ji1izr.air-nifty.com/ham_satellite/2014/12/artsat2-despa-3.html

Weather restriction graphic showing clouds with freezing layer
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2014/11/20141128_h2af26.html

Ham radio launches to deep space
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/19/ham-radio-launches-to-deep-space/

Japanese asteroid mission to carry amateur radio
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

Thanks to Hideo JH3XCU/1 for posting news of the postponement on the AMSAT Bulletin Board.

Principia Mission Patch

Jue, 11/27/2014 - 20:59

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey, competition winner Troy and UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI with mission patch

In partnership with the UK Space Agency, BBC TV’s Blue Peter show asked young people to design a mission patch for UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI and received more than 3000 entries.

Principia Mission Patch

The judges from the UK Space Agency, Blue Peter and ESA together chose their two favorites in each of the three age groups of 6–8, 9–11 and 12–15 years. Important considerations for deciding on the final six were how a design would look as a patch, the colors used and whether the children drew everything on their own. The selection of the winning design out of the six came down to Tim himself.

The mission name Principia comes from Isaac Newton’s world-changing three-part text on physics, Naturalis Principia Mathematica, describing the principal laws of motion and gravity.

The winning entry was by 13-year-old Troy who used an apple to signify Newton’s law of gravity. Fittingly a stylized International Space Station (ISS) glints in the apple. The Soyuz rocket taking Tim into space flies over the UK as the colors of the Union Flag run along the border.

In September Tim Peake KG5BVI learned how to use the Ericsson 144 MHz handheld radio which is installed in the Columbus module of the ISS. On September 18 Tim said “Will be great to chat with schools next year from space using this ham radio on board the ISS.”

UK Space Agency announcement
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tim-peakes-principia-mission-logo

GB1SS callsign for International Space Station
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/22/gb1ss-callsign-for-international-space-station/

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Ofcom discuss Pocket Spacecraft

Mié, 11/26/2014 - 22:36

View of St Pauls from Ofcom office – Credit Michael Johnson M0MJJ

On Wednesday, November 26, Michael Johnson M0MJJ discussed the licensing of thousands of Pocket Spacecraft with the UK communications regulator Ofcom.

Pocket Spacecraft

The plan is that a 3U CubeSat will carry Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’ to the Moon. A ‘Scout’ is a disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. The CubeSat should first release a batch of the wafer thin Scout satellites into Earth orbit and then deploy another batch of the Scout satellites into Lunar orbit.

It is understood the mission plans to use the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands.

Pocket Spacecraft http://pocketspacecraft.com/

Follow Pocket Spacecraft on Twitter @mySpacecraft

UK radio ham’s Lunar CubeSat to go ahead
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/08/26/uk-radio-hams-lunar-cubesat-to-go-ahead/

BBC: ‘Pocket spacecrafts’ to become a reality
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/15/bbc-pocket-spacecrafts-to-become-a-reality/

Goonhilly tracking FUNcube

Mié, 11/26/2014 - 21:08

Goonhilly 1 “Arthur” – Credit GES Ltd

Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) Ltd are transforming the BT satellite communications site at Goonhilly into a new Space Science centre.

The Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station is located on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. It’s famous for many reasons, but perhaps most notably, for receiving, the first ever trans-Atlantic satellite TV images, broadcast by Telstar, on July 11, 1962. The impressive 25.9m dish called Arthur was used for that historic event.

The Register has published an article by journalist SA Mathieson following a recent visit to the site. This included seeing the AMSAT-UK ground station used to track the satellites FUNcube-1 and UKube-1 which both carry educational payloads developed by radio amateurs from the voluntary satellite organisations AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL. The station comprises an Asus PC with FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a turnstile (crossed dipoles) antenna.

SA Mathieson also visited another recent addition to the site, the radome used by the imaging start-up Planet Labs Inc to communicate with its constellation of  “Dove” CubeSats.

Read Suffering satellites! Goonhilly’s ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/25/geeks_guide_goonhilly/

Goonhilly Earth Station http://www.goonhilly.org/

FUNcube Telemetry Receive Antenna System
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/article_45/FUNcube-Telemetry-Receive-Antenna-System.html

FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus SDR http://FUNcubeDongle.com/

SpinSat Deployment from ISS

Lun, 11/24/2014 - 23:42

SpinSat extended from airlock

SpinSat was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 21 in preparation for a subsequent deployment from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

SpinSat – Credit Naval Research Laboratory

Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reported that SpinSat would be deployed, using the Cyclops deployment system, from the airlock of the JEM. Successful deployment took place on Friday, November 28 at 14:30 UT into a 406 x 417 km x 51.65 deg orbit. SpinSat is cataloged as object number 40314.

Developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) SpinSat is a 56 cm sphere weighing 57 kg that has 12 Electronically-controlled Solid Propellant (ESP) thrusters spread in pairs throughout the surface of the satellite. They will be fired in pairs to spin the spacecraft. With just primary batteries and only 4.8 grams of fuel this phase may last between three to six months.

The spacecraft will be used to calibrate the space surveillance network. Lasers will be fired at SpinSat from the ground, the light reflected back will be measured to determine where in time and space the satellite is passing overhead. SpinSat will also model the density of the atmosphere.

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel report that SpinSat carries a 2 watt RF output 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio store and forward system on 437.230 MHz.

SpinSat just before deployment

Listen for SpinSat on 437.230 MHz with the SUWS WebSDR located near London
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

In the first few days after deployment SpinSat’s orbit will be similar to that of the International Space Station. To see when it’s in range use the ISS real-time tracker at http://issfanclub.com/

Read all about SpinSat at
http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/with-spinsat-mission-nrl-will-spin-small-satellite-in-space-with-new-thruster-technology

SpinSat after deployment

NASA – SpinSat
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1019.html

Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS) – Cyclops
http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/smallsat/2013/all2013/76/

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

SpinSat in orbit

RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting minutes released

Lun, 11/24/2014 - 14:40

The RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting minutes and reports from the annual meeting held on November 1, 2014 are now available.

The Spectrum Forum, chaired by Murray Niman, G6JYB, brings together the RSGB spectrum managers with other stakeholders, including committee chairs, special interest groups and other specialists that share an interest in spectrum management.

Read the minutes and reports at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/spectrum-forum-posts-overview/spectrum-forum-meeting-minutes/2014/11/24/spectrum-forum-meeting-minutes-2014/

Spectrum Forum http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/spectrum-forum/

IZ0UDF to lift off to ISS

Sáb, 11/22/2014 - 21:11

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF – Credit NASA-Robert Markowitz

Former fighter pilot Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF is all set for her mission on the International Space Station, the launch will be broadcast live.

ISS Expedition 42 official crew poster

She will be Italy’s first female astronaut and expects to leave Earth on Sunday, November 23 at 2101 UT from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, also on-board will be Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov. She is expected to arrive at the ISS on Monday, November 24 where she will join crew members Elena Serova, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Barry Wilmore.

Since Alexander Gerst KF5ONO and Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT returned to Earth on November 10 the ISS has been left without any radio amateurs onboard.

On November 24, the Milan based company Accurat plans to launch a website Friends in Space and what they describe as the first social network that extends beyond Earth; a 6 months-long open window to make new friends from all over the world and join astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF @AstroSamantha #Futura42 in her expedition to the International Space Station.

Friends in Space
http://friendsinspace.org/
https://twitter.com/Friends_InSpace

In this video Samantha explains the story behind her mission name Futura, and recounts the journey to becoming an astronaut

Watch the launch live at
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Futura/Watch_Futura_launch_live

Follow @AstroSamantha at https://twitter.com/AstroSamantha

Download the high resolution (57 MB) Expedition 42 poster from
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/exp_42_sfaposternw-2014-07-007_highres.pdf

It has been reported on the GEO Yahoo Group that Soyuz Telemtry/Voice is expected on 143.625 MHz and 121.500 MHz on the European passes at 02:35 and 04:10 UT on Monday, November 24.

International Space Station Briefly “Ham-less” After Crew Members Return to Earth
http://www.arrl.org/news/international-space-station-briefly-ham-less-after-crew-members-return-to-earth

Astronaut Radio Amateurs http://www.w5rrr.org/astros.html

Happy Birthday, $50SAT/MO-76!

Sáb, 11/22/2014 - 21:04

Yaesu handheld and $50SAT 1.5U PocketQube

Friday, November 21, 2014 marked the one year anniversary of the launch of $50SAT/MO-76 PocketQube satellite.

Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA writes:

Our little creation was launched from Dombarovsky Air Base in Russia at 07:01 UT (which was 2:01 AM here in EN82 land) as one of 33 satellites aboard a Dnepr rocket. It was first heard by Jan, PE0SAT, at 08:46 UT, and by Stuart GW7HPW at 09:17 UT, and has been operating continuously ever since!

The $50SAT/MO-76 Dropbox now contains a snapshot of all the telemetry gathered from launch day through November 21, 2014.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l3919wtfiywk2gf/AAC0dF52-SAKbci7gK6iELaja/Telemetry-analysis/2014-11-21

$50SAT/MO-76 continues to operate normally, but the battery capacity has been slowly dropping to the point where it barely registers above 3500 mV when passing over EN82 land during daytime (decending) passes. I have been able to capture telemetry while it passes over Anton’s (ZR6AIC) WebSDR station http://zr6aic.giga.co.za:8902/ which is located in South Africa. During ascending passes, which occur between 20:00 and 21:30 UT, $50SAT/MO-76 has just transitioned from being in sunlight to being in eclipse, and the battery voltage is between 3602 and 3642 mV.

Over the life of $50SAT/MO-76, we have observed the following:
The maximum battery voltage was 3824 mV, while the minimum was 3440 mV
The maximum PCB temperature was 25 degrees C, while the minimum was -29 degrees C
The maximum RFM22 temperature was 29 degrees C, while the minimum was -30 degrees C
The maximum MPPT (solar) power was 312.84 mW
The maximum idle (RFM22 off) current was 3 mA, while the minimum was 2 mA
The maximum receive mode current was 31 mA, while the minimum was 21 mA
The maximum transmit mode current was 88 mA, while the minimum was 77 mA

On December 4, 2013, the folks at NORAD and Celestrak (with help from Mike, DK3WN) were able to identify $50SAT/MO-76 as object 2013-066W. At this time, apogee was at 640 km, and perigee was 595 km. As of November 21, 2014, apogee is at 599 km, and perigee is at 565 km. This means the average altitude has decreased by about 36 km. A spreadsheet, along with a graph of the orbital data is available on the $50SAT/MO-76 Dropbox
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l3919wtfiywk2gf/AADn6QqebB-_F7yKXc2RTaU0a/Orbit-analysis

While we did not have time to demonstrate this at the AMSAT-NA Space Symposium, we now have a working Arduino/RFM22 based groundstation. It utilizes a slightly modified version of the Sparkfun RFM22 Arduino shield https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11018 Additional information, including photos, marked up schematics, and the Arduino sketches, is available (guess where?) on the $50SAT/MO-76 Dropbox.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l3919wtfiywk2gf/AADw6hSSdaccILYdnpnBTUmta/Arduino-Groundstation

In addition to the original, receive-only sketch (S50SAT_receiver), there is a new version (S50SAT-Groundstation) which includes transmit capability, which supports all three open uplink commands. Both versions are capable of receiving all GFSK based packets, including the FEC packets.

I have successfully received $50SAT info and FEC packets from about 1200 km slant range with my groundstation using an Advanced Receiver Research P432VDG LNA http://advancedreceiver.com/page5.html with my homebrew 6 element WA5VJB yagi. The LNA is needed to improve the sensitivity of the RFM22, which is about -99 dBm. Since the RFM22 can only output 20 dBm (100 mW) and the minimum EIRP needed to uplink to $50SAT/MO-76 when it is directly overhead is about 36 dBm (4W), either a 16 dB gain antenna, an external linear amplifier, or both will be needed to successfully uplink.

Speaking of uplinking, no one has completed the $50SAT/MO-76 Uplink Challenge. This challenge is open to any licensed amateur radio operator, and the prize for successful completion is (drum roll…) a certificate of technical achievement, signed by all three of the $50SAT/MO-76 developers.

Our thanks to all who has supported us in this project, including all of you telemetry gathers. Please keep the telemetry coming!

73
Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA
$50SAT/MO-76 team

$50SAT was a collaborative education project between Professor Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, Morehead State University and three other radio amateurs, Howie DeFelice, AB2S, Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA, and Stuart Robinson, GW7HPW. The transmitter power is just 100 mW on 437.505 MHz (+/-9 kHz Doppler shift) FM CW/RTTY. $50SAT uses the low cost Hope RFM22B single chip radio and PICAXE 40X2 processor.

There is a discussion group for $50SAT http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/50dollarsat/

50DollarSat http://www.50dollarsat.info/

Ham radio launches to deep space

Mié, 11/19/2014 - 23:24

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH Internal Structure

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH is going to launch on a mission into deep space on November 30, 2014 carring a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz.

It will fly with the asteroid mission Hayabusa 2 and another amateur radio satellite Shin’en 2.

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. Its inclination will be almost zero, which means Shin’en 2 will stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH Deep Space Sculpture

The team have released the following information:

1. Despatch CW Format is now available!

Yesterday, we opened a wiki which explains how to join the “Cooperative data reconstruction,” the main mission of Despatch.  In this wiki, you can find the CW format as well as how to report the data you received.
http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Cooperative_Data_Reconstruction

2. Despatch Tracking page is opened!

Since Despatch is injected into an Earth escape trajectory, TLE is unavailable. Instead, we opened a web-page for the spacecraft tracking (both antenna-pointing and receiver-tuning).
http://api.artsat.jp/pass/

Please go to the page and enter your geographic location, and you will get nearby passes and a table with 1 minute steps that gives you AZ, EL, Freaquency, and so on. As the apparent movement and the change of the Doppler shift are slow, manual pointing of the antenna and tuning of the receiver every 10 minutes or so will do.

3. Reception Report page is opened!

We opened a web page in which you can report the data you received.
http://api.artsat.jp/report/

Thanks in advance and all the best,

Akihiro Kubota, ARTSAT project

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH
Web http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Main_Page
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artsat
Twitter https://twitter.com/DESPATCH_ARTSAT

Shin’en2 and Japanese Asteroid Mission
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

RSGB Youth Committee Chair Announced

Lun, 11/17/2014 - 14:48

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

The Radio Society of Great Britain has appointed 17-year-old Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ, as Chair of the RSGB Youth Committee.

Mike was originally licenced as M6TMJ and is currently studying Forensic Science and Criminal Psychology at City College Plymouth. He is a member of the QRZ.com Staff helping on the database forum and is also Younsters On The Air (YOTA) Month Co-Ordinator for the UK.

At the RSGB Convention in October Mike gave an excellent presentation on July’s successful YOTA-UK event held in Wolverhampton which was organised by young people, for young people. As well as Mike 2E0MLJ the YOTA-UK organising committee included Marie-Ann M6UWS, Dax M6DAX, Jenny M6HFA and Rachel M6SOO.

Read the RadCom article on IARU Region 1 YOTA and YOTA-UK at http://www.ham-yota.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/UK%20YOTA%20Report%20from%20RadCom.pdf

Follow YOTA-UK on Twitter @YOTA_UK

2E0MLJ on Twitter @MikeJ1997