First family-friendly amateur radio event at The Royal Mint Experience

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

A unique event is taking place at The Royal Mint Experience, The Royal Mint’s new visitor centre in Llantrisant, Wales from July 30 to August 5, 2017. Local school children and members of the public have been invited to “The Royal Mint Radio Experience” to enjoy a fun, informal and interactive workshop.

They’ll have the opportunity to send and receive radio signals with FUNcube-1, an educational satellite launched in 2013 which is used by schools and educational groups all around the world. Visitors will also exchange greeting messages with radio enthusiasts across the world and, as each country is contacted it will be logged on a large map. The target is to contact each of the 100 countries with which the Royal Mint has worked during its 1,000 year history! The national amateur radio societies in many of those countries have contacted us to say that their members are looking forward to greeting the children on air.

In addition, during the sessions each person will be able to learn how to send their name using Morse code and will receive a special certificate to confirm their achievement.

RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this event which will give visitors to the Royal Mint a chance to experience the wonder of amateur radio and satellite communication. Amateur radio has many links with the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curriculum and can lead to rewarding careers.”

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), Barry Amateur Radio Society (BARS) and AMSAT-UK will be running the special amateur radio station whose call sign GB4RME (GB 4 Royal Mint Experience) has been granted by Ofcom just for this event.

RSGB Regional Manager and BARS Chairman Glyn Jones, GW0ANA added: “We believe this is the very first time any amateur radio station has been allowed to operate from a Royal Mint anywhere in the world, so it really is a unique occasion!”

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transmitted by the satellite says:
“Greetings from space to visitors, staff and team G B 4 R M E . Amateur Radio special event and demonstrations at the Royal Mint Experience South Wales. 30 Jul to 5 Aug.”
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/downloads/fitter.txt

The Royal Mint Experience http://www.royalmint.com/en/the-royal-mint-experience

Barry Amateur Radio Society http://www.bars.btck.co.uk/

FUNcube-1 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/funcube-1/

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Bittern DXers get 10k Lottery Grant

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The Eastern Daily Press report the Bittern DX Group in North Walsham have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

The newspaper story says:

The award will help them continue to introduce people to the world of technology, and the possibilities that radio communication can offer people.

But the news wasn’t only celebrated in North Walsham, or even Norfolk, as the announcement was transmitted from a satellite orbiting the Earth.

The satellite, FunCube1, as built by members of the Amateur Radio community and launched into orbit on 21st November 2013.

It was built with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics, and is the first satellite with outreach as its primary mission and demonstrates the depth and breadth of the hobby of Amateur Radio.

The Bittern DXers hope that with their new funds they can continue to work on initiatives such as the Educational Outreach Project which entails the group taking their equipment to public events and teach people about their hobby.

Read the full newspaper story at
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/message-from-space-celebrates-north-walsham-group-s-stellar-grant-1-5106808

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transnitted by the satellite said:
“The Bittern DXers are delighted to announce they have received a National Lottery Awards for All grant for their Educational Outreach project bringing amateur radio to the public.”
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/downloads/fitter.txt

Information on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite can be found at  https://funcube.org.uk/
and https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-cubesat/

Bittern DXers https://www.bittern-dxers.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/BitternDXers

Any amateur radio club can apply for a Big Lottery Fund grant, details at https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

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ARISS Celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary through SSTV Event

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of ARISS, a Slow Scan Television (SSTV) event is planned for Thursday, July 20 starting around 21:25 UT. The event plans to feature images from ARISS activities both past and present. This opportunity should cover most of the world during the operation period.

The event plans to use a computer on the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using the ham radio, specifically the onboard Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. Those receiving the images can post them at https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/ for viewing by the public.

The 20 year history of ARISS will be displayed through a collection of 12 unique images sharing the amazing accomplishments of ARISS over the last two decades. SSTV signals will be sent to earth at 145.800 MHz using FM. The SSTV mode of transmission is expected to be PD 120 (PD 180 may be a second option). The event is expected to continue over a two day period.

Since it’s inception, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has provided students an opportunity, through ham radio, to engage in conversation with orbiting astronauts and inspired many to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Consider how you might inspire students in your area through this chance to capture images directly from space to their computers.

Please note that the event, and any ARISS event, is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time.

While preparations are being finalized please check for new and the most current information on the ARISS website or  Twitter, or Facebook or  the AMSAT Bulletin Board for the latest information on this event.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) logoAbout ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and amateur radio. For more information, see

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
http://www.ariss.org/
https://twitter.com/ARISS_status
https://www.facebook.com/Amateur-Radio-on-the-International-Space-Station-ARISS-153679794647788/

ARISS SSTV Blog https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/

How to receive ISS SSTV https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

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BIRDS-1 constellation of five CubeSats deployed

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

On Friday, July 7, 2017 five CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were deployed from the Japanese Kibo module on the International Space Station.

ISS astronaut Jack Fischer KG5FYH @Astro2fish tweeted:
Another great example of International Cooperation today on @Space_Station –launched 5 micro-satellites from 5 countries off the JAXA arm!

The BIRDS-1 constellation consists of five 1U CubeSats (BIRD-B, BIRD-J, BIRD-G, BIRD-M and BIRD-N). They launched to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-11 on June 3, 2017. The satellites are made of the exactly same design and use the same amateur radio frequency.

The main mission of the constellation is to do experiments on radio communication with a CubeSat constellation via a network of UHF/VHF amateur radio ground stations all over the world.

BIRDS CubeSat NationsThe challenge is to distinguish each satellite from the others sharing the same transmit frequency, hand over operation of a satellite from one ground station to another and assemble the satellite data, such as housekeeping telemetry, music and the Earth images, obtained at different ground stations.

Amateur radio enthusiasts are asked to join the network to assist in the data downlink and reconstruction of the patchy satellite data into one meaningful data. Orbit information and operational plan of each satellite will be made available to the amateur radio community in the world. Software to decode the satellite data will be also made available.

The respective amateur ground stations that can successfully decode the telemetry data, music and the Earth images, shall receive a QSL card from the BIRDS team.

The data reconstructed by the effort of the amateur ground station network will be made public to share the sense of satisfaction and achievement.

BIRDS CubeSat Project LogoA particularly interesting mission of BIRDS project is the SNG mission that exchanges music via a digi-singer. It is an outreach-oriented mission. First, music in MIDI format is uploaded from ground. Then the MIDI file is processed on-board using a vocal synthesizer. Finally, the processed music is sent back to Earth using UHF antenna as voice FM data.

During organized events on space utilization with schools or general public, music could be heard using a common hand-held receiver and hand-made Yagi antenna positioned to track the satellite at each given pass over the region. This has a tremendous effect on awareness of radio communication among school children and general public, especially in the countries participating in the BIRDS project, Japan, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The satellites transmit CW on 437.372 MHz and 9k6 FSK, 1k2 AFSK FM, audio FM and 9k6 GMSK downlinks on 437.375 MHz.

A QSL is issued for a reception report. Please check the BIRDS web site.
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/amateur.html

BBC News has a story about one of the satellites GhanaSat-1 (BIRDS-G, ANUSAT-1)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-40538471

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation
https://amsat-uk.org/2017/07/01/birds-1-cubesat-constellation-deployment/
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/08/11/ham-radio-birds-constellation/

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BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

BIRDS CubeSat Engineering Model integration test

Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reports the BIRDS Project Newsletter Issue No. 17 shows the deployment of five amateur radio BIRDS-1 CubeSats from ISS is planned for July 7, 2017.

The IARU reports the satellites will be using CW, 1k2 AFSK FM, audio FM and 9k6 GMSK downlinks on a coordinated downlink frequency of 437.375 MHz.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Masa JN1GKZ writes:

The schedule is:
Time        Satellites                       Location
#1 0900z BIRD-J, BIRD-G, BIRD-M over Fance
#2 0930z BIRD-N, BIRD-B              over the south Indian ocean

BIRD-B (BRAC Onnesha) :Bangladesh
BIRD-G (GhanaSat-1, ANUSAT-1):Ghana
BIRD-J (Toki) :Japan
BIRD-M (Mazaalai, NUMSAT-1) :Mongolia
BIRD-N (EduSat-1) :Nigeria

A QSL is issued for a reception report. Please check the BIRDS web site.
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/amateur.html

Live broadcast of the deployment is planned by JAXA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP5YZi5usHc

BIRDS Project Newsletter Issue No.17
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/files/BIRDS_Newsletter_Issue_No_17.pdf

73 Masa JN1GKZ Tokyo Japan

Amateur Radio BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/08/11/ham-radio-birds-constellation/

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Russian Satellites Tanusha 1 and 2 set for Activation

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Two Russian satellites are planned to be activated inside the International Space Station (ISS) Russian Segment as part of a verification test from July 4-8.

The satellites will eventually be deployed by hand from the ISS during a Russian space walk tentatively scheduled for August 17, 2017.

The satellites Tanusha 1 and Tanusha 2 [спутники Тануша 1/2], will be downlinked at 145.800 MHz FM. Transmissions from Tanusha 1 should begin around 18:30 UT on July 4. Transmissions will cease on July 6 from 08:20 till 18:00 UT to allow the satellites to be swapped out. Tanusha 2 will then be activated beginning on July 6 around 18:00 UT and continue until July 8 at 10:30 UT.

The satellites will broadcast greeting messages in Russian, English, Spanish and Chinese. More details will be made available on the Southwest Western State University site at https://www.swsu.ru/

SWSU in Google English http://tinyurl.com/RussiaSWSU

How to hear the ISS https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-hear-the-iss/

Source ARISS

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IARU Aligns Satellite Coordination Guidelines with ITU WRC-15 Decisions

As the global federation of national associations of radio amateurs in more than 150 countries, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) for many years has provided frequency coordination services for amateur satellites free of charge.

Often these satellites are constructed by students at universities and other institutions as a part of their educational experience. In general, they have been licensed to operate in the amateur-satellite service, which is defined by the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as having the “…purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.”

Some administrations have issued experimental licenses for such satellites operating in amateur-satellite frequency bands. The IARU has coordinated these satellites as well, to reduce the possibility of harmful interference that might result from uncoordinated operation. Since 1 July 2014 it has not been possible to coordinate experimental satellites in the 144-146 MHz band because of the high probability of harmful interference in this heavily used band.

Educational satellite projects have grown in popularity as launch opportunities have increased. In 2012 the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference took note of the proliferation of what in Resolution 757 (WRC-12) it called “nanosatellites and picosatellites” and invited WRC-18 (now scheduled for 2019) to consider steps to facilitate their deployment and operation. Two Reports, ITU-R SA.2312 (09/2014) and ITU-R SA.2348 (05/2015), are instructive regarding the characteristics, definitions, spectrum requirements, and notification procedures of and for such satellites, which generally must use spectrum below 1 GHz for operational reasons.

At the following WRC in 2015, in place of Resolution 757 the Member States of the ITU adopted Resolution 659 (WRC-15) in which it was noted that the use of 144-146 MHz and 435-438 MHz by non-amateur satellites is not in accordance with the definition of the amateur-satellite service in the Radio Regulations. Resolution 659 cites the two reports mentioned above and makes it clear that the spectrum needs of what are now called “non-geostationary satellites with short duration missions” should be met either within the service in which the space station is operating or within the space operation service. Further, if new or upgraded allocations to the space operation service are required, studies should be limited to the frequency ranges 150.05-174 MHz and 400.15-420 MHz.

Accordingly, effective 1 August 2017 the IARU will be following revised guidelines for satellite frequency coordination.

The strong preference is for all satellites using spectrum allocated to the amateur and amateur-satellite services to operate under amateur licenses and within the definition of the amateur-satellite service and the service-specific Article 25 of the Radio Regulations. The IARU believes the definition is sufficiently broad to encompass nearly all educational satellite projects that include giving students hands-on experience with radiocommunication and are conducted under an amateur license.

The IARU will only coordinate a non-amateur satellite if an administration directs in writing that it be operated in an amateur-satellite band under an experimental or other non-amateur license.

Satellites with combined amateur and non-amateur missions will continue to be coordinated.

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination http://www.iaru.org/satellite.html

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

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UBSEDS25 balloon has Slow Scan Digital Video

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

Bristol students plan to transmit 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) from the UBSEDS25 solar powered high altitude balloon planned to launch on Saturday, July 1.

On the UKHAS Google Group Richard Meadows M0SBU from University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UBSEDS) writes:

We’re planning a launch from Bristol this Saturday, July 1 between 0500 and 0530 BST. This is weather permitting, but the forecast currently looks okay.

This flight is similar to the previous UBSEDS24, except with some bug fixes and adjustments. It’s using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so there’s a NOTAM in place. This tracker has a Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 attached, which transmits images when solar power is available. It’s a different design to our launch last August; in this case the tracker will continue to operate even if the pi fails. For the curious the ‘pi status’ telemetry values are: 0 = off, 1 = on, 2 = PITS started, 3 = SSDV started).

There will hopefully be a cutdown mounted between the balloon and the tracker. We’ll be testing the 434MHz uplink whilst it’s still in range of Bristol; if it returns over the UK at a convenient time and place we will attempt to trigger the cutdown.

The tracker has a variety of transmissions:

• 434.635 MHz USB Telemetry:
– Contestia 16/1000 with pips and RSID, transmitting telemetry. Once per minute below 8km altitude and every two minutes otherwise.

• 434.637.5 MHz SSDV:
– Usually 300 baud RTTY, 850Hz shift, 8N2.
– GMSK within 100km of Bristol and Farnham as marked on the attached map:
– GMSK at 12 ksymbol/s. 4×4 interleaved, R=1/2 convolutional K=5, HDLC framing, whitened etc as per the AX5043 manual. Concatenated with RS(255,223) to mop up some burst errors.

If you are listening to the RTTY, remember to turn off the ‘RxID’ button on the top right of dl-fldigi.

Rather than the usual JPEG SSDV, this is transmitting Better Portable Graphics (BPG) images. This is experimental, and ssdv.habhub.org doesn’t support it just yet. Hence receivers should instead upload to
http://ssdv.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Please read the instructions on this site. You’ll need dl-fldigi release 3.2, as explained on the site. The dl-fldigi release can be found here:
https://github.com/jamescoxon/dl-fldigi/releases/tag/3.2

The flight is expected to head south-east towards France. Many thanks to everyone who attempts to track this.

Richard Meadows M0SBU
Bristol SEDS http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Launch date/times are always subject to last-minute changes, check the UKHAS Google Group for updates.

Useful High Altitude Balloon links for tracking etc https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

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Join New Zealand’s Most Exciting Amateur Radio Project – KiwiSAT

KiwiSat - AMSAT-ZLYes, we’re going into space and you can be part of it!

AMSAT-ZL has reached a staging point in the development of their satellite project, KiwiSAT.
We’re ready to go, ready to get up there!

The exciting KiwiSAT project, to create and launch a New Zealand produced satellite, started
several years back. Yes, it has suffered innumerable set-backs, relying heavily on assistance
from our American brothers and sisters, a reliance cut off mid-stream by USA moves on ITAR
(International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Right then the work was well advanced but based
on the USA standards and criteria. Suddenly the development was back to square one,
requiring redesign of almost everything.

The KiwiSAT Team met that challenge and has produced a fine unit ready to launch. Then
came another set-back. Our critically important Leader of the KiwiSAT Engineering Team,
Fred Kennedy ZL1BYP, was struck down and driven to endure many months of medical
procedures. This has have left him unable to continue his important work.

It’s time for renewal.

Over time the support team has aged, drifting from their positions of youth and ability. Much
has been achieved but all to no avail if KiwiSAT sits on a shelf.

Can you help?

AMSAT-ZL is looking both to its members and to the general New Zealand amateur radio
population for a coordinator to join the team and lead the project through this final stage. We’re
making history. We’re going into space!

We need a volunteer “Orbit Insertion Team” consisting of a Launch Co-ordinator and as many
assistants as he/she requires to undertake the task of securing a launch for KiwiSAT. This new
team will also take over Fred Kennedy’s leadership responsibilities. In parallel, the established
KiwiSAT engineering team will continue their involvement, giving support along the way.

Much of the new team’s work will be organisational rather than hands-on engineering.
Involved is arranging final environmental testing of KiwiSAT, identifying and negotiating a
launch, attending the launch and attending to funding for this final phase. Basic planning is
complete, we need action.

Other tasks will undoubtedly be crop up however it is envisaged that the current team will
ensure the preparation of KiwiSAT to full flight status is completed.

Offers need to be received by June 30, 2017. The AMSAT-ZL Committee will then appoint a
team and leader. Offers can be advised to the AMSAT-ZL Secretary, 894 Ponga Road, RD 4,
Auckland 2584 or by Email to iana@kcbbs.gen.nz or to myself tdcarrell@gmail.com. Email either
of us for more details.

Financial assistance is available to enable the successful applicant to meet for a briefing with
Fred in Auckland, July this year.

Thank you, Terry, ZL3QL, President AMSAT-ZL.

KiwiSAT http://www.kiwisat.org.nz/

AMSAT-ZL http://www.amsat-zl.org.nz/

Source: NZART InfoLine 356

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ARISS SSTV Commemorative Activity

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

Special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions are expected to be made from the International Space Station on 145.800 MHz FM around the weekend of July 15.

In commemoration of their 20th anniversary, the ARISS team is planning to transmit a set of 12 SSTV images that capture the accomplishments of ARISS over that time.

The ARISS SSTV Blog says:

While still to be scheduled, we anticipate the SSTV operation to occur around the weekend of July 15.  We are planning for at least a 2 day operation, but are working for a potential longer operation. Note that all of this tentative and may change based on crew scheduling and
ISS operations.

Starting with our first meeting in November 1996, our joint operations on Mir, becoming the first operational payload on ISS in November 2000 to our 1103rd school contact (so far), ARISS’ accomplishments have been tremendous. We have touched the lives of many and inspired and educated countless students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Please stay tuned as more details on our SSTV event will be communicated in the coming weeks.  Please spread the word.  And think about how you can get students in your area involved in capturing these images.  We would love to hear your stories on how that goes.

73,  Frank KA3HDO

ARISS SSTV Blog http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/ariss-sstv-commemorative-activity.html

How to receive ISS SSTV https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

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