Radio amateur brings her hobby to university

Ruth Willet KM4LAO

Ruth Willet KM4LAO

Kettering University reports student Ruth Willet KM4LAO brings her amateur radio expertise to campus.

Ruth, who is double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics, was first licensed in June 2015. On her QRZ page she says:

“I love getting on the air on amateur radio satellites! I have operated from a number of grid squares in Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, and more. I am enjoying the challenge of balancing two radios and an arrow antenna, changing frequencies, and trying to talk on the satellite and remember callsigns at the same time! The more passes I do, the more I learn, and I am having a ton of fun. I started out on FM satellites only, and am slowly learning how to do linear satellites as well.”

The university article reports:

She has found that the skills she learns in classes go hand in hand with her amateur radio hobby. Willet plans to start up an Amateur Radio Club on campus in the spring 2018 term to get more students interested.

“I really enjoy sharing this hobby with other students,” she said. “I would encourage people to consider exploring amateur radio because it’s a hobby that allows you to explore anything from technical electronics to international friendships. Amateur radio is open to anyone. It will help develop your professional and personal skills, participate in and learn from fascinating activities, and connect with an incredible community.”

Read the Kettering University story at
https://news.kettering.edu/news/kettering-university-student-brings-ham-radio-hobby-expertise-campus

Watch Ruth’s satellite operation at GLHamCon ’17

Watch Ruth Willet – KM4LAO – 2017 Hamvention – DX Dinner Keynote Speaker

QRZ https://www.qrz.com/db/KM4LAO

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

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

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AmsatDroidFree now open source

AmsatDroidFree ScreenshotDavid Johnson G4DPZ has announced that his AmsatDroidFree satellite tracking App for Android devices is now open source.

This App predicts future passes for amateur radio satellites for a specified location and period of time.

Basic features:
– Calculate passes for up to the next 24 hours
– Graphical pass display
– Map view showing current satellite position and next two orbits
– Update keps from a file on SD card or directly from AMSAT’s webpage using your phone’s internet connection
– Set home coordinates from User Input (Lat, Lon, Grid Square), Network or GPS

Open source code https://github.com/g4dpz/AmsatDroidFree

AmsatDroidFree App on Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.me.g4dpz.HamSatDroid&hl=en_GB

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FM transponder satellite AO-92 open for amateur radio use

AO-92 / Fox-1D CubeSat

AO-92 / Fox-1D CubeSat

On the 03:25 UTC pass on January 26, 2018, AMSAT Vice President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, announced that AO-92 had been commissioned and formally turned the satellite over to AMSAT Operations. AMSAT Vice President – Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, then declared that AO-92 was now open for amateur use.

Initially, the U/v FM transponder will be open continuously for a period of one week. After the first week, operations will be scheduled between the U/v FM transponder, L-Band Downshifter, Virginia Tech Camera, and the University of Iowa’s High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument (HERCI).

Schedule updates will appear in the AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins and will also be posted to the AMSAT-BB, AMSAT’s Twitter account (@AMSAT), the AMSAT North America Facebook group, and the AMSAT website at https://www.amsat.org/satellite-schedules/

AO-92 was launched on the PSLV-C40 mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India on January 12, 2018. For the past two weeks, the AMSAT Engineering and Operations teams have been testing the various modes and experiments on board. Testing has shown that both the U/v FM transponder and L-Band Downshifter work very well. The Virginia Tech camera has returned stunning photos and data from HERCI has been successfully downlinked.

AMSAT thanks the 178 stations worldwide that have used FoxTelem to collect telemetry and experiment data from AO-92 during the commissioning process. The collection of this data is crucial to the missions of AMSAT’s Fox-1 satellites. Please continue to collect data from AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92.

Radio Programming Chart – Fox-1D Doppler Shift Correction
Memory 1 (AOS) – TX 435.340 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.880 MHz
Memory 2 (Rise) – TX 435.345 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.880 MHz
Memory 3 (TCA) – TX 435.350 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.880 MHz
Memory 4 (Descend) – TX 435.355 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.880 MHz
Memory 5 (LOS) – TX 435.360 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.880 MHz

The L-band experiment will use 1267.350 MHz uplink with 145.880 MHz downlink. UHF and L-band uplink operation are set by the command stations; the operating schedule will be posted.

AMSAT Bulletin Board http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

N2YO online real-time satellite tracking http://www.n2yo.com/

AMSAT-NA online orbital predictions http://www.amsat.org/track/

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ for new satellites launched in past 30 days
http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/23/adding-new-satellites-to-satpc32/

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PicSat Requests Ham Radio Assistance to Capture/Upload Telemetry

Artist's impression of PicSat in space

Artist’s impression of PicSat in space

The CubeSat PicSat carrying an amateur radio FM transponder was launched on the same PSLV-C40 flight from India that delivered AO-92 to orbit.

PicSat is a nano-satellite aimed at observing the transit of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b in front of its bright and equally young star Beta Pictoris, and at demonstrating an innovative technological concept to use optical fibres for astronomical observations from Space.

The CubeSat contains an embedded FM transponder. It will be available when possible during the mission.

Frequency information:
Uplink FM 145.910 MHz 1750 Hz tone when in amateur mode
Downlink FM 435.525 MHz 9k6 BPSK AX25 Data and FM voice when in amateur mode

A description of the telemetry and related information are available on
https://picsat.obspm.fr/data/telemetries?locale=en.

This week the PicSat team requested amateur radio assistance to capture and upload telemetry packets from the satellite. Beacons received from all over the world are especially useful to monitor the status of satellite along its orbit (and not just when it is above our own station). Science data are obviously useful for the science mission. And all other packets, even when they do not look like much, can be of great importance! For example, we often receive satellite acknowledgements to our commands from ground station in France or Europe which are listening at the same time as us. It may look useless, but it is not. We regularly miss those packets ourselves, so it is good to have other people receiving them and sending
them to us.

There are three ways to send your data. The options for your upload will become available on your profile tab after registration at their website: https://picsat.obspm.fr/connexion?locale=en

Full details of the packet uploading procedure are posted at:
https://picsat.obspm.fr/contributing/send-packets?locale=en

+ Fast upload beacon: mainly intended as a way to directly upload a beacon by copy/paste when you receive, and to get an immediate overview of the satellite status. When you are a new user, this is also the only way you can upload a packet. Upload one beacon successfully, and you will have access to the other methods!

This page accepts a hexadecimal string, like “0123456789ABCDEF” in which whitespaces and upper/lower case are ignored (“01 23 45 67 89 ab cd ef”, or even something like “0 1 234 56789 aBc dEf” will be accepted). The hexadecimal string must represent the AX.25 packet (without flags), possibly KISS encapsulated (starting with “C0 00” and ending with “C0”)

+ Upload data: this can be used to upload files containing multiple packets at once. The files are stored on our servers, and processed daily.

+ SiDS requests: This will be implemented in the near future.

PicSat shares a similar orbit with AO-92 since they were both deployed at approximately the same time. PicSat has been included in the 2 line Keplerian Elements distributions. On-line orbit predications for PicSat can be found at https://picsat.obspm.fr/operations/orbital-map?locale=en

Follow PicSat at https://twitter.com/IamPicSat

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Zhou Enlai student satellite to launch

Zhou Enlai CubeSat

Zhou Enlai CubeSat

The 2U CubeSat Zhou Enlai 周恩来 developed with primary and middle school students is expected to launch on Friday, January 19, 2018.

The satellite is named after the first Premier of the PRC. Zhou Enlai held office from October 1949 until January 1976.

A report on Xinhua Net says:

The satellite was sent from its production base in Huai’an Youth Comprehensive Development Base in east China’s Jiangsu Province to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu Province Monday, where a CZ-11 solid fuel rocket is scheduled to put it into orbit Friday.

Twenty teenagers who participated in the development project accompanied the transport group to the launch center and will witness the lift-off.

Zhang Xiang, chief designer of the satellite, said that the nano-satellite, weighing 2 kilograms, is set to run in sun-synchronous orbit. Equipped with a HD optical camera, it can capture space photos with the highest resolution among those shot by other Chinese satellites for scientific education purpose.

Zhang said that the students had taken their spare time to join the development and groundbased simulation performance of the satellite, and had learnt to assemble and practice voice data transfer and telecommunication applications.

“A scientific satellite like this is like a teacher in space, carrying cameras or spectroscopes to study the upper atmosphere or to shoot space pictures of the stars. Students can grasp the mystery of the universe through the messages transmitted by the teacher,” said Zhang, a professor with Nanjing University of Science and Engineering.

Read the full story at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/17/c_136902466.htm

The IARU satellite pages list a 2U CubeSat called HA-1 with FM transponder and SSTV developed by the Teenagers Amateur Radio Center of Activity in Huai’an. Zhou Enlai may well be the new name for this satellite
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=589

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AO-73 / FUNcube-1 Illumination – Update January 15, 2018

Face of the SunThe time when AO-73 enters continuous sunlight, for the first time, is fast approaching. Current estimates show that this will commence on February 6th and last through until March 13th.

Obviously, the autonomous switching system that the spacecraft has been using to switch between amateur mode, with the transponder on in eclipse and educational mode with high power telemetry only in sunlight, will no longer work.

Already the periods of eclipse are reducing quite rapidly and we are therefore planning for manual mode switching to take be undertaken. This will start from the week beginning Jan 21st and will follow this initial plan.

Wednesday evening (UTC) or Thursday morning – switch to full time amateur mode – ie transponder on with low power telemetry.

Sunday evening (UTC) or Monday morning – switch to full time educational mode with high power telemetry only.

So if you are planning school demonstrations or particular DXpeditions please take this new schedule into account.

The team may have to flex this plan with experience as this situation was not allowed for in the original mission plan!

AO-73 / FUNcube-1 spin period and illumination December 2017
https://amsat-uk.org/2017/12/03/ao73-spin-period-illumination/

FUNcube Website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/

FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

FUNcube Forum https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-forum/

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Ham radio CubeSat launch success

CNUSail-1 Credit KARI-Blog

CNUSail-1 Credit KARI-Blog

CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were among the 31 satellites successfully launched on January 12 at 0359 UT on an Indian ISRO PSLV rocket.

Two of the CubeSats, Fox-1D and PicSat, carry amateur radio FM transponders, but neither is yet available for general amateur use. The PicSat FM transponder is unusual in that instead of a CTCSS tone it requires a 1750 Hz tone burst to activate it. The 1750 Hz tone burst used to be popular on IARU Region 1 FM repeaters in the 1980s and 90s before the widespread use of CTCSS.

CNUSail-1, built by students at the Chungnam National University in Korea, carries a deployable sail. The students have requested the help of radio amateurs in receiving the 437.100 MHz beacon, further information is available at https://sites.google.com/view/cnuusg

JE9PEL lists these frequencies for the satellites carrying amateur radio payloads:

Fox-1D (AO-92) 145.880 down 435.350/1267.350 up FM CTCSS 67.0Hz/200bps DUV
PicSat         435.525 1200bps BPSK
CNUSail-1      437.100 9600bps GMSK
Canyval-X 1/2  437.200 9600bps MSK
KAUSAT-5       437.465/2413.000 9600bps FSK,115k2 MSK
STEP-1         437.485 9600bps FSK CW

Shankar A65CR/VU2SWG reported coping the Fox-1D satellite voice beacon on the morning pass at 30 deg elevation in Dubai using a TH-F7 with standard rubber duck. YL voice with satellite identifier. Very short burst with fluctuating carrier.

Madhu A65DE also copied Fox-1D from Fujairah, North of Dubai.

AMSAT North America has issued a statement formally designating Fox-1D as AO-92:

Fox-1D, a 1U CubeSat, is the third of AMSAT’s five Fox-1 CubeSats to reach orbit, being preceded by AO-85 (Fox-1A) and AO-91 (RadFxSat / Fox-1B). Fox-1D carries the Fox-1 U/v FM transponder, with an uplink of 435.350 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink of 145.880 MHz. In addition, Fox-1D carries several university experiments, including a MEMS gyro from Pennsylvania State University – Erie, a camera from Virginia Tech, and the University of Iowa’s HERCI (High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument) radiation mapping experiment. Fox-1D also carries the AMSAT L-Band Downshifter experiment which enables the FM transponder to be switched to utilize an uplink of 1267.350 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS).

Fox-1D was sent aloft as a secondary payload on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s PSLV-XL rocket as part of the PSLV-C40 mission. Fox-1D was one of thirty-one satellites successfully deployed on this launch.

Since Fox-1D has met all of the qualifications necessary to receive an OSCAR number, I, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT President, do hereby confer on this satellite the designation AMSAT-OSCAR 92 or AO-92. I join amateur radio operators in the U.S. and around the world in wishing AO-92 a long and successful life in both its amateur and scientific missions.

I, along with the rest of the amateur community, congratulate all of the volunteers who worked so diligently to construct, test and prepare for launch the newest amateur radio satellite.

William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator

Further information on the Fox-1D launch, deployment and designation at
https://www.amsat.org/fox-1d-launched-designated-amsat-oscar-92/

Information on PicSat is available via
https://amsat-uk.org/2018/01/10/picsat/

Report on the five Korean satellites that were launched
http://koreabizwire.com/cube-satellites-built-by-university-students-launched-into-outer-space/107445

N2YO online real-time satellite tracking http://www.n2yo.com/

AMSAT-NA online orbital predictions http://www.amsat.org/track/

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ for new satellites launched in past 30 days
http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

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PicSat to launch Friday

Artist's impression of PicSat in space

Artist’s impression of PicSat in space

The PicSat 3U CubeSat carrying an amateur radio 145/435 MHz FM transponder is planned to launch into Earth orbit on January 12, 2018.

The primary mission is to study the star Beta Pictoris, its exoplanet and its famous debris disk, thanks to a small telescope 5 cm in diameter. The nanosatellite has been designed and built over three years by scientists and engineers at the Paris Observatory and the CNRS, with support from the Université PSL, the French space agency CNES, the European Research Council and the MERAC Foundation.

The nominal PicSat mission will last for one year. When the start of a planetary or other transit is observed, the 3.6-meter telescope from the European Southern Observatory in La Sille, Chile, will also be immediately put into action to observe Beta Pictoris using the powerful HARPS instrument. These data combined will allow an even better understanding of the phenomenon.

On Friday, January 12 2018 at 0358 UT, the Indian PSLV launcher will lift off and place PicSat in a polar orbit at an altitude of 505 km, together with about thirty other satellites. PicSat will be operated from Lesia in Meudon. However, the satellite will be visible from Meudon for only about 30 minutes every day, when it passes over Paris. Therefore, PicSat uses radio amateur bands for its communication, for which authorisation has been obtained thanks to the help of the French Réseau des Émetteurs Français (REF, or the Network of French Emitters).

Anybody who owns a minimum radio receiving equipment can listen to and receive PicSat’s transmissions on 435.525 MHz. The PicSat team invites radio amateurs from all over the world to collaborate in following the satellite, receiving its data and relaying them to the PicSat data base via the Internet. Those interested can register on the PicSat website to follow the updates and, if they so wish, become part of the radio network, see http://PicSat.obspm.fr/

Watch the launch at http://webcast.gov.in/live/

Social Media
https://twitter.com/IamPicSat
https://www.flickr.com/photos/picsat/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbVE3QEJO74NbJ-tHtThHpg

Download the PicSat Press Release PDF

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=536

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BBC TV to show Michael Portillo moonbounce

Noel Matthews G8GTZ, Michael Portillo, Brian Coleman G4NNS, Matthew Crosby Chief Scientist Goonhilly, Ian Jones CEO Goonhilly and Tim Fern G4LOH at Goonhilly in June 2017

Noel Matthews G8GTZ, Michael Portillo, Brian Coleman G4NNS, Matthew Crosby Chief Scientist Goonhilly, Ian Jones CEO Goonhilly and Tim Fern G4LOH at Goonhilly in June 2017

The former MP for Enfield Southgate, Michael Portillo, used 5.6 GHz amateur radio to bounce a signal off the surface of the moon.

In 2017, a team led by Noel Matthews G8GTZ and Brian Coleman G4NNS made several visits to Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to use the 32 metre GHY6 dish for 3.4 GHz and 5.6 GHz Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) operation using the call sign GB6GHY. During one of the visits, Michael Portillo and the Great British Railway Journeys team visited and filmed a sequence including EME operation.

The show will be broadcast on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 6:30pm on BBC2.

Described as “Going to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera” the sequence will show Michael talking to Brian G4NNS and operating his station under supervision to “talk to the moon” and hear his echos coming back.

The BBC description reads:

Steered by his early 20th-century Bradshaw’s railway guide, Michael Portillo boldly goes to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera Express! On the trail of an historic achievement made at the dawn of the Edwardian era, he investigates the first radio signal to be sent across the Atlantic. In Plymouth, Michael uncovers what happened to surviving crew members of the most famous ocean liner in history, the Titanic. And at Fowey, he rediscovers a lost literary figure known as Q, who immortalised the town in his novels.

The show will be available online for 30 days from January 12 at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09m8kc2

GB6GHY – Hello Moon, this is Goonhilly calling!
https://amsat-uk.org/2017/08/27/gb6ghy-hello-moon-this-is-goonhilly-calling/

This was not Michael Portillo’s first encounter with amateur radio, in 2014 he send Morse code at Chelmsford, Essex under the guidance of Peter Watkins M0BHY
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/january/michael_portillo_sends_morse_code.htm

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

Find a UK amateur radio training course https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

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