Status Report

AMSAT Space News 29 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 29, 2001
Filed under ,

* SpaceNews FINAL EDITION *
===========================

It is with great sadness that after over 13 years of service to the
amateur radio and amateur satellite communities, I have decided to
bring SpaceNews publication to a graceful close. The reason for my
decision centers on the fact that it takes a tremendous amount of time,
effort, and dedication to publish an electronic newsletter single-handedly
every week for over 13 years, and that it is becoming increasingly difficult
to keep up with the demands of publishing SpaceNews along with the increasing
demands of my job, and my growing desire to spend what little spare time I
have left on activities I have neglected for many years.

SpaceNews started out as effort to increase the awareness of advancements
being made by the Amateur Radio Service through the use of amateur radio
communication satellites by reporting on some of the more “interesting”
events taking place in the world of satellites using electronic media.

SpaceNews was originally edited on a Commodore 64 home computer, and
distributed locally via the NN2Z-4 Packet Radio BBS in Neptune, New
Jersey using an MFJ-1270B Packet Radio Terminal Node Controller (still in
use, but now only used for Pacsat communications) and a terminal program
written in hand-assembled 6510 machine language. It was also posted
to several amateur radio and space-related Usenet newsgroups and mailed
out to several distributors around the world via the KA2QHD Unix-based
packet radio to “early Internet” gateway.

Distribution grew rapidly, as did interest in the material carried in
SpaceNews reports judging by the feedback received from many loyal readers.
Although archives of SpaceNews issues prior to 1993 were never maintained
by the author, the following is the earliest edition of SpaceNews I have
on record. It probably was issued in late November 1987. It is
interesting to see just how much progress has been made in the
amateur satellite program since that time period.

***************************************
**** ****
*** * Space News de KD2BD * ***
**** ****
***************************************

* SPACE NEWS *

————–

* “SPACE NEWS” is a report of
specialized communications techniques
and space technology in the amateur
radio service. These bulletins
originate at KD2BD, in Wall Township,
New Jersey, and are available on the
following packet radio bulletin
board stations in the Northeastern
United States:
W1AW KB1BD NN2Z WA2SNA KB3UD KD6TH.

* OSCAR 10 RETURNS TO SERVICE *

——————————-

* AMSAT-OSCAR 10 has returned to
limited service now that sun angles
have improved. Solar cell illumination
is expected to reach 100 % on December
28, 1987. QRP operation is imperative,
and users are asked to use 100 watts or
less EIRP. Keep abreast of the latest
AO-10 developments via W1AW bulletins
or via one of the many AMSAT nets.

* PHASE 3C LAUNCH DATE SET *

—————————-

* AMSAT’s new Phase 3 satellite
is undergoing pre-launch tests at
AMSAT-DL, in West Germany. If all goes
well, this new OSCAR will be launched
on the European Space Agency’s (ESA)
V-22 mission, planned for March 15,
1988. Like OSCAR-10, this new satellite
will also be placed in a highly
elliptical orbit (hence the name “Phase
3”). It is expected to carry three
linear transponders, and a single
frequency, digital “RUDAK” transponder.
Satellite operations include:

Mode B : 435 MHz up, 145 MHz down.

Mode JL : 1269 MHz, 145 MHz up,
combined 435 MHz down.

Mode S : 435 MHz up, 2400 MHz down.

RUDAK : 1269.675 MHz up,
435.675 MHz down.

* RS10/11 NEWS *

—————-

* Recently, G3IOR, provided the
following information regarding RS10/11
telemetry and transponder sensitivity.

CHANNEL 2A: Indicates -20 dB attenuator
in or out of both 145 MHz
and 21 MHz uplinks.

CHANNEL 3A: Indicates -10 dB attenuator
in/out on 145 MHz and
21 MHz uplink.

4N, 5N, 6N: Indicate I.F. volts,
nominally 9 V (eg. receiver
activation and not actual
A.G.C. voltages).

13N : Shows the 9 V supply to
alternate transponder
receivers.

* UOSAT NEWS *

————–

* Information from UoSAT mission
control indicates the 21.002 MHz HF CW
beacon on OSCAR 9 will remain ON, while
the 2.041 GHz SHF FM beacon will remain
OFF.

* Wednesdays (UTC) are being
reserved for the CCD camera imaging
experiment on OSCAR 9. A picture
showing the edge of the earth was
recently taken by OSCAR 9’s CCD camera
and transmitted to hams around the
world via the General Data Beacon
(145.825 MHz FM). The CCD video
resolution is 256x256x16
(256 horizontal pixels, 256 vertical
pixels with 16 shades of gray). The
camera’s field of view is 60 degrees
and provides detailed earth photos over
a 500×500 km area of the earth’s
surface below the spacecraft.

* New “DIARY” software is being tested
on UoSAT-2 (OSCAR 11) this week.
Written in FORTH, this is the first
time a high-level language has been
used on either OSCAR 9 or OSCAR 11.

* OSCAR 11’s Digital Communications
Experiment (DCE) continues in operation
with selected users around the world.
DCE software version V3.2 is now in
operation.

* ASCII transmissions from the UoSATs
on 145.825 MHz FM provide the following
information in the order listed :

UoSAT-1 (OSCAR 9)

:::::::::::::::::

* Computer status information and news
bulletins (60 seconds).

* Computer generated telemetry
(60 seconds).

* Whole Orbit Display (WOD)
(150 seconds).

UoSAT-2 (OSCAR 11)

::::::::::::::::::

* Computer status information and news
bulletins (180 seconds).

* Whole Orbit Display (WOD)
(200 seconds).

* Digital Communications Experiment
(DCE) message system (60 seconds).

* Computer generated telemetry
(60 seconds).

* PACKET IN SPACE *

——————-

* For over 5 years, a digital, packet
radio-type satellite has been in the
works at AMSAT. Recently, a PACSAT team
has been put together to build and
launch PACSAT in 24 months. Across the
pond, the University of Surrey is using
the results of experiments conducted on
their UoSATS to design a digital
store-and-forward satellite, (UoSAT-3)
that will use error correcting codes
and special software to build their own
PACSAT-like spacecraft.

* FEEDBACK WELCOMED *

———————

* Got a question or comment?
Send me packet mail at NN2Z. If your
question is of general interest, I’ll
answer it via a “Space News” bulletin!

* THANK YOU! *

————–

* The news contained in this bulletin
was obtained via OSCAR 11, Westlink,
Amateur Satellite Report (#162), and
the East Coast 75 meter AMSAT net.

* MESSAGES de KD2BD *

———————

To all: HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!
—————————————

73 de KD2BD @ NN2Z
John in Wall Township, NJ.

Over the years, SpaceNews helped contribute to the creation of the
sci.space.news Usenet newsgroup. It was also read by several crews living
on the Russian space station Mir. It led to an Amateur Radio Satellites
column in “Satellite Times” magazine, and was used in the classroom by
countless educators around the world who used the reports to promote
learning through OSCAR satellites and amateur radio. SpaceNews also
led to even greater exposure of the Amateur Satellite Program through
several radio interviews as well as a feature article in the Asbury
Park Press (New Jersey’s second largest newspaper) several years ago.

All in all, I’d say this “labor of love” called SpaceNews has been a
pretty good success!

My sincere thanks go to all my good friends who encouraged me to publish
SpaceNews, and helped in the distribution of the newsletter from the very
beginning. My thanks also go out to all the dedicated individuals who
translate SpaceNews from English to other languages to help get the
news out to an even wider audience.

Bringing SpaceNews publication to a close does not signal an end to my
dedication and service to the Amateur Satellite Program by any means.
As time permits, I intend to continue my hardware and software developments,
and do whatever I can to further my support of this fascinating aspect
of the Amateur Radio Service.

Keep in touch!

73, de John, KD2BD

[email protected]

http://www.qsl.net/kd2bd/

KD2BD @ KO-25

SpaceRef staff editor.