ARLS002 ISS, PC-sat set up for joint packet tests

ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, says the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) transceiver has been switched to the PCsat frequency of 145.825 MHz for a few days to conduct some joint packet operational tests. ''ISS will have several extended periods when the satellites will be in view of each other,'' he said. ''This will be a temporary move to take advantage of PCsat being operational due to full sun and the favorable alignment of orbits between the two spacecraft.'' Ransom says the challenge for Earth stations is to try to relay a signal through both spacecraft--a double hop. ''Trying to do this via two space-based satellites is a bit trickier, since they are only in view of each other for a short time,'' he said. ''The fact that these satellites also have to deal with Doppler relative to each other increases the difficulty.'' PCsat controller Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, says both spacecraft will operate as conventional APRS digipeaters using the alias of WIDE. ''This should double the opportunities for QSOs for the next eight days and also allow some potential double hops,'' Bruninga commented. He and Ransom emphasized that Earth stations should only undertake attended operations and not transmit any beacon any more often than once a minute. In addition, stations should avoid jamming the uplink, not conduct any operations after dark and not digipeat via W3ADO-1. ''If that call sign appears, it means PCsat has reset, and we only have one orbit to recover or we may lose her.'' Ransom says the ISS should remain on 145.825 MHz until February 10. ''Bottom line,'' he added, ''try to get your packet signal to go through ISS and then PCSAT--or the other way around--and see if you can work folks outside of the footprint you are currently in.'' NNNN /EX

ARLS005 A glimmer of hope for AO-40

A weak "noise" on the AO-40 2.4-GHz beacon frequency has raised hopes that AO-40 may still be alive. AO-40 has been silent since January 27 (UTC), in the wake of a precipitous voltage drop. The satellite's controllers believe that one or more shorted battery cells are at the root of the problem. Colin Hurst, VK5HI, of the AO-40 command team reports that on March 9 between 0310 and 0320 UTC (orbit 1541) he "noted a noise peak of 4 to 5 dB" in the vicinity of the expected beacon frequency after he'd issued a transmitter reset command sequence to the satellite. "The width of this peak was about 5 kHz," he said. After listening for about 15 seconds, he issued a command to shut down the transmitter, and the noise peak disappeared. Hurst said he also transmitted several commands involving the auxiliary batteries but did not attempt to turn the beacon on again. "This tends to suggest that the IHU [Internal Housekeeping Unit computer] and L Band [1.2 GHz] receiver are operational," he said. The AO-40 command team theorizes that a cell in the main battery pack has shorted, clamping the bus voltage below the point where it can operate the satellite. The spacecraft's auxiliary batteries are believed to be in parallel with the main batteries, and commands sent so to swap to the auxiliary batteries have been unsuccessful. AO-40 Earth stations are continuing to send commands to the satellite in order to switch the batteries.

Updates on AO-40 are available on the AMSAT-DL Web site, .


To all radio amateurs

ARLS001 Chiao to Sub for McArthur as Next ISS Commander

Veteran NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao will replace William McArthur Jr, KC5ACR, as the commander Expedition 9, the next mission aboard the International Space Station. NASA says the change in crew assignment resulted from "a temporary medical issue" related to McArthur's qualifications for the long-duration flight. Chiao will join Russian cosmonaut and flight engineer Valery Tokarev for the six-month mission. "Because we are very cautious in our approach to crew health, we train backups for this kind of situation," said NASA Astronaut Office Chief Kent Rominger. He indicated that NASA plans to assign McArthur to another ISS crew increment. McArthur expressed disappointment in the turn of events but said he understood the necessity of the medical criteria in place for long-duration space flight. "I know that Leroy will ensure all of the Expedition 9 objectives are met," McArthur said, "and I look forward to flying soon on another space station mission." As a member of the Expedition 9 backup crew, Chiao has been training with McArthur for months. He will also serve as NASA ISS Science Officer. Since the switch would leave the ISS without an Amateur Radio licensee aboard during the next crew's tour, it's anticipated that Chiao will become licensed before he goes into space. The Expedition 9 crew is scheduled for launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April. European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands will round out the three-member Soyuz crew. He will return to Earth a week later with the Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex "Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR.


To all radio amateurs

ARLS016 International Space Station Marks Five Years in Space

The International Space Station has been in space five years and has had Amateur Radio and a permanent crew onboard for three years as of this month. Since attaining orbit, the ISS has grown from a lone, uninhabited module into a continuously staffed, house-sized research facility. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program has been a part of the ISS since November 2000. The US, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe have cooperated in making the ISS a reality as well as with making ARISS a success. The ARISS initial station gear went into space in September 2000. A month later, the FCC granted vanity call signs NA1SS and NN1SS to the International Space Station Amateur Radio Club for US ARISS operations. Russia has issued the call signs RZ3DZR and RS0ISS for ISS use. The capabilities of NA1SS also are slated to expand in the near future. Already on board is a Kenwood TM-D700E VHF/UHF transceiver. The unit will mean a significant boost to the power output of the ARISS initial station gear--from 5 W to 25 W. Additional gear, including SSTV hardware, tentatively is set for transport in January. NNNN /EX


AMSAT-North America <" target=_blank>; has announced that launch of the AMSAT OSCAR-E Amateur Radio microsat--the "Echo Project"--has beenmoved up to March 31, 2004. Earlier plans had called for a May 2004 launch. Echo Project Team member Richard Hambly, W2GPS, reported at AMSAT-NA's Annual Meeting and Space Symposium October 18-19 in Toronto, Canada, that the Echo project has made significant progress in recent months. "The Project Team met with our contractor, SpaceQuest <" target=_blank>;, and at this meeting we decided that spacecraft integration would take place this December and scheduled the launch for March," Hambly told the gathering. Integration will take place at the AMSAT Integration Lab at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. A Russian Dnepr LV rocket--a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile--will carry the approximately 10-inch-square satellite into a low-Earth orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Hambly reported that the project team powered up the Echo flight hardware in late summer in a "flat-sat" configuration at SpaceQuest. Data communications, command and control, and attitude control subsystems were tested, in addition to the radio equipment, power systems and cabling. The satellite will incorporate two UHF transmitters, each running from 1 to 8 W and capable of simultaneous operation, four VHF receivers and a multiband, multimode receiver capable of operation on the 10 meter, 2 meter, 70 cm and 23 cm bands. Echo will feature V/U, L/S and HF/U operational configurations, with V/S, L/U and HF/S also possible. FM voice and various digital modes--including PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink--also will be available. During the Symposium, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, outlined the delivery of the so-called Phase 2 ham equipment to the ISS. A Progress rocket already has delivered a Kenwood TM-D700E VHF/UHF transceiver to the ISS. The unit will mean a significant boost to the power output of the ARISS initial station gear--from 5 W to 25 W. Bauer said a Yaesu FT-100D and SSTV equipment, along with some new headsets, tentatively are set for transport to the ISS in January on another Progress flight. Additional ARISS gear will not go up until the space shuttle returns to flight in September 2004, however. Bauer said the equipment still on the ground will be tested in November in Moscow to validate that the Phase 1 and 2 systems are compatible. RF testing will also be conducted. According to Bauer, plans call for the Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex Kaleri, U8MIR, to install the Phase 1 and 2 70-cm hardware after ground tests are complete. Previous crews already installed four Amateur Radio antennas to cover HF, 2 meters, 70 cm and microwave frequencies. In addressing the general membership meeting, AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, asked the Board of Directors to continue its support of ARISS and that it go ahead with the OSCAR-Eagle project.

                     SPACE BULLETIN 001 ARLS001                                                                               
                           TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS                                                                                 CQ CQ CQ de ARRL and KB9UPS

                           ARLS001 NEW SAUDI SATELLITE GETS OSCAR DESIGNATION               

    A third satellite in the SaudiSat series has earned an OSCAR designation from AMSAT,  SO-50.  The Amateur Radio payload was successfully placed into orbit December 20 from Russia atop a modified SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile.  The German-made SAFIR-M Amateur Fadio payloac went into orbit during the same launch.  SaudiSat-1C is a project of the Space Research Institute of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology  (KACST).

    SaudiSat-1C follows the 2000 launch of SaudiSats 1A and 1B.  Now in a 650-km orbit, SaudiSat-1C carries several experiments, including a new Mode J amateur repeater.  The downlink frequency is 436.775MHz.  The uplink frequency is 145.850MHz.  A 67 Hz CTCSS tone is required for access.  The repeater will be available to amateurs worldwide as power permits.

    AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, said SaudiSat-1C will require activation on each pass by a designated control operator.  "A worldwide network of designated control operators is now being developed so that radio amateurs may begin using the satellite immediately," he said.  The NORAD identifier for two-line Keplerian elements is 27607.

    The new satellite is also equipped with capabilities to provide vital data concerning weather conditions and oil exploration as well as to monitor the movement of vehicles in remote regions of Saudi Arabia.

   " Information provided by the ARRL"


         To all radio amateurs

                    SB SPACE ARL ARLS002

                    ARLS002 AO-27 orbit affecting operating periods

According to AMSAT-NA, several stations recently have reported hearing AO-27's transponder on the air at unexpected times. AO-27's orbit has moved the satellite into a period of full-orbit solar illumination, explained Mike Seguin, N1JEZ. Because of this, the timed eclipse power regulator (TEPR) method of timing the transmitter does not work. As a result, AO-27's transmitter can only be turned on by ground-station command.

Seguin said controllers will try to turn AO-27 on for analog work during weekends, when controllers are not downloading telemetry. Right now, however, controllers are working on new flight software that will permit uploading a transmitter schedule for the transmitter.

"This will take us some time to write, debug, and upload to AO-27,"he said. Seguin requested that operators be patient during this process and refrain from e-mails to AO-27 command stations asking when the satellite will be on. Seguin noted that during seasons of full-orbit solar illumination, controllers will be able to have AO-27's transmitter on at night and for different parts of the world.


To all radio amateurs

                SB SPACE ARL ARLS004

                ARLS004 Starshine 3 Satellite Falls

The Starshine 3 satellite, the 91-kg disco ball in space, burned up in Earth's upper atmosphere above northern Canada or southern Greenland around 0515z on January 21. From the time of its September 29, 2001, launch, Starshine 3 (SO-43) made 7434 revolutions around Earth.

Starshine 3's highly reflective surface was designed to be easily seen as it passed overhead at dawn and dusk, providing students the opportunity to participate in its primary mission of satellite tracking. Amateur Radio operators also could monitor AX.25 9600-baud telemetry on 145.825 MHz.

The Project Starshine Web site has more information at

               To all radio amateurs

               SB SPACE ARL ARLS006

               ARLS006   ISS crew grieves Columbia loss, moves forward

The all-ham crew members of the International Space Station said February 11 that while they grieve the loss of the shuttle Columbia crew, human space exploration must continue and they're ready to spend up to a year in space if necessary. The ISS crew made its first public comments since the February 1 shuttle disaster in two news conferences this week.

The crew has not used the NA1SS onboard ham stations since the last Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact in January. The next scheduled ARISS contact is set for Friday, February 21, with students at Oregon State University.

Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, said that once it became unlikely that there were any survivors from the Columbia catastrophe, ''we discussed all of the different options for how it would affect us. ... We've got a Soyuz vehicle parked right outside.''

He said the crew did not feel isolated and had plenty of contact with family and friends and that, while not operating at peak efficiency, the ISS crew members would continue to move forward
with the ''serious tasks'' ahead of them.

                To all radio amateurs

                SB SPACE ARL ARLS007
                ARLS007 Columbia recovery effort over for Texas hams

Ham radio support for the shuttle Columbia debris search and recovery effort in Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties in Texas wrapped up February 12. US Forest Service personnel were scheduled to assume the support role hams had filled in East Texas for nearly two weeks.

South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Ehrhardt, W5ZX, praised amateurs for their professionalism and dedication. Ehrhardt said the weather often was rainy and cold with some sleet--and the brambles and briars in the forest did not help. Ehrhardt said the agencies the hams worked with were pleasantly surprised, and pleased, too. As he put it: ''I know that we changed several minds that we could get the job done.''

Hams spent about 12 days in the Columbia search-and-recovery effort, using GPS and off-the-shelf computer mapping software to pin down and report the locations of debris items as they were sighted.

Preliminary numbers reported this week indicated that 198 amateurs logged in at one time or another in Nacogdoches County and 148 in San Augustine County. An estimated 80 percent of the participating amateurs were from outside the two counties.

                        To all radio amateurs

Astronaut Fits in Same-Day Chats with Students on Both Sides of Atlantic

It was an Amateur Radio two-for-one special March 7 when International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT, spoke with students at technology-oriented schools in Italy and in Texas.

The contacts with NA1SS on board the ISS were arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Questions from students at the Istituto Tecnico Industriale Malignani (IV3FLG) in Cervignano-del-Friuli, northern Italy, covered many topics, such as use of radio frequencies on the station and traveling in space in a 10-minute QSO, said ARISS Mentor Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ.

The technical team of a local amateur radio club set up a satellite station and implemented two amateur television links on the 23-cm band with two other schools in the area to increase the audience from 100 students to a total of about 600.

That same morning, kids in Texas also were able to quiz Pettit via Amateur Radio. At Krueger Middle School of Applied Technologies in San Antonio, 10 students asked two questions each of Pettit via the school's club station, KD5OMG.

"It couldn't have gone better!" exclaimed Coordinating Teacher James Goslin, KJ5QB.

Pettit fielded questions about living in space, solar energy and plant biology experiments.

Information from ARRL

                SB SPACE ARL ARLS010

                ARLS010 NASA Selects Expedition 7 Crew

NASA named veteran Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and veteran NASA astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, as the International Space Station's Expedition 7 primary crew April 1. Malenchenko, the crew commander, and Lu will be the first two-person ISS crew and the first to travel to the space station on a Russian Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft. Plans call for an April 26 launch from Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, U8MIR and NASA astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, are the back-up crewmembers for Expedition 7.

Originally scheduled to return in March aboard the space shuttle Atlantis STS-114 mission, Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, and NASA Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT, will return to Earth aboard a Soyuz craft in May. They have been in space since November 23.

The fresh crew will remain in space until October, when a new crew will be sent up. NASA has said that until the space shuttle returns to flight-ready status, Russian Soyuz vehicles will handle ISS crew rotations. Additional unmanned Russian Progress cargo rocket flights have been scheduled to keep the ISS well stocked.

Space Bulletin 011 ARLS011
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT April 25, 2003
To all radio amateurs

ARLS011 Two-Ham Crew Set to Fly to International Space Station

Space veterans Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and NASA astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ head into space this weekend to assume the reins of the International Space Station (ISS) as its Expedition 7 crew.

Commander Malenchenko, 41, and Science Officer Lu, 39, will be the first two-person ISS crew and the first primary crew to travel to the space station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Their Soyuz TMA-2 vehicle is scheduled to launch April 26, at 0354z from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They'll arrive aboard the ISS April 28.

Originally scheduled to return in March aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, and Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 craft that's now
attached to the space station. They're scheduled to land on May 3 in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 6 has been in space since November 23. Malenchenko and Lu will remain in space until October, when a new crew will be sent up.