ESA Vega Launch Includes 8 Amateur Band Satellites

Vega Artist ImpressionVega is scheduled to launch on February 13, at 1000 UTC with eight student built amateur radio satellites. Internet video streaming of the launch will be available.

The launcher will first deploy the main payload, the LARES the Laser relativity Spacecraft and will then make an additional firing of the final OVUM stage before deploying the secondary cubesat payloads. The planned timing for these deployments, in order of ejection, are as follows:

  • T0+ 4245.30secs 1st PPOD, with XatCobeo, e-st@r, and Goliat.
  • T0+ 4255.30secs 2nd PPOD, with Robusta, MaSat-1 and PW-Sat.
  • T0+ 4265.30secs 3rd PPOD, with UniCubeSat.
  • T0+ 4275.30secs AlmaSat-1.

The Cubesats will not deploy their antennas until 1800 seconds after they leave their PODS. It is not known how soon AlmaSat-1 will start transmitting after deployment.

Vega Launch Cubesat Amateur Band Frequencies

AlmaSat-1 437.465 MHz 1200 bps FSK, 2407.850 MHz
E-St@r 437.445 MHz 1200 bps AFSK
Goliat 437.485 MHz 1200 bps AFSK
MaSat-1 437.345 MHz GFSK 625/1250 bps (demodulator/decoder software), CW
PW-Sat 435.020 MHz FM uplink, 145.990 MHz DSB downlink
Robusta 437.325 MHz 1200 bps FM telemetry (data every 1 min, 20 sec. burst)
UniCubeSat 437.305 MHz 9600 bps FSK
XaTcobeo 437.365 MHz FFSK with AX.25

The university cubesat teams welcome reception reports. All observers are invited to submit reports via amsat-bb and to also join the CubeSat Internet Relay Chat channel to pass on their news and comments in realtime. You will need an IRC client such as the ChatZilla addon for FireFox or mIRC to join the cubesat chat. Connect to the server. Once connected to the server the /join #cubesat command will bring you into the channel. Many users set their chat nickname to “name_callsign”.

[PE0SAT thanks for the above information]

ISS Performs Debris Avoidance Maneuver

Check Your Keps: ISS Performs Debris Avoidance Maneuver

UniverseToday reports that the ISS needed to perform a maneuver on Friday, January 13 to avoid debris from the 2009 collision between an inactive Russian Cosmos 2251 satellite and a commercial Iridium satellite.

ISS After Undocking STS134U.S. Space Command recommended the space station perform a debris avoidance maneuver on Friday, January 13, 2012 to move out of harms’ way and dodge a possible collision with the piece of space junk, said to be about 10 centimeters in diameter. The thrusters on the Zvezda service module fired at 1610 UTC on Friday to raise the orbit of the ISS.

Without the maneuver, the object would have made two close approaches to the station on consecutive orbits on Friday, passing within the “pizza box” shaped region around the station, measuring 0.75 kilometers above and below the station and 25 kilometers on each side (2,460 feet above and below and 15.6 by 15.6 miles).

A higher orbit for the ISS means that AOS will occur at a slightly later time than those predicted in existing Keplerian Elements. Users are encourage to update their tracking elements to maintain tracking accuracy.

[PE0SAT thanks for the above information]

AubieSat-1 Designated AO-71

AubieSat-1 Designated AO-71

AubieSat-1OSCAR Number Administrator, Bill Tynan, W3XO reports that he has ad- vised
J. M. Wersinger, PhD, KI4YAU, Professor Emeritus and Director of Auburn
University’s Student Space Program, that following the successful NASA ELaNa
III launch on October 28, 2011 of AubieSat-1, and by the request of the
AubieSat-1 team, the new satellite has been assigned an OSCAR number. Professor Wersinger documented that telemetry has been received from the satellite. The IARU-Sat Website states that AubieSat-1 was fully coordinated with the IARU. Bill wrote, “Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I hereby designate AubieSat-1 as AubieSat Oscar 71 or AO-71 and welcome this newest OSCAR into the Amateur Radio satellite commun- ity. On behalf of AMSAT-NA and the world’s amateur radio satellite community, I congratulate Professor Wersinger, Auburn University and all of those responsible for building, testing and launching this new CubeSat. May its mission meet with success.”

[Thanks OSCAR Number Administrator, Bill Tynan, W3XO for the above

What is Ham Radio

Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams,” use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training.

Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.

The term “amateur” reflects the principle that Amateur Radio and its skilled operators are committed to helping communities without financial compensation.

Here an email message from Radio Amateur regarding Amateur Radio and how they participate in the field of science.

Dear all,

Very often I find it difficult to explain to ‘outsiders’ what HAM radio is all about. Therefore I have released a short video on YouTube about the recent ANDE-2 experiments and how radio amateurs world-wide contributed to this mission. When I was young I watched the first Space Shuttle flight on TV. A far away, fantastic scientific event. Many years later we as radio amateurs are given opportunities to engage directly in space-experiments. It’s a thrill ! Featured in the video are the launch and deploy from STS-127, as well as reception and decoding of the satellite’s radio signals received from space.

Best regards, Henk, PA3GUO

An example how amateur radio operators participate in space experiments

Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio and Satellite communication

OSCAR 1OSCAR is an acronym for Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. OSCAR series satellites use amateur radio frequencies to facilitate communication between amateur radio stations. These satellites can be used for free by licensed amateur radio operators for voice (FM, SSB) and data communications (AX.25, packet radio, APRS). Currently over 20 fully operational satellites in orbit act as repeaters, linear transponders or store and forward digital relays.

The first amateur satellite simply named OSCAR-1, was launched on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of world’s first satellite, Sputnik I. OSCAR-1 was the very first satellite to be ejected as a secondary payload and subsequently enter a separate orbit. Despite being in orbit for only 22 days OSCAR-1 was an immediate success with over 570 amateur radio operators in 28 countries forwarding observations to Project OSCAR. Throughout the years OSCAR satellites have helped make significant breakthroughs in the science of satellite communications. A few advancements include the launch of the very first satellite voice transponders and the development of highly advanced digital “store-and-forward” messaging transponder techniques. To-date over 70 OSCAR’s have been launched with more to be launched in the near future.