Slow Scan TV from the ISS this weekend

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Frank Heritage M0AEU at 19:21 UT on Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 4/12 received by Frank Heritage M0AEU at 19:21 UT on Dec 18, 2014

During Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1, the Russian ARISS team members plan to activate the amateur radio Slow Scan TV (SSTV) experiment from the International Space Station (ISS) on 145.800 MHz FM.

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR on Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR on Dec 18, 2014

Start time should be around 1000 UT on Saturday and 0900 UT on Sunday and end around 2130 UT each day. It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent using the SSTV mode PD180 with 3 minute off periods between transmissions.

The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module. It is thought the equipment may be producing about 25 watts output which should provide a very strong signal.

During the previous SSTV transmissions in December 2014, the photos celebrated the 80th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to orbit Earth.

The images received by amateurs world-wide during those transmissions can be seen at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app for compatible modes. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the MMSSTV PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”

On the AMSAT-BB Rick W2JAZ and Alan WA4SCA comment on the need to set the MMSSTV sound card setting to 48 kHz instead of the default 44.100 kHz
• Options
• Setup
• Misc
• Then the Clock section at the bottom of the page

The MMSSTV default setting may need to be set to 24000 (exactly half of the sound card setting). You then should get good clean images.

The sound card adjustments will vary slightly depending on the version of the OS you are running, but usually will be under the advanced properties for the device. You can probably use a higher sampling rate for the sound card so long as it is a power of 2 multiple (2,4,8, etc) of the value in MMSSTV. For instance, 192k (8x) has no issues. The same applies to most similar software.

You can receive the SSTV transmissions online using the SUWS WebSDR remote receiver located near London along with the MMSSTV software http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

ISS Fan Club – Tracking / Predictions http://www.issfanclub.com/

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Video showing reception of SSTV using the FUNcube Dongle Pro SDR and SDR-RADIO going into Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) then to MMSSTV software https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6MOrX9iZCk

ISS SSTV received online with SUWS WebSDR
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/06/iss-sstv-on-suws-websdr/

ISS SSTV 1/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV 1/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

Abdel M0NPT is the first UK recipient of the 73 on 73 Award

73 on 73 Award #9 - Abdel Mesbah M0NPT

73 on 73 Award #9 – Abdel Mesbah M0NPT

AMSAT-UK congratulates Abdel Mesbah M0NPT on becoming the first UK recipient of the 73 on 73 Award.

Paul Stoetzer N8HM sponsors the award which is issued for making 73 contacts with different stations since September 1, 2014 via the amateur radio satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).

Abdel Mesbah M0NPT at Hucknall Rolls-Royce Amateur Radio Club

Abdel Mesbah M0NPT at Hucknall Rolls-Royce Amateur Radio Club G5RR

On January 27, 2015 Abdel worked Jean-Marie Lenglet F2IL for his seventy third contact. He submitted his claim to Paul who checked it and sent the award certificate the following day.

Abdel was first licenced as M3IAK in 2003 and received his Intermediate call sign 2E0KAR in 2007 but it wasn’t until June 2013 that he was able to get on-the-air. He got his Full call sign M0NPT on March 11, 2014.

When Abdel first took an interest in satellites Lenny Brown 2E0LFK let him use his station and he had two contacts, with 9A3ST and R1AO, via the FM satellite SO-50.

Abdel then set up his own satellite station which comprises a Yaesu FT-847 with a 5 element horizontal polarised Yagi on 144 MHz, a 6 element vertically polarised Yagi on 430 MHz and a Yaesu G-5500 Azimuth-Elevation rotator. His first SSB contact via AO-73 (FUNcube-1) was with Manuel D. Ruiz Carrasco EA5TT on December 3, 2014.

Abdel Mesbah M0NPT

Abdel Mesbah M0NPT

Congratulations to all these operators who have so far earned the award:

#1 – Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA
#2 – Željko Ulip, 9A2EY
#3 – Bernhard Klink, DG1EA
#4 – Manuel D. Ruiz Carrasco, EA5TT
#5 – Jose Luis Peña Sanchez, EC4TR
#6 – Dariusz Dabek, SP9TTX
#7 – Jorge Gallardo Sanchez, EA4AYW,
#8 – Jari Ahdenkari, OH2FQV
#9 – Abdel Mesbah, M0NPT
#10 – Glenn Miller, AA5PK

Details on how you can earn the 73 on 73 Award are at http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

AO-73 was launched on November 21, 2013 and is the first spacecraft to have a primary mission of educational outreach to schools and the smallest ever satellite to carry a linear (SSB/CW) transponder for radio amateurs.

Australian ham radio pico balloons

PS-31 and PS-32 balloon track as of January 26, 2015

PS-31 and PS-32 balloon track as of January 26, 2015

Different paths are being taken by the two solar-powered Australian pico balloons, PS-31 and PS-32, carrying Amateur Radio payloads, each sending 25 mW WSPR and JT9 transmissions alternately in the 10 MHz and 14 MHz bands. Their current position is here.

They are each standard 90 cm foil party balloons with a  payload that comprises a GPS receiver, two HF transmitters, battery and solar panel weighing a total of just 15 grams.

The transmitters for both balloons can be received on standard WSPR dial frequencies of 10.138700 MHz and 14.095600 MHz. For PS-31 these will put WSPR at 1400 Hz-1600 Hz, and JT9 at 1000 Hz, allowing decoding of both WSPR and JT9 without changing frequency on each band. PS-32 has a 1200 Hz JT9 offset so that it can coexisting with the PS-31 transmissions at 1000Hz offset.

Jim Linton VK3PC writes:

Launched from Melbourne on Saturday, January 24, the balloon PS-31 has now crossed the International Dateline for a second time, at the 23rd parallel in the South Pacific.

It formed the letter ‘S’ on its journey that took it to the sub-antarctic in the south, then turned back reaching the north-east coast of New Zealand, and turning again on a more easterly track. It is a third of the way between Australia and South America.

Meantime PS-32, launched from Woori Yallock 56 km east of Melbourne three days later, continues to track south-east to by-pass New Zealand on a polar route across the dateline in the Southern Ocean, before traveling around Cape Horn in South America.

They are fitted with QRP transmissions give their location, altitude, speed and other data, with PS-31 using the callsign VK3YT while PS-32 is signing VK3ANH.

Both are following their predicted trajectory paths in a Jetstream forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Andy Nguyen VK3YT who launched them, and an international tracking effort, have their fingers crossed that both will at least reach South America.

Waiting and listening are radio amateurs using open-source software tools eager to report progress of the southern hemisphere flights.

Earlier, PS-30 was launched from Melbourne on December 27. It crossed the African continent entering through Namibia. There it was tracked to near Madagascar before poor weather and lost after 20 days.

Combined tracking map http://spacenear.us/tracker/fullscreen.php?filter=PS-31;PS-32

More info at Andy VK3YT’s web site http://picospace.net/

Download free WSJT and WSPR software to decode the transmissions from
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/

Pico balloons PS-31 and PS-32 on Jan 28, 2015

Pico balloons PS-31 and PS-32 on Jan 28, 2015

Update January 28, 2015

The small solar-powered pico balloon from Australia went down north-east of New Zealand, probably being hit by rain and ice in the area.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT reports that PS-31 gave out its final JT9 packet message and was lost.

The balloon, launched from Melbourne Australia on Saturday January 24, maneuvered forming an s-shape but was lost after as dark fell and it was across the International Dateline in the South Pacific.

Andy VK3YT who launched both the PS-31 and PS-32 balloons says “Thanks everyone for tracking, and hope PS-32 (the other balloon) will keep going for much longer.”

PS-32 with the VK3ANH callsign continues to be tracked. It put up from Woori Yallock 56kms east of Melbourne on January 26, Australia Day, and is currently in the South Pacific.

Like all recent balloons in the series launched by Andy VK3YT for the Southern Hemisphere, it is fitted with QRP transmission of both WSPR and JT9 giving trackers the location, speed and altitude along with other data.

PS-32 continues being tracked at last report was doing well. An International team of radio amateurs are following its path.

Jim Linton VK3PC

PS-32 tracking map http://spacenear.us/tracker/fullscreen.php?filter=PS-32

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH 3D Printed QSL Card

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH QSL card

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH (FO-81 – JQ1ZNN) QSL card

The ARTSAT2:DESPATCH team have sent a a 3D printed QSL card to Michał Zawada SQ5KTM and the Polish team to confirm their reception of the amateur radio signal from the FO-81 spacecraft at a distance of 2,715,228 km from Earth.

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH signal received by Polish team on December 9, 2014

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH signal received by the Polish team on December 9, 2014

Michal writes:

On 9 December 2014, at 9:50:23 p.m. UTC we received signals from the ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH space probe, which was at this time at distance of 2,715,228 km from Earth.

The last signals received by us from ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH were very weak, but clearly stood out on the waterfall diagram of the monitoring program. To avoid misinterpretation we asked for confirmation directly from the creators of the space probe: Tama Art University and The University of Tokyo. The data reported by us were analyzed, compared with the model and successfully authenticated – we have received confirmation with thanks.

Important result of our work are gigabytes of data, which were sent for further analysis to the operators of both space probes.

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH  Deep Space Sculpture

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH 3D Printed Deep Space Sculpture

This result has been achieved courtesy of PIAP [www.piap.pl] which made it possible for us to use 4.5m diameter parabolic mesh dish antenna, the involvement of PIAP employees, the support of fellow amateurs, and of course the understanding families of all those involved.

In our project of monitoring signals from ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH and Shin-En2 space probes , except the antenna, we used radio amateur equipment (purchased and also of our own design), especially designed and made by us emitter which was set in place of the antenna focus, especially prepared software. Preparations of our ground station took us almost two weeks, including some hours on a roof at freezing weather conditions.

Our station operators during all of seven nights were: Piotr SP5MG, Piotr SP5ULN, Lukasz SQ5RWU and Michał SQ5KTM.
Technical support: SQ7GMO, SQ5DRC, team of a few PIAP Institute employees
Guests invited to our station: SP5XMU, SQ5NWI, SQ5AAG, and some more persons.

Ham radio spacecraft launched into deep space
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/12/03/ham-radio-spacecraft-launched-into-deep-space/

Shin'en2 on left - ARTSAT2:DESPATCH on right

Shin’en2 on left – ARTSAT2:DESPATCH on right

LightSail-1 launch announced

LightSail-1 with sail deployed - Credit Justin Foley KI6EPH

LightSail-1 with sail deployed – Credit Justin Foley KI6EPH

The first of The Planetary Society’s two LightSail spacecraft will ride to space aboard an Atlas V rocket in May 2015.

The mission is a shakedown cruise designed to test out the CubeSat’s critical systems. The LightSail-1 entry on the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel status page lists a 9k6 GMSK AX25 amateur radio payload on 437.325 MHz.

In 2016, the second LightSail spacecraft will piggyback into orbit aboard the first operational flight of SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket for a full-fledged solar sailing demonstration.

This video about the project features Bill Nye (the Science Guy on PBS TV) as well as Justin Foley KI6EPH, Alex Diaz KJ6KSF and Stephanie Wong.

Watch LightSail – Flight by Light (full version)

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel Status Page http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

LightSail – Flight by Light http://sail.planetary.org/

3400 MHz and 10 GHz – ARRL’s comments on WRC-15

Logo WRC RA 2015The ARRL has commented on two draft recommendations of the FCC’s 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) Advisory Committee (WAC) as well as on a draft proposal provided to the FCC by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Regarding 3400 MHz they say:
“[The] failure to even superficially address the protection of all existing services — including the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services — is glaring,” the ARRL said. The WAC’s so-called “View A” — to make no change in the allocation — in part said, “The secondary nature of the Amateur Service allocation requires flexibility in frequency selection to permit an Amateur Service licensee to use the allocation and fulfill his or her obligation not to cause harmful interference to the numerous primary services, including the FSS [Fixed-Satellite Service].”

On 10 GHz the ARRL supported the FCC WAC view on Agenda Item 1.12 that the US not be added to international footnote 5.480 — basically an exception — to the Table of Allocations that could make part of the 10.0-10.5 GHz segment vulnerable to additional allocation for Fixed Service applications. The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have a secondary allocation in the band, and the Federal Radiolocation Service is primary. The proposed “footnote amendment,” the League argued, “plainly, clearly, and indisputably contradicts existing United States regulations.” The League’s comments accused Mimosa Networks, which has argued in favor of having the US sign on to the international footnote, of advancing an “illogical construction to obtain the result it desires.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-comments-to-fcc-on-wrc-15-draft-recommendations

ED-SAT CubeSat Training Kit

Nader Omer ST2NH brings news of the ED-SAT training kit, a Cube Satellite simulator.

It has been developed for inspiring young people at variety of educational levels provide opportunities to discover and apply learning to real-world scenarios.

It aims to provide a unique environment for students at any fields to explore, just to name a few. Science, Electronics, Communication, Programming, Mechanic and Physics.

Watch ED-SAT training kit

Educational Satellite Co Ltd
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Educational-Satellite-co-ltd/233280410183741

Amateur radio satellite talk near Farnham

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

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

This Monday, January 26 there will be a presentation on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and SO-50 satellites at the Hog’s Back Amateur Radio Club near Farnham.

Mike Parkin, G0JMI, will give a talk entitled: Amateur Radio Satellites: A General Overview and Understanding of FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and Saudi-Sat 1c (SO-50).

Satellite operation is not quite as daunting as it can at first appear, and Mike will enlighten the audience with some of his experiences, as well as the equipment and techniques used for satellite communication.

Doors open at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Crondall Scout Hut, Pankridge Street, Crondall, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 5RQ. As usual the kettle will be on to provide the refreshment.

A map of the meeting place can be found on the Contact Details page at
http://www.hogsback-arc.org.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Hogsbackarc/

Radio ham interviewed on TV about Beagle 2

Illustration of the UK Beagle 2 lander on Mars - Credit ESA

Illustration of the UK Beagle 2 lander on Mars – Credit ESA

Essex-born radio amateur Dave Rowntree M6DRQ was interviewed on Channel 5 TV news about the Beagle 2 Mars mission.

Dave, formerly drummer in the band Blur, is currently a DJ on London radio station XFM 104.9 MHz.

On December 25, 2003 the pioneering UK spacecraft Beagle 2, developed by a team led by Professor Colin Pillinger, landed on Mars, however, communications with it could not be established. This meant it was not known if the landing had been successful or where on the planet it was.

On July 30, 2004 Professor Pillinger gave a presentation about Beagle 2 to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford, he received a standing ovation from the audience.

On January 15, 2015 it was announced that Beagle 2 had been located in images taken of Mars. These confirmed it had made a successful soft landing on the planet. Sadly Professor Pillinger had passed away a few months earlier on May 7, 2014.

Watch Dave talking about Beagle 2

Radio ham becomes XFM 104.9 DJ
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/february/radio_ham_becomes_xfm_dj.htm

Dave Rowntree M6DRQ on Twitter https://twitter.com/DaveRowntree

2011 BBC interview with Professor Colin Pillinger
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/december2011/bbc_interview_with_colin_pillinger.htm

AESP-14 CubeSat on ISS awaiting deployment

AESP-14 CubeSat

AESP-14 CubeSat

The AESP-14 is a 1U CubeSat developed by undergraduate and graduate engineering students at the Technology Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) in Brazil. The satellite’s primary mission is to test the various subsystems in the space environment.

The satellite was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on January 10 by the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and it is now awaiting release into space by the JEM orbital deployer (J-SSOD) at the Kibo Japanese module. The deployment should take place at 1430 UT on Thursday, February 5.

The satellite has an amateur radio experiment developed by the Americana Amateur Radio Club (CRAM). The experiment consists of the random transmission of 100 sequences of ASCII characters prefixed with the “CRAM” word that will used as part of a contest among receiving stations. The first 10 amateur radio stations that complete receiving the 100 sequences will be awarded a commemorative diploma. A web site is being developed to collect the sequences. The site address will be announced shortly.

AESP-14 will transmit with an RF power of 500 mW on 437.600 MHz using the 9600 bps G3RUH modulation (GFSK) and AX.25 UI framing.

The AESP-14 team would like to ask the help of the AMSAT community to forward any received telemetry frames back to the team. For this, please save the AX.25 frames in KISS format and forward the file to aesp14@ita.br

AESP-14 website http://www.aer.ita.br/~aesp14

Telemetry information sheet http://www.aer.ita.br/~aesp14/AESP-14Telemetry.pdf

AMSAT-UK thanks Edson Pereira PY2SDR for this information.