ISEE-3 Spacecraft on BBC World Service

BBC World Service Click Radio Show Audience - Credit Kate Arkless Gray

BBC World Service Click Radio Show Audience – Credit Kate Arkless Gray

Radio amateur Dennis Wingo KD4ETA along with freelance science writer and broadcast journalist journalist Kate Arkless Gray were on the BBC World Service Click radio show.

The show – Space and Citizen Science – was broadcast live from the BBC Radio Theatre, London on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Prior to the broadcast Kate Arkless Gray, who hopes to become an astronaut, tweeted:
“Goodness. Didn’t realise #BBCClickRadio was actually going out live. No pressure, says @billt [Bill Thompson], it’s only going to a third of the world. Ah”

Dennis KD4ETA described how in 2014 radio amateurs and other volunteers gained control of of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft. They even succeeded in firing the spacecraft thrusters. During the show Dennis managed to squeeze in a mention of amateur radio satellites and CubeSats.

The BBC description reads:

Our excitement over space has taken on new dimensions with nations such as India showing they too have the technical expertise and energy to mount a mission to Mars. Citizen Science has also shown how ordinary people can make important contributions to the space adventure.

Myriad groups of volunteers have launched their own ambitious projects: such as the team who decided to awaken a spacecraft, more or less forgotten by NASA; and another team who plan to build the first crowd-funded moon lander. In a special edition of Click, Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson are joined by a panel of experts to explore our fascination with Space, and to discuss how our knowledge of life beyond earth benefits from the input of volunteers and Citizen Science.

Listen to a recording of the show at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mnn3c

Podcast http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/digitalp/digitalp_20150331-2005a.mp3

Telegraph newspaper – Meet the British woman fighting to go into space
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/9937173/Meet-the-British-woman-fighting-to-go-into-space.html

ISEE-3/ICE Thrusters Fired
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/09/isee-3ice-spacecraft-fires-thrusters-for-a-return-to-earth/

Watch the presentation on ISEE-3/ICE given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in July 2014 http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

ISS Slow Scan TV Active on Weekend of April 11

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

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has announced another round of amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) activity from the International Space Station (ISS) will take place. Continuous operation, using the call sign RS0ISS, is expected to start at 1000 UT on Saturday, April 11 to commemorate the anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin which took place on April 12, 1961. Previous SSTV sessions have run for two days.

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

Twelve different images will be sent on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD180, with a 3-minute off time between transmissions.

One of the photos shows the commemorative diploma created by PZK, the national Polish Amateur Radio society, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

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.

Plans are being discussed for transmitting new images from space enthusiasts around the world in the coming months. Additional details will be released.

The images received by amateurs world-wide during previous transmissions can be seen at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/ and you are invited to upload any pictures you receive during the upcoming transmissions.

In the UK newspaper the Daily Mail, Jonathan O’Callaghan wrote about how 22-year-old Radek Karwacki, an AMSAT-UK member, received pictures from the ISS using a £10 ($15) RTL-SDR dongle and a dipole antenna, see http://amsat-uk.org/2015/02/04/iss-sstv-in-uk-press/

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 loudspeaker.

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. (Note: see comments below about MMSSTV clock adjustments which may be needed to reduce picture slant)

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 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world apart from the British Isles and Europe where 2.5 kHz deviation is more common.

Many FM rigs 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.

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

Video of AESP-14 CubeSat deployment from ISS

AESP-14 CubeSat

AESP-14 CubeSat

The Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, have released a video showing the deployment of the Brazilian amateur radio satellite AESP-14 from the International Space Station (ISS).

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.

AESP-14 CubeSat released from ISS - Photo by Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF

AESP-14 CubeSat released from ISS – Photo by Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF

The satellite was sent to the ISS as cargo on the SpaceX Falcon 9 mission CRS-5. Launch had been scheduled for December 16, 2014 but was postponed three times and it wasn’t until January 10, 2015 that the launch eventually took place. AESP-14 then awaited deployment from the ISS by the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) which is in the Japanese Experimental Module, Kibo.

The deployment took place around 1250 UT on Thursday, February 5. The AESP-14 telemetry beacon had a power output of 500 mW and used AX.25 with 9600 bps GMSK modulation (G3RUH standard) on 437.600 MHz. It should have started transmitting 30 minutes after deployment but as of March 30 nothing had been heard. It may be the battery did not survive several months without being recharged or the antenna may have failed to deploy.

Watch Deployment of AESP-14 Brazilian CubeSat

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

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

AESP-14 CubeSat released from International Space Station http://www.spaceflight101.com/iss-expedition-42-updates-february-2015.html

Satellite operation from Isle of Mull

Camb-Hams operating from the Isle of Mull in 2012

Camb-Hams operating from the Isle of Mull in 2012

Ten members of the Camb-Hams are returning to Grasspoint IO76EJ on Mull (IOTA EU-008) from May 15-21, 2015 as GS3PYE/P.

They will be QRV with multiple stations on HF on 3.5-28MHz SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK with dipoles and verticals and up to 400W if necessary.

VHF activity will be on 50MHz, 70MHz and 144MHz, all bands QRO with sizeable antennas.

VHF will be mainly QRV using JT6m or ISCAT on 50MHz, FSK441 on 70MHz and FSK441 and JT65b (for EME) on 144MHz, but SSB and CW is also possible, especially in any sporadic E propagation openings. Other modes by agreement.

Hilltop satellite operation from Mull in 2012 with Peter 2E0SQL and Robert M0VFC - Image Credit Lawrence M0LCM

Hilltop satellite operation from Mull in 2012 with Peter 2E0SQL and Robert M0VFC – Image Credit Lawrence M0LCM

Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use an Icom IC-910 and X-Quad antennas mounted on a fully automatic AZ/EL tracking system. If internet connectivity allows, the VHF operators will monitor ON4KST Chat for terrestrial activity and N0UK JT65 chat for EME. You can submit your VHF sked requests online here: http://tiny.cc/gs3pyesked

The team will be QRV in the 80m CW CC event on the 21st and in the 144MHz contest on the 16th and 17th. They may do very short side trips to Iona and the Treshnish Islands and will announce these nearer the time on the website.

Please QSL only via OQRS on ClubLog for direct or bureau cards. Do not send any cards direct or via the bureau.

For the latest info see
http://dx.camb-hams.com/
http://twitter.com/g3pye
http://facebook.com/CambHams
http://youtube.com/CambHams

Astronaut issues challenge for UK students to “make that call”

Tim Peake KG5BVI, the first British ESA astronaut, has issued an invitation to UK school pupils to contact him via amateur radio whilst he is in space.

Tim will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in November of this year and will spend 6 months working and living on the ISS. Thanks to a collaboration between Amateur Radio on the International Space Stations (ARISS), the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA), UK school pupils will be able to contact him whilst he is on board the ISS via a scheduled amateur radio link-up. Continue reading

FUNcube-1 Solar eclipse update

As expected, FUNcube-1 (AO-73) entered the shadow of the moon around 1000 UT on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Solar panel currents dropped to almost zeroThis is what happened to the solar panel currents, they dropped to almost zero.

This what we usually see from our Whole Orbit Data telemetry

This is what we usually see from our Whole Orbit Data telemetry. Normally the CubeSat is in the sun for 60 minutes and in eclipse for around 30 minutes…but not this morning!

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) Telemetry:
• Dashboard App http://funcube.org.uk/working-documents/funcube-telemetry-dashboard/
• Data Warehouse Archive http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/
• Whole orbit data shows the effect http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html?satelliteId=2

Southampton students to launch 434 MHz eclipse payload

Assembling SUSF payloads for solar eclipse launchThe University of Southampton Spaceflight Society will be launching for the solar eclipse on Friday, March 20, with two 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) balloon payloads.

The transmitters are as follows:

MAJORA – 434.211 MHz USB, 600 bps RTTY, 600 Hz Shift, 8n2 – (SSDV + no GPS)
OLAF – 434.149 MHz USB, 300 bps RTTY, 880 Hz Shift, 8n2 – (SSDV + GPS)
There may also be a backup tracker on 434.700 MHz USB.

The launch will take place from Pepperbox Hill near Salisbury, at 7am due to the NOTAM, so it will be sent up slowly, perhaps landing in France.

Live launch webstream: http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0dny
Prediction: http://predict.habhub.org/#!/uuid=eb10ee6e7030c615d2e0f49243add969e42465b0
Project page: http://susf.co.uk/launches/eclipse/
Eclipse summary page: http://ukhas.org.uk/news:balloon_launches

Thanks in advance to all those who will try to listen

Matt Brejza

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/16/434-mhz-balloon-launch-at-bbc-stargazing-event/

Ulster 434 MHz Solar Eclipse Balloon

Radio amateur Philip Heron MI0VIM reports on a Raspberry Pi balloon which will be launched for the eclipse and should be receivable across the British Isles.

All being well there will be a launch from Cookstown, N.Ireland on Friday, March 20 at about 0700 UT.

The plan is to have it rise high enough before the time of maximum solar eclipse, and maybe image the lunar shadow on the horizon. This will have a slow ascent rate and should hopefully float at about 36km, on a path which takes it south towards Dublin, before turning east to Wales and on towards Germany.

Callsign: EAGLE
Frequency: 434.250 MHz USB
Mode: RTTY 300 baud 8N2

The payload consists of a Raspberry Pi A+, camera and a Pi In The Sky module. It will be sending SSDV images throughout the flight.

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/16/434-mhz-balloon-launch-at-bbc-stargazing-event/

Radio ham over the moon at decoding space message

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The Kent and Sussex Courier newspaper reports a picture from space has been decoded by an over-the-moon radio amateur from Tunbridge Wells.

Colin Bowman M0NLP spoke to his local newspaper after receiving a Slow Scan TV (SSTV) picture from the International Space Station (ISS) and in doing so gained some good publicity for the hobby.

He told the Courier: “I went mad when I realised I had decoded an entire picture.”

“I had to e-mail my children straight away, though, as they are both licensed amateurs as well and my daughter has just started a new job in the space industry in Turin.”

Read the full story at
http://www.courier.co.uk/Tunbridge-Wells-radio-man-moon-decoding-space/story-26160562-detail/story.html

ISS images received by radio amateurs world-wide are at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

Find out more about ISS SSTV and links to decoding software at
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/02/11/more-iss-slow-scan-tv/

OSCAR News Issue 209

OSCAR News 209 front coverIssue 209 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on March 17, 2015. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• 4M: A Moon Mission
• FUNcube-1/AO-73 Report
• Work FM Satellites with your HT!
• Controlled Impedance “Cheap” Antennas
• Prototype L/V transponder tested for ESEO mission
• Operation of the FUNcube-1 transponder — First European 73-on-73 award
• QB50P1/EO79 – FUNcube-3 Update
• 29 MHz Uplinks: A New Alternative
• ITU Symposium & Workshop on small satellite regulation and communication systems – Prague March 2015
• Fox-1 “In the Bag” (Updated)
• Debris opinion spotted in the internet
• The AlSat-Nano Project

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
UK
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.