Youngest radio ham in Gujarat state

Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

In 2012 St. Paul’s school student Sakshi Vagadia spoke to astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB as part of an ARISS school contact. Now, at 15, she has received her amateur radio licence VU3EXP.

Sakshi has just finished her 9th grade in St. Paul’s School, Rajkot and is the fourth member of her family to get an amateur licence. Her father is Rajesabhai Vagadia VU2EXP, her uncle Prakash Vagadia VU3PLJ and cousin Priyesa Vagadia VU3GLY.

Sunita Williams KD5PLB on the ISS

Sunita Williams KD5PLB on the ISS

A year after speaking to Sunita Williams KD5PLB via the ARISS school contact Sakshi was able to meet her in person when Sunita visited the Government Science College (GSC) in Ahmedabad.

Sakshi did her training at the Gujarat Institute of Amateur Radio in Gandhinagar and took her amateur radio examination on February 25, 2013 received her pass result on April 2, 2013. It took the Government of India (WPC Wing) over two years to issue her amateur radio licence which she  finally received on April 24, 2015.

Sakshi’s achievement was reported in the local press. See the article written in Gujarati at
http://www.divyabhaskar.co.in/news/SAU-RJK-smallest-ham-operator-of-rajkot-sakshi-vagadia-4982404-PHO.html

It can be difficult to get an amateur radio licence in India. The archaic licensing system appears to have changed little since the 1940’s and is plagued with bureaucracy. After passing the exam it can take 12-24 months for Government officials to process the licence application. Among the information required on an Indian licence application are things such as height, eye colour, occupation and details of your Father, although not your Mother. There are even police checks on the suitability of an applicant. There are some parts of the country where Government simply refuses to issue any amateur radio licences.

Indian Ham Radio Licensing http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/Ham_Licencing_Info.htm

India seeks relaxation of red-tape provisions
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/september/india_seeks_relaxation_of_red_tape_provisions.htm

2012 Sunita Williams KD5PLB ARISS school contact
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/november2012/excited_kids_go_on_space_talk_with_sunita.htm

ISS HamTV now transmitting on 2395 MHz

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS Ham Video Transmitter

Friday, May 1, 2015 the Ham Video transmitter on board the Columbus module of the International Space Station was powered on and started transmitting in “Blank Transmission” (BT) mode.

HamTV Antennas at ARISS Telebridge Station IK1SLD in Casale Monferrato, Italy

HamTV Antennas at ARISS Telebridge Station IK1SLD in Casale Monferrato, Italy

In this mode, the transmitter is operated without camera. The digital TV signal is fully formatted, but the content of the video is black and the content of the audio is at zero level. From a technical perspective, the BT signal is all that is needed for testing and fine tuning ground stations.

The European network of chained ground stations is presently nearly complete. Six ground stations span the continent in “X”  formation. For each ascending pass over Europe, four stations provide about ten minutes of solid copy and the same is true for descending passes:

– Ascending passes: Lisbon (Portugal ==> Poitiers (France) ==> Casale Monferrato (North Italy ==> Kolo (Poland)
– Descending passes : Cork (Ireland) ==> Poitiers (France) ==> Casale Monferrato (North Italy ==> Matera (South Italy.

The chained ground stations are streaming the digital video to the BATC server (British Amateur Television Club). BATC set up a multiviewer page, accessible at:

http://www.batc.tv/iss/

The page shows all six streams from the chained  ground stations. Each view can be maximized to full screen and the audio of each stream can be set to level or muted.

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Presently, active stations stream technical data provided by the software developed by Jean Pierre Courjaud F6DZP. Several data are most interesting to observe:
–    the “constellations”, which visualize the QPSK (quaternary PSK) modulated signal
–    the  digital Signal/Noise ratio = MER (dB) (Modulation Error Ratio)
–    the control LEDs that change from red to green on decoding the digital signal.

The Ham Video transmitter frequency is 2395 MHz and the symbol rate is 2.0 Ms/sec.
More information is available at:

http://www.ariss-eu.org/columbus.htm

The Ham Video transmitter will stay on as long as on board operations permit. When the ground stations will be operating reliably, the Ham Video transmitter will be used to enhance ARISS school contacts. Uplink will remain VHF audio only. This operational mode is dubbed ARISS Ham TV.

73,
Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman

ARISS FSTV gallery http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_FSTV/

HamTV Transmitter in the ISS Columbus Module

HamTV Transmitter in the ISS Columbus Module

EO-79 (FUNcube-3) Transponder Test May 4

QB50p1 and QB50p2 - Image Credit ISIS

QB50p1 and QB50p2 – Image Credit ISIS

On Monday, May 4 at around 0830 UT it is intended to activate for one orbit the AMSAT-NL FUNcube-3 transponder on QB50p1 / EO-79.

TLEs are in the normal repositories, COSPAR 2014-033-R, Object# 40025. Real-time tracking at http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=40025 (Click All Passes on Predictions)

We would like people to try the following frequencies if possible:
DOWNLINK: 145.960 MHz USB
UPLINK: Tune to match downlink +/- 435.065 MHz LSB
The transponder is linear inverting, nominally 30 kHz wide, and approximately 500 mW output.

If you find the transponder busy on those frequencies, feel free to move around and use the entire transponder passband.

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

The passband seems to have a “dip” in the middle which is bigger than expected, but we do welcome feedback about the usability. Also, please limit your uplink power, as it looks like this transponder is as sensitive as FUNcube-1. The spacecraft antenna is a monopole, so we would also be interested in signal fading reports.

The commissioning of the transponder done to date is very limited, three activations for 5, 10 and 8 minutes respectively. So your reports are greatly appreciated.

We do understand this is a very short notice, but hope that some of you will be able to participate. This was a take-it-or-leave-it opportunity offered by the ISIS engineers for our consideration, and we are again very grateful to ISIS and VKI for giving us this opportunity.

Please report contacts and signal reports to pa3weg@amsat.org

Wouter PA3WEG
FUNcube Team

QB50p1 EO-79 FUNcube-3 Transponder - Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

QB50p1 EO-79 FUNcube-3 Transponder – Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

Can you help identify this picture ?

Antenna used in a BBC TV showThe Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) have requested help in identifying this picture (click for full size version).

The person on the far right looks rather like the television presenter James Burke.

Could it be possibly be the BBC Tomorrows World TV show from the 1970’s ?

Do you know which programme was being filmed and what was it about ?

It certainly looks satellite related. If you have any thoughts please post them on the RSGB Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/theRSGB/photos/a.1428072244150628.1073741830.1425012191123300/1473066029651249/

Another FUNcube transponder!

QB50P1 FUNcube Transponder April 27, 2015 - Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

QB50P1 FUNcube Transponder April 27, 2015 – Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

AMSAT-NL has announced that an initial series of tests of the FUNcube transponder payload aboard the QB50p1 CubeSat have been successfully completed.

QB50p1 is one of two QB50 precursor spacecraft that were launched from Yasny in Russia in June 2014.

QB50p1 and QB50p2 - Image Credit ISIS

QB50p1 and QB50p2 – Image Credit ISIS

The primary science payloads are still being extensively tested but it has now been possible to undertake a short test of the transponder payload as well. The transponder is intended as a long term secondary mission following the initial technology demonstration and de-risking phase.

After spending ten months in space, the transponder was commanded on for short periods during each of the three morning passes over Europe on Monday, April 27, 2015. A number of FUNcube team members in the Netherlands and in the UK were standing by to run through a predefined test plan.

The transponder has a similar performance to that of FUNcube-1 but the passband is nominally 5 kHz wider by design.

It is not yet known when this transponder may be available for regular usage but AMSAT-NL is delighted to be able to report that the hardware is functioning and is very grateful to the QB50 project, the Von Karman Institute and ISIS B.V. for their ongoing support.

More information about the QB50 project can be found at https://www.qb50.eu/

AMSAT-NL http://amsat-nl.org/

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmsatUK
Flickr https://www.flickr.com/groups/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
FUNcube Yahoo Group http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

2016 launch for UniSat-7 with CubeSats and PocketQubes

UniSat-7 GAUSS Srl

UniSat-7 GAUSS Srl

GAUSS Srl is preparing a Dnepr launch of a new satellite, UniSat-7, into a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), carrying CubeSats and PocketQubes.

The launch is planned for the second semester of 2016 and they are currently looking for payload to include in their satellite.

If you are interested in including your own payload you can contact GAUSS Srl to assess the impact on the mission at launch@gaussteam.com there might be space left for your own payload/satellite.

Characteristics of the UniSat-7 mission:
• Total mass: 32 kg
• Sun-Synchronous orbit: (550 – 600 km)
• LTAN: 10:30 (confirmed)

Watch UniSat-7 Satellite
Music by Kostantinos Geradimos, Album Stereofloat, Song Crashed

UniSat-7 http://www.gaussteam.com/satellites/unisat-7/

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geostationary Orbit

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite planned for launch in 2017.

An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

A meeting to discuss this potential rideshare took place on April 13 at Millennium Space Systems that included Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF, co-founder of Qualcomm; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and member of the board for AMSAT-NA; Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Director and President Emeritus of AMSAT-NA; Phil Karn, KA9Q; and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV.

Hosting the meeting for MSS were Stan Dubyn as founder and chairman of MSS, Vince Deno as president of MSS, Jeff Ward, K8KA, of MSS as VP for Product Development, formerly with SSTL and University of Surrey Space Center, and Ryan Lawrence of MSS as Project Manager on the spacecraft mission. Attending by telephone were Dr. Jonathan Black, Associate Research Director of Hume Center for Aerospace Systems and Associate Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, founder of RINCON Research Corp.

Following the meeting, Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY, Director of Research at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology of Virginia Tech, and former director and former VP Engineering of AMSAT, described this as an opportunity to go forward with “AMSAT-Eagle” which, in the 2006-2008 timeframe, evolved into a microwave payload to be flown to geostationary orbit as a hosted payload. It would have provided digital communications to small terminals on the ground and a linear bent pipe transponder had it flown. This failed to go forward in part due to lack of an affordable flight opportunity.

McGwier outlined the next steps toward developing this mission:

1) To organize an effort at Virginia Tech to make a firm proposal to MSS and its US government sponsor, and organize an effort to raise sufficient funds to pay for development of the mission.

2) Enable Dr. Jonathan Black to lead the construction project at Virginia Tech in the Space@VT Center. Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO, Project Manager at the Hume Center will be the project manager.

3) Work for development of a low-cost microwave ground station for amateur radio still needs to be determined.

4) Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, will  solicit the cooperation of the Rincon Research Corp. for development of the software radio
technology for this payload.

The AMSAT Board of Directors has accepted the invitation to participate in this potential rideshare payload opportunity. AMSAT expects to be involved in the development of the ground station and the payload RF development, and will serve as the amateur radio (hosted) payload operator once the satellite has been launched.

McGwier summarized, “The launch is currently scheduled for 2017 and the payload must be delivered for testing and integration by Spring of 2016. It is an ambitious schedule and all involved will have to gain and maintain a serious level of commitment to that which they agree to undertake.” AMSAT President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, “The AMSAT leadership is excited to fly a Phase-IV geostationary amateur satellite payload. This is an evolving development as we collaborate with the VT Hume Center with a project that provides technical challenges to create a new amateur radio capability in space that will provide a variety of benefits not only for amateurs but also for emergency communications and STEM educational outreach.”

The transponder is expected to support a wide range of voice, digital, and experimental advanced communications technologies. A decision is expected soon specifying the microwave uplink and downlink bands.

Additional information on the Aquila M8 Series Satellite can be viewed on-line:
http://www.millennium-space.com/
http://www.millennium-space.com/platforms#aquila

AMSAT has posted a photo of the GEO opportunity team with the Millennium Aquila satellite at http://www.amsat.org

[ANS thanks Bob McGwier, N4HY and AMSAT-NA for the above information]

Nayif-1 CubeSat mission will have FUNcube transponder

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG demonstrating reception of FUNcube-1 at EIAST in Dubai

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG demonstrating reception of FUNcube-1 in April 2015 at EIAST in Dubai

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL are delighted to announce that a FUNcube communications package has been selected as a major payload for the Nayif-1 CubeSat mission.

Nayif-1 Mission PatchThis mission is intended to provide Emirati students with a tool to design and test systems in space. It is being developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in partnership with American University of Sharjah (AUS).

It is expected that this payload will provide a large amount of valuable environmental data from space together with  a new, enhanced, UHF to VHF linear transponder.

The AMSAT team will be working closely with the Emirati students, in collaboration with support partner, ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space B.V. from the Netherlands, to develop this new system in time for the launch which is scheduled to take place towards the end of 2015.

This exciting news was announced on April 25, 2015 during the Dutch “Interessedag Amateursatellieten”  or “Satellite Interest Day” event in Apeldoorn.

More information, with details of frequencies and planned operating schedules, will be made available as soon as possible.

Ofcom considers 10.475 GHz and 47 GHz bands for 5G

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe Amateur Satellite Service allocations at 10.475 GHz  and 47.0 GHz are being considered by Ofcom for 5G use .

Ofcom has published an update on spectrum bands above 6 GHz that might be suitable for next generation mobile, often referred to as ‘5G’ – the fifth generation of mobile services.

This document summarises responses from Ofcom’s earlier Call for Input in January and sets out their current views on bands and next steps. The update identifies several bands in different parts of the 6 – 100 GHz range, including 10.475-10.575 GHz and 47.000-47.200 GHz, they believe are candidates for further study for use in the UK.

Ofcom’s goal is to have globally harmonised bands for next generation mobile services and is currently engaging with other administrations around the world, ahead of these services becoming commercially available in the next five to six years.

Consideration of these bands will now be taken forward in forthcoming international discussions, including the World Radiocommunication Conference-15 (WRC-15) at which the scope of a future WRC-19 agenda item on bands above 6 GHz will be considered.

This does not guarantee these bands will be adopted in the future and Ofcom do not rule out considering other options ahead of WRC-15, pending further research and development.

Ofcom Above 6 GHz consultation page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/above-6ghz/update-apr15/

Laying the foundations for next generation mobile services: Update on bands above 6 GHz
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/5G_CFI_Update_and_Next_Steps.pdf

Quotient Associates – 5G Candidate Band Study
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/qa-report.pdf

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/21/eshail-2-ham-radio-transponders/

Launching CubeSats For and From Australia

The 2015 CubeSat Workshop took place on Wednesday, April 1 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Videos of the presentations are now available on YouTube.

Among the presenters were representatives of two UK space companies, Tom Walkinshaw of Alba Orbital and Craig Clark of Clyde Space.

The presentation schedule and slide PDF’s are at http://www.acser.unsw.edu.au/events/cubesat2015.html

The videos are at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ4pUVq3euPwUNX00If0FTw/videos

Watch 2015 Cubesat Workshop Session 2