IARU Coordination of Satellite Frequencies

IARU_LogoThe IARU have announced they are committed to only coordinate satellite frequencies within the internationally aligned IARU band plans.

The two metre amateur band is one of the most popular and populated bands in all the spectrum allocated to the amateur and amateur satellite services. This recently led to a request by satellite builders for coordination outside the spectrum reserved for satellites in the IARU band plans (145.800 – 146.000 MHz) as not enough channels are available to satisfy their requirements.

The IARU Satellite Adviser, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV and his advisory panel are mandated to coordinate frequencies within the IARU band plans for amateur satellites. Coordinated frequencies must comply with band plans that are common to all three IARU Regions Satellites coordinated outside these plans could cause interference to terrestrial amateur operations in other regions. In theory satellites could be programmed so that they only operate over their country of origin.  Because satellite orbits make it difficult to pinpoint operations, spill over to other Regions may occur during parts of the orbit. Accordingly, IARU will not coordinate frequencies for satellites which are planned to operate outside the internationally aligned IARU band plans for amateur satellites.

The IARU offers frequency coordination in an effort to maximise spectrum utilisation and avoid possible interference to other satellites and ground stations.

The IARU requests that satellite groups work on a sharing plan or use other parts of the amateur service spectrum designated for satellite operation. When a large group of satellite sharing the same band are launched, they will soon drift apart which enhances the opportunity to share the same frequencies. For example, during the initial phase, just after launch, a time sharing system could be used to monitor the payloads before initialising transponders and other systems.

For instance, the 10 metre band, once popular with satellite builders, is today not significantly used. The band segment 29.300-29.510 MHz has been used for amateur-satellite downlinks for more than 40 years, beginning with Australis-OSCAR 5 in 1970 and AMSAT-OSCAR 6, AMSAT’s first communications satellite, in 1972.  The band segment was very popular for downlinks in the 1970s and 1980s.  Today, only one amateur satellite actively uses a 29 MHz downlink: AMSAT-OSCAR 7, launched in 1974 [and RS-15 on 29.3525 MHz – Editor].  While a 29 MHz downlink would not be practical for today’s very small satellites, owing to the size of the antenna required, the band could be used very practically for uplinks even with small receiving antennas, because transmitting power at the earth station is easy to obtain.  The IARU Satellite Adviser and his panel believe that the 10 metre band offers a good alternative to 2 metre uplinks

Currently the IARU team also coordinates frequencies for satellites built by universities and educational groups in an effort to maximise spectrum utilisation and mitigate any possible interference to Amateur Radio operations. The IARU is committed to work with these groups and with the ITU to find other spectrum for these satellites.

Rod Stafford W6ROD
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)

Two US Naval Academy satellites PSAT and BRICsat launched May 20, 2015 both have transponder uplinks on 28.120 MHz. Another US Naval Academy satellite PCSAT-2, which is currently undergoing coordination by IARU, plans to have a transponder uplink on 28.120 MHz.

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

Danish CubeSats head for ISS

GomX-3 being built - Credit ESA

GomX-3 being built – Credit ESA

Two CubeSats built in Denmark, GomX-3 and AAUSat-5, are on their way to the International Space Station.

Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ and Murray Niman G6JYB

Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ and Murray Niman G6JYB

Japan’s fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center on Wednesday, August 19 at 1150 UT. The HTV-5 is expected to arrive at the ISS on August 24 and the CubeSats will be unloaded for later deployment.

The 3 Unit CubeSat GomX-3 is part of the outreach programme for the visit of the Danish astronaut, Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ @Astro_Andreas, to the ISS. His Soyuz spacecraft is expected to launch on September 2. The project is supported and coordinated with ESA and the Danish Ministry of Science and Education.

A number of outreach activities are being planned that will involve schools, radio amateur societies and social media both during the astronaut mission and continuing with the CubeSat mission. The IARU have coordinated 437.250 MHz for the 1k2-9k6 bps beacon.

AAUSat-5 and Deployer - Credit ESA

AAUSat-5 and Deployer – Credit ESA

AAUsat-5 is a 1 Unit CubeSat built by students at Aalborg University. The primary mission is to test an improved receiver for detecting Automatic Identification System signals emitted by ships. Down on the ground, these signals are short-range, operating mainly on a ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship basis, leaving large spans of the world’s oceans uncovered. But signals also travel up to orbital altitude, opening up the prospect of worldwide monitoring. The IARU have coordinated 437.425 MHz for the GMSK beacon.

It is planned the CubeSats will be deployed by Andreas KG5GCZ after his arrival at the ISS in September. Once deployed the two spacecraft may have a lifetime of around 6-9 months before they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Watch AAUSAT5 CubeSat mission from the International Space Station

Andreas attended the 2009 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford.

Andreas Mogensen KG5GCZ http://andreasmogensen.esa.int/

IARU coordinated satellite frequencies information is at http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished.php

Related ESA stories:

School students decode ISS images

ISS SSTV in the Deccan Chronicle

ISS SSTV in the Deccan Chronicle

Students at Sree Narayana Trust Higher Secondary School returned to the classroom during their holidays to receive amateur radio Slow Scan Television from the International Space Station.

The special ISS transmissions were made in July to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

The Deccan Chronicle newspaper reports that with the support of their teachers the students were able to decode the SSTV images on a frequency of 145.800 MHz FM.

The school has an amateur radio club, callsign VU2SQL, and the Principal is licenced radio amateur U.Jayan VU2JYU.

See the full article on the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) Facebook page at

Examples of ISS SSTV images received by radio amateurs can be seen at

ISS Slow Scan TV http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

When ISS Ham Radio might be off

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

Mike KC8YLD has posted some guidance as to when the Amateur Radio stations on the ISS would be turned off.

Current flight rules require all the ham radios to be off during an EVA. Technically, the VHF radios needs to be off for Russian EVAs and the UHF radio needs to be off for US EVAs.

For dockings and undockings, again the ISS operates under a flight rule that has the VHF/UHF radios off for Progress, Soyuz and ATV vehicle activity. Note that Cygnus, Dragon, HTV and formerly the Shuttle did not require the radios to be off.

For Ham TV, it will be off for any EVA. It needs to be off for ATV (the last one November) docking and undocking. It also has to be off when the Robotics arm is in close proximity.

Sites for information include:

There are Amateur Radio stations in both the ISS Russian Service module and the ESA Columbus module, see http://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

UKHAS Conference on Saturday

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M0RPI

There’s an impressive line-up of radio amateurs among those giving presentations at the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference in London on Saturday, August 22.

The UKHAS conference attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals. The conference takes place at the University College London (UCL).

09:30     Assembly – Drinks & Biscuits
10:00     Welcome & Introduction
10:10     10 years of UKHAS – Steve Randall G8KHW & Ed Moore M0TEK
10:30     HF Pico – Andy Nguyen VK3YT (Streamed)
11:00     Crossing the Karman Line – Laurence Blaxter & Leo Bodnar M0XER
11:30     Break
11:45     QB50 – Dhiren Kataria M6END MSSL
12:15     Stratos School Habbing – Dave Green
12:45     A balloon-borne accelerometer technique for measuring atmospheric turbulence – Graeme Marlton
13:15     Lunch
14:15     A Short Guide to Parachutes – Ed Moore M0TEK
14:30     Predictor – Adam Greig M0RND & Daniel Richman M0ZDR
14:45     UKHASnet Weekend
15:00     Flexible timings: workshops, discussions etc
– IQ Sampling and Software Defined Radio for Beginners – Adam Greig M0RND (G06)
– Eagle CAD Workshop – Anthony Stirk M0UPU (G08)
– UKHASnet node demo – James Coxon M6JCX (Lobby)

UKHAS are also offering the option to complete the amateur radio Foundation Practical Assessments and Exam at the conference. This has been fully booked, perhaps a sign of the shortage of Foundation exams in central London.

Conference registration information is at

ARISS International Meet This Week in Tokyo

ARISS LogoARISS International Delegates, its Board of Officers, and international team members will meet at Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan on August 20-23, 2015 for a critical meeting to discuss ARISS strategy, teamwork, hardware and operations.

Delegates are voting members of ARISS-I representating the 5 ISS member regions: United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.

The meeting will open with remarks from meeting host Keigo Komuro, JA1KAB from ARISS Japan and JARL.

Other agenda items will include:
• Welcome by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA & an Overview of the JAXA Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program
• ARISS working group business discussions and reports, including: regional reports, ARISS Terms of Reference update, space agency coordination status, sustainability & fundraising and ARISS future endeavors
• Technical discussions on current and future hardware developments, including: Next Generation ARISS Radio Systems, the Astro-Pi Project, and an update on the Ham-TV system
• Operations discussions, including presentations on: Educational Activities, International Expansion & Planning of SSTV. School
Selection and Regional Scheduling Procedures and plans for the
upcoming Tim Peake Mission

Along with their ambitious schedule the delegates will begin each day with an opportunity for informal discussions and will have the opportunity to visit the Tsukuba Space Center.

[ANS thanks ARISS-I for the above information]

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
• ARISS International organisation http://www.ariss-eu.org/international.htm
• ARISS-Europe Terms of Reference http://www.ariss-eu.org/tor.htm
• ISS Amateur Radio stations http://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html

RSGB Letter in PC Pro Magazine

PC Pro Magazine LogoRSGB President John Gould G3WKL highlights Amateur Satellites, FUNcube and the RSGB Youth Committee in a letter, an edited version of which appears on page 30 of the October issue of PC Pro Magazine, in the shops now.

See the full text of John’s letter at http://www.pcpro.link/252rsgb

The letter was a follow-up to an article in the August issue of PC Pro Magazine by Jon Honeyball G1LMS

Twitter links:
G1LMS – https://twitter.com/jonhoneyball
G3WKL – https://twitter.com/G3WKL
RSGB  – https://twitter.com/theRSGB
Youth Committee – https://twitter.com/theRSGByouth
PC Pro https://twitter.com/pcpro
AMSAT-UK https://twitter.com/AmsatUK

Activation of linear transponder on EO-79

QB50p1 and QB50p2 - Image Credit ISIS

QB50p1 and QB50p2 – Image Credit ISIS

The AMSAT-NL transponder on EO-79 is being activated to support the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Wouter PA3WEG posted:

We apologize for the short notice, this opportunity came along very last minute, and again we took it.

QB50p1 (EO-79) carries the FUNcube-3 400 mW inverting linear 435/145 MHz SSB/CW transponder provided by AMSAT-NL with support from AMSAT-UK.

• 435.035-435.065 MHz LSB Uplink
• 145.935-145.965 MHz USB Downlink

TLEs are NORAD # 40025, COSPAR designator 2014-033-R

Remember that the FUNcube family of transponders do not need much power to work them.

I will be operating at Scheveningen Lighthouse PA25SCH, NL0025

Thanks to the Von Karman Institute and Innovative Solution In Space for the opportunity to use the transponder.

Have FUN over the weekend!

Wouter PA3WEG

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW)

Amateur Radio Allocations Discussed

Logo WRC RA 2015At the CEPT CPG-PTA-8 meeting in Catania, Sicily, July 21-24, 2015 several amateur radio allocations were discussed.

The minutes contain these items of interest to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services: IMT/MBB above 6 GHz Amateur allocation to 50-54 MHz To consider an allocation to the space operation service in the range 137-960 MHz to accommodate the growing number of small non-GSO satellites Studies towards an identification for land mobile and fixed services operating in the frequency range 275-450 GHz Amateur proposal for new primary allocation between 1800-2000 kHz

Annex VI notes these potential new IMT (mobile broadband) allocations were discussed:
• 10.0-10.45 GHz – France/Germany/Italy/Denmark – Lack of bandwidth.  UK, Sweden support parts of this band
NATO harmonized band.
• 45.5-48.9 GHz – No opposition received on this band. Added to draft Resolution. IARU noted that the amateur service have a global primary band between 47-47.2 GHz
• 66-71 GHz, 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz – Satisfies bandwidth argument and no opposition was expressed. Bands added to draft Resolution.

To download the meeting documents:
• Go to http://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents
• Click on 2015
• Click on 8th CPG PTA Meeting – 21-24 July – Sicily
• Click Input Contributions and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Click on Minutes and Annexes and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Do same for Annex IV – Draft Briefs, Annex V – Draft ECPs, Annex VI – misc
• Click the Download selected button

WRC-15 takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 2-27, 2015

Michael Ossmann AD0NR at Chaos Computer Camp

Rad1o Badge 50-4000 MHz SDR Transceiver given to attendees at the Chaos Computer Camp 2015

Rad1o Badge 50-4000 MHz SDR Transceiver given to attendees at Chaos Computer Camp 2015

The lectures at the Chaos Computer Camp, taking place August 13-17 in Mildenberg, Germany, are being streamed live to the web.

Mike Ossmann AD0NR – Image Credit www.insinuator.net

Mike Ossmann AD0NR – Image Credit http://www.insinuator.net

Among the attendees is radio amateur Michael Ossmann, AD0NR, who was guest speaker at the 2015 Dayton Hamvention AMSAT / TAPR banquet.

The founder of Great Scott Gadgets he grew up as a computer nerd embracing the hacker ethos. Eventually Michael became very interested in the security of wireless systems such as remote keyless entry, garage door openers, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. He designed Ubertooth One, a Bluetooth sniffer that was successfully funded on Kickstarter.

Not one to rest, Michael later designed and successfully funded HackRF One, an open source SDR platform that attracted the attention of the amateur radio community.

The @rad1obadge issued to Chaos Computer Camp attendees is a full-featured 50-4000 MHz SDR Transceiver with an output power of 5-7 dBm.

It is based on a Wimax Transceiver which sends I/Q samples in the range of 2.3 to 2.7 GHz to an ARM Cortex M4 CPU.

Michael Ossmann AD0NR at Chaos Computer Camp 2015

Michael Ossmann AD0NR at Chaos Computer Camp 2015

The CPU can then process the samples stand alone for various applications (like FM receiving, Spectrogram display, RF Controlled power plugs, etc.) or send the samples via USB 2.0 to a Computer where they can be processed with the help of GNU Radio.

The extended frequency range is provided by a mixer that can be inserted into the RF path. For immediate usage, the board contains a 2.5 GHz chip antenna which can be replaced with an easily soldered Antenna connector for usage in different frequency ranges. The rad1o also contains an LCD and Joystick as did the r0ket from the last CCCamp.

A talk given on Thursday evening, August 13, covered the inception and creation of this year’s Rad1o Camp Badge. From a description of the hardware including differences to the HackRF one, the software concept and extension possibilities to first projects done by attendees. Michael Ossmann AD0NR makes a guest appearance towards the end of the video.

Watch the @rad1obadge 50-4000 MHz SDR Transceiver talk

Watch the @SatNOGS Open Source Satellite Ground Station Network talk

Chaos Computer Camp 2015 https://events.ccc.de/camp/2015/wiki/Main_Page

Live Streaming https://streaming.media.ccc.de/

Recordings are at https://media.ccc.de/browse/conferences/camp2015/

Schedule https://events.ccc.de/camp/2015/Fahrplan/

Rad1o transceiver with antenna socket - Credit Tom Theisen

Rad1o transceiver with antenna socket – Credit Tom Theisen

Watch the talk Adventures of a Hacker Turned Radio Ham which Michael gave at the AMSAT-TAPR Banquet at Dayton in May 2015.

In it he talks about his unique perspective on the community as an outsider looking in, why he resisted getting an amateur radio license for years, and why he finally decided to join.

Michael shares his thoughts on what it means to be a hacker, what it means to be a ham, and what amateur radio may look like in the decades to come

Michael Ossmann AD0NR on Twitter https://twitter.com/michaelossmann

Antennas at Chaos Computer Camp 2015 - Credit Daniel Cussen EI9FHB

Antennas at Chaos Computer Camp 2015 – Credit Daniel Cussen EI9FHB