49.9 MHz Backscatter Radar 16 kW with 64 Antennas

First 18 of the 49.9 MHz radar antennas pointing skywards

First 18 of the 49.9 MHz radar antennas pointing skywards

An impressive back-scatter radar on 49.9 MHz is currently being constructed in Ethiopia.

The Bahir Dar coherent backscatter radar is being assembled by researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland and Boston College, USA.

The radar will operate at 49.9 MHz with a 16 kW solid-state transmitter and 64 antennas. The sampling is based on a number of USRP X300-series boxes (the USRP was developed by Matt Ettus N2MJI).

Backscatter radar http://blog.sgo.fi/2014/11/bahir-dar-coherent-backscatter-radar.html

Lassi Roininen on Twitter https://twitter.com/LassiRoininen

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

Predictions App for Deep Space Ham Radio Satellite

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH  Deep Space Sculpture

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH Deep Space Sculpture

Two amateur radio satellites ARTSAT2: DESPATCH (437.325 MHz CW) and Shin’en 2 (145/435 MHz linear transponder + 437 MHz WSJT) should be launched into deep space at the end of November.

Masahiro JI1IZR has announced that prediction software is available for ARTSAT2: DESPATCH:

One of the new deep space small satellites, “ARTSAT2: DESPATCH”, will be launched on the end of this month.

I developed a predict utilities that display the information got from the Web API data provided by the “ARTSAT” project team.

You can get the utilities and information from:

You will also have the information of the satellite “ARTSAT2: DESAPTCH” from:

I appreciate your notice for the project.

Thank you.

Masahiro Sanada JI1IZR

Art and Ham Radio in Deep Space http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/03/art-and-ham-radio-in-deep-space/

Shin’en 2 has a linear transponder http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

4M – End of Mission

LX0OHB-4M amateur radio lunar payload - Credit LuxSpace

LX0OHB-4M amateur radio lunar payload – Credit LuxSpace

The JT65B amateur radio payload, which successfully completed a lunar flyby, has fallen silent after transmitting for 438 hours.

During the afternoon of November 10 the battery voltage dropped from 13.1V to 12.1V and continued falling. The last signal was received by Rein W6SZ at 01:35 UT on November 11 when the battery voltage had fallen to 8.4 volts.

Ghislain LX2RG posted the following to the Moon Net list:

Here at Luxspace, we have to thank you all for the reports, for the tracking, and we also hope that we provided you with the challenges you expected.

4M may possibly awaken from time to time if illumination becomes better.

We shall now endeavor to prepare the next one.

Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) LX0OHB-4M http://moon.luxspace.lu/blog/

4M Lunar Payload http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/15/4m-lunar-payload-integrated-keps-released/

40 Years of Tracking OSCAR-7

Satrack showing OSCAR 7 (AO-7)

Satrack showing OSCAR 7 (AO-7)

William Leijenaar PE1RAH shows how people tracked satellites in the time before PC’s and AMSAT Argentina show how it’s done today.

ARRL OSCAR LocatorIn the 1974 radio amateurs tracked OSCAR 7 (AO-7) using an OSCARLOCATOR that comprised a polar great circle map and overheads for each satellite.

40 years later OSCAR 7 is still operational when in sunlight and thanks to William Leijenaar PE1RAH you can now download the map and overheads to make your very own OSCARLOCATOR. Read his article at

AMSAT Argentina has recently released the online satellite tracker Satrack, use it at http://amsat.org.ar/sat.htm

The PC version can be downloaded from http://amsat.org.ar/Satrack.htm

Special Event Station for 40th Anniversary of OSCAR 7 Launch

OSCAR 7 in Space

OSCAR 7 in Space


Ham Radio in Hackaday Prize Finals

SatNOGS - Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

Two of the five finalists for the Hackaday Prize involve amateur radio, the prize is a ticket to travel into space.

Six months ago Hackaday challenged their readers to realize the future of open, connected devices. They have now announced the five finalists vying for The Hackaday Prize.

The SatNOGS project involves a network of satellite ground stations, they are using crowdsourced data collection for something that is literally out of this world: listening to the ever-increasing number of amateur satellites orbiting the planet.

PortableSDR is a completely stand-alone (no computer needed), compact, Portable Software Defined Transceiver. Originally designed for backpacking use by Ham Radio operators. It includes complete coverage up to about 30 MHz.

The contest was open to entries from around the world with the exception of residents of Quebec, Italy, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, or any jurisdiction where the Contest would be restricted or prohibited by law.

The winner of the Hackaday Prize for the best example of an open, connected device should be announced at the Electronica trade show in Munich on November 13.

Announcing the Five Finalists for The Hackaday Prize

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station https://satnogs.org/

Ex-Ofcom employee now ITU Deputy Secretary-General

Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson of the United Kingdom has been elected as the ITU’s new Deputy Secretary-General  at the 19th International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea.

Wiki records that he has represented UK in several international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Inmarsat, and the European Space Agency (ESA). He was employed at the Telecommunication Regulations Division of the European Commission between 1987 and 1992.

Later on, from 1992 to 2003, he was Director of the UK’s Radiocommunications Agency. In 2003, Johnson joined the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) at its inception, he was International Coordinator with lead responsibility for UK in ITU and European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). He remained in this position until 2006.

Malcolm Johnson was elected Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) of the ITU Standardization Sector (ITU-T) by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2006. He took office on January 1, 2007 and was re-elected at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2010.

Beijing’s Houlin Zhao was elected Secretary-General of the ITU replacing radio amateur Dr. Hamadoun Touré HB9EHT. Houlin Zhao had served 8 years as Deputy Secretary-General.

Read the ARRL story at http://www.arrl.org/news/view/the-itu-elects-a-new-secretary-general

Wiki – Malcolm Johnson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Johnson_%28administrator%29

Japanese Microsatellites Launched

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 - Credit ISC Kosmotras

A typical Dnepr launch – Credit ISC Kosmotras

On Thursday, November 6 at 07:35:49 UT a Dnepr rocket carrying the primary payload Asnaro-1 and four microsatellites was launched from Dombarovsky near Yasny. Kosmotras report all spacecraft have been inserted into their target orbits.

The four Japanese microsatellites are:
– ChubuSat-1 (Kinshachi-1) 437.485 MHz CW/AX.25 (Digipeater uplink 145.980 MHz)
– TSUBAME 437.250 MHz CW and 437.505 AX.25
– Hodoyoshi-1 467.674 MHz
– QSAT-EOS (Tsukushi) an AX.25 GMSK payload has been reported but the frequency is unknown.

Signals have been received from both ChubuSat-1 and TSUBAME.

The 50kg class ChubuSat-1 aims to
• Relay messages in amateur service (AX.25 packet radio Digipeater)
• Take pictures of particular site on Earth commanded from the Earth station with an optical camera and an Infra-red camera
• Try to take pictures of space debris commanded from the Earth station with above two cameras
It will have 3 axis stabilisation

Asnaro Mission PatchThe 30kg class TSUBAME aims to
• Demonstrate satellite bus technology for 30kg-class microsatellite and verification of COTS components such as micro-processors, memory and Li-ion batteries in the space environment
• Verify of Control Moment Gyros developed by the Laboratory for Space Systems
• Demonstrate of high-speed attitude manoeuvres technology using Control Moment Gyros. Some sensor data acquisition experiments will be conducted at the same time in order to demonstrate applications of CMGs
• Demonstrate of SRLL communication protocol developed by Tokyo Institute of Technology and high-speed GMSK data downlink
• Collect data through internet with the aid of radio amateurs all over the world

TSUBAME TLE http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?p=51785

Kosmotras announcement http://www.kosmotras.ru/en/news/155/

Satellite info and launch video http://russianspaceweb.com/dnepr_asnaro.html

ChubuSat-1 Slides http://www.frontier.phys.nagoya-u.ac.jp/chubusat/ChubuSat-20130311.pdf

UHF Satellite frequencies http://www.satellitenwelt.de/freqlisten/SatFreq-UHF.txt

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

UAE’s first CubeSat Nayif-1

EIAST-1280The Dubai based Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), in partnership with American University of Sharjah (AUS) are developing the UAE’s first CubeSat Mission, Nayif-1, which they hope will be launched on a Falcon 9 by the end of 2015.

A report in Satellite Pro magazine says students will go through an intense systems design and testing training and will partake in the program as their Senior Engineering Design project and participate in the design, assembly, integration and testing of the CubeSat. Nayif-1 will carry out a 1U Communication Mission with development taking place in AUS, EIAST’s facilities and Delft in the Netherlands.

Read the Satellite Pro story at

Khaleej Times with illustrative picture

Gulf News

EIST http://eiast.ae/en

IARU Region 1 Approve Youth Budget and Satellite Allocation

Lisa Leenders PA2LS

Lisa Leenders PA2LS

The minutes of the Final Plenary, 23rd IARU Region 1 General Conference have been released.

The Conference approved these Youth budgets:
a. Youth Projects – 25,000 Swiss Francs for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017
b. Youth Working Group – 2,000 Swiss Francs for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017
One Swiss Franc is roughly equivalent to £0.65, $1.04, €0.83.

It was agreed to set up a Youth Working Group which will be Chaired for three years by Lisa Leenders, PA2LS.

A new satellite Space-to-Earth (downlink) band from 144.000 – 144.025 MHz with a maximum signal bandwidth of 2.7 kHz was agreed. This allocation is now available in all three IARU regions.

Read the minutes at

Additional information is in annexes/minutes which are awaiting release, check

Special Event Station for 40th Anniversary of OSCAR 7 Launch

OSCAR 7 in Space

OSCAR 7 in Space

Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK has secured the special call sign W7O (Whiskey Seven Oscar) for use in commemorating the 40th anniversary of the launch of OSCAR 7 on November 15, 1974.

OSCAR 7 in anechoic chamber with Perry Klein K3JTE and Jan King K8VTR/W3GEY - Credit Dick Daniels W4PUJ

OSCAR 7 in anechoic chamber with Perry Klein K3JTE and Jan King K8VTR/W3GEY – Credit Dick Daniels W4PUJ

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board he writes:

I plan on having this call on the air between November 15-24 2014, working satellites and possibly other bands.  I will work satellite passes from Arizona, including AO-7 passes, and hope to recruit a small group of operators who can work other passes that cover eastern North America along with other places I can’t work from here (Europe, North Africa, South America).  I may also try to get some operators working HF with this call.

I will handle the QSL requests for W7O during this period. I am thinking of incorporating the original QSL card design AMSAT used to confirm AO-7 reception reports from the 1970s in the W7O card.

The QSL cards will be printed after the W7O activity wraps up.  I will also upload W7O QSOs to ARRL’s Logbook of the World system.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions related to this operation, or if you are willing to operate on satellites and/or HF as W7O during this 10-day period.

Thanks in advance, and 73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/

OSCAR 7 with Dick Daniels W4PUJ, Jan King K8VTR-W3GEY, Marie Marr and Perry Klein K3JTE

OSCAR 7 with Dick Daniels W4PUJ, Jan King K8VTR-W3GEY, Marie Marr and Perry Klein K3JTE

The amateur radio satellite AMSAT-OSCAR 7 was launched by a Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on November 15, 1974 and provided many years of service until it went silent from battery failure in mid 1981.

For 21 years nothing more was heard until June 21, 2002 when Pat Gowen G3IOR came across a beacon sending slow 8 -10 wpm CW on 145.973.8 MHz. It sounded like old OSCAR satellite telemetry, it had the familiar HI HI followed by a string of numbers in groups of three. After monitoring by many radio amateurs it turned out to be OSCAR-7, and it seemed to have come back from the dead.

Pat’s email to the AMSAT Bulletin Board announcing his discovery can be seen at


OSCAR 7 amateur radio satelliteIt is believed that in 1981 the batteries failed short-circuit, however, in 2002 they became open-circuit enabling the satellite to run again from the solar panels. Since that day OSCAR 7 has been operational when in sunlight and provided radio amateurs with many long distance (DX) SSB/CW contacts.

Remember when working OSCAR 7 use the least uplink power possible to minimize your downlink power usage, and maximize the number of simultaneous contacts supported in the passband.

A BBC News report Radio ham finds lost satellite about the reception of OSCAR 7 by Dave Rowan G4CUO can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2149381.stm

A collection of photos by Dick Daniels W4PUJ taken during the construction, test and launch of the AMSAT-OSCAR 7 spacecraft in 1973 and 1974 can be viewed at http://n4hy.smugmug.com/AMSAT/AMSAT-Oscar-7

Oscar 7 Information http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=1031

Video of 2E0HTS Working the OSCAR-7 Satellite http://amsat-uk.org/2012/01/26/2e0hts-working-the-oscar-7-satellite/

2010 video of the then AO-7 distance record http://www.southgatearc.org/news/january2010/new_ao7_record.htm

‘Getting started on amateur radio satellites’ by G7HIA published in the March 2007 RadCom. Download the article at http://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/satellites_radcom_mar07.pdf
Copyright 2007 Radio Society of Great Britain. For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the RSGB.

Join the AMSAT Bulletin Board AMSAT-BB http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo