AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase-3E Opportunity

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite.  During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on 4 JUL 15, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.

Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.

Stay tuned to the AMSAT-DL Journal, the AMSAT-NA Journal, and the AMSAT-NA News Service for further developments and details as they become known.

Live Streaming for International Space Colloquium

BATC Logo SmallThanks to the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) the presentations at this weekend’s AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford will be streamed live.

This year to provide an enhanced streaming experience, the webstream of the AMSAT-UK Colloquium, kindly provided by the BATC team, will be available at this NEW location:

Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

Trade Stands at the Space Colloquium Guildford

A delegate from the University of Surrey at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, Guildford

A delegate from the University of Surrey at a previous AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford

In addition to the AMSAT-UK shop there will be several traders at the International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 25-26. The RF Design stand of Kevin Avery G3AAF is a regular feature and there will also be stands from both Dave Powis G4HUP and Sam Jewell G4DDK.

Among the items available from G4DDK will be DG8 SK for the GM3SEK 144MHz masthead preamp, WA5VJB PCB antennas, connectors and leads. Also horn antennas that might be of interest to satellite enthusiasts.

RF Design StandThe RF Design stand is well known for precision calibrated noise sources, low noise amplifiers, noise gain analysers and other equipment for frequencies up to 11 GHz.

The company also specialises in
● High power RF generation, e.g. CO2 laser plasma power supplies
● Solid state RF power amplifiers to 10kW from LF through UHF
● Short range wireless devices, e.g. Social Alarms

RF Design Amateur Radio and Radio Astronomy products

RF Design

Dave Powis G4HUP products

Sam Jewell G4DDK products

The Colloquium is open to all. Admittance is £10 each day and parking is free. Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

RF Design Table

Project DX15 – RSGB Young Members DXpedition to Wales

Three Northern Ireland participants traveled to Brecons for ProjectDX15

Three Northern Ireland participants traveled to Brecons for ProjectDX15

The Radio Society of Great Britain’s Youth Committee are running a Kenwood-sponsored Youth DXpedition and will be active as MC0RYC from the Brecon Beacons in Wales from July 23-30. They’ll be on all bands HF through VHF, including satellite operations

This is the first young person’s DXpedition that the Society has organised and therefore we are keen to publicise it as much as we can.

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

Throughout the course of the week, the young Members will be taking part in an array of activities including operating SOTA summits Pen-y-fan (SOTA reference GW/SW-001) & Waun-Fach (SOTA reference GW/SW-002). Provided the weather isn’t too bad, SOTA activations will be taking place on the following dates and times:

• Saturday 25 July – afternoon

• Sunday 26 July – afternoon

• Tuesday 28 July – noon UTC

• Wednesday 29 July – noon UTC

These are approximate times, and we will keep you up to date via our Twitter.

We will be doing many other activities including ARDF, antenna-building workshops and encouraging good radio operation. As well as having fun, we want to help train the young Members to be competent and confident radio amateurs.

You can support us by:

• Following our progress on Twitter @theRSGByouth

• Working the first RSGB Youth DXpedition in the UK – we will keep you updated on frequencies via our Twitter channel and the DX spots.

• Listening for the call sign MC0RYC during the IOTA Contest over the weekend 25-26 July. Please work the young team if you can, so they can experience the full flow of a big contest

A special QSL card will be available for those who wish to receive one, both direct and via the Bureau. The team are keen to encourage responsible QSLing and OQRS will be available via Club Log.

DX15 has been made possible by generous sponsorship from Kenwood as principal sponsor and other prime sponsors SOTA, the RCF and the RSGB Legacy Fund.

Please pass this information on to fellow amateurs, local clubs and any other amateur radio contacts you may have. Thanks for your support for the future of amateur radio.

We also have a dedicated email address set up for the DXpedition where you can email us if you have any questions or would like to set up a sked: m0ryc<at>

Kind Regards,

Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ
Youth Committee Chairman
Leadership Team Member
Radio Society of Great Britain
M: +44 (0) 7577 447754
E: youth.chairman<at>

Satellite Beginners Session in Guildford

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

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

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford starts at 3:30pm on Friday, July 24 with a special session for newcomers to the amateur satellite world.

Newcomers will be helped through the complexities by three amateurs, Dave G4DPZ, Carlos G3VHF and Drew KO4MA, who, between them, have thousands of hours of experience.

They will explain the theories and talk about the practice of listening to and having satellite contacts through the ever increasing number of satellites in orbit.

This year, there will be copies available of the very recently updated AMSAT-NA publication “Getting started with Amateur Satellites 2015″ in full colour available for sale from the shop at a special show price of £15.

Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

International Space Colloquium Guildford – Speakers for Sunday, July 26

Holiday Inn Guildford side entrance

Holiday Inn Guildford side entrance

There is a great line up of speakers for the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. The event is open to all.

Admittance is £10 for the day and car parking is free.

Speakers for Sunday, July 26

• Surrey Space Centre (SSC) Update including DeOrbitSail Report by Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC

• USN Academy NO-84 ParkinsonSat/PSAT by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

• Tim Peake / ARISS / UKSA Outreach by Ciaran Morgan M0XTD

• UKube-1: technology, mission and operations by Helen Walker, RAL Space

• The Nayif-1 opportunity by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

• Data Recovery as part of the ISEE-3 Reboot Project by Phil Karn KA9Q

• ESEO Update and Demonstration by Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC and Graham Shirville G3VZV

• Open Discussion Session lead by Graham Shirville G3VZV


Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

Phil Karn KA9Q to give ISEE-3 presentation at Guildford

Phil Karn KA9Q

Phil Karn KA9Q

AMSAT-UK is pleased to announce that Phil Karn KA9Q will be traveling from California to attend this year’s International Space Colloquium which takes place at the Holiday Inn, Guildford on July 24-26.

He is well known in the amateur radio community for his work on the KA9Q Network Operating System (NOS), named after his amateur callsign, early 9600 bit/s FSK radio modems, and more recently, the introduction of forward error correction (FEC) into the Amateur Satellite Service, with FEC applied to the 400 bit/s PSK telemetry from the now-defunct AO-40 satellite.

Phil has been an active contributor in the IETF, especially in security, but is also a strong contributor to the Internet architecture. His name is on at least 6 RFCs. He is the inventor of Karn’s Algorithm, a method for calculating the round trip time for IP packet retransmission.

Phil will be giving a presentation to the Colloquium at 1:30 pm BST (1230 GMT) Sunday, July 26 titled “Data Recovery as part of the ISEE-3 Reboot Project”.

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Phil has provided this summary of his presentation:

Last year I participated in the ISEE-3 Reboot Project led by Dennis Wingo KD4ETA of Skycorp by writing software to decode the spacecraft telemetry.

This included what I believes to be the largest Viterbi decoder ever used operationally, a k=24 monster that ran at the blazing speed of 225 bits per second. It was used successfully on the received signals at Arecibo (although the rock-crushing SNR wasn’t much of a challenge) and at the 20-meter AMSAT-DL dish in Bochum, Germany, where it actually got a workout.

Although the project was ultimately unsuccessful in recapturing ISEE-3 into earth orbit, I thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the project. I’d gladly do it again.

The International Space Colloquium is open to all. Admittance is £10 each day and car parking is free. Further details and the programme schedule are at

Special Colloquium Price for Getting Started with Amateur Satellites

Getting Started With Amateur Satellites 2015 coverA special full colour edition of the book Getting Started with Amateur Satellites 2015 will be available for just £15 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, Guildford, July 24-26. The price after the event will be higher.

This definitive reference is written for the new satellite operator by Gould Smith, WA4SXM, but includes discussions for the experienced operator who wishes to review the features of amateur satellite communications. The new operator will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology unique to this mode. Additionally, there are many practical tips and tricks to ensure making contacts, and to sound like an experienced satellite operator in the process.

Newly revised in May 2015 with new information on, AO-73, UKube-1, the upcoming Fox-1A, Fox-1B, Fox-1C, Fox-1D, and Fox-1E, plus many other updates of general interest. It also include information on several satellites of interest to hams expected to be launched in the coming year.

AMSAT-UK thanks AMSAT-NA for permission to print the book in the UK.

International Space Colloquium Holiday Inn, Guildford – Speakers for Saturday, July 25

Students receive FUNcube-1 (AO-73)

Student Receiving FUNcube-1 CubeSat

Student Receiving FUNcube-1 CubeSat

David Haworth WA9ONY showed students how to receive the FUNcube-1 amateur radio CubeSat during a workshop at Pine Mountain Observatory, Oregon.

Students adjusting the antenna

Satellite Antenna

FUNcube-1 (AO-73), launched on November 21, 2013 is an educational satellite built by volunteers from AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics.

The satellite carries a BPSK telemetry beacon on 145.935 MHz for students to receive and a linear transponder for two-way amateur radio communications. In addition there is a materials science experiment, from which the school students can receive telemetry data which they can compare to the results they obtained from similar reference experiments in the classroom.

On the FUNcube Yahoo Group David posted:

FUNcube-1 activities were successful at Pine Mountain Observatory workshop on Sunday, July 12 to Wednesday 15.

During this time 759 packets were received which resulted in a ranking of 456.

The student were impressed when we were the only station receiving a packet and seeing our FM2 message.

The antenna was a Arrow II Portable 146/437-10 3 element 2 meter Yagi on a camera tripod.

Watch PMO Workshop FUNcube-1 Satellite Telemetry Pass July 13, 2015

Watch PMO Workshop FUNcube-1 Satellite Receving Equipment

Watch PMO Workshop FUNcube-1 Satellite Pass July 13, 2015

FUNcube-1 presentation PDF given by David Haworth WA9ONY at SEA-PAC on June 6, 2015

BBC News report about FUNcube-1

FUNcube Yahoo Group

FUNcube website

DeorbitSail – Update after 1st week in space

First Week Update by Project Manager, Chiara Massimiani:

  • Friday, Successful launch at PSLV from FLP, SDSC SHAR, India. Click for PSLV-C28 Mission page & Youtube Launch Video. Antennas successfully deployed and beacon switched on.
  • First packets received by AMSAT’er Ken Swaggart W7KKE in Lincoln, OR, USA at 20:29.
  • First packets received by Surrey Space Centre’s Satellite Operations Centre at 22:21:51 which confirmed satellite state. The DOS Team declare the satellite healthy from downlinked telemetry.
  • Saturday, first telemetry uplink requests set and successfully received back in the operations centre.
  • Communication tests activated to confirm satellite mode operations.
  • Monday, communications tests complete. The team declare the uplink and downlink as sufficient to facilitate the full mission operations.
  • Thursday, Transition from Launch & Early Operations (LEOP) Communication Mode to Nominal Communication Mode after further uplink tests.
  • Friday, Begin early ADCS commissioning.

    DeorbitSail CubeSat with Sail deployed

    DeorbitSail CubeSat with Sail deployed

Expected operations in the coming month:

  • Week commencing 20th July: Attitude Determination & Control System (ADCS) Commissioning phase to obtain attitude data.
  • After three or four weeks: End ADCS Commissioning phase with a stable attitude.
  • In one month: Payload commissioning phase – solar panel and sail deployment which completes all major operations before deorbiting.

AMSAT and supporters are, again, so very welcome to help out by receiving the beacons so we can accelerate our commissioning. Further plans are available here:

Please continue to send in your data to

DeorbitSail 145.975 MHz BPSK telemetry format