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

Apollo Soyuz SSTV Event Diploma

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

In commemoration of the Apollo Soyuz SSTV event, ARISS will be distributing a limited edition diploma to those who received one of the SSTV images transmitted from the International Space Station on July 18-19, 2015.

You can receive a commemorative diploma by filling in one of two application forms:
•  English version:
• Russian language:

The deadline to apply for the diploma is the end of July 2015.

73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

PSAT/BRICsat Status

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype - Brno University of Technology

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype – Brno University of Technology

Tomas OK2PNQ provides an update on the PSK31 transponders carried by the CubeSats PSAT (NO-83) and BRICsat (NO-84).

I am from the group, which have built the PSK transponders. The PSAT is working fine and the TLE from AMSAT works for the predictions. The receiver is a bit deaf probably due to the mistuning of the receiving antenna, so please use the power, which is necessary to get solid copy in downlink.

To the BRICsat, the satellite has negative power budget, it is off for the long periods of time and switches on for short periods varying between 5 and 20 minutes approx.  In the previous weeks we had receptions every day on one pass, but between this occasions, there was week without a beep above Europe. Any kind of positive reception reports from both sides (PSK downlink, packet downlink) are welcomed.

The most important information: The BRICSAT is leading in orbit in front of the PSAT, we are using the TLE from the ULTRASAT team from the page

and we are using ULTRASAT1=90720 as BRICsat and ULTRASAT3=90722 as PSAT.

From the receptions on omni antennas and AOS/LOS times and Doppler, those are the right elements.

Thanks for reading a bit lenghty info.

73! de Tomas OK2PNQ

PSK31 satellites

ParkinsonSAT (PSAT)

Duchifat1 Update

Duchifat-1 Mission PatchThe Duchifat1 CubeSat, built by students at the Herzliya Science Center (4X4HSC), was launched on June 19, 2014.

Duchifat1, launched 1 year ago, was supposed to have onboard a “standard” space APRS transceiver operating on 145.825MHz.  That would have made the satellite compatible with ISS, other APRS satellites and APRS-IS.

Unfortunately, a short time before launch, we realized that technically we couldn’t keep the intended 145.825MHz transceiver in the final satellite configuration but we still wanted to make some contribution to amateur radio in space.  After a quick research we discovered that the 2nd transceiver onboard Duchifat1, the ISIS (Netherlands) TRXUV planned for Duchifat1’s command and telemetry can be programmed to also accept APRS packets!, however, limited to 14 characters long.  Also, the downlink digital modulation was not the common space APRS of 1200bd AFSK but 1200bd BPSK, and the uplink frequency is in the UHF band.

We therefore came with the idea of supporting COMPRESSED APRS, and instead of the standard digipeater, we implement kind of “store&forward” function in which the satellite collects packets during its flight in orbit and the students of Herzliya Science Center will download those packets and display them on a world map in a web site programmed by them.

We published here a few weeks ago the opening of this service and put in our web site detailed instructions on how to use the Byonics TinyTrak4 (TT4) tracker, with or without GPS to generate packets in the required format that Duchifat1 will accept.  So far, TWO pioneers used this service. THANKS PETER & MIKE!

While the TT4 solution is still the best we know for sending your actual live position to Duchifat1, we are happy to announce the ‘APRS Encoder’, a new tool in our web site that can generate for you the COMPRESSED APRS packet for Duchifat1.

The input for the new APRS Encoder is the station’s (or nearby)  coordinates set that can be obtained from Google Maps, so this solution is naturally adequate for stationary base stations, while mobile stations should still use the Byonics TT4.

​The output of the APRS Encoder is a 14 character long Compressed APRS packet that can be converted to 1200bd AFSK with a hardware TNC or software like MIXW – just copy the 14 chars string and paste it into the MIXW window. The MIXW should be set to mode Packet, using the most common “VHF 1200 baud (Standard 1200/2200Hz)” setting.  Prior registration is required.

All the details on the satellite, the registration and the APRS Encoder are at this link

Please read all the documentation in the site.

We wish you all good luck and enjoy!

73 from 4X4HSC team: instructors 4Z1WS and 4X1DG, and the students!

International Space Colloquium Guildford – Speakers for Saturday, July 25

Holiday Inn Guildford side entrance

Holiday Inn Guildford – Colloquium entrance

There is a great line up of speakers for the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford as well as visits to the satellite construction facilities at the SSTL Kepler Building. The event is open to all.

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

Speakers for Saturday, July 25

• Introduction by Prof. Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO OBE, FRS, FREng, FIET

• SSTL Update by Tony Holt, Director, SSTL

• The Satellite Applications Catapult PocketQube Kit by Chris Brunskill

• AMSAT-DL Presentation by Peter Guelzow DB2OS

• What else does Space do for You! by Prof. Richard Holdaway, former Director RAL Space

• The FUNcube project – results so far! by Jim Heck G3WGM

• AMSAT-NA / Fox-1 Presentation by Drew Glassbrenner KO4MA

• ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space by Eric Bertels

• Dutch Satellite Days by Ivo Klinkert PA1IVO

Further details and programme schedule spreadsheet at

ISS SSTV July 18-19 on 145.800 MHz FM

ISS SSTV image 1 received by Murray Hely ZL3MH January 31, 2015

ISS SSTV image received by Murray Hely ZL3MH January 31, 2015

ARISS SSTV images will be transmitted this weekend from the amateur radio station in the ISS Russian Service Module to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission.

40 years ago this week, the historic joint Apollo-Soyuz mission was conducted.  Apollo-Soyuz (or Soyuz-Apollo in Russia) represented the first joint USA-Soviet mission and set the stage for follow-on Russia-USA space collaboration on the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station and the International Space Station.

The Soyuz and Apollo vehicles were docked from July 17-19, 1975, during which time joint experiments and activities were accomplished with the 3 USA astronauts and 2 Soviet Cosmonauts on-board.  Apollo-Soyuz was the final mission of the Apollo program and the last USA human spaceflight mission until the first space shuttle mission in 1981.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of this historic international event, the ARISS team has developed a series of 12 Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images that will be sent down for reception by schools, educational organizations and ham radio operators, worldwide.  The SSTV images are planned to start sometime Saturday morning, July 18 and run through Sunday July 19.  These dates are tentative and are subject to change.  The SSTV images can be received on 145.800 MHz FM and displayed using several different SSTV computer programs that are available on the internet.

We encourage you to submit your best received SSTV images to:

The ARISS SSTV image gallery will post the best SSTV images received from this event at:

Also, as a special treat, on Saturday July 18 the ISS Cosmonauts will take time out to conduct an ARISS contact with students attending the Moon Day/Frontiers of Flight Museum event in Dallas Texas.  This Russian Cosmonaut-USA Student contact is planned to start around 16:55 UTC through the W6SRJ ground station located in Santa Rosa, California.  ARISS will use the 145.800 MHz FM voice frequency downlink (same as the SSTV downlink) for the Moon Day contact.

For more information on ARISS, please go to our web site

The ARISS international team would like to thank our ARISS-Russia colleague, Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, for his leadership on this historic commemoration.

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair

Previous ISS SSTV transmissions have used the SSTV mode PD180 with a 3-minute off time between each image.

ISS Slow Scan TV information and links for tracking the ISS at

You can receive the SSTV transmissions online using the SUWS WebSDR remote receiver located near London along with the MMSSTV software

School Shortlist for Tim Peake Space Station Contact

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

On Tuesday, July 14 at the UK Space Conference in Liverpool the names were announced of the UK schools which have won the opportunity to contact UK astronaut Tim Peake via amateur radio during his mission to the International Space Station. Tim holds the call sign KG5BVI and is expected to use the special call GB1SS from the amateur radio station in the Columbus module of the ISS.

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim will launch to the ISS in December of this year and will spend 6 months working and living in space. The Amateur Radio competition is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Selected schools will host a direct link-up with the ISS during a two-day, space related STEM workshop which will be the culmination of a large range of learning activities using space as a context for teaching throughout the curriculum.

ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) will provide and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the ISS from the schools’ very own premises. In a ten-minute window when the ISS will be over the UK, an amateur radio contact will be established with Tim, and students will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.

Owing to the nature of scheduling the links, which is dependent on geography, the exact orbit of the ISS and the crew schedules, the exact dates and times for possible links will not be known until 2 weeks before the link up is scheduled. The shortlisted schools will all be prepared for such scheduling challenges and, by having a number of schools, we can ensure that all links are used.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:

We’re delighted with the amount of interest in this exciting project and look forward to working with the selected schools as they make a call into space.

Both Tim’s space mission and amateur radio have the power to inspire young people and encourage them into STEM subjects. By bringing them together we can boost their reach and give young people around the UK the chance to be involved in a space mission and a hands-on project that will teach them new skills.

The following schools have been shortlisted for a possible ARISS call with Tim whilst he is in orbit on the ISS:

Principia Mission Patch

  • Ashfield Primary School, Otley, West Yorkshire
  • The Derby High School, Derby
  • The Kings School, Ottery St Mary
  • Norwich School, Norwich
  • Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol
  • Powys Secondary Schools Joint, Powys
  • Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth
  • Sandringham School, St Albans
  • St Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea
  • Wellesley House School, Broadstairs

John Gould, G3WKL, President of the RSGB, said:

The Radio Society of Great Britain will be delighted to support shortlisted schools by teaching their pupils about amateur radio and helping them through their licence exams where appropriate. Members of our Youth Committee are based across the UK and will be keen to visit the chosen schools in their area and chat to the pupils.

The ARISS UK Operations team will now work with the shortlisted schools to prepare them for this exceptional opportunity during the mission of the first British ESA Astronaut.

ARISS Europe