USA to Propose Additional Sharing of 10 GHz Ham Band

Logo WRC RA 2015The ARRL report the the USA is to propose the use of 9.9-10.5 GHz for the Earth Exploration Satellite Service.

US proposal for World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) Agenda Item 1.12 — to expand the Earth Exploration Satellite Service (EESS) in the vicinity of 10 GHz — supports allocating an additional 600 MHz of spectrum to the EESS (active) as a primary allocation in the frequency band 9.9-10.5 GHz, with certain limitations.

The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have secondary allocations of 10.0-10.5 GHz and 10.45-10.5 GHz, respectively; the only current primary allocation is to Radiolocation. A study conducted by a Working Party of the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) concluded that the interference potential of EESS (active) to Amateur Radio was limited to very brief and infrequent periods.

“In this hotly contested frequency range, the best we can hope for is that sharing partners will be compatible with continued amateur access, and that is the case here,” ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, commented.

EESS use of the 9900-10,500 MHz band would be limited to systems requiring necessary bandwidths greater than 600 MHz that cannot be fully accommodated within the 9300–9900 MHz band.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/us-to-propose-additional-sharing-of-10-ghz-band-at-wrc-15

USA 10 GHz Proposal
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/ai_1.12_usa_proposal_2015-02-06.pdf

Amateur Geostationary Satellite will use 10 GHz
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/21/eshail-2-ham-radio-transponders/

GRIFEX CubeSat Update

GRIFEX and the MXL integration team - Credit Michigan Exploration Laboratory

GRIFEX and the MXL integration team – Credit Michigan Exploration Laboratory

The student built GRIFEX CubeSat was launched, along with FIREBIRD-2,  ExoCube and NASA’s SMAP, on Saturday, January 31 on a Delta 2 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. The first reception report of the spacecraft’s 437.485 MHz 9600 bps AX.25 GMSK signal was from Jan van Gils PE0SAT in the Netherlands.

Ground station antennas - Credit Michigan Exploration Laboratory

Ground station antennas – Credit Michigan Exploration Laboratory

James Cutler KF6RFX of the Michigan Exploration Laboratory has provided this update on the first 9 days after launch.

On the behalf of the GRIFEX team, thanks for all your help in tracking GRIFEX. The students working on this mission have had blast working with HAMS all over the world.

It seems that everyday someone new engages with the students and lets them know they heard GRIFEX.  We’ll be making QSL cards shortly so let us know if you need one.

GRIFEX so far is doing great.  We’re in a sun-sync terminator orbit, so we see the sun all the time.  We have plenty of power but we are fairly warm. We have active magnetic control as well that we may try later on so that our colleagues down under can get some better signal reception!

We had about five new students get their HAM license in support of this launch. Anywhere from 5-10 students get their license per year in the lab.

Thanks for your support!

Michigan Exploration Laboratory
http://exploration.engin.umich.edu/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/Michigan.Exploration

Radio Astronomy and SDR Dongles

Measuring RF Noise Sources with a SDRDavid Morgan 2W0CXV has released several papers covering the use of the RTL-SDR Dongle in radio astronomy.

In 2011 David described the equipment configuration and software involved in setting to work a small 3m diameter amateur radio telescope using the FUNcube Dongle Pro software defined radio receiver.

At the end of 2014 he published a paper dealing with the setting up and use of a RTL-SDR dongle to receive meteor pings from the Graves Radar on 143.050 MHz.

He has now released two new papers covering the measurement of signal strength and  RF noise sources with the RTL-SDR.

Download David’s papers from http://www.dmradas.co.uk/Downloads.html

You can join the BAA Radio Astronomy Yahoo Group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag

More ISS Slow Scan TV Activity

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Frank Heritage M0AEU at 19:21 UT on Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 4/12 received by Frank Heritage M0AEU at 19:21 UT on Dec 18, 2014

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has announced another round of amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) activity from the International Space Station (ISS) will take place. Continuous operation, using the call sign RS0ISS, is expected during Sunday, February 22 and Monday, February 23.

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR on Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR on Dec 18, 2014

Twelve different images will be sent on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD180, with a 3-minute off time between transmissions.

One of the photos shows the commemorative diploma created by PZK, the national Polish Amateur Radio society, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module. It is thought the equipment may be producing about 25 watts output which should provide a very strong signal.

Plans are being discussed for transmitting new images from space enthusiasts around the world in the coming months. Additional details will be released.

The images received by amateurs world-wide during previous transmissions can be seen at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/ and you are invited to upload any pictures you receive during the upcoming transmissions.

In the UK newspaper the Daily Mail, Jonathan O’Callaghan wrote about how 22-year-old Radek Karwacki, an AMSAT-UK member, received pictures from the ISS using a £10 ($15) RTL-SDR dongle and a dipole antenna, see http://amsat-uk.org/2015/02/04/iss-sstv-in-uk-press/

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio loudspeaker.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app for compatible modes.

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world apart from the British Isles and Europe where 2.5 kHz deviation is more common.

Many FM rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the MMSSTV PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”

On the AMSAT-BB Rick W2JAZ and Alan WA4SCA comment on the need to set the MMSSTV sound card setting to 48 kHz instead of the default 44.100 kHz
• Options
• Setup
• Misc
• Then the Clock section at the bottom of the page

The MMSSTV default setting may need to be set to 24000 (exactly half of the sound card setting). You then should get good clean images.

The sound card adjustments will vary slightly depending on the version of the OS you are running, but usually will be under the advanced properties for the device. You can probably use a higher sampling rate for the sound card so long as it is a power of 2 multiple (2,4,8, etc) of the value in MMSSTV. For instance 192k (8x) has no issues. The same applies to most similar software.

You can receive the SSTV transmissions online using the SUWS WebSDR remote receiver located near London along with the MMSSTV software http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

ISS Fan Club – Tracking / Predictions http://www.issfanclub.com/

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Video showing reception of SSTV using the FUNcube Dongle Pro SDR and SDR-RADIO going into Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) then to MMSSTV software https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6MOrX9iZCk

ISS SSTV received online with SUWS WebSDR
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/06/iss-sstv-on-suws-websdr/

ISS SSTV 1/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

ISS SSTV 1/12 received by Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ using the SUWS WebSDR Dec 18, 2014

Colloquium – First Call for Papers

AMSAT-UK Logo

AMSAT-UK Logo

This is the first call for speakers for the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2015 which will be held from Saturday, July 25 to Sunday, July 26, 2015 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom.

http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2015/

AMSAT-UK invites speakers, to cover topics about micro-satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats, space and associated activities, for this event.

They are also invited to submit papers for subsequent publishing on the AMSAT-UK web site. We normally prefer authors to present talks themselves rather than having someone else give them in the authors’ absence. We also welcome “unpresented” papers for the web site.

Submissions should be sent *ONLY* to G4DPZ, via the following routes:
e-mail: dave at g4dpz dot me dot uk
Postal address at http://www.qrz.com/db/G4DPZ

AMSAT-UK also invite anyone with requests for Program Topics to submit them as soon as possible to G4DPZ. Invitations for any papers on specific subjects will be included in the future call. Likewise if anyone knows of a good speaker, please send contact and other information to G4DPZ.

Colloquium 2015 – Call For Speakers

This is the first call for speakers for the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2015 which will be held from Saturday, July 25 to Sunday, July 26 2015 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom.

AMSAT-UK invites speakers, to cover topics about micro-satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats, space and associated activities, for this event.

They are also invited to submit papers for subsequent publishing on the AMSAT-UK web site. We normally prefer authors to present talks themselves rather than having someone else give them in the authors’ absence. We also welcome “unpresented” papers for the web site.

Submissions should be sent *ONLY* to G4DPZ, via the following routes:
e-mail: dave at g4dpz dot me dot uk
Postal address at http://www.qrz.com/db/G4DPZ

AMSAT-UK also invite anyone with requests for Program Topics to submit them as soon as possible to G4DPZ. Invitations for any papers on specific subjects will be included in the future call. Likewise if anyone knows of a good speaker, please send contact and other information to G4DPZ.

 

ISS ham radio SSTV in UK press

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The Daily Mail reports that 22-year-old Radoslaw Karwacki received the recent amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions from the ISS

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Radek Karwacki on February 1, 2015

ISS SSTV image 9/12 received by Radek Karwacki on February 1, 2015

Radoslaw (Radek) used an RTL-SDR dongle costing about £10 ($15) to receive the SSTV signal on 145.800 MHz FM during the weekend of January 31 to February 1. The antenna was a simple dipole and he used the free SDRSharp and MMSSTV software to receive and display the image.

‘These images are not transmitted regularly. I was really lucky to receive them, because it was my first experience with this kind of equipment,’ he told MailOnline.

‘I blindly tuned in on that frequency during ISS flyby and happened to receive the signal.’

Read the article by Daily Mail Science and Technology reporter Jonathan O’Callaghan at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2939725/How-chat-astronauts-aboard-ISS-USB-dongle-antenna-lets-Polish-man-receive-images-cosmonauts.html

Radoslaw Karwacki’s original Reddit post and comments
http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/2uibm1/i_received_these_images_from_the_iss_on_145800mhz/

ISS SSTV http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/31/iss-sstv-operational/

How to receive ISS SSTV http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/29/iss-sstv-this-weekend/

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Iran’s Fajr Satellite Uses Amateur Radio Bands

The Safir launcher carrying Iran's Fajr satellite February 2, 2015

The Safir launcher carrying Iran’s Fajr satellite February 2, 2015

Nico Janssen PA0DLO reports that the Iranian Fajr satellite has an amateur radio band downlink on 437.538 MHz. UPDATE from Gunters Space page: On February 26 Fajr re-entered Earth’s atmosphere after 23.8 days in orbit apparently without using the cold-gas thruster.

Iranian Fajr satellite launched Feb 2, 2015 - thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace

Iranian Fajr satellite launched Feb 2, 2015 – thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) Nico says that it carries a camera for Earth observations and should have a telemetry downlink on 437.538 MHz and a command uplink in the 144-146 MHz amateur radio band.

The Iranian satellite Fajr or ‘Dawn’ was launched on February 2, 2015 at 0850 UT from the Imam Khomeini Space Center which is south of Semnan in the northern part of the Dasht-e-Kavir desert.

The 52 kg satellite was carried on a Safir launcher into an initial orbit of 223 km by 470 km with an inclination of 55.5° and has been given an object ID of 2015-006A 40387. It is Iran’s fourth satellite and its first successful orbital launch since Feb 2012. Fajr has propulsion in the form of a cold gas thruster which can be used to circularize the orbit at around 470 km which may give it a lifetime of over a year.

Fajr real-time tracking map and predictions http://n2yo.com/?s=40387

UHF satellite frequency list http://www.satellitenwelt.de/freqlisten/SatFreq-UHF.txt

AMSAT Bulletin Board http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

Fajr has cold gas thrusters - thanks to Tal Inbar for posting image

Fajr has cold gas thrusters – thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace for posting this image

UWE-3: Preliminary continuation of operations

UWE-3 LogoSince the temporary end of UWE-3 operations two months ago we received great support from the HAM community all over the world observing the health state of our satellite. For this reason and this reason alone we can say today UWE-3 is still experiencing a very good health state with fully charge batteries in a safe temperature area.

Now, UWE-3 will be temporary operated during the next days and weeks, which will presumably also involve, at times, temporary changes of frequency between 437.385000 MHz and 436.395200 MHz.

We would especially appreciate the support of the HAM community during this period and we would like to thank you very much for your helpful support!

Yours sincerely,

UWE-3 Team

UWE-3 was launched with FUNcube-1 on November 21, 2013. Latest UWE-3 News at
http://www7.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/forschung/space_exploration/projects/uwe_3/uwe_3_news/

ISS SSTV Operational

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Michał Zawada SQ5KTM at 2100 UT on January 31, 2015

ISS SSTV image 12/12 received by Michał Zawada SQ5KTM at 2055 UT on January 31, 2015

The Russian ARISS team on the International Space Station started the Slow Scan TV (SSTV) experiment, using the call sign RS0ISS, on 145.800 MHz FM at 1000 UT on Saturday, January 31.

ISS SSTV image 5/12 received by Murray Hely ZL3MH January 31, 2015

ISS SSTV image 5/12 received by Murray Hely ZL3MH January 31, 2015

Initially there was an issue with the transmissions, Paulo PV8DX in Brazil reported that the 1030 UT pass had a strong carrier but no there was no SSTV audio. As expected there was the 3 min transmission gap between what should have been SSTV transmissions.

The issue was resolved late afternoon and radio amateurs around the world were able to receive the SSTV pictures.

In New Zealand Murray Hely ZL3MH received several good pictures. He used a J Pole antenna with a masthead pre-Amp and a 1970’s FDK Multi 2000 transceiver. Murray has two computers one running the Instant Trak software and the other MMSSTV.

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

ISS SSTV image 1/12 received by Murray Hely ZL3MH January 31, 2015

The transmissions are expected to continue until 2130 UT on Sunday, February 1.

See pictures that have been received and upload your images at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

ISS Fan Club for current status
http://issfanclub.com/

Links for free SSTV software and tracking information at
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/29/iss-sstv-this-weekend/

ISS SSTV image 8/12 received by Raul LU5AG at 1120 UT on February 1, 2015

ISS SSTV image 8/12 received by Raul LU5AG at 1120 UT on February 1, 2015

Raul LU5AG reports: This morning [Feb 1] during the ISS 1120 UT pass over Buenos Aires, Argentina, this interesting image was received.

During the pass, and together with the SSTV audio, a soft, treble lacking female voice, was heard from time to time repeating a cyclic voice message I cannot understand, perhaps in Russian.

This audio was low, several dB below the SSTV audio. This voice message has some minor impact in the image quality that can be seen below the “RS0ISS” letters and about middle of the picture.

ISS SSTV image 11 received by Sally Dixon G7UCL at 2045 UT Jan 31, 2015 using tri-band omni antenna with FT-897

ISS SSTV image 11 received by Sally Dixon G7UCL at 2045 UT Jan 31, 2015 using tri-band omni antenna with FT-897