Goodbye HAMSAT-VO52 – Rest In Peace

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

AMSAT-India’s satellite VO-52, launched on May 5, 2005, ceased operation on July 11, 2014. For over 9 years it proved to be a valuable communications resource for the amateur radio community.

Mani VU2WMY posted the sad news:

Dear Friends,

With heavy heart, I sadly convey, that our little angel ‘HAMSAT VO-52’ would no more be able to offer her services to the ‘Amateur Radio Fraternity. HAMSAT VO-52 succumbed in Space on 11th July 2014, while she was on her 49,675th orbit, due to the failure of on-board lithium ion batteries that have met their end of life.

Although her desires were to be at work with other systems and sub-systems working normal as per the latest telemetry received, the on-board computer recurring to ‘Reset’ mode due to the failure of batteries is preventing her to do so.  Hence, it is decided not to expect any more meaningful and reliable services from HAMSAT VO-52.

Since 11th July, every best possible effort has been put in by the spacecraft controllers here in ISTRAC Bangalore to revive her back to life and to help her with work load, so she won’t be swamped when she returns, but with no luck.  Though it is hard, the HAMSAT VO-52 designers and controllers insist that the time has come to let the little angel free in space to go drifting on her own from their care and custody.

Thus, today 21st July 2014, ISRO have decommissioned ‘HAMSAT-VO52′ officially.

We all here in ISRO do definitely hope that ‘HAMSAT VO-52’ worked tirelessly and was a good friend to the ‘Amateur Radio Fraternity’ around the World. We are sure that HAMSAT was loved by all who worked through her. Though, we are deeply saddened by the loss of HAMSAT VO-52, but she will never be forgotten and far from our hearts, minds and memories.

HAMSAT VO-52 will always be remembered by all of us here in ISRO as one of the greatest satellites of ours.

Dear ‘HAMSAT’, looking at the sky, we all say ‘Good Bye’ to you. You’ll be greatly missed. Rest in Peace.

Nevertheless, at this point of time, on behalf of the World Amateur Radio Fraternity, we thank each and everyone who contributed to the great success of ‘HAMSAT’.

Particularly, our sincere thanks to the Chairman ISRO, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, past chairmen Dr. Kasthurirangan, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Director-ISAC Dr. S.K.Shiva Kumar, past ISAC Directors Dr. P.S. Goel, Dr. Shankara, Dr. T.K. Alex, Director-ISTRAC Shri. B.S. Chandrasekhar, scientific secretary Dr. Koteshwar Rao, Project Director-Shri. J.P. Gupta, Deputy project Directors, Mission Director-Shri. R.Suresh, Operations Director-Shri. Parimalarangan and each and every person directly or in-directly contributed.

At this point of time, we also thank AMSAT-India and in particular, lateShri. Nagesh Upadhyaya-VU2NUD,  Shri. B.S. Gajendra Kumar-VU2BGS, Shri. Prathap Kumar-VU2POP, Air Commodore. Subramanian-VU2UV, Shri.  V.P. Sandlas-VU2VP, Dr.R. Ramesh-VU2RMS, Shri. Nitin-VU3TYG, Mr. Williams Leijenaar PE1RAH and each and every member.

Pasted below is the message from Mr. R. Suresh, Mission Director:

HAMSAT, the first small satellite by ISRO has been Decommissioned after nearly a decade of service to the World Ham community.

A true masterpiece among small satellites, designed for one year mission life, but exceeded all expectations by serving for almost 10 years. A truly autonomous satellite, with “Zero maintenance“ in terms of Mission operations, it provided a springboard to test many new concepts such as BMU. LI-ion based power system, automatic Spin rate control and Auto SAOC for maintaining the Satellite attitude without any ground commanding.

HAMSAT known as “OSCAR-52” among the Amateur HAM operators has been very popular because of its high sensitivity receiver and strong transmitter. Indian Radio Amateurs on many occasions conveyed to us that they have been greatly honored to share the adulations showered on ISRO and INDIA by the International Radio Amateur for gifting this wonderful satellite “HAMSAT”.

I take this opportunity to applaud the HAMSAT teams at ISAC, ISTRAC and other centre for their efforts and  support, which has made ISRO proud among the HAM users across the globe.

R,SURESH
MISSION DIRECTOR
HAMSAT

—-
Mani [VU2WMY/KJ6LRS]
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre

Book Now for International Space Colloquium and CubeSat Workshop

AMSAT-UK Logo

AMSAT-UK Logo

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held this weekend of July 26-27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, UK. The event is open to all, admittance is £10 per day, this can be paid on the door or you can register in advance.

There will be a beginners satellite session run by Carlos Eavis G0AKI on Friday afternoon at 3:30pm.

Details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

If you plan to be a day visitor but wish to attend the Gala Meal on the Saturday evening you can book it at http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_10/Colloquium-2014-Fri-25-July-to-Sun-27-July.html (Please note that we need to give the hotel 48 hours notice for the dinner, so booking will close on Wed)

The BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Workshop takes place at the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford (1 km from the Holiday Inn) on Friday, July 25. The day will include ad-hoc tours to SSC’s cleanroom, ground–station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities.

You must register in advance to attend the BYOB CubeSat Workshop. Information on Free registration is at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/15/byob-cubesat-day-july-25-free-registration/

Fox-1C CubeSat to Fly on SHERPA

SHERPA in Orbit - Credit Spaceflight Inc

SHERPA in Orbit – Credit Spaceflight Inc

AMSAT is excited to announce a launch opportunity for the Fox-1C CubeSat. AMSAT has teamed with Spaceflight Inc. for integration and launch utilizing Spaceflight’s SHERPA system to a sun-synchronous orbit in the third quarter of 2015.

AMSAT FOXFox-1C is the third of four Fox-1 series satellites under development, with Fox-1A and RadFXsat/Fox-1B launching through the NASA ELANA program. Fox-1C will carry an FM repeater system for amateur radio use by radio hams and listeners worldwide. Further details on the satellite and launch will be made available as soon as released.

AMSAT has an immediate need to raise funds to cover both the launch contract and additional materials for construction and testing for Fox-1C. We have set a fundraising goal of $125,000 to cover these expenses over the next 12 months, and allow us to continue to keep amateur radio in space.

Donations may be made through the AMSAT webpage at www.amsat.org, by calling (888) 322-6728 or by mail to the AMSAT office at 10605 Concord Street, Kensington, MD 20895, USA. Please consider a recurring, club, or corporate donation to maximize our chance of success with this mission. Also watch our website at www.amsat.org, follow us on Twitter at “AMSAT“, or on Facebook as “The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation” for continuing news and opportunities for support. AMSAT is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and donations may be tax-deductible.

Please donate now to fund launch and construction costs for the next Fox satellite!

Source: AMSAT-NA https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Radio-Amateur-Satellite-Corporation-AMSAT/328833500472670

SHERPA to deploy CubeSats in LEO or GTO
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/16/sherpa-to-deploy-cubesats-in-leo-or-gto/

Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA will be giving a presentation on the Fox CubeSats to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium which is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

UAE Plan Mars Mission

Late Spring on Mars

Late Spring on Mars – Credit NASA

The Emirates News agency WAM reports the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) has entered the space race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab world’s first mission to another planet. A new U.A.E. Space Agency will be created to coordinate the U.A.E.’s growing space technology sector and to supervise the mission.

The press release says:

The U.A.E. is one of only nine countries with space programmes to explore the Red Planet. The Mars probe’s nine-month and more than 60 million kilometre journey will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the U.A.E.’s formation.

“The U.A.E. Mars probe represents the Islamic world’s entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity,” U.A.E. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, and added, “The U.A.E.’s purpose is to build Emirati technical and intellectual capabilities in the fields of aerospace and space exploration and to enter the space industry and to make use of space technology in a way that enhances the country’s development plans.” Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, “Despite all the tensions and the conflicts across the Middle East, we have proved today how positive a contribution the Arab people can make to humanity through great achievements, given the right circumstances and ingredients. Our region is a region of civilisation. Our destiny is, once again, to explore, to create, to build and to civilise.

“We chose the epic challenge of reaching Mars because epic challenges inspire us and motivate us. The moment we stop taking on such challenges is the moment we stop moving forward,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added.

The mission will be led by Emiratis and so will expand the nation’s human capital through knowledge transfer from international partners, as well as increasing human knowledge about space exploration and distant planets.

The Red Planet project would be a turning point in the U.A.E.’s development, establishing the space technology sector as a key component of the national economy for years to come.

U.A.E. investments in space technologies already exceed AED20 billion, including satellite data and TV broadcast company, Al Yah Satellite Communications, mobile satellite communication company, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications and Earth mapping and observation system, Dubai Sat.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the U.A.E. Space Agency would be responsible for supervising and organising all such activities, developing the sector, ensuring knowledge transfer, enhancing the U.A.E.’s position as a global player in aerospace, and maximising the contribution of space industries to the national economy. The agency will report to the Cabinet and enjoy financial and administrative independence.

Globally, space technologies are becoming increasingly important to the security and economy of nations, in many cases backed by massive national programmes and establishments. The sector is integral to many aspects of life from telecommunications and navigation to broadcasting and monitoring of weather and natural disasters.

The industry is estimated to be worth around $300 globally and growing by around 8% annually.

“We aim for the U.A.E. to be among the top countries in the field of aerospace by 2021. We have a great belief in Allah and in the talents of our young people. We have the strongest determination, the greatest ambitions, and a clear plan to reach our targets,” President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

Source http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395267799875.html
https://www.facebook.com/wam.arabic
https://twitter.com/wamnews

Microwave and VHF/UHF equipment available at Colloquium

V2 PCB assembled

On Sunday, July 27, Sam Jewell G4DDK and Dave Powis G4HUP will be attending the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford to display and sell their range of Microwave/UHF/VHF kits and other equipment.

An assembled LNA Kit

An assembled LNA Kit

The stand will feature the popular Low Noise preamplifier (LNA) kits for 70cm, 23cm, 21cm (1420 MHz Hydrogen Line for Radio Astronomy), 13cm, 12cm and 9cm as well as PCB Microwave antennas, FETs, Amplifier PCBs and MMICs.

The highly regarded Anglian 2m transverter kits will also be available. This is a high performance 28 to 144 MHz transverter module featuring a ready-assembled PCB so that the amount of SMD soldering is minimised. The award winning Nacton 4m amateur band transverter module should also be there.

PCB Log Periodic Antenna

PCB Log Periodic Antenna

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

G4DDK Products http://www.g4ddk.com/

G4HUP Products http://g4hup.com/Products.htm

July/August SatMagazine Available for Download

SatMagazine July-August 2014 coverThe July/August 2014 issue of the free professional publication SatMagazine features TechDemoSat, UKube-1 with FUNcube-2 boards, DX-1 and the publication OSCAR News produced quarterly by AMSAT-UK.

OSCAR News is edited by Jim Heck G3WGM and Graham Shirville G3VZV. On page 28 SatMagazine says:

AMSAT-UK is an information service that offers a first class magazine in OSCAR News (free to members at least every three months), and provides technical data and advice on all aspects of amateur satellite communications. Orbital data and general assistance to all radio amateurs wishing to enter this specialized part of the hobby is still available at minimal cost. For further information regarding AMSAT UK, please visit http://amsat-uk.org/

Download the July/August 2014 SatMagazine from
http://www.satmagazine.com/2014/SM_JulAug_2014.pdf

A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.

Join AMSAT-UK – Electronic Membership is available at
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

SHERPA to deploy CubeSats in LEO or GTO

SHERPA in Orbit - Credit Spaceflight Inc

SHERPA in Orbit – Credit Spaceflight Inc

ISIS‬ have been selected by SpaceFlight Inc. to provide QuadPack nanosatellite dispensers for the 2015 SHERPA launch. They will provide the capacity to deploy 84 3U CubeSats. Future SHERPA launches aim to go to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

ISIS QuadPack Deployer - Credit ISIS

ISIS QuadPack Deployer – Credit ISIS

Following next year’s launch, Spaceflight are planning two launches each year, one to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and the other to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). A GTO is a highly elliptical orbit which may have an apogee of 35,786 km and a perigee around 300 km.

Seattle Astronomy report SHERPA is capable of carrying up to 1,500 kilograms total although the first mission, set for the third quarter of 2015, will only be 1,200 kilograms.

The first SHERPA will not have its own propulsion system, but future models should, enabling even greater maneuverability and precision in delivering satellites to their intended destinations.

Read the ISIS press release at
http://www.isispace.nl/cms/index.php/news/press-releases/138-isis-selected-by-spaceflight-inc-to-provide-quadpack-nanosatellite-dispensers-for-2015-sherpa-launch

Seattle Astronomy – First SHERPA launch from Spaceflight, Inc. set for next year
http://www.seattleastronomy.com/blog1/2014/05/first-sherpa-launch-from-spaceflight-inc-set-for-next-year/

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Wirral Grammar School for Girls to launch 434 MHz Balloon

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

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

Pupils at Wirral Grammar School for Girls are planning to launch a High Altitude Balloon equipped with 434 MHz telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmitters.

The launch is planned for Wednesday, July 16 at around 11:00 BST from Middletown Hill near Welshpool, weather permitting. The balloon will be a 1200g Hwoyee with Helium and the transmitter details are:

Callsign: WG3
Frequency: 434.300 MHz
Mode: RTTY 50,7n2 470 Hz shift

Callsign: WG3TV
Frequency: 434.350 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300,8n2 610 Hz shift SSDV + telemetry

The balloon will carry a Raspberry Pi A with RFM22B based daughterboard. The radio coverage area could extend up to a radius of 700 km which would make it receivable throughout the British Isles.

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

Listen to Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day July 25 – Free Registration

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / 2E0OBC and STRaND-1

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / 2E0OBC and STRaND-1

The free BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day takes place in the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford on Friday, July 25. The day will include ad-hoc tours to SSC’s cleanroom, ground–station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities.

Following on from the success of our 2013 event, Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and AMSAT-UK invite CubeSat developers to bring their equipment to a ‘Bring Your Own Board’ (BYOB) workshop. The aims are to demonstrate your latest CubeSat developments, to foster new partnerships and links within the UK and EU community, and encouraging more interaction with AMSAT-UK and the International Space Colloquium (July 26-27 more info at: http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/).

The workshop is free to register. Opening times are from 9 AM to 4 PM, after which there will be an Amateur Satellite Beginners Session.

You will be able to see real satellite hardware from Clyde Space, ISIS, Satellite Applications Catapult, AMSAT-UK and the Open University.

Registration details at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/news/events/ssc_and_ee/2014_byob_cubesat_workshop.htm

MEO and HEO satellite orbits

Orbits - Illustration by B. Jones, P. Fuqua, J. Barrie, The Aerospace Corporation

Orbits – Illustration by B. Jones, P. Fuqua, J. Barrie, The Aerospace Corporation

David Bowman G0MRF describes the coverage area that might be provided by an amateur radio Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite (MEOSAT). He suggests there is a region of space that would be optimum for such satellites.

The Van Allen radiation belts are separated into two layers. The lower layer is comprised of high energy protons between 600 and 6000km. The second belt is essentially electrons and that occupies altitudes above 12,000km.  So a MEOSAT could avoid damaging radiation by orbiting in the “safe zone” between 7,000 and 11,000 km.

Read David’s MEO article at http://g0mrf.com/MEOSAT.htm

Watch the MEO satellites presentation given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2009
Video made by the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) Slides here

Elliptical Satellite Orbits

The paper Revisiting elliptical satellite orbits to enhance the O3b constellation by Lloyd Wood, Yuxuan Lou and Opeoluwa Olusola of the University of Surrey is now available for download.

Orbital altitudes of satellite systems

Orbital altitudes of satellite systems

Early low-orbiting satellites were launched into Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO) as a result of not having much control over trajectory. Circular orbits with minimal eccentricity offer consistent altitudes, with the benefits of consistent free space losses and link budgets throughout the orbit, and soon became the norm. Highly elliptical orbits fell from favor for communications use.

Highly elliptical orbits can be used to provide targeted satellite coverage of locations at high latitudes. We review the history of use of these orbits for communication. How elliptical orbits can be used for broadband communication is outlined. We propose an addition of known elliptical orbits to the new equatorial O3b satellite constellation, extending O3b to cover high latitudes and the Earth’s poles. We simulate the O3b constellation and compare this to recent measurement of the first real Internet traffic across the newly deployed O3b network.

Download the paper from http://arxiv.org/pdf/1407.2521v1 Source page http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.2521

Orbit Perturbation Analysis

The orbits of satellites at altitudes above 2500 km can decay faster than might at first be expected. The Dash-2 satellite was a 1 kg 2.5 meter diameter balloon launched on July 19, 1963 with the West Ford Needles. The 3500 km orbit, originally circular, increased in eccentricity rapidly under the action of solar radiation pressure. Dash 2 reentered the Earth’s atmosphere less than 8 years later on April 12, 1971.

Read the paper Atmospheric Density Variations at 1500-4000 km Height Determined from Long Term Orbit Perturbation Analysis by Bruce R. Bowman
http://sol.spacenvironment.net/~JB2008/pubs/JB2006_AAS_2001_132.pdf

Medium Earth Orbiting satellites by David Bowman G0MRF http://g0mrf.com/MEOSAT.htm

MEO slides from the presentation given by David Bowman G0MRFDownload PDF Here

Earth’s Safe Zone http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/safe_zone.html

Amateur Radio CubeSat to HEO ? by Brent Salmi KB1LQD
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/09/02/amateur-radio-cubesat-to-heo/

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/