Ofcom WRC-15 Consultation Responses

Logo WRC RA 2015The RSGB report responses to the Ofcom consultation on WRC-15 prepared by the Society and affiliated groups including AMSAT-UK are now available in the WRC-15 Special Focus section.

In addition to supporting Agenda Item 1.4 for a 5MHz allocation, the detailed responses cover amateur radio interests across several VHF and Microwave allocations. This includes amateur bands affected by other agenda items, ITU procedures for nano- and pico-satellites, and preferences for future agenda items that may be proposed for WRC-18

WRC-15 Special Focus section

For background see the parent RSGB WRC-15 page

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 1

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 1


The Qatar Amateur Radio Society released a leaflet about the geostationary amateur radio transponders at the IARU Region 1 Conference taking place September 20-27, 2014 in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria. The frequencies quoted are:

Amateur satellite service spectrum used by cell-phone masts in the UK

Amateur satellite service spectrum used by cell-phone masts in the UK

Linear transponder
2400.050-2400.300 MHz Uplink
10489.550-10489.800 MHz Downlink

Wideband digital transponder
2401.5-2409.5 MHz Uplink
10491.0-10499.0 MHz Downlink

In the UK the 10475-10500 MHz section of the Amateur Satellite Service allocation was auctioned by Ofcom for nationwide cell-phone backhaul links. The winner of the auction was T-Mobile(UK) now part of the phone company EE. The use of this segment of the band by cell-phone masts may cause problems to UK amateurs wishing to receive the transponders. See this spreadsheet of spectral masks for the 10 GHz links.

Gunter Krebs reports on his Space Pages that Es’hailSat has signed a contract with MELCO to build the Es’hail-2 Geostationary Comsat. Es’hail 2 is a planned communication satellite operated by Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company. It will also feature an radio amateur payload.

The new satellite will be positioned at the 26° East hotspot position for TV broadcasting and significantly adds to the company’s ability to provide high quality, premium DTH television content across the Middle East and North Africa. It will feature Ku-band and Ka-band transponders to provide TV distribution and government services to strategic stakeholders and commercial customers who value broadcasting and communications independence,interference resilience, quality of service and wide geographical coverage. Es’hail 2 is expected to be launched at the end of 2016.

In September 2014, a contract with MELCO was signed to build the satellite based on the DS-2000 bus.

Es’hail 2 will also provide the first Amateur Radio geostationary communication capability linking Brazil and India. It will carry two “Phase 4″ Amateur Radio transponders. The payload will consist of a 250 kHz linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations in addition to another transponder which will have an 8 MHz bandwidth. The latter transponder is intended for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. The uplinks will be in the 2.400-2.450 GHz and the downlinks in the 10.450-10.500 GHz amateur satellite service allocations. Both transponders will have broad beam antennas to provide full coverage over about third of the earth’s surface. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating on the amateur radio project. AMSAT-DL is providing technical support to the project.

Gunters Space Page http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_chr/lau2014.htm

2006 Ofcom auction of upper segment of 10 GHz Amateur Satellite Service spectrum

10 GHz Cell-Phone Links Spectral Mask http://tinyurl.com/10GHz-Cell-Phone-Mask

IARU Region 1 Conference link http://iaru.lz-live.com/

RSGB WRC-15 page http://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-15/

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 2

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 2


Essex ISS contact on Echolink and IRLP

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

The POSTPONEMENT of this contact was announced on September 21 at 19:55


Due to the one day delay of the Space X launch, berthing day now falls on Tuesday and has resulted in the cancellation of the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, United Kingdom

73, John – AG9D

Please join us in listening to the International Space Station (ISS) contact with participants at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island, Essex, United Kingdom and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, September 23. The students will be talking to astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the ISS who will be using the callsign NA1SS. Acquisition Of Signal (AOS) is anticipated at 1137 BST (1037 UT).

The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK7KHZ in Australia. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Audio from this contact will be fed into the:

EchoLink *AMSAT*  Node 101377 and IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector

Streaming Audio on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/arissaudio/

Audio on Echolink and web stream is generally transmitted around 20 minutes prior to the contact taking place so that you can hear some of the preparation that occurs. IRLP will begin just prior to the ground station call to the ISS.

Please note that on Echolink due to server issues the usual automatic breaks will be done manually. Computer based listeners should after opening Echolink click on tools – setup – timing set receive time limit and inactivity timeout to 0, this should keep you from disconnecting. Echolink introduction guide

* Contact times are approximate. If the ISS executes a reboost or other manoeuvre, the AOS (Acquisition Of Signal) time may alter by a few minutes

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio Distribution

Echolink Introduction available on the web

Echolink Status http://www.echolink.org/

MB7IDA Chelmsford, Essex, Echolink Node 265297
Frequency 145.3375 MHz, Channel V27
Access CTCSS Tone-H 110.9Hz

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles E. McGee at AMSAT Symposium

Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles E McGee

Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles E McGee

The AMSAT symposium committee has confirmed that one of the original Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles E. McGee, will be attending the conference on Friday, October 10. Col. McGee will give a special presentation at our symposium on his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman and as an Army Air Corps and Air Force Pilot. A short question and answer period will follow.

Born on December 7, 1919, McGee rose to the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts and, shortly after WWII broke out, joined the Army. He became a pilot in what was dubbed the Tuskegee Experiment, the first squadron of African American pilots, also known as the “Red Tails” from their red markings on the tails of their aircraft. Col McGee and his Tuskegee colleagues fought two wars—World War II and the war on segregation. This required them to develop an unprecedented level of discipline, excellence and fortitude to achieve success.

In World War II McGee flew numerous aircraft, including the famous P-51 Mustang as part of the 332 Fighter Group, one of three groups designated as the “Red Tails.” He provided fighter escort for the B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Germany, Austrian and the Balkans. He holds a US AirForce record of 409 fighter combat missions flown in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Col. McGee received numerous awards for his service, including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with 25 oak leaf clusters, amongst others. In 2007 Col McGee and the surviving Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush.

Col. McGee’s presentations are an inspiration to all. He demonstrates, through his life lessons, the need to persevere despite all obstacles and to do your best in all endeavors. Do not miss out on this opportunity to meet this remarkable living legend.

AMSAT Symposium http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1555

Col. Charles E. McGee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_McGee_%28pilot%29

Tuskegee Airmen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Airmen

A number of Tuskegee Airmen also held amateur radio licenses. Among them was George Mitchell, K6ZE, an OMIK Amateur Radio Association member, who passed away September 4, 2014 http://www.arrl.org/news/tuskegee-airman-and-congressional-gold-medal-recipient-george-mitchell-k6ze-sk

HamRadioNow – OMIK with Jeff Drew N4JDU

Connecting across cultural lines with Ham Radio

OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc. http://www.omikradio.org/

IARU R1 Release VHF/UHF/Microwave Handbook

IARU_Region_1_logoIARU Region 1 have released edition 6.14 of the free VHF Managers Handbook covering the VHF, UHF and Microwave amateur radio bands.

The handbook has chapters on Band Planning, Contests, Propagation Research, Operating Procedures and Satellites. On page 122 it even specifies a standard for the use of circular polarization defining which way helical beam antennas should be threaded.

Download the handbook – http://tinyurl.com/IARU-VHF-Handbook-6-14

SpaceX to launch SpinSat

SpinSat - Credit Naval Research Laboratory

SpinSat – Credit Naval Research Laboratory

On Sunday, September 21 at 0522 UT SpaceX plan to launch a Falcon 9 from Florida carrying the satellite SpinSat with its amateur radio payload to the International Space Station (ISS). UPDATE: Report on the successful launch at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/013/140921launch/

On arrival at the ISS it will be put into storage until deployment, later in the Fall, from the airlock of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

Developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) SpinSat is a 56 cm sphere weighing 57 kg that has 12 Electronically-controlled Solid Propellant (ESP) thrusters spread in pairs throughout the surface of the satellite. They will be fired in pairs to spin the spacecraft. With just primary batteries and only 4.8 grams of fuel this phase may last between three to six months.

The spacecraft will be used to calibrate the space surveillance network. Lasers will be fired at SpinSat from the ground, the light reflected back will be measured to determine where in time and space the satellite is passing overhead. SpinSat will also model the density of the atmosphere.

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel report that SpinSat carries a 2 watt RF output 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio store and forward system on 437.230 MHz.

Read all about SpinSat at

Falcon 9 launch status

NASA – SpinSat

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel

Postage stamp features amateur radio satellites

LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1 postage stamp

A new Lithuanian postage stamp features the amateur radio satellites LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1.

The two CubeSats were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on January 9, 2014 and deployed from the ISS on February 28. LituanicaSAT-1 carried a FM transponder and a camera while LitSat-1 had a linear (SSB/CW) transponder developed by by William Leijenaar PE1RAH.

LitSat-1 was the lighter satellite and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up on May 23, the heavier LituanicaSAT-1 remained in orbit until July 28.

Watch a presentation on LituanicaSAT-1 given by Gintautas Sulskus to the 2014 AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

LituanicaSAT-1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/26/president-tests-lituanicasat-1-fm-transponder/

LitSat-1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/litsat-1-transponder-test-successful/

Essex school contact with International Space Station

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Dave G4UVJ reports that on September 23 there will be an ARISS contact between students at Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey, Essex and astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the International Space Station (ISS).

Just confirming that our ARISS contact has been scheduled with Alexander Gerst KF5ONO, the ESA Astronaut on board the ISS for Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1037 UT which is 1137 BST.

For information, the ISS will actually be over Australia at the time and we will be making use of one of the amateur radio Australian Telebridge Ground Stations to actually make the link to the Space Station.

As you all know we have been in progress of organizing another Contact with the International Space Station as we did in 2005, this time its Winter Gardens Primary School , Canvey Island the day now been confirmed it will be the September 23, 2014 contact time is 11:37 BST. We will start 1 hour before contact time and finish 30mins after , changes may still occur if there are any emergencies on the station.

73 Dave G4UVJ

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

OSCAR News Issue 207

OSCAR News Issue 207Issue 207 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on September 11. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• Goonhilly Earth Station receives FUNcube-1 Equipment
• FUNcube-3/EO79
• FUNcube-1 demonstrated in the Faraday Lecture Theatre
• FUNcube-1 Spin Rate
• Sad News about HAMSAT VO-52
• IARU Region 1 General Conference Papers 20-27 Sep 2014
• ISS SSTV Active Again
• Report from the Region 1 Satellite Coordinator
• FUNcube-2 on UKube-1
• FUNcube-1 operations
• Active Satellites by Mile DK3WN
• AMSAT-UK accounts and AGM Minutes
• AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2014
• FUNcube-4 on ESEO

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.

ESTCube-1 Solar Sail Experiment

ESTCube-1 at press conference in Tallinn before shipping January 21, 2013 - Image credit University of Tartu

ESTCube-1 at press conference in Tallinn before shipping January 21, 2013 – Image credit University of Tartu

I’m glad to announce that after more than a year of preparations on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the team are starting to deploy the electric solar sail tether on-board ESTCube-1.

The process of burning the tether end-mass and spool locks and reeling out the first few centimeters of tether will start during the 09.06 – 09.19Z pass over Estonia.  This is a high pass and should be visible over most of the Europe.

The next good passes listed below (all in UTC) will be used to download images the telemetry logs and the images:
10.43 – 10.56
18.39 – 18.51
20.15 – 20.28

ESTCube-1 image of Estonia and its neighbours

ESTCube-1 image of Estonia and its neighbours

During the locks release process and after reeling the tether out some centimeters, images will be taken.

The other shorter passes during the day will be used to download the experiment data as quickly as possible (in Estonia, all daily passes are visible, but lowest ones are just couple of degrees above the northern horizon).

If everything is OK with the tether, additional unreeling will take place in coming days.

If you are interested in receiving ESTCube-1 during those exciting passes, the UZ7HO 9600 bps packet softmodem and an Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN can be used. But basically any 9600 bps G3RUH TNC or decoder can be used to receive ESTCube-1.

We are looking forward to receiving your reports on the address es5e AT estcube DOT eu, and we would really appreciate if you would also send received data in live, using Mike’s decoder.

With best wishes,
Tõnis Eenmäe
de ES5TF

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/estcube

ESTCube-1 Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN