Can you help identify this picture ?

Antenna used in a BBC TV showThe Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) have requested help in identifying this picture (click for full size version).

The person on the far right looks rather like the television presenter James Burke.

Could it be possibly be the BBC Tomorrows World TV show from the 1970’s ?

Do you know which programme was being filmed and what was it about ?

It certainly looks satellite related. If you have any thoughts please post them on the RSGB Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/theRSGB/photos/a.1428072244150628.1073741830.1425012191123300/1473066029651249/

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geostationary Orbit

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare as a hosted payload on a geostationary satellite planned for launch in 2017.

An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

A meeting to discuss this potential rideshare took place on April 13 at Millennium Space Systems that included Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF, co-founder of Qualcomm; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and member of the board for AMSAT-NA; Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Director and President Emeritus of AMSAT-NA; Phil Karn, KA9Q; and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV.

Hosting the meeting for MSS were Stan Dubyn as founder and chairman of MSS, Vince Deno as president of MSS, Jeff Ward, K8KA, of MSS as VP for Product Development, formerly with SSTL and University of Surrey Space Center, and Ryan Lawrence of MSS as Project Manager on the spacecraft mission. Attending by telephone were Dr. Jonathan Black, Associate Research Director of Hume Center for Aerospace Systems and Associate Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, founder of RINCON Research Corp.

Following the meeting, Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY, Director of Research at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology of Virginia Tech, and former director and former VP Engineering of AMSAT, described this as an opportunity to go forward with “AMSAT-Eagle” which, in the 2006-2008 timeframe, evolved into a microwave payload to be flown to geostationary orbit as a hosted payload. It would have provided digital communications to small terminals on the ground and a linear bent pipe transponder had it flown. This failed to go forward in part due to lack of an affordable flight opportunity.

McGwier outlined the next steps toward developing this mission:

1) To organize an effort at Virginia Tech to make a firm proposal to MSS and its US government sponsor, and organize an effort to raise sufficient funds to pay for development of the mission.

2) Enable Dr. Jonathan Black to lead the construction project at Virginia Tech in the Space@VT Center. Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO, Project Manager at the Hume Center will be the project manager.

3) Work for development of a low-cost microwave ground station for amateur radio still needs to be determined.

4) Dr. Michael Parker, KT7D, will  solicit the cooperation of the Rincon Research Corp. for development of the software radio
technology for this payload.

The AMSAT Board of Directors has accepted the invitation to participate in this potential rideshare payload opportunity. AMSAT expects to be involved in the development of the ground station and the payload RF development, and will serve as the amateur radio (hosted) payload operator once the satellite has been launched.

McGwier summarized, “The launch is currently scheduled for 2017 and the payload must be delivered for testing and integration by Spring of 2016. It is an ambitious schedule and all involved will have to gain and maintain a serious level of commitment to that which they agree to undertake.” AMSAT President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, “The AMSAT leadership is excited to fly a Phase-IV geostationary amateur satellite payload. This is an evolving development as we collaborate with the VT Hume Center with a project that provides technical challenges to create a new amateur radio capability in space that will provide a variety of benefits not only for amateurs but also for emergency communications and STEM educational outreach.”

The transponder is expected to support a wide range of voice, digital, and experimental advanced communications technologies. A decision is expected soon specifying the microwave uplink and downlink bands.

Additional information on the Aquila M8 Series Satellite can be viewed on-line:
http://www.millennium-space.com/
http://www.millennium-space.com/platforms#aquila

AMSAT has posted a photo of the GEO opportunity team with the Millennium Aquila satellite at http://www.amsat.org

[ANS thanks Bob McGwier, N4HY and AMSAT-NA for the above information]

Ofcom considers 10.475 GHz and 47 GHz bands for 5G

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe Amateur Satellite Service allocations at 10.475 GHz  and 47.0 GHz are being considered by Ofcom for 5G use .

Ofcom has published an update on spectrum bands above 6 GHz that might be suitable for next generation mobile, often referred to as ‘5G’ – the fifth generation of mobile services.

This document summarises responses from Ofcom’s earlier Call for Input in January and sets out their current views on bands and next steps. The update identifies several bands in different parts of the 6 – 100 GHz range, including 10.475-10.575 GHz and 47.000-47.200 GHz, they believe are candidates for further study for use in the UK.

Ofcom’s goal is to have globally harmonised bands for next generation mobile services and is currently engaging with other administrations around the world, ahead of these services becoming commercially available in the next five to six years.

Consideration of these bands will now be taken forward in forthcoming international discussions, including the World Radiocommunication Conference-15 (WRC-15) at which the scope of a future WRC-19 agenda item on bands above 6 GHz will be considered.

This does not guarantee these bands will be adopted in the future and Ofcom do not rule out considering other options ahead of WRC-15, pending further research and development.

Ofcom Above 6 GHz consultation page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/above-6ghz/update-apr15/

Laying the foundations for next generation mobile services: Update on bands above 6 GHz
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/5G_CFI_Update_and_Next_Steps.pdf

Quotient Associates – 5G Candidate Band Study
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/qa-report.pdf

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/21/eshail-2-ham-radio-transponders/

ACMA consults on removing 3400-3410 MHz

ACMA Logo 940x627The Australian regulator the ACMA is consulting on a number of changes to the amateur radio licence including removal of a key 3400 MHz allocation.

3400-3410 MHz is allocated to the Amateur Satellite Service in ITU Regions 2 and 3. It  is used by amateurs in many countries around the world for weak signal communications including moon bounce (EME).

The ACMA consultation closes on April 24.

The WIA announcement is at http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2015/20150314-2/

Consultation documents
http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/remaking-amateur-lcd-and-overseas-visiting-amateurs-class-licence

UK Microwave Group 3400 MHz page http://www.microwavers.org/3400mhz.htm

Satellite operation from Isle of Mull

Camb-Hams operating from the Isle of Mull in 2012

Camb-Hams operating from the Isle of Mull in 2012

Ten members of the Camb-Hams are returning to Grasspoint IO76EJ on Mull (IOTA EU-008) from May 15-21, 2015 as GS3PYE/P.

They will be QRV with multiple stations on HF on 3.5-28MHz SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK with dipoles and verticals and up to 400W if necessary.

VHF activity will be on 50MHz, 70MHz and 144MHz, all bands QRO with sizeable antennas.

VHF will be mainly QRV using JT6m or ISCAT on 50MHz, FSK441 on 70MHz and FSK441 and JT65b (for EME) on 144MHz, but SSB and CW is also possible, especially in any sporadic E propagation openings. Other modes by agreement.

Hilltop satellite operation from Mull in 2012 with Peter 2E0SQL and Robert M0VFC - Image Credit Lawrence M0LCM

Hilltop satellite operation from Mull in 2012 with Peter 2E0SQL and Robert M0VFC – Image Credit Lawrence M0LCM

Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use an Icom IC-910 and X-Quad antennas mounted on a fully automatic AZ/EL tracking system. If internet connectivity allows, the VHF operators will monitor ON4KST Chat for terrestrial activity and N0UK JT65 chat for EME. You can submit your VHF sked requests online here: http://tiny.cc/gs3pyesked

The team will be QRV in the 80m CW CC event on the 21st and in the 144MHz contest on the 16th and 17th. They may do very short side trips to Iona and the Treshnish Islands and will announce these nearer the time on the website.

Please QSL only via OQRS on ClubLog for direct or bureau cards. Do not send any cards direct or via the bureau.

For the latest info see
http://dx.camb-hams.com/
http://twitter.com/g3pye
http://facebook.com/CambHams
http://youtube.com/CambHams

OSCAR News Issue 209

OSCAR News 209 front coverIssue 209 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on March 17, 2015. E-members can download it here.

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

In this issue:
• 4M: A Moon Mission
• FUNcube-1/AO-73 Report
• Work FM Satellites with your HT!
• Controlled Impedance “Cheap” Antennas
• Prototype L/V transponder tested for ESEO mission
• Operation of the FUNcube-1 transponder — First European 73-on-73 award
• QB50P1/EO79 – FUNcube-3 Update
• 29 MHz Uplinks: A New Alternative
• ITU Symposium & Workshop on small satellite regulation and communication systems – Prague March 2015
• Fox-1 “In the Bag” (Updated)
• Debris opinion spotted in the internet
• The AlSat-Nano Project

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:
UK
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

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

UK CanSat 2015 Winner Announced

St Paul's Team Impulse - UK CanSat 2015 Winners - Image Credit ESERO-UK

St Paul’s Team Impulse – UK CanSat 2015 Winners – Image Credit ESERO-UK

ESERO-UK, the UK space education office, based in York, has announced the winner of the UK round of the International CanSat competition .

A CanSat is a student built simulated satellite with all the major subsystems including radio communications on 433/434 MHz and power fitting into a 350 ml soda can.

ESERO-UK organises the annual UK CanSat Competition for teams of secondary school students.

Winner of the Beginners’s category was the CANnoneers, from Tonbridge School in Kent. Runners up include: Spiritus, Putney High School, London; #getjezsrockettospace, from Allestree Woodlands School, Derby; Benenden CANSAT Avengers, from Benenden; Kent and Colossus, from St. Paul’s School, London.

“I highly recommend this wonderful opportunity to anyone who has the chance. Jump on it as it’s a unique opportunity to gain a lot of experience in a unique learning environment and will give a good amount of experience for anyone even considering a career in engineering! I enjoyed the experience and I’m sure the rest of my team did too.” Walter Tso, Outreach Manager and Electronics Assistant, CANnoneers.

Team Impulse, from St Paul’s School in London won the Advanced category of the competition. Runners up include: OSSO , from Oundle School, Northamptonshire; Heathrow Aeronautical Engineers, from Heathrow UTC, Greater London.

Team Impulse, from St Paul’s School in London, were announced overall winners of the 2015 CanSat competition and will go on to compete at the European CanSat Competition in Portugal.

“We are thrilled to be continuing the great British tradition of innovative engineering and are delighted to be representing St Paul’s and the UK at the CanSat final in Portugal.” Team Impulse, St Paul’s School.

Tom Lyons, ESERO Teacher Fellow said: “This year’s completion was a great success with all teams launching and recording data with their CanSats. We’re now looking forward to the 2016 competition and hoping to attract even more teams to get involved.”

Source ESERO-UK http://www.esero.org.uk/news/winner-of-uk-cansat-2015-announced

UK 434 MHz CanSat Competition http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/13/434-mhz-cansat-competition/

Team Impulse St Paul’s School on Twitter https://twitter.com/TeamImpulseSPS

Young ham’s first contact is via OSCAR satellite

8-year-old radio amateur Hope Lea KM4IPF made her first contact just 45 minutes after her callsign appeared in the FCC database. The contact with Arthur K4YYL, via the FO-29 satellite, took place on March 11, 2015 at 2100 UT.

Her elder sister Faith WA4BBC and brother Zechariah WX4TVJ got to work K4YYL as well. They had both gained their US Technician licenses (equiv UK Foundation) in February and upgraded to the US General (equiv UK Intermediate) a couple of weeks later.

Hope’s younger sister is studying for her licence.

Watch KM4IPF Makes her FIRST amateur radio QSO!

FO-29 information http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/two-way-comms-satellites/fuji-oscar-29-jas-2/

John Heath G7HIA describes how to work FO-29 in this article http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/radcom-getting-started-on-satellites/

UK 434 MHz CanSat Competition

CanSat in Flight - Credit Ryan Laird

CanSat in flight – Credit Ryan Laird

On Friday, March 13 eight school teams from across the UK competed in the National CanSat Competition held at the National STEM Centre in York.

CanSat 434 MHz Tracking Antenna - Credit Ryan Laird

CanSat 434 MHz Tracking Antenna – Credit Ryan Laird

The CREST Gold Award accredited competition, now in its second year, involves students building a miniature simulation satellite, known as a CanSat, and launching it from 300 metres above an airfield.

The students had to build their own space experiments, fitting all the major subsystems including radio communications on 433/434 MHz and power into a 350 ml soda can.

They needed to write code to measure temperature, pressure and other chosen parameters on its journey parachuting to the ground. The winners of the competition will go on to the European finals, held in Portugal, in June.

Around 50 students and their teachers took part.

The pictures were taken by the Vice Chair of UKSEDS Ryan Laird @rjmlaird who attended the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in 2007.

UK CanSat http://www.esero.org.uk/cansat

CanSat Electronics - Credit Ryan Laird

CanSat Electronics – Credit Ryan Laird

Listen to FUNcube-1 during Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse - March 20, 2015

Solar Eclipse – March 20, 2015

There will be a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 which tracks across the North Atlantic and eventually covers a lot of the Arctic.

Path of Solar Eclipse  March 20 2015

Path of Solar Eclipse March 20, 2015

It would seem that this will affect most spacecraft that are in a polar orbit to some extent as, at that sort of time, they would expect to be in sunlight at the time and location.

On FUNcube-1 (AO-73) we have a good power budget which means that we should be able to maintain our normal autonomous operation schedule for the day but, of course, if the spacecraft does go fully into darkness it should switch autonomously to transponder and low power telemetry.

It will be interesting to see what actually happens and we hope that as many listeners as possible will upload the data they receive between 0740 and 1150 UT on that morning. Our Whole Orbit Data will show the solar currents, battery voltage and external temps clearly during this period so we should get a clear understanding of the effects on board.

If anyone has some software that can model the satellite’s track and the expected impact of the solar eclipse it would be great to hear about it!

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) Telemetry:
• Dashboard App http://funcube.org.uk/working-documents/funcube-telemetry-dashboard/
• Data Warehouse Archive http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/
• Whole orbit data will show the effect http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html?satelliteId=2

This website has a good animation of the eclipse
http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2015-march-20

Information on the Solar Eclipse from Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society member Peter Meadows M0ZBU http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2015/march/partial_solar_eclipse_march_20.htm

Essex Partial Solar Eclipse Friday, March 20, 2015
http://www.petermeadows.com/Essex_Partial_Solar_Eclipse_Mar15.pdf

Radio hams will be at BBC Solar Eclipse event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/02/radio-hams-will-be-at-bbc-solar-eclipse-event