IARU Region 3 Act on Band Plan Satellite Allocations

Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel

Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel

The IARU Region 3 (Asia/Pacific) Directors have submitted a band plan paper concerning amateur satellite allocations for consideration at the IARU Region 3 Conference which takes place October 12-16 in Bali, Indonesia.

IARU-R3 LogoThis is the 16th Conference and it will be hosted by the Amateur Radio Organisation of Indonesia (ORARI). 60 Premier and 12 Suite hotel rooms have been booked at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel which is described as being situated in Sanur, the secretly sophisticated side of Bali.

ORARI plans to run a special event station YB16IARU from October 11-16 from the conference and the delegates will be taken on a tour of Bali.

The President of ORARI, Sutiyoso YB0ST, says: “It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to grow and thrive, remaining always adaptable, motivated and responsive. The world of amateur radio is an exciting area in which to work and play, and we’ll continue to meet and bring inspired people together in forums like this, to ensure IARU Region 3 remains at the cutting edge.”

The changes proposed by IARU Region 3 Directors would appear to prohibit the use of the Amateur Satellite Service channel 144.490 MHz as an uplink for crewed space missions. Use of this channel was agreed by IARU Region 3 some 20 years ago but the new paper says:

“Note 2: The other portion of the band 144.035-145.8 MHz is exclusively identified for the amateur service.”

At the same time IARU Region 3 had agreed the crewed space mission downlink channel would be 145.800 MHz using 5 kHz deviation FM with a Doppler shift of +/- 3.75 kHz. The paper does not record this.

Read the IARU R3 Directors amateur satellite band plan paper at

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) have presented a satellite band plan paper, see

Other papers submitted for the conference may be seen at

16th IARU R3 Conference http://www.iarur3conf2015.org/

IARU Coordination of Satellite Frequencies

UK NanoSat Weekend

The Catapult PocketQubeWould you like to build your own satellite?

Would you like to do that in a single weekend…and fly it too?

The Satellite Applications Catapult has developed a build-your-own satellite kit. Over the course of a weekend you will assemble, test and program your own satellite, your results will then be tested by flying the kits on a weather balloon!

The free event takes place the weekend of Sep 26-27, 2015 at the Satellite Applications Catapult, Electron Building, Fermi Avenue, Harwell, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 0QR.

The NanoSat design includes some basic sensors: temperature, light, orientation. Satellite Applications Catapult are also providing a basic camera for image capture. This is your chance to get hands-on with the code to operate these devices that will give you the experience of working with modern embedded systems.

By the end of the weekend, you will have an understanding of the principles of how a typical satellite works; from the basic avionics systems to the operation of an on-orbit instrument.

Participants should be familiar with basic programming skills in C, ideally on the Arduino platform. If you’ve ever wired up a simple experiment or experimented with Arduinos, Raspberry Pis or mbeds, you’ll be fine.

Registration requires you to submit a team of four. Individuals can also register, but you’ll be entered into a team on the day.

Registration and FAQ at https://sa.catapult.org.uk/nanosat-weekend
also see https://sa.catapult.org.uk/-/nanosat-weekend

Chris Brunskill of Satellite Applications Catapult gave a presentation to the 2015 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium.

Watch The Satellite Applications Catapult PocketQube Kit

Follow Chris on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chrisbrunskill

IARU Coordination of Satellite Frequencies

IARU_LogoThe IARU have announced they are committed to only coordinate satellite frequencies within the internationally aligned IARU band plans.

The two metre amateur band is one of the most popular and populated bands in all the spectrum allocated to the amateur and amateur satellite services. This recently led to a request by satellite builders for coordination outside the spectrum reserved for satellites in the IARU band plans (145.800 – 146.000 MHz) as not enough channels are available to satisfy their requirements.

The IARU Satellite Adviser, Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV and his advisory panel are mandated to coordinate frequencies within the IARU band plans for amateur satellites. Coordinated frequencies must comply with band plans that are common to all three IARU Regions Satellites coordinated outside these plans could cause interference to terrestrial amateur operations in other regions. In theory satellites could be programmed so that they only operate over their country of origin.  Because satellite orbits make it difficult to pinpoint operations, spill over to other Regions may occur during parts of the orbit. Accordingly, IARU will not coordinate frequencies for satellites which are planned to operate outside the internationally aligned IARU band plans for amateur satellites.

The IARU offers frequency coordination in an effort to maximise spectrum utilisation and avoid possible interference to other satellites and ground stations.

The IARU requests that satellite groups work on a sharing plan or use other parts of the amateur service spectrum designated for satellite operation. When a large group of satellite sharing the same band are launched, they will soon drift apart which enhances the opportunity to share the same frequencies. For example, during the initial phase, just after launch, a time sharing system could be used to monitor the payloads before initialising transponders and other systems.

For instance, the 10 metre band, once popular with satellite builders, is today not significantly used. The band segment 29.300-29.510 MHz has been used for amateur-satellite downlinks for more than 40 years, beginning with Australis-OSCAR 5 in 1970 and AMSAT-OSCAR 6, AMSAT’s first communications satellite, in 1972.  The band segment was very popular for downlinks in the 1970s and 1980s.  Today, only one amateur satellite actively uses a 29 MHz downlink: AMSAT-OSCAR 7, launched in 1974 [and RS-15 on 29.3525 MHz – Editor].  While a 29 MHz downlink would not be practical for today’s very small satellites, owing to the size of the antenna required, the band could be used very practically for uplinks even with small receiving antennas, because transmitting power at the earth station is easy to obtain.  The IARU Satellite Adviser and his panel believe that the 10 metre band offers a good alternative to 2 metre uplinks

Currently the IARU team also coordinates frequencies for satellites built by universities and educational groups in an effort to maximise spectrum utilisation and mitigate any possible interference to Amateur Radio operations. The IARU is committed to work with these groups and with the ITU to find other spectrum for these satellites.

Rod Stafford W6ROD
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)

Two US Naval Academy satellites PSAT and BRICsat launched May 20, 2015 both have transponder uplinks on 28.120 MHz. Another US Naval Academy satellite PCSAT-2, which is currently undergoing coordination by IARU, plans to have a transponder uplink on 28.120 MHz.

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

RSGB Letter in PC Pro Magazine

PC Pro Magazine LogoRSGB President John Gould G3WKL highlights Amateur Satellites, FUNcube and the RSGB Youth Committee in a letter, an edited version of which appears on page 30 of the October issue of PC Pro Magazine, in the shops now.

See the full text of John’s letter at http://www.pcpro.link/252rsgb

The letter was a follow-up to an article in the August issue of PC Pro Magazine by Jon Honeyball G1LMS

Twitter links:
G1LMS – https://twitter.com/jonhoneyball
G3WKL – https://twitter.com/G3WKL
RSGB  – https://twitter.com/theRSGB
Youth Committee – https://twitter.com/theRSGByouth
PC Pro https://twitter.com/pcpro
AMSAT-UK https://twitter.com/AmsatUK

Amateur Radio Allocations Discussed

Logo WRC RA 2015At the CEPT CPG-PTA-8 meeting in Catania, Sicily, July 21-24, 2015 several amateur radio allocations were discussed.

The minutes contain these items of interest to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services: IMT/MBB above 6 GHz Amateur allocation to 50-54 MHz To consider an allocation to the space operation service in the range 137-960 MHz to accommodate the growing number of small non-GSO satellites Studies towards an identification for land mobile and fixed services operating in the frequency range 275-450 GHz Amateur proposal for new primary allocation between 1800-2000 kHz

Annex VI notes these potential new IMT (mobile broadband) allocations were discussed:
• 10.0-10.45 GHz – France/Germany/Italy/Denmark – Lack of bandwidth.  UK, Sweden support parts of this band
NATO harmonized band.
• 45.5-48.9 GHz – No opposition received on this band. Added to draft Resolution. IARU noted that the amateur service have a global primary band between 47-47.2 GHz
• 66-71 GHz, 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz – Satisfies bandwidth argument and no opposition was expressed. Bands added to draft Resolution.

To download the meeting documents:
• Go to http://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents
• Click on 2015
• Click on 8th CPG PTA Meeting – 21-24 July – Sicily
• Click Input Contributions and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Click on Minutes and Annexes and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Do same for Annex IV – Draft Briefs, Annex V – Draft ECPs, Annex VI – misc
• Click the Download selected button

WRC-15 takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 2-27, 2015

SUWS WebSDR supports Meteor Scatter enthusiasts

Meteor pings received on SUWS WebSDR

Meteor pings received on SUWS WebSDR

The SUWS WebSDR, a popular resource for the Amateur Satellite and 434 MHz High Altitude Balloon communities, has recently been upgraded to support VLF and 49.990 MHz for Meteor Scatter observations.

The SUWS team hope that these new bands will further enhance the capabilities of the WEB SDR, which already covers a large proportion of the 2m, 70cm and 3cm Amateur bands.

The bands were added in order to try and replicate some of the work already undertaken by Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV and to make the SDR available as an on-line resource for others who are interested in observing such phenomena.


Antenna's at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham

Antenna’s at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham

Performance on the VLF bands is now quite good, but it still suffers slightly from some electrical noise from other equipment in the site and Sferic noise (Lightning discharges) from about 4 kHz upwards.

50 MHz is currently operating on a temporary antenna, but it is possible to hear the local beacons and repeaters, plus more distant Amateur stations during Sporadic E openings. So it is a good indicator of band conditions, but is probably not quite sensitive enough at the moment to allow detection of some of the weaker meteor pings emanating from the BRAMS CW radar on 49.97 MHz and IEPR CW radar on 49.99 MHz

However 143 MHz is working well and Pings from Graves on 143.05 MHz can be heard quite frequently.

Here is an example of how the WEB SDR can be used to detect meteors.

It is possible by looping a PC sound card input and output whilst running a web browser, to use Spectrum Lab to display a waterfall of the audio from the PC. Then by opening multiple instances of the WEB SDR in the browser, selecting USB and setting each SDR instance to a slightly different centre frequency and adjusting the filter pass-bands. It is possible to concurrently capture plots from VLF signals, IEPR, BRAMS and GRAVES and display them side by side on one screen (see attached). Because the same PC, Browser and internet connection is being used for all the signals, the plots should be almost time synchronous.

The SUWS team hope that these new enhancements will be enjoyed by their users, and expect that further improvements will continue to be made over the coming months.

Use the SUWS WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Radio Astronomy Group Meteor Scatter Workshop takes place in Northampton on October 31

Getting started in Amateur Radio Meteor Scatter (MS)

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

AMSAT-UK publishes a newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.
Join AMSAT-UK via the online shop at http://shop.amsat.org.uk/

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

GB1DS – Amateur Satellites and Meteor Scatter

Meteor Scatter Propagation - SNOTEL

Meteor Scatter Propagation – SNOTEL

Run by the Brecon & Radnor Amateur Radio Society, GB1DS will operate on most bands and satellites on the weekend of August 15-16, coinciding with the annual Perseids meteor shower which will make for an incredible operation.

In co-operation with the Brecon Beacons National Park, the station aims to promote the incredible beauty of the Beacons and surrounding areas during such a special time. One of only five Dark-Sky reserves in the world and the only one in Wales.

More information about the Brecon Beacons and its Dark-Sky reserve can be found at http://www.breconbeacons.org/stargazing

Information on the station can be found at http://qrz.com/db/gb1ds

The Essex-based Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society (LEFARS) recently tried Meteor Scatter, see http://lefars.org.uk/WPblog/2015/08/10/meteor-scatter/

Getting started in Meteor Scatter (MS) http://www.geekshed.co.uk/getting-started-in-meteor-scatter-ms/

Free WSJT software http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/

Meteor Scatter Information

Radio Astronomy Group Meteor Scatter Workshop Oct 31 with Jean-Louis Rault F6AGR

Do not Digipeat via PCSAT

US Naval Academy PCSAT

US Naval Academy PCSAT

As has been reported in the RSGB News, the PCSAT spacecraft was launched some fourteen years ago and has, due to an on-board power system issue, started to transmit APRS on 144.390 MHz

Although this is the correct frequency for APRS operation in IARU Region 2, it is not compatible with our Region 1 bandplan which has this part of the band designated for weak signal and particularly Meteor Scatter operation.

The orbit of this spacecraft means that sometimes it is in full sunlight and, at other times, it is eclipsed for a major percentage of the orbit. As the on-board batteries have lost their ability to hold a charge, the problem can only occur when it is in sunlight.

Various methods of mitigate this problem are presently under active consideration but in the meantime it is important that no amateur in Region 1 should attempt to digipeat through this spacecraft. Additionally those amateurs on the east coast of the American continent are also requested not to attempt to activate the spacecraft when it can be “seen” from Europe.

At IARU level, further work is being undertaken to reduce the risk from future spacecraft potentially causing similar problems. Such problems could result from developers not following the globally agreed bandplans for amateur satellite operations. In particular the IARU Satellite Coordinator has been requested to make urgent contact with the team responsible for XW-2(CAS-3) mission of nine satellites from China. Some of the proposed frequencies do not respect the internationally agreed Region 1 Bandplan for 2 metres.

SPROUT Deployable Membrane – Request for Telemetry

SPROUT satellite students at Nihon-Univ. Miyazaki Laboratory

SPROUT satellite students at Nihon-Univ. Miyazaki Laboratory

Students at Nihon University in Japan are requesting the assistance of radio amateurs in collecting telemetry from the SPROUT satellite which has deployed an inflatable membrane structure.

SPROUT Amateur Radio SSTV Satellite

SPROUT Amateur Radio Satellite

The SPROUT JQ1YGZ Team say:

We’d like to show to everyone about SPROUT, and we’d like to ask receiving cooperation to everyone.

SPROUT was launched at May 24, 2014 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

There are 3 main missions in SPROUT.
・Deployment demonstration of inflatable membrane structure.
・Demonstration of attitude determination and control technology for several kilogram class nano-satellite.
・Upbringing of human resources of a space sector

For more information
Please see this website.

SSTV image received from SPROUT by Mario LU4EOU on May 31, 2014 at 0408 UT

SSTV image received from SPROUT by Mario LU4EOU on May 31, 2014 at 0408 UT

This time, we made a deployment demonstration of inflatable membrane structure. But it’s necessary to get a deal of data to get information on a satellite, and it takes time to get one of data only my satellite communication ground station.

So when everybody of amsat would do reception cooperation, information on a satellite can be got quickly.

We’d like to request reception cooperation of everybody of “AMSAT-UK” for study promotion.

If you wouldn’t mind, please reception cooperation. Please inform the following mail address of your question and a reception report – sprout_contact@forth.aero.cst.nihon-u.ac.jp

Best regards

SPROUT JQ1YGZ Team on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008270115808

SPROUT transmits on 437.525 MHz FM 1k2 AFSK AX.25

SPROUT SSTV activation http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/31/sprout-sstv-digitalker-active/

HD videos of AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC of the Surrey Space Centre - Credit DK3WN

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC of the Surrey Space Centre – Credit DK3WN

High-definition videos of presentations given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2015 are now available on YouTube.

The colloquium took place July 25-26 in Guildford and attracted attendees from Europe, the USA, Middle East and Japan.

Thanks to the cooperation between the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) and AMSAT-UK, over 6 hours of presentations from the 2015 Colloquium are now available to view on the AMSAT-UK YouTube account.

Videos from the 2014 Colloquium are also available on the site.

See the AMSAT-UK YouTube Playlists

YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

BATC http://batc.org.uk/