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

RSGB respond to Ofcom 5G consultation

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe RSGB have responded to the Ofcom Call for Input on Spectrum above 6 GHz for future mobile communications (5G) consultation.

The range of frequencies Ofcom are considering included the Primary amateur and amateur-satellite allocation at 47-47.2 GHz.

Read the RSGB response at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2015/03/RSGB_Spectrum-above-6GHz_response.pdf

Ofcom consultation on spectrum above 6 GHz
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2015/january/ofcom_consultation_on_spectrum_above_6_ghz.htm

RSGB respond to Ofcom UHF review

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe RSGB has responded to the Ofcom call for inputs to the strategic review of the 420-470 MHz spectrum.

The review includes the key Amateur 430-440 MHz and Amateur-Satellite 435-438 MHz allocations.

The consultation had been due to close on February 19 but was extended to February 26 to give more time for responses.

Read the RSGB response http://rsgb.org/main/files/2015/02/RSGB_UHF-Review_response.pdf

Ofcom: 420-470 MHz Consultation
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/december/ofcom_420_470_mhz_consultation.htm

Space Station SSTV and Packet Radio via SUWS WebSDR

ISS SSTV and Packet Radio signals on the SUWS WebSDR

ISS SSTV and Packet Radio signals on the SUWS WebSDR

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ reports excellent SSTV and Packet Radio signals from the International Space Station (ISS) using the online SUWS WebSDR.

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

The omni-direction helix antennas at the WebSDR were designed with high elevation satellites in mind. Conventional antennas concentrate the radiation pattern towards the horizon resulting in weaker signals when a satellite is above 15 degrees elevation. Comparisons with other WebSDRs show the SUWS antennas provide a 6 to 10dB better signal to noise ratio on similar passes.

Martin says: “I had been experimenting with single turn ‘twisted halo’ design, and decided to try stacking them to see if I could achieve more gain. Modelling suggested that a stretched 3 turn helix with a helix circumference of approx 1/2 wave length and an overall length of 1/2 wave at 70cm, and fed with a gamma match at the centre would offer reasonable gain, an omni-directional pattern and mixed polarisation.”

You can use the free online SUWS Web Software Defined Radio from your PC or Laptop to receive the ISS and the many amateur radio satellites transmitting in the 144-146 MHz or 435-438 MHz bands. It also provides reception of High Altitude Balloons in the 434 MHz band and coverage of the microwave 10368-10370 MHz band.

The SUWS WebSDR is located at Farnham not far from London, 51.3 N 1.15 W, listen to it at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Full details of the antennas are available at http://g8jnj.webs.com/currentprojects.htm

Brazilian radio amateur uses SUWS WebSDR to receive ISS SSTV
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/06/iss-sstv-on-suws-websdr/

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

SatNOGS give prize money to LSF

SatNOGS - Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

SatNOGS won the Hackaday grand prize of $196,418 for their satellite ground station, they plan to give the money to the Libre Space Foundation.

The Libre Space Foundation (LSF) is a non-profit foundation registered in Greece by the creators of the SatNOGS project. The aim of the foundation is to promote free and open source technology in space and support, develop and fund space projects.

Ground Stations are Just the Beginning: The SatNOGS Story
http://hackaday.com/2015/02/19/ground-stations-are-just-the-beginning-the-satnogs-story/

SatNOGS Win Hackaday Prize http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/14/satnogs-win-hackaday-prize/

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station https://satnogs.org/

Libre Space Foundation http://librespacefoundation.org/