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/

Women, STEM and Amateur Radio

Bob McGwier N4HY writing code for the amateur satellite P3E

Bob McGwier N4HY writing code for the amateur satellite P3E

Bob McGwier, N4HY shares his views about Women in Science, Technoloy, Engineering, Math and Amateur Radio.

Bob, a former AMSAT director and vice president for engineering, is Director of Research, Hume Center and Research Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech.

At Virginia Tech, where I lead the work in a large research center, I have several female graduate students in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). I had one female graduate student in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (master’s degree). I have multiple female undergraduate research assistants including the most amazing kid who came with many RF engineering projects in her experience base, an engineering notebook, and a daddy who couldn’t talk her into amateur radio and who told her she was on her own after sophomore year (she’s a second semester freshman). I have a female executive assistant, a female project manager, a female program manager for research, and a female program manager for education.

They are an incredibly diverse group of talented people that it is my honor and privilege to work with. Yet, they all have one thing in common that I wish to share. They are all licensed radio amateurs.

I am the faculty adviser at Virginia Tech’s Amateur Radio Association. I am the architect and designer and the principal investigator on the new Virginia Tech Satellite Ground Station which should go into operation in April. I have four graduate students who are doing thesis projects, class projects, and more involving this facility. A young member of our engineering staff, also a ham, is the actual lead system engineer on this project. At the all volunteer meetings for construction, operation of amateur radio satellites (such as QB50) over half the people coming are women and all are working on their ham licenses so they can operate the amateur radio spacecraft. Do you think there might be a connection, a correlation, and maybe even an agenda?

In the UK Anne-Marie Imafidon set up the STEMettes organisatio. She passed her GCSE in computer science aged 10 and became the youngest graduate to attain a masters degree, aged 19

In the UK Anne-Marie Imafidon set up the STEMettes organisation. She passed her GCSE in computer science aged 10 and became the youngest graduate to attain a masters degree, aged 19

My mother put amateur radio in front of me in a very positive way and she was a super strong principled woman. She stood in front of racism in a county that had a KKK wizard as sheriff and ran the campaign committee with her best friend for the sheriff that defeated him. She was a feminist. She was a feminist in the mode of: you, as an individual, must treat everyone the same way, not equal outcomes but with equal care and intent, and provide for equal opportunity and then they are on their own.

My goodness! She was and is an amazing woman and she is so brilliant. She left school, married my father and had me. In my center, no one is forced to be a ham. I don’t give the exams, I only lead by example, and explain how amateur radio has impacted me. I leave it there. The results speak for themselves.

I am determined to have the women around me have NO ceiling on their achievement where I can remove the ceiling without disadvantaging anyone else. I encourage them to reach for the stars. I push them hard in their research and at work. I expect no less of them than I do any other. My mother pushed me hard, showed me the value of work and discipline and made me work to pay my way. I will push them. I believe I am showing that the numbers in engineering and sciences are a product of socialization and not capability.

In four short years, I give you the above. I must be developing a reputation. My center director and I are getting almost all the top talent coming into graduate school in ECE (male and female) as our graduate students. I am getting most of the female graduate students and I am DEFINITELY getting all of them that are in the top ten (say) entrants. I owe this to my mother Ann Terry for all she did for me, literally saving me from self-destruction. I owe it to the many women I have seen with my own two eyes who are smart beyond compare and are vectored down roads that might not be of their choosing because they don’t see opportunity, or the value, or life affirming virtues of this path. I am appalled and will fight back. They can choose what they will, but they will be shown the value.

I have a mentor who many of you know. It is Tom Clark, K3IO. He was doing what I am doing now years before and was an example I have always tried to emulate in this regard.

Finally: On the undergraduate student, she took and passed tech and general in one night. She went home and proudly showed dad who went “Yeah but I have an extra class”….. She pursed her lips and looked at me as she told this and I said: “The extra exam is given every month at VTARA this Spring, but the work I am giving you and your grades are the top priority”. NOTHING stands in the way of women doing math, science and engineering except the roadblocks we place in front of them.

What are you doing to your daughters, sisters, female friends that, even without intent, discourages them so that a single man on a mission can draw this much out of the crowd without a single word of advertising, self promotion, and just word of mouth really telling that we are here. Introspection and mindfulness are all I am asking for.

I almost forgot to mention, my very first graduate student was a female and a ham and got her Master’s degree in Mathematics from me at Auburn University in 1986. Lynne now has her doctorate in stochastic processes and statistics from UNC and is on the faculty at Georgia. Her father, Eddie, is also a ham and an example of the kind of encouragement that EVERY father of a daughter should provide. I haven’t embarrassed them by tagging them, but they are in my fondest memories.

Female Ham Radio Operators http://www.themarysue.com/female-ham-radio-operators/

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

In the UK the goal of STEMettes and its sister organizations is to get the women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workforce up to 30% by 2020.
• Web http://stemettes.org/
• Facebook https://www.facebook.com/STEMettes
• Twitter https://twitter.com/STEMettes

Colloquium – First Call for Papers

AMSAT-UK Logo

AMSAT-UK Logo

This is the first call for speakers for the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2015 which will be held from Saturday, July 25 to Sunday, July 26, 2015 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom.

http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2015/

AMSAT-UK invites speakers, to cover topics about micro-satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats, space and associated activities, for this event.

They are also invited to submit papers for subsequent publishing on the AMSAT-UK web site. We normally prefer authors to present talks themselves rather than having someone else give them in the authors’ absence. We also welcome “unpresented” papers for the web site.

Submissions should be sent *ONLY* to G4DPZ, via the following routes:
e-mail: dave at g4dpz dot me dot uk
Postal address at http://www.qrz.com/db/G4DPZ

AMSAT-UK also invite anyone with requests for Program Topics to submit them as soon as possible to G4DPZ. Invitations for any papers on specific subjects will be included in the future call. Likewise if anyone knows of a good speaker, please send contact and other information to G4DPZ.

Iran’s Fajr Satellite Uses Amateur Radio Bands

The Safir launcher carrying Iran's Fajr satellite February 2, 2015

The Safir launcher carrying Iran’s Fajr satellite February 2, 2015

Nico Janssen PA0DLO reports that the Iranian Fajr satellite has an amateur radio band downlink on 437.538 MHz. UPDATE from Gunters Space page: On February 26 Fajr re-entered Earth’s atmosphere after 23.8 days in orbit apparently without using the cold-gas thruster.

Iranian Fajr satellite launched Feb 2, 2015 - thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace

Iranian Fajr satellite launched Feb 2, 2015 – thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) Nico says that it carries a camera for Earth observations and should have a telemetry downlink on 437.538 MHz and a command uplink in the 144-146 MHz amateur radio band.

The Iranian satellite Fajr or ‘Dawn’ was launched on February 2, 2015 at 0850 UT from the Imam Khomeini Space Center which is south of Semnan in the northern part of the Dasht-e-Kavir desert.

The 52 kg satellite was carried on a Safir launcher into an initial orbit of 223 km by 470 km with an inclination of 55.5° and has been given an object ID of 2015-006A 40387. It is Iran’s fourth satellite and its first successful orbital launch since Feb 2012. Fajr has propulsion in the form of a cold gas thruster which can be used to circularize the orbit at around 470 km which may give it a lifetime of over a year.

Fajr real-time tracking map and predictions http://n2yo.com/?s=40387

UHF satellite frequency list http://www.satellitenwelt.de/freqlisten/SatFreq-UHF.txt

AMSAT Bulletin Board http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

Fajr has cold gas thrusters - thanks to Tal Inbar for posting image

Fajr has cold gas thrusters – thanks to Tal Inbar @inbarspace for posting this image

3400 MHz and 10 GHz – ARRL’s comments on WRC-15

Logo WRC RA 2015The ARRL has commented on two draft recommendations of the FCC’s 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) Advisory Committee (WAC) as well as on a draft proposal provided to the FCC by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Regarding 3400 MHz they say:
“[The] failure to even superficially address the protection of all existing services — including the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services — is glaring,” the ARRL said. The WAC’s so-called “View A” — to make no change in the allocation — in part said, “The secondary nature of the Amateur Service allocation requires flexibility in frequency selection to permit an Amateur Service licensee to use the allocation and fulfill his or her obligation not to cause harmful interference to the numerous primary services, including the FSS [Fixed-Satellite Service].”

On 10 GHz the ARRL supported the FCC WAC view on Agenda Item 1.12 that the US not be added to international footnote 5.480 — basically an exception — to the Table of Allocations that could make part of the 10.0-10.5 GHz segment vulnerable to additional allocation for Fixed Service applications. The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have a secondary allocation in the band, and the Federal Radiolocation Service is primary. The proposed “footnote amendment,” the League argued, “plainly, clearly, and indisputably contradicts existing United States regulations.” The League’s comments accused Mimosa Networks, which has argued in favor of having the US sign on to the international footnote, of advancing an “illogical construction to obtain the result it desires.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-comments-to-fcc-on-wrc-15-draft-recommendations

Amateur radio satellite talk near Farnham

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

This Monday, January 26 there will be a presentation on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and SO-50 satellites at the Hog’s Back Amateur Radio Club near Farnham.

Mike Parkin, G0JMI, will give a talk entitled: Amateur Radio Satellites: A General Overview and Understanding of FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and Saudi-Sat 1c (SO-50).

Satellite operation is not quite as daunting as it can at first appear, and Mike will enlighten the audience with some of his experiences, as well as the equipment and techniques used for satellite communication.

Doors open at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Crondall Scout Hut, Pankridge Street, Crondall, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 5RQ. As usual the kettle will be on to provide the refreshment.

A map of the meeting place can be found on the Contact Details page at
http://www.hogsback-arc.org.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Hogsbackarc/

Jan 15 Talk – A Beginners Guide to Amateur Satellites

David Bowman G0MRF giving one of his popular FUNcube satellite presentations

David Bowman G0MRF giving a previous FUNcube talk at the Sutton & Cheam Radio Society

David Bowman G0MRF will be giving a presentation titled ‘A Beginners Guide to Amateur Satellites’ at the Sutton & Cheam Radio Society (SCRS) on Thursday, January 15 at 8 pm, visitors are welcome.

The SCRS newsletter says:

Last February, we had an excellent and well-attended talk by David Bowman – GØMRF on the topic of ‘The FUNcube Satellite Project’. The technology of satellite communication seems to have caught the interest of many of our members, but what has been missing at our meetings so far has been an illustrated talk on the basics of getting started.

David will be paying us a return visit on Thursday 15th January with a talk entitled ‘A Beginners Guide to Amateur Satellites’. This will cover the development of amateur satellite communications along with plenty of information on the necessary equipment to get started and the techniques employed.

Some amateur satellite operators have extremely sophisticated and no doubt expensive station set-ups,
however, it is possible to start off at a very basic level. All will be revealed at this meeting.

It’s always good to see a good turn-out of members and visitors at our meetings, so hopefully we can ‘kickoff’ 2015 with a packed clubroom. See you all on Thursday 15th.

John – GØBWV

The meeting will be held in the Vice Presidents’ Lounge, Sutton United Football Club, The Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 2EY at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm.

Map http://scrs.org.uk/location/

Sutton & Cheam Amateur Radio Society http://scrs.org.uk/

Download the Powerpoint slides A_beginners_guide_ to_amateur_radio_satellites

PocketQubes in SatMagazine

SatMagazine December 2014 PocketQube page 114The December 2014 edition of the free publication SatMagazine features an article on page 114 about PocketQubes by Tom Walkinshaw, Chief Executive Officer of the the Glasgow-based start-up PocketQube Shop.

Download the December 2014 SatMagazine from
http://www.satmagazine.com/

SatMagazine Archive
http://www.satmagazine.com/archive.php

PocketQube Shop featured in The Guardian newspaper http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/07/tiny-space-satellite-make-at-home-pocketqube

PocketQube Shop http://www.pocketqubeshop.com/