Free NASA Online Course — Teaching Tomorrow’s Engineers

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit prior to landing - Image Credit NASA

NASA Educator Professional Development and the National Science Teachers Association have joined forces to create and offer this first-of-its-kind online course for middle school educators. Participants can earn a certificate acknowledging 15 hours of effort. Graduate credit is available for a fee.

Module 1: Introduction to the Engineering Design Process
Event Dates: March 26, March 31, April 7 and April 17, 2014

Module 2 (optional): Implementing the Engineering Design Process in Your Classroom
Event Dates: April 21 and April 28, 2014

For more information about the course and to register online, visit

Questions about this series opportunity should be directed to John
Entwistle at

Source: ANS

Free Online Course — Space Systems Engineering 101

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit prior to landing - Image Credit NASA

Space Systems Engineering 101, a new massive open online course from NASA and the Saylor Foundation, launches on March 3, 2014. The six-week general-audience course is free to the public and provides a unique opportunity to learn from and alongside NASA’s engineers. Students who participate can earn a free certificate.

The course will feature lectures from NASA scientists and engineers and Google Plus Hangouts with NASA personnel. Winners of an optional project competition will receive a chance to tour NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

For more information and to register for the course, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

Source: ANS

What’s your Mars? Abigail Harrison at TEDxTampaBay

Abby HarrisonAn incredibly enthusiastic, intelligent, visionary, and motivated young woman, Abigail Harrison is setting her sites on being the first astronaut to land on Mars. Starting in 5th grade with the GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science) to being invited as guest blogger for NASA’s ISS blog, corresponding with Italian astronaut Luca Parmatano KF5KDP / IR0ISS, and attending the legendary Russian Soyuz space launch as a VIP guest, Abby is well on her way. Currently, she juggles dual high school and college courses, gymnastics, blogging, and public appearances. With a deep appreciation for space exploration of the past, Abby has already embraced its future.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Watch What’s your Mars? Abigail Harrison at TEDxTampaBay

Astronuat Abby

BBC News: US Teenager’s Space Ambitions

Italian radio ham in quarantine prior to launch to ISS

High School Student’s RocketHub Project

Indian Record for Tracking Ham Radio Balloon

A high altitude balloon launch - Image credit Dhruva Space

A high altitude balloon launch – Image credit Dhruva Space

Global Brands Magazine features the High Altitude Balloon work of Dhruva Space and Indian radio amateurs.

Dhruva Space in association with Indian Institute of Astrophysics is gearing up to observe comet ISON when it passes earth on November 28, 2013 using a high altitude balloon platform.

Weekly test flights are in progress as part of the preparations for the ISON observation. On one such flight on October 13, the balloon which was carrying a 5 kilograms payload containing various sensors reached a peak altitude of 21 km and it traveled over 600 km into the Arabian Sea. What makes this test flight special is that the ground station at Bangalore and the two mobile payload recovery teams were able to receive the 145.765 MHz FM APRS radio signals from the balloon for over 12 hours without any disruption.

Hyderabad based National Institute of Amateur Radio which is one of the program partners has provided immense support in successful post-flight payload recovery.

Ham radio operators in Karnataka and Goa in India, and Middle East and Africa were able to receive encoded APRS signals containing real time location, altitude and other operating conditions of the flight.

Read the full story at

Dhruva Space

National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR)

High Altitude Balloon to Study Comet ISON

Real-time balloon tracker

Cuban radio ham to attend AMSAT Symposium

Hector CO6CBF working Joe EI5EV on FO-29  2013-04-03 1440z

Hector CO6CBF working Joe EI5EV on FO-29 2013-04-03 1440z

Are you looking for a good excuse to visit the 2013 AMSAT Symposium in Houston, Texas ?

It is with great pleasure that I announce the return of Hector Martinez, CO6CBF, to the AMSAT Symposium.  Last year, Hector’s presentation on “Cuban style” satellite operation was well-received by the attendees.  Don’t miss this year’s!

Since his visit to Orlando, Hector has been busy in Cienfuegos completing his fundamental university studies.  As the recipient of the “Gold Award,” he was honored for his diligence by the university’s rector.    He now looks forward to continuing his education in a Master’s program.

The AMSAT-NA Board of Directors has graciously extended Hector an invitation to the Symposium following his successful presentation in Orlando last year.  This year’s process to obtain US visa approvals went smoothly and on schedule due to the guidance and experience of Patrick, WD9EWK.

Hector’s travel expenses are guaranteed by private donations – not AMSAT-NA.  If you wish to contribute please contact Clayton, w5pfg at arrl dot net.  You may also contact W5PFG via postal mail at the FCC callbook-listed PO BOX.  Clayton is Hector’s formal sponsor and coordinator for this year’s symposium visit.

I wish to personally thank the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors and especially recognize Patrick, WD9EWK, for supporting Hector’s opportunity to present in Houston this year.


AMSAT Symposium Nov 1-3, 2013

IARU Administrative Council Meeting

IARU_LogoThe Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual meeting on September 21-22, 2013 in Cancun, Mexico. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

Here is a summary of the discussions and actions:

1.    The consultative process was completed for the election of IARU President and Vice President for the 2014-2019 terms of office. The Secretary was instructed to present to the member-societies, in a Calendar to be issued no later than 9 December 2013, proposals by the International Secretariat with the concurrence by the Administrative Council that Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, be elected for a five-year term as IARU President and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR be elected for a five-year term as IARU Vice President.

2.     The Council discussed the issue of some member-societies failing to represent all of the amateurs in their country.  For example, some do not participate in their regional organization activities, some do not pay their regional dues, some are unwilling to handle non-member QSL cards even on a cost-recovery basis and some even fail to respond to inquiries from their regional organizations.  In many of these countries, there are other non-IARU member-societies.  The Administrative Council is studying ways to work with the non-IARU societies to ensure that the interests of all the amateurs are represented in those countries where the IARU member-society fails to do so.  Possible solutions to the situation include establishing communications with the non-IARU societies to allow input from the country’s amateur community on IARU and amateur related issues or by recommending the use of QSL bureaus that will service all the amateurs within a particular country.

3.    The IARU positions for WRC-15 agenda items and future WRC agenda items were reviewed and the strategy for achieving IARU objectives at WRC-15 was discussed.

4.    The Council reviewed and updated the IARU Spectrum Requirements Document.  The document is available on the IARU web site.

5.     The Future Spectrum Committee presented its final report.  The committee report detailed current amateur usage of bands above 148 MHz.  The Council approved a plan to have one person in each region to serve as a contact person in spectrum matters.

6.    The President reported on the IARU acceptance of an ITU invitation to participate in the ITU Spectrum Management Training Program (SMTP) and accepted an appointment on the founding board of advisers for the ITU-D Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM).

7.    IARU participation in World Telecom 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand was reviewed.  IARU will have a booth at the event to promote amateur radio.  More information about the Telecom can be found at

8.    The Council reviewed and refined a draft paper on emergency communications strategy.

9.     The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meetings at which IARU representation will be required for the coming year were identified, and plans for representation at these meetings were reviewed.

10.     The Michael J. Owen VK3KI Award was awarded to David Wardlaw, VK3ADW and Wojciech Nietyksza SP5FM.  Both of these individuals have made contributions of time, effort and expertise to the IARU for many years. The award was created by the Administrative Council to recognize an individual or individuals that best exemplify the dedication and hard work of IARU volunteers.

10.     The theme “Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communications” was adopted for the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2014.

11.     Ken Garg, W3JK was added to the list of IARU Expert Consultants.

12.     The budget for 2014-2016 as presented by the IS was reviewed and adopted. The budget is based upon anticipated financial contributions from the three regional organizations to defray a portion of the expenses, in accordance with previously adopted policy.

13.     Reports of the IARU international coordinators and advisers were received. They are International Beacon Project Coordinator Peter Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN; Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV; EMC Adviser Christian Verholt, OZ8CY; International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS; and EMC Coordinator Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE.  The Council reappointed each of the coordinators and advisers to a new three-year term.

Attending the Cancun meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD; regional representatives Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Dennis Green, ZS4BS, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK, Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, Geoff Atkinson, VK3TL; and recording secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ.  Also in attendance as observers were Jay Bellows, K0QB representing the IARU International Secretariat and Jose Arturo Molina, YS1MS as Region 2 observer.

The next scheduled in-person meeting of the AC will be held in the vicinity of Varna, Bulgaria, in September 2014 in conjunction with the IARU Region 1 Conference.

AMSAT-DL Satellite Symposium October 5

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

The AMSAT-DL satellite symposium and AGM will be held in Bochum, Germany on October 5, 2013.

The AMSAT Deutschland Facebook page says “There will be certainly some exciting news!”

AMSAT-DL Symposium lecture schedule

Saturday 05.10.2013

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome

10:30 – 11:15 Stereo A / B status and Turbo Code introduction, experience report by Mario Lorenz, DL5MLO

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break

11:45 – 12:15 Asteroid Defense by Wolfgang Wittholt, Fernuni Hagen

12:15 – 12:45 Space Generantion Advisory Council (SGAC) Small Satellite Project Group (SSPG) presentation and objectives by Dennis Mattes

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch break

14:00 Current and new projects / project progress / etc then an official part of the AGM with elections.

AMSAT-DL event announcement

Australia’s own BLUEsat ready for launch

The BLUEsat Team - Image credit UNSW

The BLUEsat Team – Image credit UNSW

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has declared its undergraduate student amateur radio satellite project BLUEsat is complete and ready to be launched into space.

As the official final green light came it was to have a stratospheric balloon test flight near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. Talks continue on a space launch date.

BLUEsat satellite - Image credit UNSW

BLUEsat satellite – Image credit UNSW

BLUEsat, a 260mm cube weighing around 13 kilograms, will carry a flight computer with transmissions to include a beacon and amateur packet radio using the AX.25 protocol in a “mode J” VHF/UHF configuration.

Magnets will passively stabilise the satellite and align it with the Earth’s magnetic field, and it will be controlled via a dedicated communications groundstation VK2UNS at UNSW is equipped with a Yaesu FT-847 satellite transceiver.

It is hoped BLUEsat will be placed in circular orbit at an altitude of around 750 km that will take it over the poles. At this altitude, the satellite will travel around the Earth at a rate of around once every 90 minutes.

Once in orbit BLUEsat will be a digital amateur radio satellite, which means that voice and data files can be uploaded to it by any amateur radio operator in the world over which the satellite passes.

Students from UNSW will continue to be the primary operators of the satellite while it is in orbit and continue the educational focus throughout the full satellite lifecycle.

Through sponsors helping to pay the bills the student-led project has given a space experience that includes VK2UNS the ground control station.


Basic Low Earth Orbit UNSW Experimental Satellite (BLUEsat) project

January 2012 – Australian BLUEsat LEO undergoes tests

Radio hams to say “HI” to Juno on 10m

This computer-generated image depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft firing its Leros-1b main engine - credit NASA

This computer-generated image depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft firing its Leros-1b main engine – Image credit NASA

NASA’s Juno mission is inviting amateur radio operators around the world to transmit a coordinated message on the 28 MHz band to the Juno spacecraft.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly past Earth on October 9, 2013 to receive a gravity assist from our planet, putting it on course for Jupiter.

To celebrate this event, the Juno mission is inviting amateur radio operators around the world to say “HI” to Juno in a coordinated Morse Code message. Juno’s radio and plasma wave experiment, called Waves, should be able to detect the message if enough people participate.

Juno will have a better chance of detecting the signal from many operators if the signal is spread out across the spectrum. The Juno Waves instrument is a broadband receiver, and the detector being used for this event has a band width of 1 MHz. It is better for detection of the signal to have a broadband signal coming in.

For this experiment, the Juno team would like to ask those participating to spread out in frequency across the 10 meter band. They have supplied a table of suggested frequencies between 28 and 29 MHz, based on the last letter of your call. When the HFR receiver is tuned to 28MHz, the center frequency is 28.5 MHz. A 50 kHz high pass filter limits low frequencies hitting the detector, so the frequency table excludes 28.5 MHz ±50 kHz. The natural signals the team expect to measure at Jupiter will consist of a large number of discrete tones, so spreading the signals out in this manner is a good approximation to the signals Juno is expected to detect. But at Jupiter, they don’t expect to be able to decode CW in the telemetry!

The 28 MHz band was chosen for this experiment for several reasons. The Waves instrument is sensitive to radio signals in all amateur bands below 40 MHz, but experience with the University of Iowa instruments on the Galileo and Cassini earth flybys shows significant shielding by the ionosphere at lower frequencies. As sad as it sounds, the team hope for lousy band conditions on October 9, so an appreciable fraction of the radiated energy escapes the ionosphere into space, and is not refracted back down to the ground somewhere else on the planet.

Juno’s antenna consists of a pair of tapered 2.8 meter long titanium tubes, deployed from the bottom deck of the spacecraft under the +X solar array and magnetometer boom. A high impedance radiation resistant preamp sits at the base of the antenna and buffers the signals from 50 Hz to 45 MHz. The elements are deployed with an opening angle of about 120 degrees. Ten meters is above the resonant frequency of the antenna and NEC analysis indicates a lobe generally along the spin axis of the spacecraft. This will be good for detection on the inbound part of closest approach to Earth.

The Waves instrument uses four receivers to cover the frequency range of 50 Hz to 41 MHz. Signals up to 3 MHz are bandpass filtered, sampled by A/D converters and FFT processed into spectra using a custom FFT processor developed by The University of Iowa under a grant from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.

The Juno team point out that All transmissions must follow local and national regulations.

Please join in, and help spread the word to fellow amateur radio enthusiasts!

NASA – Say “HI” to Juno!
See How do I participate ? for the frequency list.

SpaceUp India 2012 Videos

FSpace F-1 Amateur Radio CubeSatDhruva Space have released several videos recorded at the SpaceUp India event held in December 2012.

Among the presentations are those from
• Thu Trong Vu XV9AA
• Hackerspace Global Grid
• Suri VU2MY

Watch SpaceUp India 2012 – F1 CubeSat from Vietnam, Thu Trong Vu XV9AA

Watch SpaceUp India 2012 – Hackerspace Global Grid, Uni Stuttgart

Watch SpaceUp India 2012 – Amateur Radio, Suri, VU2MY

Other presentations from the event can be seen at

SpaceUp India 2013 takes place December 6-7 in Manit, Bhopal