Summer issue of OSCAR News now available

OSCAR News Issue 230 June 2020 Front CoverE-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the June 2020 edition of OSCAR News, issue 230, here.

The paper edition edition will be sent to postal members and should arrive in the next 2-3 weeks.

In this issue:
• From the Secretary’s Keyboard
• Meetings & Events
• Filtered 2400 MHz Driver Amplifier Kits Now Available
• AMSAT-UK Shop Update
• AREx – Gateway Amateur Radio Exploration
• AMSAT-UK Sunday Morning Nets
• Schedule released for E2STAYHOME satellite operation
• A Filtered S-Band Driver Amplifier for Software Defined Radios
• FUNcube-1 in continuous transponder mode
• The “Ekran” Heli-yag, a hybrid antenna for circular polarisation
• Huskysat-1 Transponder is Open
• Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available
• SMOG-P: A Successful Space Project
• Report from the IARU Region 1 Satellite Coordinator – July 2020

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 the quarterly publication 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

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

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

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

CAS-6 antenna deployed, transponder activated

CAS-6 Satellite

CAS-6 Satellite

The CAMSAT CAS-6 satellite was launched December 20, 2019. Alan Kung BA1DU reports the V/UHF antenna was deployed on Saturday, June 20, 2020 and the linear transponder activated.

Due to some OBC failures, CW beacon and GMSK telemetry are not working properly. At present, only the carriers are transmitted on the two frequencies, the linear transponder has been put into operation. We will then try to diagnose and then determine whether the CW and telemetry data stream transmission can be recovered.

Frequencies:

• CW Telemetry Beacon: 145.910 MHz

• AX.25 4.8kbps GMSK Telemetry: 145.890 MHz

• U/V Linear Transponder Downlink: 145.925 MHz, 20 kHz bandwidth, Inverted

• U/V Linear Transponder Uplink: 435.280 MHz

TLE:

CAS-6(2019-093C)
1 44881U 19093C 20170.81187924 -.00001118 00000-0 -13581-3 0 9991
2 44881 97.9575 246.8556 0015830 36.2280 323.9959 14.81412013 26893

73!
Alan Kung, BA1DU

Further information on the 35 kg micro-satellite is at
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/12/19/camsat-cas-6-satellite/

Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available

RPi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

RPi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

The FUNcube Team has announced the availability of FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software for the popular Raspberry Pi computer board.

The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and the FUNcube team did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements. The Team had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed their plans somewhat.

Late 2019, the Team had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi.

The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

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

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

The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

• “Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen.

• “Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the Raspberry Pi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation.

*Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

*Uploading to the warehouse requires online registration with the FUNcube Data Warehouse.

All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online under a GPL Open Source License at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account
https://github.com/funcube-dev

Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop at https://shop.amsat-uk.org/

Full instructions PDF can be downloaded from https://tinyurl.com/RPi-FUNcube-Decoder

FUNcube Data Warehouse http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/missions

Indian radio amateur starts petition for licence change

Department of Telecommunications India LogoRohit Bokade VU3OIR has started a petition requesting a change to the Amateur Radio licence in India to permit all grades of licence to use the amateur radio satellites.

In India holders of the Restricted grade of licence (VU3 prefix) are not permitted to use amateur radio satellites or communicate with the International Space Station. The exam requirements for a Restricted licence are of a similar level to the UK Intermediate.

Rohit says:

“Last decade has seen a rapid increase in Amateur Satellites, especially the ones made by educational institutes. As we are slowly moving towards an era when Space will be democratized, more and more students are becoming interested in joining the Amateur radio community.”

“By keeping the amateur radio service bound to General grade license, we are preventing a vast majority of restricted grade operators consisting of a major portion of students yet to get general grade license, from operating these satellites even if it is possible to operate them within the power bounds of restricted grade. We request you through this petition to allow restricted grade operators to operate amateur satellite service within their emission power bounds.”

Read the full petition text at
https://www.change.org/p/wireless-planning-and-coordination-wpc-wing-change-in-amateur-radio-rules-in-india-to-facilitate-rising-amateur-and-student-satellites

Rohit Bokade (VU3OIR) https://twitter.com/rnbokade/status/1271706670943502336

The two grades of licence in India are General (400w HF, 25w VHF/UHF) and Restricted (50w HF, 10w VHF/UHF). The exam syllabus and licence regulations can be downloaded from
http://www.niar.org/training-material.html

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, released the 2018/19 Amateur Radio statistics in their Annual Report. See page 60 (PDF page 62) at
http://dot.gov.in/sites/default/files/Annual%20Report-2018-19(English).pdf

Previous Annual Reports http://dot.gov.in/reports-statistic/2471

15 Canadian CubeSats to launch from 2021

Canadian CubeSat Teams - credit Canadian Space Agency

Canadian CubeSat Teams – credit Canadian Space Agency

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) report 15 CubeSat satellites are being built by students in Canada, all are expected to carry amateur radio payloads.

The RAC post says:

The Canadian Space Agency has been providing support and guidance to 15 teams of university and college students across Canada who are building satellites. These satellites are in the “CubeSat” format, based on a standardized architecture of 10 centimetre cubes. All 15 proposed satellites will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), possibly starting in 2021.

RAC is involved in explaining how, and under what conditions, Amateur Radio can be used for communications with these spacecraft, and a requirement of the frequency coordination process with the International Amateur Radio Union is an endorsement from RAC.

We were aware that the suspension of university classes due to the global pandemic could affect the teams’ progress, but I am pleased to report that all of the teams have chosen to use Amateur Radio communications and we continue to receive requests from them, although at a slower rate than in the past. About half of the teams have now received endorsements for their projects from RAC and have sent their proposals to the IARU for frequency coordination.

Designing and constructing CubeSats is a complicated, multi-year process. These projects will develop the students’ skills in many facets of engineering, science, technology, business and project management. Once in orbit, the satellites will also assist pure and applied scientific research and some may offer facilities that Amateurs across Canada and around the world can use.

Source RAC https://www.rac.ca/the-rac-report-june-2020/

Canadian CubeSat Project Teams https://asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellites/cubesat/selected-teams-map.asp

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI in Queen’s Birthday honours list

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released June 8, 2020.

The citation reads:

“For significant service to amateur radio, particularly to satellite and space communication.”

For full details see https://honours.pmc.gov.au/honours/awards/2006845

Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List, June 8, 2020
https://www.gg.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-06/QB2020%20Gazette%20-%20O%20of%20A.PDF