CHESS will not have an amateur payload

CHESS CubeSat - Credit EPFL Spacecraft Team

CHESS CubeSat – Credit EPFL Spacecraft Team

Two CHESS CubeSats had been planned to carry amateur radio linear transponders, however, it was announced on June 10, 2021, there will not be any amateur payload on the satellites.

A translation of the press release reads:

The CHESS project management, due to funding constraints, had to move the project towards a commercial cubesat platform. Space is scarce on this new platform to accommodate another payload. Subsequently, there is no longer an opportunity to carry a ham radio transponder on board.

The CHESS project management has correctly decided not to use frequencies in the amateur satellite service and to use earth exploration or experimental UHF- and X- band frequencies.

The ham community, who assured the funding of the transponder, is very disappointed by this decision, but must accept it.

Such projects always carry risks of one partner changing its mind. That is what happened here.

Many thanks to all who have actively supported the transponder project, especially the AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL team.

AMSAT-HB announcement
https://www.amsat-hb.org/2021/06/10/chess-fliegt-ohne-amateurfunknutzlast/

January 2021 project announcement
https://amsat-uk.org/2021/01/14/chess-cubesat-constellation-funcube/

ISS repeater remaining on until after Field Day

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) logoThe International Space Station crossband FM repeater should remain active until after the Field Day weekend of June 26-27.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has decided to keep its ARISS InterOperable Radio System (IORS) in crossband repeater mode until after ARRL Field Day ends. The IORS ham station is located in the Columbus Module of the International Space Station.

ARRL HQ Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, has confirmed that successful radio contacts made through the ARISS IORS, in crossband repeater mode, will count for an ARRL Field Day QSO point, but also for Field Day bonus points! Another fun opportunity for points. Don’t forget the rule limiting stations to 1 QSO per any single channel FM satellite.

On-orbit astronauts always have very busy schedules, but if a voice contact were to be made with them, it would count for QSO credit but not for satellite bonus points. Only an ARISS crossband repeater QSO qualifies for the bonus. Crossband repeater contacts are also valid for AMSAT Field Day for satellite operations, held concurrently with the ARRL event.

Frequencies for ARISS crossband repeater operation are as follows: 145.990 MHz up, 67 Hz tone and 437.800 MHz down. If you haven’t used the ISS repeater yet, be sure to practice with it before Field Day (June 26-27, 2021). These contacts can be tricky, but hams can practice right now…can you do it?

ARISS had planned a mode switch to APRS packet during the second week of June. Now, ARISS is targeting the switch by the astronauts to packet after the first ARISS school contact following ARRL Field Day. In more news for ARISS supporters: the astronauts will power down the ARISS radio station during USA spacewalks on June 16 and June 20, 2021.

ARISS – Celebrating 20 Years of Amateur Radio Continuous Operations on the ISS
https://ariss.org/

ISS SSTV 145.800 FM June 9-10  

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120.

The transmissions are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will be made from the amateur radio station RS0ISS in the Russian Service module of the ISS using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver.

June 09, 2021 (Wednesday) from 09:35 GMT until 13:50 GMT*

June 10, 2021 (Thursday) from 08:55 GMT until 15:50 GMT*

*Dates and times subject to change.

The signal should be receivable on a handheld with a 1/4 wave whip. If your rig has selectable FM filters try the wider filter for 25 kHz channel spacing.

You can get predictions for the ISS pass times at https://www.amsat.org/track/

ARISS SSTV Blog https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/

Useful SSTV info and links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

EASAT-2 and Hades launch delayed again

AMSAT-EA Hades PocketQube

AMSAT-EA Hades PocketQube

Spain’s URE reports the launch of EASAT-2 and Hades satellites have suffered another delay.

A translation of the URE post reads:

EASAT-2 and Hades, the communications satellites for radio amateurs built by AMSAT-EA, will not be able to be launched in June with SpaceX as planned, as the FAA (the American Aviation Administration) has rejected the license to the integrator Momentus Space, On whose orbital transfer vehicle Vigoride was to be mounted the AlbaPOD ejector from Alba Orbital, within which are the satellites of AMSAT EA, as well as other organizations and universities.

The reasons for the FAA’s rejection stem from the company’s capital structure, which, according to the American agency, could endanger the national security of the United States. The next launch opportunity could come in December.

EASAT-2 and Hades were to have been launched in January this year aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket, but the Momentus license was also rejected by the FAA at the time.

Both satellites are FM and FSK voice repeaters, also having digitized voice recordings. Hades also incorporates an SSTV camera developed by the University of Brno in the Czech Republic and EASAT-2 incorporates as an experimental load a basaltic material from Lanzarote, similar to lunar basalts, provided by the research group on meteorites and planetary geosciences of the CSIC in the Institute of Geosciences, IGEO (CSIC-UCM) and that it could be used as a construction material on the Moon. This project was promoted and has the collaboration of the ETSICCP (UPM).

The frequencies coordinated with the IARU for both satellites are the following:

EASAT-2
• 145.875 MHz uplink, Modes: FM voice (without sub-tone) and FSK 50 bps
• 436.666 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW, FSK 50 bps, FM voice beacon with AM5SAT callsign

HADES
• 145.925 MHz uplink, Modes: FM voice (without sub-tone) and FSK 50 bps
• 436.888 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW FSK 50 bps, SSTV Robot 36, FM voice beacon with callsign AM6SAT

Source URE https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Spain

Read the May 2021 AMSAT-EA newsletter in English at

Click to access AMSAT-EA-Boletin_05-2021.pdf

URE satellite telecommand station automated

AMSAT-EA Hades PocketQube

AMSAT-EA Hades PocketQube

Spain’s national amateur radio society URE has announced their satellite ground station has been automated and is ready for the launch of GENESIS, EASAT-2 and Hades satellites.

A translation of the URE post reads:

The URE satellite monitoring and telecommand station, located at the Madrid headquarters, on Monte Igueldo street, has recently been completely automated, thanks to the efforts made in recent weeks.

These works, which began to be carried out before the confinements due to the pandemic, have consisted of the change of the lifting rotor, which due to its long time without maintenance had been unusable, the alignment of the antennas, both VHF and UHF, of circular polarization, the installation of a Linux computer, the configuration of the reception software with SDR and the emission software using Pluto hardware, acquired by URE, as well as the automation of the rotor control with the hardware provided by EA4TX (ARS).

This station will automatically record and analyze the telemetry of the twin GÉNESIS satellites, as well as EASAT-2 and Hades, all of them designed and built by AMSAT EA, as well as remote control in the event that actions are necessary on your computer from a on board, which, once in space, will be able to receive instructions from Earth to modify its operation, although the satellites themselves implement the intelligence necessary to adapt to adverse circumstances that may occur in space.

The GENESIS satellites should be launched soon, once Firefly, the American company that built the launch vehicle, completes the static tests of its Alpha rocket, which is already prepared at the Vanderberg space base in California. As for Hades and EASAT-2, both are currently at the Momentus space integrator facilities in Santa Clara, also in California, and it is expected that they can be launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket in late June from Cape Canaveral, once, overcome the problems of the Momentus company, which prevented its scheduled launch in January of this year.

Source URE https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Spain

GB2RS News available on QO-100 satellite from this Sunday

Es'hail-2 Qatar-OSCAR-100The RSGB has announced that their popular weekly GB2RS news broadcast will now be available via the QO-100 amateur radio transponder on the geostationary satellite Es’hail-2.

QO-100 provides continuous coverage from eastern Brazil to as far west as Thailand. There are two amateur transponders, one for Narrowband modes such as SSB and FT8 and the other for digital amateur television (DATV).

The RSGB website says:

“GB2RS can now also be heard via the QO-100 amateur radio satellite. The transmission is provided by Keith, GU6EFB at 0800UTC, using upper sideband on 10489.900 MHz, which is in the mixed-mode section of the narrowband transponder. QO-100 is a geostationary satellite with a footprint that covers Europe, Africa and India, so this news bulletin is a specially-adapted international version. The RSGB would like to thank AMSAT-DL for their kind cooperation in making this broadcast possible.”

If you do not have 10 GHz receive capability you can still listen to the broadcast on the AMSAT-UK and BATC WebSDR located at Goonhilly, see
https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/

RSGB https://rsgb.org/
https://twitter.com/theRSGB

QO-100 info https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/