IARU Aligns Satellite Coordination Guidelines with ITU WRC-15 Decisions

As the global federation of national associations of radio amateurs in more than 150 countries, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) for many years has provided frequency coordination services for amateur satellites free of charge.

Often these satellites are constructed by students at universities and other institutions as a part of their educational experience. In general, they have been licensed to operate in the amateur-satellite service, which is defined by the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as having the “…purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.”

Some administrations have issued experimental licenses for such satellites operating in amateur-satellite frequency bands. The IARU has coordinated these satellites as well, to reduce the possibility of harmful interference that might result from uncoordinated operation. Since 1 July 2014 it has not been possible to coordinate experimental satellites in the 144-146 MHz band because of the high probability of harmful interference in this heavily used band.

Educational satellite projects have grown in popularity as launch opportunities have increased. In 2012 the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference took note of the proliferation of what in Resolution 757 (WRC-12) it called “nanosatellites and picosatellites” and invited WRC-18 (now scheduled for 2019) to consider steps to facilitate their deployment and operation. Two Reports, ITU-R SA.2312 (09/2014) and ITU-R SA.2348 (05/2015), are instructive regarding the characteristics, definitions, spectrum requirements, and notification procedures of and for such satellites, which generally must use spectrum below 1 GHz for operational reasons.

At the following WRC in 2015, in place of Resolution 757 the Member States of the ITU adopted Resolution 659 (WRC-15) in which it was noted that the use of 144-146 MHz and 435-438 MHz by non-amateur satellites is not in accordance with the definition of the amateur-satellite service in the Radio Regulations. Resolution 659 cites the two reports mentioned above and makes it clear that the spectrum needs of what are now called “non-geostationary satellites with short duration missions” should be met either within the service in which the space station is operating or within the space operation service. Further, if new or upgraded allocations to the space operation service are required, studies should be limited to the frequency ranges 150.05-174 MHz and 400.15-420 MHz.

Accordingly, effective 1 August 2017 the IARU will be following revised guidelines for satellite frequency coordination.

The strong preference is for all satellites using spectrum allocated to the amateur and amateur-satellite services to operate under amateur licenses and within the definition of the amateur-satellite service and the service-specific Article 25 of the Radio Regulations. The IARU believes the definition is sufficiently broad to encompass nearly all educational satellite projects that include giving students hands-on experience with radiocommunication and are conducted under an amateur license.

The IARU will only coordinate a non-amateur satellite if an administration directs in writing that it be operated in an amateur-satellite band under an experimental or other non-amateur license.

Satellites with combined amateur and non-amateur missions will continue to be coordinated.

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination http://www.iaru.org/satellite.html

IARU Satellite Coordination Status pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

UBSEDS25 balloon has Slow Scan Digital Video

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

Bristol students plan to transmit 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) from the UBSEDS25 solar powered high altitude balloon planned to launch on Saturday, July 1.

On the UKHAS Google Group Richard Meadows M0SBU from University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UBSEDS) writes:

We’re planning a launch from Bristol this Saturday, July 1 between 0500 and 0530 BST. This is weather permitting, but the forecast currently looks okay.

This flight is similar to the previous UBSEDS24, except with some bug fixes and adjustments. It’s using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so there’s a NOTAM in place. This tracker has a Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 attached, which transmits images when solar power is available. It’s a different design to our launch last August; in this case the tracker will continue to operate even if the pi fails. For the curious the ‘pi status’ telemetry values are: 0 = off, 1 = on, 2 = PITS started, 3 = SSDV started).

There will hopefully be a cutdown mounted between the balloon and the tracker. We’ll be testing the 434MHz uplink whilst it’s still in range of Bristol; if it returns over the UK at a convenient time and place we will attempt to trigger the cutdown.

The tracker has a variety of transmissions:

• 434.635 MHz USB Telemetry:
– Contestia 16/1000 with pips and RSID, transmitting telemetry. Once per minute below 8km altitude and every two minutes otherwise.

• 434.637.5 MHz SSDV:
– Usually 300 baud RTTY, 850Hz shift, 8N2.
– GMSK within 100km of Bristol and Farnham as marked on the attached map:
– GMSK at 12 ksymbol/s. 4×4 interleaved, R=1/2 convolutional K=5, HDLC framing, whitened etc as per the AX5043 manual. Concatenated with RS(255,223) to mop up some burst errors.

If you are listening to the RTTY, remember to turn off the ‘RxID’ button on the top right of dl-fldigi.

Rather than the usual JPEG SSDV, this is transmitting Better Portable Graphics (BPG) images. This is experimental, and ssdv.habhub.org doesn’t support it just yet. Hence receivers should instead upload to
http://ssdv.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Please read the instructions on this site. You’ll need dl-fldigi release 3.2, as explained on the site. The dl-fldigi release can be found here:
https://github.com/jamescoxon/dl-fldigi/releases/tag/3.2

The flight is expected to head south-east towards France. Many thanks to everyone who attempts to track this.

Richard Meadows M0SBU
Bristol SEDS http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Launch date/times are always subject to last-minute changes, check the UKHAS Google Group for updates.

Useful High Altitude Balloon links for tracking etc https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Join New Zealand’s Most Exciting Amateur Radio Project – KiwiSAT

KiwiSat - AMSAT-ZLYes, we’re going into space and you can be part of it!

AMSAT-ZL has reached a staging point in the development of their satellite project, KiwiSAT.
We’re ready to go, ready to get up there!

The exciting KiwiSAT project, to create and launch a New Zealand produced satellite, started
several years back. Yes, it has suffered innumerable set-backs, relying heavily on assistance
from our American brothers and sisters, a reliance cut off mid-stream by USA moves on ITAR
(International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Right then the work was well advanced but based
on the USA standards and criteria. Suddenly the development was back to square one,
requiring redesign of almost everything.

The KiwiSAT Team met that challenge and has produced a fine unit ready to launch. Then
came another set-back. Our critically important Leader of the KiwiSAT Engineering Team,
Fred Kennedy ZL1BYP, was struck down and driven to endure many months of medical
procedures. This has have left him unable to continue his important work.

It’s time for renewal.

Over time the support team has aged, drifting from their positions of youth and ability. Much
has been achieved but all to no avail if KiwiSAT sits on a shelf.

Can you help?

AMSAT-ZL is looking both to its members and to the general New Zealand amateur radio
population for a coordinator to join the team and lead the project through this final stage. We’re
making history. We’re going into space!

We need a volunteer “Orbit Insertion Team” consisting of a Launch Co-ordinator and as many
assistants as he/she requires to undertake the task of securing a launch for KiwiSAT. This new
team will also take over Fred Kennedy’s leadership responsibilities. In parallel, the established
KiwiSAT engineering team will continue their involvement, giving support along the way.

Much of the new team’s work will be organisational rather than hands-on engineering.
Involved is arranging final environmental testing of KiwiSAT, identifying and negotiating a
launch, attending the launch and attending to funding for this final phase. Basic planning is
complete, we need action.

Other tasks will undoubtedly be crop up however it is envisaged that the current team will
ensure the preparation of KiwiSAT to full flight status is completed.

Offers need to be received by June 30, 2017. The AMSAT-ZL Committee will then appoint a
team and leader. Offers can be advised to the AMSAT-ZL Secretary, 894 Ponga Road, RD 4,
Auckland 2584 or by Email to iana@kcbbs.gen.nz or to myself tdcarrell@gmail.com. Email either
of us for more details.

Financial assistance is available to enable the successful applicant to meet for a briefing with
Fred in Auckland, July this year.

Thank you, Terry, ZL3QL, President AMSAT-ZL.

KiwiSAT http://www.kiwisat.org.nz/

AMSAT-ZL http://www.amsat-zl.org.nz/

Source: NZART InfoLine 356

ARISS SSTV Commemorative Activity

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

Special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions are expected to be made from the International Space Station on 145.800 MHz FM around the weekend of July 15.

In commemoration of their 20th anniversary, the ARISS team is planning to transmit a set of 12 SSTV images that capture the accomplishments of ARISS over that time.

The ARISS SSTV Blog says:

While still to be scheduled, we anticipate the SSTV operation to occur around the weekend of July 15.  We are planning for at least a 2 day operation, but are working for a potential longer operation. Note that all of this tentative and may change based on crew scheduling and
ISS operations.

Starting with our first meeting in November 1996, our joint operations on Mir, becoming the first operational payload on ISS in November 2000 to our 1103rd school contact (so far), ARISS’ accomplishments have been tremendous. We have touched the lives of many and inspired and educated countless students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Please stay tuned as more details on our SSTV event will be communicated in the coming weeks.  Please spread the word.  And think about how you can get students in your area involved in capturing these images.  We would love to hear your stories on how that goes.

73,  Frank KA3HDO

ARISS SSTV Blog http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/ariss-sstv-commemorative-activity.html

How to receive ISS SSTV https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

FUNcube Satellite Status June 2017

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

AMSAT-UK has released the FUNcube satellite status update report for June 2017.

AO-73 FUNcube-1

The transponder is normally operational only when the satellite is in eclipse, ie the solar panels are NOT being illuminated. During weekends (from PM Fridays UTC to PM Sundays UTC) the transponder is operational 24/7.

When the transponder is switched off, the telemetry beacon is on full power, when the transponder is on the beacon it is on low power. During holidays, e.g. Christmas, New Year, Easter, etc, the transponder maybe activated for extended periods. Watch AMSAT-BB for announcements which are usually made on Friday evenings (UTC)

The nominal transponder frequencies are:

Uplink: 435.150 – 435.130 MHz LSB (Inverting)
Downlink: 145.950 – 145.970 MHz USB
Telemetry Tx: 145.935 MHz BPSK

(The passband may be up to 15 kHz higher depending on on-board temps. Lower temperatures give higher freqs!)

FUNcube-2 (aka FUNcube on UKube)

The FUNcube-2 sub-system continues to operate autonomously and, almost continuously, in amateur mode. The transponder is operational and the telemetry downlink is functioning with about 70mW output. The FUNcube-1 Dashboard does not correctly display the telemetry but it does correctly decode the data and uploads it to the FUNcube Data Warehouse from where it can be examined. Most of the real time data channels are operational and these include battery voltages, temperatures and ADCS data coming via the main On Board Computer (OBC).

The transponder is interrupted for a few seconds every 2 minutes when the other transmitter sends its CW beacon and, occasionally, for a few seconds when the main OBC reboots (approx seven times each orbit).

The nominal transponder frequencies are:
Uplink: 435.080 – 435.060 MHz LSB (Inverting)
Downlink: 145.930 – 145.950 MHz USB
Telemetry Tx: 145.915 MHz BPSK

(The passband may be up to 10kHz higher depending on on-board temps. Low
temperatures give higher freqs!)

EO79 FUNcube-3

Due to power budget constraints the transponder cannot be operational 24/7 and an orbit specific schedule has been developed. The transponder will commence operation 27 minutes after the spacecraft enters sunlight and will stay on for a period of 25 minutes. This schedule may be modified in future months as a result of experience.

The nominal transponder frequencies are:
Uplink: 435.0723-435.0473 MHz LSB (Inverting)
Downlink: 145.946-145.971 MHz USB

Further detailed info on EO79 transponder frequencies is at:
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/11/10/eo79-funcube-3-transponder-commences-regular-operation/

EO88/Nayif-1/FUNcube-5

EO88 is presently operating in autonomous mode. The transponder is operational when the satellite is in eclipse, i.e. the solar panels are NOT being illuminated.

When the transponder is switched off, the telemetry beacon is on full power, when the transponder is on the beacon it is on low power.

The transponder frequencies are:

Uplink: 435.045 – 435.015 MHz LSB (inverting)
Downlink: 145.960-145.990 MHz USB
Telemetry Tx: 145.940MHz

All FUNcube transponders are sponsored by AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL. We are very grateful for the assistance given by Innovative Solution In Space Bv, The Netherlands.

AMSAT-BB http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

FUNcube
Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
Web http://www.funcube.org.uk/
Forum http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

Amateur radio to the rescue of satellite

I-Inspire-2 is a 20 x 10 x 10cm CubeSat built by the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales (Sydney)

WIA News reports:

On board the tiny spacecraft is an experiment, part of the QB50 project, designed to “explore the lower thermosphere, for re-entry research and in-orbit demonstration of technologies and miniaturised sensors”, as reported in earlier editions of the WIA broadcast.

Its operational frequency was coordinated by IARU to be in the satellite segment of the 70cm amateur band.

It was placed in orbit from the International Space Station in late May. The deployment was successful; however there were no signs of life when the ground stations started looking for it. The engineering group quickly tested various scenarios on the engineering model only to come to the conclusion that, due to the extended delay in the deployment, the satellite’s battery was likely to be depleted and the satellite was trapped in an endless loop, trying to deploy its antenna.

The engineering group suggested that the satellite is still listening albeit with its antennas in the stowed position. This meant that the satellite command receiver might have difficulty receiving any signals from ground control stations. A set of commands were devised which, if received, would instruct the satellite to wait until the battery is charged before attempting to deploy its antenna. Both UNSW and ANU ground stations transmitted the recovery command to the satellite; however after a week or so of no success it was decided that more transmitter power was required to overcome the lack of receiver sensitivity caused by the still stowed antenna. A request for assistance was passed to EME operators around the world and many responses were received.

The greatest hope for a successful recovery was thought to be PI 9 CAM using high power and a 25 m dish, normally used for radio astronomy but also EME. They were scheduled to transmit on the weekend of June 10-11.

On Sunday June 11, during the morning pass, Rob VK1KW reported a strong signal every 30 seconds on I-Inspire-2’s frequency. Dimitris VK1SV who is part of the ANU team, verified reception from home around midnight. The following morning Dimitris drove to the ANU ground station and was able to send commands to the satellite for the first time since it was deployed. Many other radio amateurs around the world also reported reception of the beacon. The satellite had come back to life!

This is a wonderful example of successful collaboration between radio amateurs and the academic community. If a frequency outside the radio amateur band had been used, it is doubtful that the satellite would have been brought back to life.

The crew of I-Inspire-2 wishes to thank all radio amateurs involved and is looking forward to a successful collection of data for the scientific experiment!

I-Inspire-2 official web site: http://sydney.edu.au/inspire-cubesat/project/index.shtml

( Dimitris Tsifakis VK1SV/VK2COW )

Source WIA News http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/