ARISSat-1 may de-orbit in April 2012

According to predictions from Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL, the ARISSat-1satellite is due to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in early April 2012.

Launched from the International Space Station on August 8, the satellite is traveling in a low orbit and is steadily losing altitude. The rate of orbital decay may be accelerated by increasing atmospheric density caused by increased solar activity. With that factor in mind, some ARISSat-1 decay predictions suggest re-entry as early as February 1.

ARISSat-1 remains quite active, sending voice messages, digital telemetry and Slow Scan TV images.

Amateurs have also been able to enjoy contacts through ARISSat-1’s linear transponder despite the fact that the UHF antenna was apparently damaged prior to (or during) deployment.

Last month, AMSAT-NA announced a competition to see who can record the last bits of telemetry as ARISSat-1 makes its final plunge.

To decode the CW or BPSK telemetry you must use the ARISSATTLM software for Windows or Mac OS. The CW signal is transmitted at 145,919 MHz and the BPSK signal appears at 145,920 MHz, plus or minus Doppler.

ARISSat-1/KEDR Team announces CW Contest

On August 3, 2011, the Amateur Radio satellite, ARISSat-1 began its education-based mission after deployment from the International Space Station. Students, teachers and amateur radio operators are invited to learn more about the satellite as a tool for education and its other features at http://www.arissat1.org/

The ARISSat-1 mission is to provide a variety of information through its many broadcast modes promoting STEM based education initiatives in the classroom. One of its modes is CW transmission. CW stands for “continuous wave” and is transmitted in Morse code.

To entice student interest in receiving Morse code, a CW contest has been created and all listeners are invited to participate.

Throughout recent history, a number of amateur radio operators, also known as hams, have made significant strides in developing space communications via ham radio. These are hams such as Owen Garriot, W5LFL making the first amateur radio contact from space and Jim White, WD0E, a technical contributor to the amateur satellite program.

To celebrate their accomplishments, the call signs of over 200 of these hams have been digitally stored on board ARISSat-1 and are being transmitted in rotation using Morse code at 145.92 MHz. The call signs can be heard between the RS01S CW identification and the CW telemetry in the repeated code transmission sequence.

To be a participant in the CW contest, all you have to do is copy and submit any 6 of the 200+ call signs you hear during multiple satellite passes, then submit the following information to: cwreport@arissat1.org

+ Your name or group’s name
+ Your ham call sign if applicable
+ Time in UTC and date of reception of each call sign
+ Your City, State, Country
+ Your email address
+ Your list of 6 call signs you have received

A major goal for this contest is to promote student interest in learning Morse code which continues to play an important role in emergency communications and is a fun way of sending messages using ham radio. In that spirit, we ask that participants copy the code by hand and refrain from using artificial means, e.g., electronic decoders, to decode the call signs. Due to the possibility of interference or excessive ambient noise that might be present during the pass, recording the code for playback and deciphering after the pass is permissible.

A copy of this information on the contest can also be found by going to http://www.arissat1.org and choosing the subtitle marked CW CONTEST under the Education menu.

For more detailed information on how to receive and decipher the CW transmissions, visit http://www.arissat1.org/ and choose the menu labeled FAQ and subtitle Receiving ARISSat-1.

We invite everyone to participate and be an important part of the ARISSat-1 mission experience.

Questions concerning the contest should be directed to: kc0zhf@yahoo.com.

A Very Important Note:
———————-
All ARISSat-1 listeners should refrain from publically disclosing any received call signs from their list. The call signs should only be posted to the CWreport email address mentioned above. Posting the contest call signs on the internet, amsat-bb, other bulletin boards or any areas for public viewing will result in the listener or group being disqualified from the contest along with the disclosed call signs.

More information on the transmission schedule and overall mission of ARISSat-1/KEDR can be found at:

ARISSat-1 Web site: http://www.arissat1.org/
AMSAT-NA Web site: http://www.amsat.org/
ARISS Web site: http://www.ariss.org/
ARISS Facebook Page: Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS)
ARISS Twitter site: @ARISS_status

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) is a non-profit, volunteer organization which designs, builds and operates experimental amateur radio satellites and promotes space education. We work in partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and fellow amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific innovation, and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground system designers and operators.

Our vision is to deploy satellite systems with the goal of providing wide area and continuous coverage for amateur radio operators world-wide. AMSAT is also an active participant in human space missions and supports satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community and other amateur satellite groups.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a volunteer program which inspires students, worldwide, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station on-orbit crew. Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities.

ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and local residents) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human space flight and the exploration and discovery that occur on space flight journeys along with learning about technology and amateur radio.

OSCAR News is published quarterly by AMSAT-UK and posted to members. To get your copy join AMSAT-UK online at http://tinyurl.com/JoinAMSAT-UK/
Free sample issue at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf

ARISSat-1 on Ham Nation Show

TAPR President, Steve Bible N7HPR, discusses the new amateur radio satellite ARISSat-1 on this weeks edition of the popular video show Ham Nation. He appears after the item on the Elecraft KX3 portable SDR transceiver.

Watch Ham Nation episode 16 at
http://twit.cachefly.net/video/hn/hn0016/hn0016_h264b_864x480_500.mp4

Other Ham Nation episodes can be seen at http://twit.tv/show/ham-nation/

Ham Nation airs live each Tuesday at 6:00 PT/ 9:00ET at http://live.twit.tv/

Radio-to-Soundcard interface to receive satellite SSTV

The ARISSat-1/KEDR team have released this information about receiving the satellite:

The FM downlink on 145.950 MHz will be audible on all common 2 meter amateur radio receivers with no modification needed to your equipment.

A CW/SSB receiver will also receive the CW beacons on 145.919 MHz or 145.939 MHz and the signals on the linear transponder passband between 145.922 to 145.938 MHz.

To take advantage of the full bandwidth of the downlink for SSTV, CW Decoding, BPSK Decoding you’ll need to add a few things:

+ You’ll need an audio patch cable from your receiver to your computer soundcard audio input. If you are already on the air with other amateur radio soundcard applications then you are ready with the hardware to receive, decode, and display the SSTV, BPSK-1000 or BPSK-400 downlinks.

+ You’ll need SSTV software (refer to the SSTV news item)

+ You’ll need the ARISSatTLM software to decode the BPSK telemetry. (refer to the ARISSatTLM news item)

The key difference is that the SSTV signal is transmitted on the
FM downlink on 145.950 MHz. The BPSK-1000 downlink is transmitted in SSB mode on 145.920 MHz. Depending on your equipment you may need to fabricate an audio patch to the computer soundcard input from both your 2 meter FM radio and 2 meter SSB radio.

An initial “RECEIVE ONLY” configuration is easily done consisting of an audio patch cable between your radio and the soundcard. The ARISSat-1/KEDR team testing the software noted that a minimal set up consisting of an audio cable from the speaker or headphone output from the radio to the line (or mic) input on your PC sound card was successful. If your rig has a ‘Line Out’ audio connection this can be run to the soundcard ‘Line In’ connection.

Many amateur radio “digital modes” articles, web pages, and books also discuss the more complex requirements to interface your transmitter to the soundcard and to control the push-to-talk functions. This is NOT required for you to successfully receive, decode, and display the signals you receive from ARISSat-1/ KEDR. To join into the all the fun your “RECEIVE ONLY” configuration will just need the audio cable!

ARISSat-1 signals heard!

ARISSat-1 signals heard!

ARISSat-1

ARISSat-1

On Saturday ARISSat-1 was activated from onboard the Internatonal Space Station and its signals have been heard using just a handheld.

On the AMSAT bulletin board Gould WA4SXM writes:

Johan, ZS1I in South Africa reports hearing the ARISSat-1/Kedr SSTV signal using a handheld and a rubber duck antenna.

Sergey Samburov reports the 2m (145.950 Mhz) and the repeated 70 cm (437.55 MHz) signals active.

Please report signals heard, location and equipment tojulytest@arissat1.org.