AMSAT Field Day 2013

Saudisat SO-50

Saudisat SO-50

The AMSAT-NA site reports on satellite activity for this years ARRL Field Day which takes place June 22-23.

Every year AMSAT promotes a satellite version of Field Day during the ARRL annual operating event which is held on the 4th weekend in June. This year Field Day will take place from 1800 UTC on Saturday June 22, 2013 through 2100 UTC on Sunday June 23, 2013.

SaudiSat-Oscar-50 will be the only operational FM transponder satellite this year. If you are considering only FM voice operating for your AMSAT Field Day focus the single uplink/downlink channel will be extremely challenging. As in prior years, this intense congestion on FM LEO satellites drives the limitation in the rules allowing their use to one-QSO-per-FM-satellite. This includes the International Space Station. You will be allowed one QSO if the ISS is operating Voice. You will also be allowed one digital QSO with the ISS or any other digital, non-store-and-forward, packet satellite (if operational).

If you have worked the satellites on Field Day in recent years, you may have noticed a lot of good contacts can be made on the linear transponder satellites including VO-52, FO-29, and AO-7. During Field Day the transponders come alive like 20 meters on a weekend. The transponders on these satellites will support multiple simultaneous SSB or CW contacts.

The AMSAT Field Day 2013 event is open to all Amateur Radio operators. Amateurs are to use the exchange as specified in ARRL rules for Field Day. The AMSAT competition is to encourage the use of all amateur satellites, both analog and digital.

For the complete listing of the AMSAT Field Day Rules please refer to the documents posted on-line at:

[We thank AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, Bruce Paige, KK5DO for the above information]


Official Opening of the RSGB National Radio Centre

Official Opening of National Radio CentreWednesday, July 11, saw the official opening of the RSGB’s National Radio Centre (NRC) at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes.

Ed Vaizey MP Unveiling the Plaque with RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW

Ed Vaizey MP Unveiling the Plaque with RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW

The opening and unveiling of the plaque was undertaken by Mr Ed Vaizey MP. Mr Vaizey is the Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries and, as such, has overall responsibility for OFCOM. He stated that he fully supported the aim of the Centre in being able to enthuse and inspire children to become the engineers of the future.

Attendees included many of the sponsors together with Iain Standen, the Chief Executive of the Bletchley Park Trust plus, from overseas,  Dave Sumner K1ZZ, CEO of the ARRL and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR  IARU Vice-President.

Ed Vaizey MP and RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW

Ed Vaizey MP and RSGB President Dave Wilson M0OBW

AMSAT-UK have supported the creation of this valuable educational outreach resource at Bletchley Park and have arranged for the provision and installation of a set of fully steerable VHF and UHF satellite antenna arrays. It is hoped that it may be possible to use the NRC as the FUNcube-1 Mission Control Centre during the Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP) of the mission later this year.

National Radio Centre

AMSAT-UK at NRC for World Amateur Radio Day

Sponsor Plaques Fitted at National Radio Centre

Minister opens National Radio Centre

National Radio Centre – A First Look

Howard Long G6LVB and Carlos Eavis G0AKI

Howard Long G6LVB and Carlos Eavis G0AKI

AMSAT Fox-1 CubeSat selected for NASA ELaNa launch collaboration



Project ELaNa, NASA’s ‘Educational Launch of NanoSat’ managed by the  Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center, announced on February 10 that the AMSAT Fox-1 CubeSat has been selected to join the program.

NASA will work with AMSAT in a collaborative agreement where NASA  will cover the integration and launch costs of satellites deemed to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals.

Watch for full details to be published in the AMSAT Journal.

AMSAT teamed with the ARRL to write and deliver the 159 page educational proposal to NASA. Letters documenting the importance of AMSAT’s satellites in the education programs at the ARRL and also at the Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield schools in Brookline, MA, were important parts of our proposal.

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW said,
“The ELaNA Launch opportunity marks AMSAT’s return to space after the conclusion of the successful ARISSat-1/KEDR flight. We need to get the flight Fox-1, along with an operational flight backup satellite, built, integrated, tested, and delivered. Our ability to provide a spacecraft and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of our donors who wish to see Fox-1 fly.”

AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX noted this will provide a launch opportunity for AMSAT’s next generation of FM repeater satellites with features and operation beyond the experience of AO-51. AMSAT’s Fox-1 Engineering Team is making progress developing the advanced satellite that will provide these features:

Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51 and ARISSat-1 operations.

In case of IHU failure Fox-1 will continue to operate its FM repeater in a basic, ‘zombie sat’ mode, so that the repeater remains on-the-air.

Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its U/V (Mode B) transponder will make it even easier to work with modest equipment.

From the ground user’s perspective, the same FM amateur radio equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.

Extending the design, Fox-2 will benefit from the development work of Fox-1 by adding more sophisticated power management and Software Defined Transponder (SDX) communications systems.

The Fox-1 Project presents an opportunity to literally put your callsign on the Fox hardware. AMSAT is looking for major donations to help underwrite the cost of solar cells/panels, one of the more significant expenses of the project.

These solar cells are needed for the flight unit as well as for the a flight spare. As Fox-1 will have solar cells on all six sides of the spacecraft and given the relatively small surface area available on each side (at most 4″ by 4″ per side), AMSAT needs to invest in high efficiency solar cells to gain as much power as possible to operate the spacecraft.

Several opportunities to make your donation to keep amateur radio in space include:
• Call Martha at the AMSAT Office +1-888-FB AMSAT (1-888-322-6728)
• Paypal donation widget on the main page at:
• Paypal donation widget for Project Fox at:
• You can also go to the Paypal site and send your donation to
• The AMSAT Store:

Project Fox web site provide a good overview of the technical progress of the new satellite:

Thanks to AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX and AMSAT’s Project Fox Engineering team for the above information.