Lunar Amateur Radio Satellites DSLWP-A1/A2

Full Moon 2010 - Credit Gregory H Revera

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

Mingchuan Wei BG2BHC reports DSLWP is a lunar formation flying mission for low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and education, consists of 2 microsatellites.

Developed by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology the amateur radio payload onboard DSLWP-A1 will provide telecommand uplink and telemetry / digital image downlink. An open telecommand is also designed to allow amateurs to send commands to take and download an image.

The satellites are 50x50x40 cm with a mass of about 45 kg and are 3-axis stabilized. Two linear polarization antennas are mounted along and normal to the flight direction.

The team proposes downlinks for A1 on 435.425 MHz and 436.425 MHz while downlinks for A2 would be 435.400 MHz and 436.400 MHz using 10K0F1DCN or 10K0F1DEN 250 bps GMSK with concatenated codes or JT65B.

Planning a launch into a 200 x 9000 km lunar orbit in June 2018. Further info at http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/

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

RSGB Spectrum Forum Reports Released

Sarah-Sipple-M6PSK-G100RSGB_Aug2013The reports from the RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting held October 29, 2016 have been released. The VHF Spectrum Report highlights the 12 dB increase in Noise Floor.

The report, produced by the RSGB VHF Manager John Regnault G4SWX, notes that Ofcom have increased the noise floor criteria used to calculate coverage areas for Low Band VHF from -104dBm to -92dBm. This recognises the increase in human-generated noise in this part of the spectrum.

The increase in Noise Floor level means you now need 150 watts to achieve the coverage once obtained with a 10 watt transmitter.

Read the VHF Spectrum Report at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2016/11/5.2_VHF-Managers-report_Oct2016.pdf

Read the AMSAT-UK report at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2016/11/7.1_AMSAT-UK_SpectrumForum_Oct2016.pdf

Read the other Spectrum Forum reports at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/spectrum-forum-posts-overview/spectrum-forum-meeting-minutes/2016/11/04/spectrum-forum-meeting-2016/

IARU issue Amateur-Satellite Service spectrum requirements

IARU_LogoThe IARU has released a revised edition of Spectrum Requirements for the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services.

The document mentions the need for the expansion of the 20m band from 14000-14350 kHz to 14000-14400 kHz which was the spectrum originally allocated to amateurs at the 1927 Washington Conference. No expansion to the 14 MHz Amateur-Satellite allocation is planned.

The IARU seeks expansion to 250 kHz of the Amateur-Satellite Service allocations at both 18 and 24 MHz.

A harmonized allocation for the Amateur-Satellite Service is sought at 50-54 MHz, to bridge the gap between 28 MHz and 144 MHz but it should be noted the IARU plans for a harmonized 50 MHz band at WRC-18 are for the Amateur Service only not Amateur Satellites.

The document notes that because of the crowding of the existing band 435-438 MHz with uncrewed amateur satellites and crewed space stations, it is desirable to study expansion of the band. This is exactly what the IARU were saying over 8 years ago, as yet they do not appear to have actually studied band expansion. See the 2008 IARU Spectrum Requirements document.

Regarding the existing 1260-1270 MHz Amateur-Satellite Service allocation the IARU say they seek the deletion of the “Earth-to-space only” restriction. They note that WRC-2000 allocated the band 1240-1300 MHz to the radiodetermination-satellite service for space-to-space use. In addition, WRC-2000 allocated the band 1260-1300 MHz to the radiodetermination-satellite service for space-to-Earth use such as for the European Galileo positioning system. These actions do not change the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Service allocations but present new sharing situations and potential operating restrictions.

Due to the high level of interference from license exempt devices substitute spectrum for the Amateur-Satellite Service 2400-2450 MHz allocation is sought.

It seems the IARU no longer any intends to seek a global Amateur-Satellite Service allocation at 3400-3410 MHz.

There are no plans to improve the status of Amateur-Satellite allocations at 5 or 10 GHz.

Download the Spectrum Requirements document from
http://www.iaru.org/spectrum-requirements.html

Download the Summary Record of the IARU Administrative Council meeting held in Viña del Mar, Chile, October 7-8, 2016 http://www.iaru.org/administrative-council-meetings.html

ESEO Project Update October 2016

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC and Pete Bartram from Surrey Space Centre with the AMSAT-UK payload and some of the ESEO electronics

Chris Bridges 2E0OBC and Pete Bartram from Surrey Space Centre with the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 payload and some of the ESEO electronics

A team of three from AMSAT-UK and Surrey Space Centre visited Forli in Italy in mid-October where the Engineering Model of the ESEO satellite is being assembled.

ESEO, The European Student Earth Orbiter, is a 50 kg satellite from ESA Education incorporating payloads from AMSAT-UK and Universities around Europe.

The AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 payload will provide a 1260/145 MHz FM transponder and 145 MHz 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon to provide a telemetry downlink that can be easily received by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. The data will be displayed in an attractive format and provide stimulation and encouragement for students to become interested in all STEM subjects in a unique way.

The target audience is primarily students in Secondary and Higher education, the project includes the development of a simple and cheap “ground station” operating on VHF frequencies in the Amateur Satellite Service. The ground station would comprise an omni-directional antenna feeding a FUNcube DonglePRO+ SDR receiver which will receive the signals direct from the satellite and transfer the data to specially developed graphical software running on any Windows laptop.

David Bowman G0MRF holds the ESEO bottom plate during the fit check of the L band patch antenna

David Bowman G0MRF holds the ESEO bottom plate during the fit check of the L band patch antenna

During the visit to Forli, the team began work integrating the AMSAT-UK payload into a FlatSat version of ESEO at the facilities of Sitael, who are the prime contractor for the mission. One of the main objectives was to check communication between the payload’s CAN bus, the ESEO On-Board Data handling system (OBDH) and the science payloads. Until now the communication between units, using the CAN-Open protocol had only been simulated as each part of the satellite had been assembled in a different part of Europe. After a tense few hours and a few inevitable refinements to the firmware, data started flowing as planned and another milestone had been achieved.

When on orbit, the ESEO AMSAT-UK payload will transmit telemetry on 145.930 MHz at 1200 bps for educational outreach in a similar way to the FUNcube-1 satellite (AO-73). Additionally, In the event of a failure of the main 2.2 GHz S-Band transmitter, the payload will act as a redundant communications system for transmitting science data. To achieve this the payload can increase its transmission rate to 4800bps.

The team also carried out a fit check for the circular polarised L band patch antenna and checked out the L band to VHF FM transponder.

The flight model of ESEO is due to be delivered at the end of  the 2nd quarter of 2017. An Invitation to Tender for the launch has been issued by ESA.

Watch An RF look at ESEO by David Bowman G0MRF

2016 International Space Colloquium Presentations Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/playlists

ESEO https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/eseo/

A Geosynchronous Ham Radio Satellite

AMSAT members with the 5 GHz and 10 GHz Phase 4B geosynchronous satellite

AMSAT members with the 5 GHz and 10 GHz Phase 4B geosynchronous satellite

Gary Pearce KN4AQ has released a video of the Digital Communications Conference presentation by Bob McGwier N4HY about the AMSAT payload for a geosynchronous satellite.

Possible coverage of Geosynchronous satellite 74 degrees West - Credit Bill Reed NX5R

Possible coverage of Geosynchronous satellite 74 degrees West – Credit Bill Reed NX5R

AMSAT-NA is developing a “hosted payload” for a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa.

The amateur radio payload will comprise a Software Defined Transponder capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB.

Gary Pearce KN4AQ writes: We’ve been hearing about a Geosynchronous satellite for the Western Hemisphere for a while now, but not many details. In this episode from the DCC, project leader Bob McGwier N4HY fills in a lot of blanks. There’s no launch date yet, and maybe not quite enough info to start building your ground station (a ‘Five & Dime’ setup – 5 GHz up, 10 GHz down), but you can start thinking about it.

HRN 272: A GeoSync Ham Radio Satellite for the Americas – from the DCC on Ham Radio Now

What does a geosynchronous orbit look like?
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/na-gso-sat/

Previous editions of HamRadioNow http://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

Amateur Satellite 5.7 GHz LNA

AMSAT-NA 5.7 GHz LNA

AMSAT-NA 5.7 GHz LNA

The AMSAT-NA site carries a picture showing the mechanical prototype of the 5.7 GHz Low Noise Amplifier which will be used in the Phase 5 Lunar and Phase 4B Geosynchronous amateur radio satellite projects.

Unfortunately US Federal Government ITAR legislation prevents them disclosing any technical information about it.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) inexplicably applies to amateur radio satellites. It threatens US radio amateurs with jail terms or six figure fines if they cooperate with amateurs outside the USA on satellite projects. Cooperation includes talking about or publishing on the web certain information regarding amateur radio satellite systems.

The AMSAT-NA 5.7 GHz LNA page can be seen at http://www.amsat.org/?p=5519

5 GHz / 10 GHz amateur radio transponders are planned for the Heimdallr spacecraft expected to launch in September 2018 into a Lunar orbit. Further information is at
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/09/07/5-ghz-to-10-ghz-lunar-transponder-mission/

ITAR – Section 1248 Report Released
https://amsat-uk.org/2012/04/22/itar-1248-report-released/

AMSAT Wants Amateur Radio Satellites Off US Munitions List
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/07/31/amsat-wants-amateur-radio-satellites-off-us-munitions-list/