Amateur radio satellites launch on SpaceX STP-2 mission

Falcon Heavy STP-2 - credit SpaceX

Falcon Heavy STP-2 – credit SpaceX

Amateur radio satellites are expected to be launched between 0330-0730 GMT on June 25, 2019 on SpaceX Falcon Heavy STP-2 from LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Among the satellites (see links for IARU coordinated frequencies) are:

• Prox 1 ( Nanosat 7)
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=437
http://www.prox-1.gatech.edu/beacon.html
• LightSail B – (Deploying from Prox 1)
http://www.amsatuk..me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=489
• ARMADILLO
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=237
http://Armadillo.ae.utexas.edu
• PSat-2
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=473
http://aprs.org/psat2.html
• BRICSat-2
http://aprs.org/bricsat-2.html
• CP-9
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/_detail.php?serialnum=481
• Oculus-ASR
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=266
• E-TBEx-a
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=502
• E-TBEx-b
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=502
https://exploration.engin.umich.edu/blog/?page_id=3257

144 and 1240 MHz Bands – RSGB information

RSGB volunteers continue to be engaged with IARU and Ofcom on WRC matters including the 144 MHz and 1240 MHz bands as well as WRC-19 Agenda Items in CEPT-PTD (50 MHz, WPT, 5GHz) and CEPT-PT1 (24/47 GHz).

At UK level, RSGB are members of the Ofcom IFPG groups that consider these matters.

The RSGB has updated their special focus page with the latest documents and CEPT meeting minutes. See Proposed WRC-23 Agenda Items at
https://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-19/wrc-19-papers/

June 21 – RSGB Update on 144MHz and 1240 MHz band threats
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2019/06/21/update-on-144mhz-and-23cm-threats/

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CEPT Project Team A, responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19, met in Prague from June 17-21. The meeting minutes are available for download

Regarding the 1240-1300 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the European Commission (EC) stated that, RNSS systems are global by nature, and that the radio amateur service is allocated in all regions. Once RNSS receivers (including Galileo E6 receivers) are deployed ubiquitously, the number of interference cases coming from radio amateur emissions will increase significantly and represent an important burden to Administrations, unless clear guidelines are available in order to drive the amateur community towards an appropriate usage of their allocation.

For these reasons, the EC believes that the French proposal of a WRC-23 agenda item is essential in order to complement the work being started within CEPT, and to find a sustainable solution for all parties. Also, the EC considers that WRC-23 is the right time for a decision enabling the better regulation of the RNSS-amateur coexistence at international level, as Galileo will start providing freely available high accuracy services in the 1260-1300 MHz band on a global basis from 2020.

The EC noted that some of the 7 Administrations which objected to the French contribution are open to consider a revised version of the proposal, and therefore believes that relevant support may be achievable at CPG level, following further discussions until end August.

Regarding the 144 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the IARU stated that, the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz. This band is an important and the only globally harmonised primary allocation to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the VHF range. Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum. The proposal provides no justification for addressing this band and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems is likely to be difficult and will lead to constraints on the development of the amateur and amateur satellite services in this band.

Meeting minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

See the WRC-23 Agenda Items update issued by IARU Region 1 June 21
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/06/21/144-and-1240-mhz-bands-wrc-23-agenda-items-update/

Some background on previous CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA discussions on the 1240-1300 MHz band
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

16-year-old ham radio satellite builder in the press

FossaSat-1 PocketQube Satellite

FossaSat-1 PocketQube Satellite

16-year-old radio amateur Julián Fernández EA4HCD was interviewed by the newspaper El Mundo Chronicle about his FossaSat-1 PocketQube satellite.

A Google translation of an extract of the article says:

…at the age of seven someone told him about the International Space Station and, since then, he has not stopped fantasizing about the idea of a voyage safe from gravity. “Unlike the children of previous generations who dreamed of being astronauts without knowing very well how to get it, I have grown up with all the information at my fingertips,” he tells Crónica.”

Now Julián Fernández [EA4HCD], already as CEO of Fossa Systems, has just launched a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe with which he intends to finance his latest talent: a mini-satellite (the smallest in Spain and the third in the world) that will allow the Internet access throughout the world. “It is not designed to provide Wi-Fi hotspots,” jokes this student of 4th of ESO, “but to try to democratize access to telecommunications in the environment of the internet of things.” To meet its objective, and in order to reduce launch costs, the last two years have been devoted to miniaturizing the size of the satellite. “My prototype will take the internet to rural areas, many of them without coverage of any kind, so that monitoring data can be sent at no cost”.

Read the English version of the full article at https://tinyurl.com/El-Mundo-FossaSat-1

The Fossa team is made up of international members from all over the world working together thanks to the magic of the internet https://fossa.systems/about-us/

The IARU have coordinated a frequency of 436.700 MHz for the 100 mW downlink which is capable of 183 Hz Shift FSK RTTY 45 baud ITA2 and LoRa 125 kHz B/W 180 bps, details at
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=652

The ITU API/A is available here.

Fossa say they have signed a orbital launch contract with UK company Alba Orbital and a launch on a Electron rocket is expected in the 4th quarter of 2019
https://fossa.systems/fossasat/
https://twitter.com/FossaSys

144 and 1240 MHz bands – WRC-23 Agenda Items – Update

IARU was represented at the meeting of CEPT Project Team A (responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19), held in Prague from June 17-21.

The IARU Region 1 website reports:

Of particular interest were discussions on two proposed Agenda items for WRC-23, concerning the sharing of the 1240-1300 MHz band with the Galileo navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144 MHz amateur band, for future aeronautical applications.

The output from PTA does not carry forward the Galileo proposal, but it is likely that further discussions will take place prior to the Conference Preparatory Group meeting in August. Meantime work on this issue will also continue in other specialist CEPT forums. IARU will continue to support this approach and it believes this will be the most efficient method for developing the sharing guidance required to protect Galileo operations in a timely manner.

Regarding new aeronautical frequencies (including 144-146 MHz), the proposal was not strongly opposed by administrations and has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) meeting in August for final adoption.

IARU views with grave concern any proposal to include the 144 MHz band in the proposed aeronautical agenda item and will be making every effort to fully protect amateur radio interests and seek the support of regulators in this regard.

The band 144-146 MHz is allocated globally to the amateur and amateur satellite services on a primary basis. It is the only globally harmonised VHF band for the amateur and amateur satellite service. As such it is an important and widely used part of the amateur spectrum with a vast installed base of both terrestrial/maritime amateur users and systems and operational satellite stations including the International Space Station (ISS).

This heavily used band supports a large number of repeater stations, segments for weak-signal long distance terrestrial and EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, satellite and ISS usage, data services, as well as conventional terrestrial and tropospheric communications. The Primary status of the band has also enabled a number of amateur aeronautical uses including on manned flights and high-altitude balloons. Supporting all of this is a wide variety of commercial and experimental equipment, ranging from ultra-low noise preamplifiers for sensitive receivers, software defined radios and transmitting systems that can deliver high EIRP levels when needed to overcome high loss propagation paths.

Given the propagation to/from an aircraft at altitude, it is entirely possible that harmful interference to sensitive amateur and amateur satellite receivers will be caused over a 1,000 km radius of a single aircraft.

IARU will shortly be providing a brief to Member Societies and other interested parties, asking them to discuss the French proposal with their administrations well in advance of the August CEPT-CPG meeting.

It is possible that France will seek to introduce into other Regional Telecommunications Organisations (RTO) the same proposal to study the 144-146 MHz band for aeronautical use. IARU will provide a brief shortly to enable representations to be made to administrations in countries under those RTOs for protection of this amateur spectrum allocation.

Source: IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

The UK Microwave Group Tweeted:
“We hear only one admin (Germany) opposed the 144MHz proposal – no one else.”
https://twitter.com/UKGHZ/status/1142180732493803522

Download the documents from the CEPT CPG Project Team A meeting in Prague June 17-21 from
https://cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents/?flid=5624

Meeting Minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/france-proposes-144-146-mhz-for-aeronautical-mobile-service.htm

1240-1300 MHz band discussed by CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

1240-1300 MHz IARU Region 1 paper PTA(19)069 – RNSS Proposal WRC-19 AI 10
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2019/06/PTA19069_IARU_AI-10_Amateur-GNSS_Final.pdf

Could a new licence class help counter threats at VHF and above?
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/could-a-new-licence-counter-threats-at-vhf-and-above.htm

HS10KING on QO-100 geostationary satellite

HS10KING QSL Card

HS10KING QSL Card

To strengthen the relationship between Thai and Japanese amateur radio operators representatives of the JAMSAT group of Japan have travelled to Thailand to visit the satellite ground station HS0AJ.

They will operate from the Ground Station of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under the patronage of His Majesty the King (RAST).

On the occasion of the coronation of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, HS10A (pronounced “Hotel Sierra-TEN-Alpha), as the 10th king to reign in the Chakri Dynasty, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Thailand’s regulator, has authorized the special callsign HS10KING (pronounced “Hotel Sierra-TEN-KING).

There will be an opportunity to communicate with HS10KING using the QO-100 amateur radio satellite and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites that windows pass over Thailand by amateur radio stations which is similar to AMSAT Germany’s use of the special callsign DL50AMSAT using the QO-100 satellite.

RAST hence invites AMSAT amateur radio satellite operators to join in contacting the HS10KING special event station from June 22, 2019 at 10.00 UTC (17.00 Thailand time) until June 23, 2019 at 10.00 UTC (17.00 Thailand time) using SSB mode and DATV (333 – 250 KS) signals from the station HS10KING.

Please be informed and let others know of this opportunity.

Sincerely and with respect, de HS1JAN
Tanan Rangseeprom
Project Manager of JAISAT-1

QO-100 (Es’hail-2) https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

WRC-23 Agenda Items may impact 144 MHz and 1240 MHz bands

IARU Region 1 notes that there are two proposals under discussion in Europe as possible future Agenda Items at WRC 2023, which potentially could impact important amateur radio frequencies.

IARU Region 1 has posted:

The following sets out the current IARU position on these proposals.

A proposal from France to consider the band 144-146 MHz as a primary allocation to the Aeronautical Mobile service, as part of a broader consideration of the spectrum allocated to that service.

The band 144-146 MHz is allocated globally to the amateur and amateur satellite services on a primary basis. This is one of the few primary allocations to the amateur service above 29.7 MHz and as such is an important and widely used part of the amateur spectrum with a vast installed base of users and operational satellite stations.

IARU views with grave concern any proposal to include this band in the proposed study. It will be representing this view energetically in Regional Telecommunications Organisations and in ITU to seek to obtain assurances that the spectrum will remain a primary allocation for the amateur services.

A proposal to study the amateur allocation in the 1240-1300 MHz (“23cm”) band following reported cases of interference to the Galileo navigation system.

IARU is aware of a handful of cases where interference to the Galileo E6 signal has been reported. In all cases these have been resolved by local action with the full cooperation of the amateur stations concerned.

IARU does not want the amateur service to affect the operation of the Galileo system in any way. Joint studies have been carried out to assess the true vulnerability of the system and, based on these, IARU regards the proposal to initiate an Agenda item for WRC-23 as premature.

The IARU position is that proper technical assessment of the issues involved should be made in the relevant CEPT study group. Proper account needs to be taken of the operational characteristics of the amateur service in order to develop sensible and proportionate measures that will facilitate the continued utility of the band for amateur experimentation whilst respecting the primary status of the GNSS service.

IARU is ready to cooperate fully in any studies and shares the objective of reaching a secure and permanent solution to the issues of sharing in this band.

IARU asks its Member Societies to draw this information to the attention of their members, and to refrain at this time from making speculative public comments about the situation until further progress has been made in regulatory discussions. IARU is also ready to discuss this issue with other societies not in IARU membership.

Source IARU Region 1
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/88-news/1864-wrc-23-agenda-items

1240-1300 MHz band discussed by CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/