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Ham Satellite news

AMSAT-DL next generation of a GEO/MEO amateur radio payload

AMSAT-DL has released their proposal about next generation GEO/MEO payload. AMSAT-DL’s proposal is written by the authors Kai Siebels, DH0SK and Matthias Bopp, DD1US. The proposal takes into account the technical requirements and needs of radio amateurs. Various aspects such as orbit, satellite and platform as well as payload are taken into account.

Please see: https://amsat-dl.org/en/the-next-generation-of-a-geo-meo-amateur-radio-payload/

Categories
Hamradio from ISS

HamTV system back on ISS

Repost from ANS-084

With the spectacular launch of SpaceX-30 on March 21, 2024, the HamTV system is now back on it’s on its way to the ISS. Although it is not expected that the HamTV equipment will be activated for at least a few weeks, the British Amateur Television Club (BAT) has created a new wiki page which gives a lot of information on how to receive, decode and display the DATV signals from the ISS. See:
https://wiki.batc.org.uk/HAMTV_from_the_ISS
There is also a discussion channel available on the site.

[ANS thanks Graham Shirville, G3VZV for the above information.]

Categories
Ham Satellite news

AO-73 transponder active

Strong but fading signal. See video clip for example.

Categories
Ham Satellite news

GreenCube IO-117 Continues Operations Beyond Expected February 5th Passivation

This is a re-post from ANS-042

GreenCube IO-117 satellite continues to function beyond the initially scheduled shutdown of the amateur radio digipeater on February 5, 2024, at 0000 UTC. There have been no recent developments regarding the fate of this widely-used satellite since AMSAT Italia’s announcement on February 2nd that the Italian Space Agency is considering revisiting the decision to decommission it. Originally designed for scientific purposes and placed in MEO orbit, GreenCube satellite has successfully completed its primary mission. The “Save the GreenCube Satellite Digipeater” petition initiated by Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, has gained significant traction, garnering over 2,000 signatures to date. The petition, accessible at https://www.change.org/p/save-the-greencube-satellite-digipeater , remains open for further support.

The support from the amateur radio satellite community for the GreenCube IO-117 digipeater has been exceptionally robust. Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR, has introduced significant enhancements to his GreenCube Terminal in the latest Version 1.0.0.88, which can be accessed at https://moonbounce.dk/hamradio/greencube-terminal-program.html. Notable improvements encompass SatNOGS Integration, GPS Integration, “AMSAT Sheriff” Wyatt, and Live World View. The Oscarwatch GreenCube Reporter map, developed by Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, is available at https://oscarwatch.org/greencube, serving as a valuable resource for monitoring real-time activity on GreenCube. The recent success of the TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition, which made numerous GreenCube digipeater contacts, can be attributed to these enhancements and the collaboration of operators adhering to the recently released IO-117 Code Of Conduct recommendations.

To get a comprehensive view of the considerable amateur radio activity on the GreenCube digipeater, you can explore the GreenCube IO-117 Users Map curated by Doug Papay, K8DP, accessible at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Y7O-rWll2QHFTjbBa4ThmZ3AG9ls8Io. According to the latest update, GreenCube has facilitated digipeating for 1,576 unique callsigns and 999 unique grids. This encompasses digipeats from 121 DXCC entities, all 50 US states, all 47 JA prefectures, and 36 out of 40 CQ Zones. Since its launch in July 2022, 846 ground stations have contributed over 3.4 million telemetry and 6.2 million digipeater frames to the SatNOGS database. The top five contributors to the database, in terms of total submissions, are Doug Papay, K8DP, with 1.1M submissions; Dave Webb, KB1PVH, with 734k submissions; Dave Fisher, KGØD, with 576k submissions; Shige Nasu, JH8FIH, with 507k submissions; and Jacob Mol III, N8JCM, with 498k submissions.

GreenCube IO-117 exemplifies the strong backing the amateur radio satellite community extends to satellite missions incorporating telemetry data alongside communication opportunities for radio amateurs. The forthcoming challenge for satellite missions lies in soliciting input from the amateur radio satellite community and ensuring tools are available prior to launch. Leveraging its unique orbit and capabilities, GreenCube has enabled many to attain challenging awards on satellites, such as ARRL DXCC, ARRL Worked All States (WAS), and the JARL Worked All Japan Prefectures Award (WAJA). AMSAT, alongside thousands of amateur radio operators, remains steadfast in their support for the GreenCube mission, with hopes for its sustained success in the future.

[ANS thanks Doug Papay, K8DP, Peter Goodhall, 2MØSQL, and Carsten Groen, OZ9AAR for the above information]

Categories
Ham Satellite news

Last QSOs via IO-117 Greencube?

Maybe this was my last QSOs via IO-177 Greencube? Almost impossible to get any packet digipeated – as allways on daytime weekday passes over EU and NA.

Categories
Ham Satellite news

The First Amateur Radio Station on the Moon

Re-published from ANS-035

A rendering of the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) on the lunar surface. [Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, image]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully landed their Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) on January 19, 2024. Just before touchdown, SLIM released two small lunar surface probes, LEV-1 and LEV-2.

LEV-2 collects data while moving on the lunar surface, and LEV-1 receives the data.

The JAXA Ham Radio Club (JHRC), JQ1ZVI, secured amateur radio license JS1YMG for LEV-1, which has been transmitting Morse code on 437.41 MHz since January 19. The probe uses a 1 W UHF antenna with circular polarization and is transmitting “matters related to amateur business.”

Radio amateurs have been busy analyzing JS1YMG’s signal, with Daniel Estévez’s, EA4GPZ, blog introducing the method and extraction results for demodulating Morse code from the signal, as well as extracting the code string.

It’s unclear how long signals will be heard. JAXA has said that SLIM was not designed to survive a lunar night, which lasts about 14 days, and is due to return in a few days.

SLIM was launched on September 6, 2023, and landed on January 19, 2024, with the mission of analyzing the composition of rocks to aid research about the origin of the moon. SLIM’s landing made Japan the fifth country to achieve a soft touchdown on the moon. The landing was achieved with exceptional precision — within 180 feet of its targeted touchdown location.

[ANS thanks ARRL News for the above information]

Lunar Excursion Vehicle (LEV-1) Amateur Telemetry Received

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed on January 20, 2024, that the Lunar Excursion Vehicle (LEV-1), a small robot deployed from the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), successfully conducted activities on the lunar surface. The telemetry data were sent directly from the small robot.

According to telemetry data, after deployment from SLIM, LEV-1 executed planned leaping movements and direct communication with ground stations, including inter-robot test radio wave data transmission from the Transformable Lunar Robot (LEV-2, nicknamed “SORA-Q”). On the other hand, image acquisition on the lunar surface has not been confirmed as of now.

Currently, LEV-1 has completed its planned operational period on the lunar surface, depleted its designated power, and is in a standby state on the lunar surface. While the capability to resume activity exists contingent on solar power generation from changes in the direction of the sun, efforts will be maintained to continue receiving signals from LEV-1.

Both LEV-1 and LEV-2 have become Japan’s first lunar exploration robots. Additionally, the small LEV-1 with a mass of 2.1 kg (including a 90g communication device), achieved successful direct communication with Earth from the moon. This is considered as the world’s smallest and lightest case of direct data transmission from approximately 380,000 kilometers away.

Furthermore, the accomplishment of LEV-1’s leaping movements on the lunar surface, inter-robot communication between LEV-1 and LEV-2, and fully autonomous operations represent groundbreaking achievement. It would be regarded as a valuable technology demonstration for future lunar explorations, and the acquired knowledge and experience will be applied in upcoming missions.

Moreover, the transmission of UHF band radio waves from LEV-1 as part of outreach efforts has encouraged participation from amateur radio operators globally, and we have been receiving reports of successful signal receptions. This initiative provided an opportunity for the public to be directly engaged in lunar exploration missions. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the LEV-1 mission.

LEV-1 has an International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) coordinated downlink frequency of 437.410 MHz. A detailed report on receiving and decoding LEV-1 telemetry has been prepared by Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ/M0HXM. It can be found at https://destevez.net/2024/01/trying-to-decode-lev-1/  An earlier summary of LEV-1 design and specifications is at https://robotics.isas.jaxa.jp/lev/LEV_HAM_Club.html.

[ANS thanks the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Daniel Estevez, EA4GPZ/M0HXM, for the above information]