AMSAT-NA Space Symposium 2021 notes

From ANS-304, here are the notes from the AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium 2021:

AMSAT Board of Directors Meets, Officers Elected

The AMSAT Board of Directors, including newly elected Board members, met via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 29. The day-long meeting included the election of officers for the 2022 year. Elected were:

  • President, Robert Bankston, KE4AL
  • Executive Vice President, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
  • Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY
  • Vice-President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
  • Vice-President of User Services, vacant
  • Vice-President Educational Relations, Alan Johnston, KU2Y
  • Vice-President Development, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW
  • Secretary, vacant
  • Treasurer, Steve Belter, N9IP

The Board Meeting was livestreamed on YouTube and open to public view.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]

AMSAT Board of Directors Hears Various Reports

The AMSAT Board of Directors, including newly elected Board members, met via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 29. The day-long meeting included hearing reports on a vast array of projects and initiatives from officers and team leaders:

  • President Robert Bankston, KE4EL, reported that membersip numbers are holding strong, and that recent administrative modernization has reduced overhead costs by more than 30%.
  • Treasurer Steve Belter, N9IP, affirmed the good news about finances. AMSAT is operating ”in the black,” and new electronic systems for handling transactions are working well.
  • VP Development, Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, noted that, despite AMSAT’s solid financial standing, additional funds are needed to design, build, and launch satellites. Thus, an effort to apply for grants from philanthropic organizations and corporate sponsors is underway. He also updated plans for the AMSAT Youth Initiative to launch in early 2022.
  • VP Educational Relations, Alan Johnston, KU2Y, reported on the CubeSat Simulator and High Altitude Balloon projects that have been utilized in classrooms and school amateur radio clubs. Volunteers are being sought to develop lesson plans and curriculum for junior high and high school students.
  • David Taylor, W8AAS, AMSAT Delegate to ARISS-International, updated the Board on ARISS school contacts, classroom lessons and hardware kits, as well as the on-board equipment on the space station.
  • Executive Vice President, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, reported on regulatory issues, including loss of the 3.3-3.5 GHz band and new leadership at the FCC.
  • Vice-President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, provided a recap of current AMSAT satellites and their status. It was noted that AO-91 and AO-92 are in the ”end of life” mode, and users are implored to avoid accessing these satellites during eclipse.
  • Following a recess for lunch, AMSAT Journal editor, Joe Kornowski, KB6IGK, previewed ong-range plans to move the Journal from Adobe Acrobat format to a fully digital format that would allow live links to resources both on and beyond the member portal.
  • Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, AMSAT Website and IT Manager, updated the Board on the past year’s transition to a new email platform and highlighted the demands for more expertise as web and IT services become more critical to the organization.
  • AMSAT Contests and Awards, and the AMSAT Store, are both managed by Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Ways of promoting awards and store items were discussed.
  • VP Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, reported on future satellite projects:
  • Linear Transponder Module currently being provided to the University of Maine for their MESAT1 to be launched next year.
  • GOLF-TEE is under construction and has been added to a launch manifest, tentatively for summer of 2022. Supply chain issues are impacting construction.
  • GOLF-1 is planned for delivery one year after completion of GOLF-TEE. Much about this and future GOLF satellites will depend on what is learned from GOLF-TEE.
  • Orbital Debris Assessment Regulations (ODAR) complicate the design and licensing of the GOLF 3-U platforms. NASA/FCC assessments assume a worst-case scenario in which everything fails. If everything works, the service life of the satellite is drastically reduced.
  • Current projects are stretching the available human resources, and additional volunteers are needed to assist in the building of satellite hardware.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]

AMSAT Board of Directors Considers Proposals

At an online Zoom meeting held on Friday, Oct. 29, the AMSAT Board of Directors considered a list of proposals. Adopted were…

  • Resolved, that the Board of Directors authorizes the senior officers to acquire a commercially-built FM satellite, including a launch, contingent on funding being received from external sources covering at least 90% of the total cost.
  • To authorize the creation of a working group to evaluate opportunities for a flight to a High Earth Orbit / Highly Elliptical Orbit.
  • That the President be instructed to create an ITAR/EAR/Open Source policy and that he be authorized to expend up to $10,000 for the retention of legal counsel to assist in the effort.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]

2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium a Success

The AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium a Success was held online on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMSAT changed plans for its 39th Annual Symposium and General Meeting from an in-person event to a virtual event. Additionally, the 2021 AMSAT 39th Annual Space Symposium and General Meeting was renamed in honor of Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO (SK), Director Emeritus and President Emeritus of AMSAT and Amateur Radio satellite pioneer. Clark died on September 28th. He was 82.

Highlights of the event included

  • Bob McGwier, N4HY, presented a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO
  • Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, with Mark Hammond, N8MH, presented a summary of the efforts to recover AO-109
  • Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T/NB2T, IARU Satellite Advisor, provided an update on the work of the IARU Satellite Panel
  • Mike Parker, KT7D, University of Arizona, gave a briefing on the CatSat project
  • Nick Pugh, K5QXJ, presented on the University of Louisiana CAPE satellite program
  • Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, presented on Open Source Flight Software Frameworks from NASA
  • Bob McGwier, N4HY, presented a paper on OREKIT software
  • Alan Johnston, KU2Y, Jim McLaughlin, KI6ZUM, and David White, WD6DRI provided a briefing on the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator and CubeSatSim Lite
  • David White, WD6DRI, Jim McLaughlin, KI6ZUM, Bernadette Lally, and Alan Johnston, KU2Y presented on the use of high-altitude balloon transponders as tools for STEM education
  • Dave Taylor, W8AAS, and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, provided an overview and update on ARISS
  • VP Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, provided updates on the Fox and GOLF programs

The day ended with the AMSAT Annual General Meeting, at which public announcement was made of some of the proposals approved by the AMSAT Board of Directors the previous day.

The 2021 AMSAT Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Memorial Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be available to the general public on AMSAT’s YouTube channel, https://youtu.be/RTvcceM7Tz0 at no cost.


FO-29 operation schedule for Sep. 2021


FO-29 operation schedule for Sep. 2021 (UTC)

4 00:03- 11:57- 23:09-
5 11:12- 12:55-
11 00:38- 10:55- 12:42- 23:43-
12 10:00- 11:47-
17 23:29-
18 01:14- 11:33-
19 00:20- 10:36- 12:23-
25 00:05- 10:22- 12:08- 23:10-
26 11:13- 12:56-


73, Hideo – JH3XCU


AO-109 Fox-1E telemetry and FT4 signal heard

During a high elevation passage over Stockholm area I managed to copy a very weak fraction of the AO-109 telemetry and two weak spots of my own FT4 signals. The FT4-signal was too weak to be able to decode.

I was using a Airspy Mini with SDR-Console V3 with 2*6 el Vårgårda Yagi in RHCP or LHCP on the downlink.

On the uplink I was using a IC-705 with 10 watts output to a 13 el LFA UHF X-Yagi.


AO-109 (RadFxSat-2/AMSAT Fox-1E) Open for use

Relayed info from ANS-201:

The AMSAT Engineering and Operations Teams are pleased to announce that AO-109 (RadFxSat-2/AMSAT Fox-1E) is now open for amateur use. Users are advised to use efficient modes such as CW or FT4 for making contacts, since issues with the satellite make SSB voice contacts challenging at best.

Please see the May/June 2021 issue (Vol. 44, No. 3) of The AMSAT Journal for an article by Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, and Mark Hammond, N8MH, detailing the various attempts to characterize AO-109 and its apparent problems.

On behalf of the Engineering and Operations Teams–

Jerry, N0JY and Drew, KO4MA

AO-109 Frequencies
Inverting Linear Transponder
Uplink 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz
Downlink 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz
1k2 BPSK Telemetry 435.750 MHz (non-operational)

[ANS thanks AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, and AMSAT Vice President – Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, for the above information]


AMSAT Pacsat Ground Station Version 0.43 Released

Info from ANS:
I’m releasing an update to the Pacsat Ground Station. This version

  • Parses the MO-112 FailSafe beacons and saves them for analysis.
  • Fixes a bug where FalconSat-3 telemetry data could not be downloaded from the server
  • Defaults FalconSat-3 to not check Pacsat File Header checksums. This was annoying for partially downloaded files.

You can download it here:

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, AMSAT Pacsat Ground Station Developer, for the above information]

Info from ANS:


AMSAT FoxTelem Version 1.11 Released

Info from ANS:

I am releasing version 1.11 of FoxTelem. This primarily supports new features needed for GOLF-TEE development and the CubeSatSim. If you are using FoxTelem in the lab or classroom then this release should be installed. It also fixes several bugs that will help with live decoding of AO-95. It is not a mandatory upgrade but it is recommended.

Specifically it addresses the following:

  • Fixes a bug where Costas decoding can stop if audio is being monitored
  • Supports all the latest features needed for the CubeSatSim
  • Better warnings for tracking and Find Signal errors
  • Supports all the latest GOLF-TEE layouts
  • Fixes a bug where strong signals may not be tracked correctly
  • Supports math expressions in telemetry conversions
  • Better handles USB device errors

You can download FoxTelem here:

Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments.

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, AMSAT FoxTelem Developer, for the above information]