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Amateur Radio Payloads Released into Orbit from ISS

The following from ARRL:


A package of two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads has been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a collaborative Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin research effort. Built by Texas A&M students, AggieSat4 (AGS4) will release UT’s Bevo-2 CubeSat in about a month, once it is far enough away from the ISS. Both schools received support from NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC) for the design, construction, testing, and launch phases. The goal of the overarching LONESTAR (Low Earth Orbiting Navigation Experiment for Spacecraft Testing Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking) program is for the two satellites to individually rendezvous with each other and perform docking and undocking maneuvers.

“The overall objective is to find ways for small spacecraft to join together autonomously in space,” Helen Reed, KD7GPX, professor of aerospace engineering and director of the AggieSat Lab at Texas A&M told NASA. “We need simple systems that will allow rendezvous and docking with little to no help from a human, which will become especially important as we venture farther out into space. Applications could include in-space assembly or reconfiguration of larger structures or systems as well as servicing and repair.”

The AggieSat team received its first beacon signal from the satellite at its Texas A&M Riverside Campus ground station. The AggieSat4 team is asking any Amateur Radio operators receiving the beacon signal to send any data to the AGS4 team. AggieSat4 will transmit 9.6 kbps FSK telemetry and 153.6 kbps FSK on 436.250 MHz. Once it’s placed into its own orbit, Bevo-2 will transmit on 437.325 on CW and 38.4 kbps FSK.

Both satellites were launched to the space station during a December 6, 2015, resupply mission. Earlier last week, Astronauts Tim Peake, KG5BVI, and Scott Kelly made preparations to deploy the sizeable LONESTAR phase 2 mission satellite package from the ISS, using the SSIKLOPS deployer. The satellite mission also will demonstrate communication cross links, data exchange, GPS-based navigation, and other tasks. AggieSat4 will capture images of the Bevo-2 release.

The satellites were independently developed by student teams at the two universities. Both teams were responsible for development plans for their satellite and had to meet established mission objectives.

The Bevo-2 Satellite was designed, built, and tested in the Texas Spacecraft Lab (TSL) at the University of Texas at Austin. “This whole experience is very exciting,” TSL Director Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, said last fall as undergraduate and graduate students were in the final stages of their project. “It’s great to have a research program where our students can build satellites that fly in space.” Reed and Lightsey are co-investigators for the LONESTAR 2 project. 

New XW-2 satellites – linear transponders active

Information below is from AMSAT-UK


Nine XW-2/CAS-3 amateur radio satellites were successfully launched on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 23:01:14 UT on Beijing’s new Chang Zheng 6 (CZ-6) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

Six satellites (designated XW-2A to XW-2F) carry 435/145 MHz U/V linear transponders for SSB/CW communications, LilacSat-2 (CAS-3H) has a V/U FM voice transponder and APRS. The other two satellites DCBB (CAS-3G) and NUDT‐Phone‐Sat (CAS-3i) only have telemetry downlinks.

The frequencies to be used by the satellites are here. Some satellite frequencies fall outside the international amateur satellite bandplan, so please be aware of local terrestrial users.

camsat-cas3a1David Bowman G0MRF reported “Good signals from CAS3-F at 07.00 UTC  over Europe. Managed QSOs with SP5ULN in KO02  and F1AFZ in JN17 using the special event station at GB0RWC (Rugby World Cup).”

XW-2 / CAS-3 Satellite Frequencies PDF

For the latest status reports join the AMSAT Bulletin Board at

Further information on the XW-2 (CAS-3) satellites is at

LilacSat-2 http://amsat-uk.org/2015/09/20/lilacsat-2-linux-telemetry-decoding/

Online orbital predictor (select XW-2) http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/predict/index.php

Satellite tracking information http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

SatPC32 doppler.sqf http://www.pe0sat.vgnet.nl/2015/xw-2cas-3-launch-information/


Published on Jan 16, 2015

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CW Field Day Message on 630 meter band–474 khz

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:52:57 -0700
From: John Langridge <
Reply-To: John Langridge <
Subject: CQ FD! 2014! de WG2XIQ

To: “
info@cowtownamateurradioclub.org” <info@cowtownamateurradioclub.org>
Greetings Cowtown club!  I wanted to extend this on-air demo opportunity to you and your group at Field day!
Starting with Field Day 2013, I transmitted a CW field day message on the 630-meter band for demonstration purposes to stations around the Texas area.  Let me be clear that this was not the ARRL’s Field Day message.  I hope to do it again this year, weather permitting, and wanted to let you know about it since I know you have low band enthusiasts out that direction.  Last year’s operation was amazingly successful and the message was copied as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah, using rigs and antennas set up for ham bands at a Field Day site.  All this was done with 1 Watt ERP and a short base-loaded vertical!
The plan will be to run the message on 474 KHz CW starting Saturday morning, June 28, around 8am and it will run through the end of Field Day on June 29, sometime after 1pm CDT.  I hope to run it at 15 minute intervals starting at the top of each hour and expect the message to run 5-10 minutes in length.
In addition to my station, there will be other Part 5 experimental stations around the US following suit with their own messages.  Below is a list:
WG2XKA in VT         472.5 Khz CW
WG2XJM in PA         473 KHz CW
WD2XSH/20 in OR    475 KHz CW
WG2XIQ in TX           474 KHz CW
So why do this?  We are hoping to show the value of the band, both in groundwave and skywave coverage.  The groundwave signals will outperform anything we have available to us under part 97 and the skywave, particularly during the winter, will surprise you, often times being reported thousands of miles from the transmitter site (I was heard in Europe and Alaska quite often last winter and make regular coast-to-coast QSO’s on CW and digital modes on 630-meters).  There are so many misconceptions about what goes on below the AM Broadcast band and we hope to provide opportunities for individuals at their club’s field day operation to experience the band first hand. Summer is not the best time to do this, but week keep signals on the band all year long and make QSO’s all year long.
Whatever antennas and rigs you might have hooked up for your operation, simply tune them to one of the frequencies above and see what you hear.  Again, I will be on 474 KHz CW and plan on running at a 15 minute interval if everything works out.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me directly via email.
73 and I hope your group has a wonderful Field Day 2014!
John Langridge KB5NJD / WG2XIQ
Duncanville, TX – EM12MP
PS:  I *may* offer a certificate to those that report my signal around the Texas area so reports, whether copied by ear or software are very welcome!

Possible ISS Contacts on Field Day 2014

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 175.01 
DATE June 24, 2014 
BID: $ANS-175.01 

Possible ISS Voice Contacts on Field Day 
David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations 

Current discussions between the ARISS team and NASA suggest the 
possibility of voice contacts with the International Space Station 
(ISS) during Saturday’s ARRL Field Day activities this coming weekend. 

In a June 23 email, Kenneth Ransom, the ISS Ham Radio payload 
developer, stated “I have received a response from astronaut (Reid) 
Wiseman that he is willing to try and work some stations on Saturday
Pass times begin very soon after the start of Field day.” Wiseman 
would operate under the call sign, NA1SS. Should Alex Gerst 
participate, he would use the call sign, DP0ISS. 

If voice operation does occur, It will likely take place from the 
Columbus (COL) module using the standard Region 2 uplink frequency of 
144.49 MHz and 145.800 MHz for downlink. It’s expected that the packet 
system will be operational on 145.825 MHz during periods when the crew 
is not available. 

It’s not clear whether any of the Russian crew would participate from 
the Russian module, but if so, they would be directed to use 437.550 
MHz for any contacts using the call sign RS0ISS. The COL would also be 
available to their crew using the VHF frequencies above, if Wiseman is 
not operating. 

Listed below are approximate pass times and a chart showing ISS passes 
for the Field Day weekend. The pass times shown are not definite, 
scheduled times with the crew. They may or may not be able to support 
these times. And, updates to this tentative plan will be released as 
they become available. 

Saturday, June 28
+ N. America (18:11-18:33 UTC
+ Hawaii (19:36 – 19:47 UTC
+ N. America (19:48-20:10 UTC

This news release including a color map showing all ISS passes for 
Field Day weekend for North America can be viewed on-line at: 
http://www.amsat.org/?p=2860 http://www.amsat.org/?p=2860 

[ANS thanks David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations for the above 

FUNcube-3 payload launch

The FUNcube team anticipate that the Dnepr launch of the amateur radio FUNcube-3 payload on the QB50p1 CubeSat will take place as previously stated.
This Thursday is the day!
To be precise, lift off is expected to take place from Yasny on June 19, 2014 at 19:11:11 UT and the deployment of the various payloads will take place over the Indian Ocean in a similar fashion to the launch of FUNcube-1 last November.
Pre-launch Keplerian elements / Two-Line Elements (TLEs) have not yet been made available but the details of the initial 145 MHz CW transmission format for both QB50p1, and its near twin QB50p2, can now be seen at
http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html
QB50p1 carries an inverting linear UV transponder with 400 mW output provided by AMSAT-NL and which is similar to that on FUNcube-1.
• 145.815 MHz 1200 bps BPSK telemetry
• FUNcube inverting 400 mW SSB/CW transponder
– 435.035-435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
– 145.935-145.965 MHz Downlink USB.
QB50p2 carries an UV FM transponder and FX25 data transmitter from AMSAT-F. It is expected that these payloads will be activated after the science missions have been completed.
• 145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25
AMSAT-UK will be monitoring the launch event and watching for signal reports on the #cubesat IRC channelhttp://webchat.freenode.net/ throughout the evening. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#cubesat http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#cubesat
FUNcube website
http://www.funcube.org.uk/ http://www.funcube.org.uk/
FUNcube Yahoo Group
http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/ http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
FUNcube Forum
http://forum.funcube.org.uk/ http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

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