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  • Sunday, July 8, 2012

    AMSAT: ANS-190 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

    ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North America, The
    Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS reports on the activities of a
    worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in
    designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital
    Amateur Radio satellites.
    Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
    ans-editor at amsat.org
    In this edition:
    * New AO7 Distance Record Set Twice This Week
    * Italian HF Special Event Commemorates Apollo Space Program
    * Listen for ARRL TI-2: Space in the Classroom Satellite Contacts
    * University of Florida SwampSat CubeSat Plans for December 2012 Launch
    * Satellite Presentation at University of Missouri on July 20
    * Near Space Balloon Flight Ham AK4JG Named Newsline Young Ham of the Year
    * ARISS Status - 2 July 2012
    SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-190.01
    ANS-190 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
    AMSAT News Service Bulletin 190.01
    July 8, 2012
    BID: $ANS-190.01
    New AO7 Distance Record Set Twice This Week
    On July 2 at 0955Z Bill Dzurilla, NZ5N operating from Slovakia as
    OM3BD (grid JN88) reported a successful contact via AO-7 Mode B
    with Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA (grid EN31). The GPS-measured distance be-
    tween grids JN88 and EN31 is 7849 km. Bill wrote, "Wyatt did all
    the hard work by waking up at 0300 his time, driving to a hill an
    hour away from his home, setting up his station, and working me be-
    fore sunrise. It appears that an even longer distance is attainable,
    and Wyatt is looking for a suitable place from which we can try be-
    fore I leave Slovakia in mid-July."
    Prior distance records set via AO-7 included:
    + PY5LF and ZS6BB 7630 km
    + PS8RF and ZS2BK 7694 km
    + K3SZH and PY2OV 7738 km
    + ZS6BB and EA6SA 7766 km
    + PY5LF and K3SZH 7843 km
    + OM3BD and AC0RA 7849 km (July 2 record with AC0RA in grid EN31)
    + OM3BD and AC0RA 7903 km (July 4 record with AC0RA in grid EN41)
    On July 4, Wyatt, AC0RA woke up early and this time drove 150 miles
    to EN41 and set up his portable station. A contact, lasting 30 sec-
    onds, with OM3BD extended the distance record to 7903.55 km.
    The theoretical maximum range of AO-7 is estimated at 7907 km.
    Recordings, pictures, and further info at
    [ANS thanks and congratulates Bill Dzurilla, OM3BD/NZ5N and
      Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA for the above information]
    Italian HF Special Event Commemorates Apollo Space Program
    ARI, the Associazione Radioamatori Italiani, and their club station
    IQ1TW announced a special operating award "Apollo Space Program -
     >From the Earth to the Moon" for contacts between July 1 - July 31,
    2012. This is to commemorate and keep alive the memory of the space
    program which has revolutionized the life of mankind.
    To qualify for the award you need to have confirmed contacts with
    the ARI Headquarters Station IQ1TW and any three stations from this
    On July 20, the anniversary of the first moon landing, a confirmed
    contact with IQ1TW (without the necessity of the other 3 contacts)
    will qualify you for the award.
    The special event stations will operate with 200 watts using dipole
    and vertical antennas.
    Full details, including a list of the planned HF operating frequen-
    cies and modes, log and confirmation information, rules, and appli-
    cation instructions are posted on the ARI web pages:
    [ANS thanks Associazione Radioamatori Italiani and the DXNL Bulletin
      #1786 -Jun 27, 2012 - for the above information]
    Listen for ARRL TI-2: Space in the Classroom Satellite Contacts
    The ARRL Teachers Institute - Space in the Classroom is this coming
    week - July 9-12. The Institute will meet in Dayton, Ohio and is
    sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association. Additional sup-
    port from ARRL ETP donors and Yaesu make this program possible.
    The TI-2 Space curriculum focuses on the nuts and bolts of setting
    up and operating a satellite ground station. This serves as excel-
    lent preparation for a scheduled contact with the ISS through the
    Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
    But it also provides instruction for continued use of satellites
    and other man made space assets to explore naturally generated sig-
    nals, space and a variety of topics.
    The course is 4 days: the first half will be setting up and learn-
    ing to operate the ground station, the second half will be practice
    making satellite contacts and instruction in using space borne assets
    in the classroom. Participants will receive all the equipment neces-
    sary to set up a basic satellite ground station.
    Matt Severin, N8MS will be instructing the Teachers' Institute. He
    will have 8 teachers learning how to set up and operate ground sta-
    tions. They plan to operate from about 1200 to 2000 UTC each day,
    give or take a few hours. Our primary amateur radio satellites will
    be AO27, SO50, FO29, and VO52. They will try to capture data and
    telemetry from the many cubesats currently operating. Amateur satel-
    lite operators are invited to take a moment to say hello and work a
    few of the teachers in Matt's group.
    Full details of the ARRL TI-2: Space in the Classroom program can
    be found on-line: http://www.arrl.org/ti-2-space-in-the-classroom
    [ANS thanks the ARRL and Matt Severin, N8MS for the above information]
    University of Florida SwampSat CubeSat Plans for December 2012 Launch
    A cubesat called SwampSat, built by students at the University of
    Florida, was recently unveiled. They also demonstrated the operation-
    al satellite to Florida's Lieutenant Governor.
    SwapSat is planning on a ride to orbit on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
    into a 450 km orbit with an inclination of 45 degrees in the December
    2012 timeframe.
    The SwampSat downlink will transmit 1 watt of RF on 437.385 MHz, 1200
    bps AX25 packet radio. The University of Florida video of SwampSat
    can be viewed at:
    For more information see also:
    UF shows off its small satellite:
    Gator Amateur Radio Club http://www.gatorradio.org/
    University of Florida Small Satellite Design Club (SSDC)
    [ANS thanks the University of Florida and AMSAT-UK for the above
    Satellite Presentation at University of Missouri on July 20
    Attention amateur radio operators near Kansas City, Missouri!
    On July 20, the Hams in Space Team will be giving their Satellite
    Presentation at the University of Missouri, Kansas City's Communi-
    versity. Communiversity is the University's Community Education
    Program available to anyone from the community who wishes to attend.
    Randy Schulze, KDØHKD wrote, "We're preparing this presentation to
    be enjoyed not only by Licensed Hams but also to members of the gen-
    eral community as a means of putting Amateur Radio's best foot for-
    ward, through information about at least one of the fun and amazing
    things that can be done with Ham Radio! If you plan to attend this
    presentation, please register early. If the anticipated attendance
    exceeds the capacity of the presently scheduled class room, the Uni-
    versity may be able to make arrangements to move the presentation
    to a larger class room."
    The University of Missouri Kansas City Communivarsity Web Site is:
    http://www.umkc.edu/commu. You will find all of the registration
    information there.
    Randy concluded, "So spread the word to your friends; Hams and Non-
    Hams alike! Register to attend the Hams In Space Presentation at the
    University of Missouri, Kansas City, Communiversity, and help put
    Amateur Radio's Best Foot Forward while at the same time supporting
    an Outstanding Community Service!"
    The class schedule is:
       7:00 PM, Friday, July 20, 2012
       Communiversity; University of Missouri, Kansas City
       Flarsheim Hall, Room 260,
       5110 Rockhill Road
       Kansas City, Missouri
    The Hams in Space web page can be found at:
    [ANS thanks Randy Schulze, KDØHKD for the above information]
    Near Space Balloon Flight Ham AK4JG Named Newsline Young Ham of the Year
    (Santa Clarita, California) - Erin King, AK4JG, a 17-year-old from
    Columbus, Georgia, who re-founded her high school's radio club and
    then lofted a ham radio-carrying balloon to over 90,000 feet, recov-
    ered the flight data and used it to produce a truly striking video
    of that flight, has been named as recipient of the 2012 Amateur Radio
    Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award.
    Erin is the daughter of Paul, K4ETY, and Patricia King.  She has two
    siblings:  Brandon, age 16 and Rachel, age 15. Erin became a licens-
    ed radio amateur in 2009 and now holds an Extra Class license. She
    is a member of the ARRL, the Columbus Amateur Radio Club, and the
    Russell County Radio Club. She enjoys operating on local VHF and UHF
    repeaters as well as phone and digital modes on the High Frequency
    amateur radio bands. She is looking forward to mastering Morse Code
    as her next amateur radio challenge.
    Erin became interested in amateur radio after joining a club at her
    high school dealing with robotics and then ham radio-equipped high-
    altitude balloon launches. This school group has participated in
    FIRST Robotics competitions, and Erin has twice been Team Lead for
    Programming. The club also launches several high-altitude balloon
    missions each year, in a program called DREAMS. They have flown var-
    ious scientific experiments as part of these missions, in addition
    to planning, building, and integrating radios, Global Positioning
    System (GPS) units and TNCs to track and recover the balloons. To
    facilitate these activities, the group's sponsor, Luther Richardson,
    KI4AOJ, has encouraged the students to obtain their amateur radio
    A subset of this group, including Erin, has participated in the Mass-
    achusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) "InvenTeam" competition,
    designing and building a portable lightning detector and early warn-
    ing system. In addition, Erin re-started the Columbus High School
    Radio Club and served as its president for the past two years. The
    club was active in the 1950s and '60s, and Erin's great-grandfather
    (the original K4ETY) was one of its mentors at that time. The new
    club obtained the callsign W4CHS (Columbus High School) and has been
      active on the air.
    Erin's involvement with amateur radio and FIRST Robotics has helped
    fuel her interest in science and engineering. Last year, she applied
    for early admission to both Georgia Tech and MIT; she was accepted
    to both and will be attending MIT this fall.
    Inside the shiny tube which contained Erin's MIT acceptance letter
    was a note suggesting that the students "hack" their tubes, meaning
    to do something cool with them, in a long-standing tradition of MIT
    hacks or stunts. Erin chose to send her tube to near-space.
    Drawing on her ballooning experience, Erin planned, built, integrat-
    ed, and tested a complete new tracking setup to fit into the very
    small shipping tube.  The payload consisted of two GPS units, two
    custom-made antennas, one Argent Data OpenTracker+ kit (which Erin
    built), one handheld radio, and a fellow ham's Byonics Pocket Track-
    er, a self-contained 100-milliwatt tracker/radio combination in an A
    ltoids® tin. Erin also talked her mother into letting her use mom's
    brand new GoPro Hero HD video camera.
    With the assistance of a group of hams from the Columbus Amateur
    Radio club, Erin launched her balloon from Lumpkin, GA. A couple
    of hours later, she and the tracking team successfully recovered
    it, along with the complete HD video record of the flight. Erin
    took this video, as well as other photos and videos taken of the
    launch activities, and compiled it into an 8-minute presentation,
    complete with background music. She posted it to YouTube, and put
    a link to it on the MIT hack-the-tube site. According to YouTube
    statistics, Erin's video has been viewed thus far in excess of
    82,500 times. (see <http://tinyurl.com/ak4jg-space-video>).
    This past May, Erin was invited to participate in no less than three
    forums and sessions at the 2012 Dayton Hamvention. These included
    the 25th anniversary "Youth Forum," the "Ham Radio Town Meeting" and
    an "ARRL Expo" presentation where her video was screened.
    The 2012 Amateur Radio Newsline™ "Young Ham of the Year Award" will
    be presented on Saturday, August 18th at the Huntsville Hamfest in
    Huntsville, Alabama. As the 2012 "Young Ham of the Year," Erin will
    receive -- courtesy of Yaesu USA -- an expense-paid trip to the
    Huntsville Hamfest, along with a gift of Yaesu brand ham radio equip-
    ment. CQ magazine will treat her to an expense-paid week at Spacecamp
    Huntsville, and will present Erin with a variety of CQ products. Ama-
    teur Radio Newsline™ will provide Erin with a commemorative plaque at
    the award ceremony. Once again, the cost of year's plaque has been
    underwritten by Dave Bell (W6AQ), President of DBA Entertainment Inc.,
    Hollywood, California. Heil Sound Ltd. will also be presenting Erin
    with a ham radio-related gift.
    [ANS thanks Amateur Radio Newsline for the above information]
    ARISS Status - 2 July 2012
    1. Virginia Contact to be Rescheduled
    The ARISS contact that was scheduled with the Virginia Air and Space Center in
    Hampton, Virginia on Tuesday, June 26 was not successful due to ground station
    issues. ARISS will try to reschedule this event for the week of July 23.
    2. ARISS Contact Featured at STEM Conference
    On Thursday, June 28, an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
    (ARISS) contact was held between Expedition 30/31 crewmember André Kuipers and
    students attending the STEM Solutions Youth Summit which was part of the U.S.
    News STEM Solutions 2012 conference in Dallas, Texas. Telebridge station K6DUE
    in Maryland provided the radio hookup. The contact, a highlight of the event,
    provided youth the opportunity to ask Kuipers about life and work in space.
    Leland Melvin, Associate Administrator for Education, and Charlie Bolden, NASA
    Administrator, attended the conference.
    [ANS thanks Carol, KB3LKI, for the above information]
    In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
    President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
    donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive addi-
    tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
    Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership
    at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students
    enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the stu-
    dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
    Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
    This week's ANS Editor,
    Lee McLamb, KU4OS
    ku4os at amsat dot org