Saturday, January 28, 2017

AMSAT News Service ANS-029

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space including 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.

The news feed on publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor at

In this edition:

* Colloquium Videos for 2009-2012 Posted on YouTube
* ARRL LoTW Adds Additional Satellite Entries
* Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2017-01-27
* Get Your Iridium Fix Before It’s Too Late!

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-029.01
ANS-029 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 029.01
DATE January 29, 2017
BID: $ANS-029.01

Colloquium Videos for 2009-2012 Posted on YouTube

AMSAT-UK reports that thanks to Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG and @BATC online videos
of talks given at AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2009-2012 are now posted at

The videos were made by members of the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) and stored on the club’s streaming site. Dedicated BATC members have carried out the world-wide streaming and recording of the  AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium since 2007.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]


ARRL LoTW Adds Additional Satellite Entries

ARRL LoTW/IT staff announce an update release containing additions and  changes made since the release of config.xml 10.4

The changes in config.xml 10.5 are:

     - In the Satellite enumeration, added entries for:
       - "BY70-1": Bayi Kepu Weixing 1
       - "IO-86": Indonesia-OSCAR 86 (LAPAN-ORARI)
       - "SAREX" for 2-way contacts made using the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX)
            packet digipeater
       - "MIREX": for 2-way contacts made using the Mir packet digipeater

  [ANS thanks Sean, KX9X, for the above information]


Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2017-01-27

Cours Saint Maur, Monaco, Monaco, telebridge via LU1CGB The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The scheduled  astronaut is Thomas Pesquet KG5FYG Contact is a go for: Thu 2017-02-02  08:38:27 UTC 75 deg via LU1CGB Rescheduled due to Service Module spatial constraint.

South Street School, Danbury CT,  telebridge via ON4ISS The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be  OR4ISS The scheduled astronaut is Shane Kimbrough KE5HOD Contact is  a go for: Thu 2017-02-02 18:49:14 UTC 80 deg

[ANS thanks Charlie, AJ9N, for the above information]


Get Your Iridium Fix Before It’s Too Late!

The shock and dazzle of Iridium flares will soon be a thing of the past.  Here's how to make the most of seeing them before a new generation of spacecraft replaces the Iridium satellites.

Each of the approximately 66 Iridiums in orbit have three door-sized aluminum antennae treated with highly reflective, silver-coated Teflon for temperature control.

When the angle between observer and satellite is just right, sunlight reflecting off an antenna can cause the satellite to surge from invisibility up to magnitude –8.5 in a matter of seconds. If you've never seen one, the searing brilliance may make you recoil instinctively. On rare occasions, flares can
reach magnitude –9.5. That's 100 times brighter than Venus!

Sadly, that era will soon draw to a close. On January 14th, SpaceX’s  Falcon 9 delivered the first 10 of a new generation of Iridium NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit, starting the process to replace the older units in a maneuver called slot-swapping. While the new birds will provide faster data rates and
enhanced global communications, their antenna design is completely different and not expected to produce significant flares.

Heavens Above is one of the easiest sites to get you looking in the right place at the right time. The Heavens Above website allows for easy figuring and finding of Iridium flares.

Just sign in and give it your location, then click the Iridium Flares link under the Satellites heading on the left side of the homepage. A table will pop open with a week's worth of passes that includes pertinent information like brightness, altitude, and magnitude of the flare at flare center, the
brightest possible magnitude for a particular pass. Clicking on the date will  produce a
map showing the flare's path and ground track where the flare will appear brightest. When that path passes near or over your location, you'll see a –8 dazzler. If not, you can use the map to drive to the sweet spot and  await the display.

The transition to the Iridium NEXT generation will be gradual but certain, so make the most of the opportunities that remain. If you're a teacher, do your homework and plan an outing to show a daytime flare to your science class. Anything that gets people talking more about the sky is a good thing, and I guarantee those kids will never forget the sight.

[ANS thanks Bob King, and Sky and Telescope 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 Office.

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 information.

This week's ANS Editor, Lee McLamb, KU4OS ku4os at amsat dot org

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA