Sunday, January 30, 2011

ARISSat-1 Arrives at the International Space Station

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-030.01
ARISSat-1 Arrives at the International Space Station

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 030.01
January 30, 2011
BID: $ANS-030.01

On January 28 at 0132 UTC,a Soyuz rocket lifted off from Kazakhstan carrying the Russian Progress M-09M cargo vehicle to orbit headed for the International Space Station (ISS).

While the primary cargo of the Progress vehicle is fuel, oxygen, food and other supplies, the Progress also contains AMSAT's ARISSat-1 Amateur Radio satellite.

Progress docked with the space station just two days after launch, on January 30 at 0239 UTC.

Currently ARISSat-1 is planned to be manually deployed from the ISS by Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka during a spacewalk on February 16. ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf V will have simultaneous 2m FM, CW, BPSK and transponder transmissions. These multiple transmissions are created by a new software defined transponder (SDX) board. Features provided by the SDX include:

* The FM transmissions with cycle between a voice ID, select telemetry values, 24 international greeting messages in 15 languages and live SSTVimages.

* The CW transmissions will be callsign ID, select telemetry, and callsigns of people actively involved with the ARISS program.

* The BPSK transmissions will feature a new 1kBPSK protocol developed by Phil Karn, KA9Q to be readable in low signal level conditions. The BPSK data will alternate betwen telemetry and Kursk experiment data. Free ground station soundcard demodulator and display software will be available before deployment for multiple platforms.

* There also is a 16kHz wide amateur radio U/V transponder between the BPSK
and FM signals.

* The Kursk experiment will be sampling the amount of vacuum each day for 90 minutes and sending down data to map the vacuum change as the satellite slowly spirals into the atmosphere.

[ANS thanks Gould, WA4SXM, for the above information]

RSC Energia has information and photographs about the satellite on their news site.

Here is the frequency plan for the ARISSat-1 satellite.

Egyptian Diplo Traffic Monitored

Ary Boender received this log from AnEur and posted it to the UDXF newsgroup. Thanks to AnEur and Ary for sharing this.

09078.7 : MFA Cairo msg to Washington. ARQ, 1840 UTC, 29-01-2011 (AnEur)

FROM : 71
TIME @ @ DATE53: 16:53, SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 29, 2011

002AA 07703 00441 41 41 482CD 9CC85 85 CCADAADA B7712 297D0$0 080C8 0ED4E
8B010 100D1 385B6 E0482 CE3EA 7DFAB 251EB FA%-1EQED 6FA5-5-51 C631A
8EBF6 047D1 1 5CFA6 91D1C 64B90 3749B D1636 CA093 6BBAF 2A172
D6F4C D99D32 16357 CF0APA9 6BDEF D5ETE44F 1AQAA13 C0305 21C3F F4415
6AD40 5FA06 FB781 6656E 1CQCA8-88 B1?1D0D 50EA8 2481A 4CE33 BA4BA
FE57579 O A8-8450 BF0EB 2244F F F01AQAE 827B3 42A15 1E6C7 8F5C9 98EBE
9191485 16A93 93 F8A23 FFD%$90 D8D58 DF4F3 98A65 94116 A5A7-7A 6F49A
EA33E 3034CRC 9F4DA 78CBC B5341 Q A3-3A4B A -2195 A750F 5C0BF 7FD2C
45B8C F608D 167D9 0D226 98D3E 71549 3458DID 4B5F6 C448D D1B74
52547 5FC22 EA159 30CD:$2 B8?8531 AC9:9:9AA4 B8?8D1B A08AC 3E622 22 10DD6

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egyptian Al Jazeera Live Coverage Internet Feed

I'm not a fan of Al Jazeera but you can watch a live feed from Cairo via Al Jazeera on the net at

Friday, January 28, 2011

NANOSAIL-D Photo Contest and NASA are joining forces encourage photography of NanoSail-D, the first solar sail to circle Earth in low orbit. Amateur and professional astronomers and even casual sky watchers can participate. The solar sail will occasionally be visible to the naked eye when sunlight glints off the spacecraft's 10 m2 sail, producing a spectacular flash akin to an Iridium Flare. Even novice photographers can capture such a bright event. Advanced astrophotographers, meanwhile, will want to try to image the sail through backyard telescopes. It will be a challenge (the sail is only 1 arcsecond across), but even fuzzy pictures could help NASA monitor the condition of the spacecraft. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first ($500), second ($200), and third ($100) place photos, judged by a NASA-appointed panel on the basis of beauty and technical merit.

The contest begins now and ends when NanoSail-D reenters the atmosphere in April or May 2011. Visit for details

30 Meter WAS-WAE-CIS Event Weekend

CQ all hams and SWLs de 30MDG member 0942. Are you interested in operating digital modes? Then I have just the event for you.

Date: Saturday January 29, 2011
Time: All Day
Repeats: This event repeats every day until Sunday January 30, 2011.
Location: 10100 - 10150 30 Meter Band (10 MHz)
Notes: 30 Meter WAS – WAE – CIS Weekend

When: January 29th & 30th 2011
Where: 10 MHz - 30 Meter Band (10100 – 10150)

Objective: To promote 30 meter activity and those pursuing WAS (Worked All States), WAE (Worked All Europe), or CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Some digital ops will also be experimenting with Video Text/Video ID or different digital modes on unique 30 Meter Band.

Those of you who want to participate using the more common modes of CW, BPSK31, RTTY, we welcome that, but those wanting to try other less used modes please do so and turn your RSID on to help others know what mode you are transmitting (common modes of BPSK31 or RTTY no need for RSID, do use RSID on the less common/exotic modes i.e. Olivia/Contestia/etc and/or in addition to RSID use Video ModeText to show others on the waterfall what mode is being used).

We suggest if the CW (10100-10130) or PSK (10140-10142) portions of the band have few signals being seen due to poor band conditions then look higher at 10142-10144 for Contestia, Olivia, etc weak signal modes or for sure if very poor propagation give JT65a a try at 10138-10139 just below 10140.

To add a twist to this weekend please give Video Text a try to show your State / Country on the waterfall so others can see at a glance on the waterfall where the signal is from and/or use Video ID (i.e. KB9UMT will use either Video Text of ‘IL’ or Video ID of ‘KB9UMT’ or for PA3GWH would use Video Text of ‘PA’ or Video ID of ‘PA3GWH’). For more information go to the site for a link to Video Text ID/Text information.

We welcome ALL 30MDG Members to participate this weekend (or anytime) on 30m Band. BUT we have to ask . . . will YOU be on the band to represent your State/Country? We hope so! ☺

We have members in all 50 States for WAS, members in 48 of the EU entities needed for WAE, and members in 8 of the 11 CIS so get on the band if you have time and have some fun!

For those States/Countries with 10 or less 30MDG Members we would like to see those States/Countries with fewer members on the Band because it usually indicates a harder to find State/Country to confirm. You know who you are, but if you don’t please review the list below and again ANY and ALL Welcome but please those with fewer members give it a go and let others work you!

US States Summary (by number)
92 -- FL (Florida)
89 -- TX (Texas)
83 -- CA (California)
75 -- NY (New York)
73 -- OH (Ohio)
72 -- PA (Pennsylvania)
55 -- NC (North Carolina)
49 -- GA (Georgia)
47 -- IL (Illinois)
46 -- VA (Virginia)
44 -- MI (Michigan)
42 -- IN (Indiana)
37 -- TN (Tennessee)
32 -- NJ (New Jersey)
31 -- AZ (Arizona)
31 -- MO (Missouri)
31 -- MD (Maryland)
28 -- WA (Washington)
26 -- AL (Alabama)
25 -- CO (Colorado)
25 -- MA (Massachusetts)
23 -- KY (Kentucky)
23 -- SC (South Carolina)
22 -- KS (Kansas)
21 -- WI (Wisconsin)
21 -- MS (Mississippi)
20 -- OR (Oregon)
19 -- MN (Minnesota)
19 -- NH (New Hampshire)
19 -- CT (Connecticut)
18 -- AR (Arkansas)
17 -- OK (Oklahoma)
16 -- ME (Maine)
16 -- IA (Iowa)
11 -- NV (Nevada)
10 -- WV (West Virginia) *
9 -- NE (Nebraska) *
9 -- MT (Montana) *
9 -- DE (Delaware) *
9 -- LA (Louisiana) *
8 -- ID (Idaho) *
8 -- NM (New Mexico) *
7 -- UT (Utah) *
5 -- VT (Vermont) *
4 -- AK (Alaska) *
4 -- RI (Rhode Island) *
3 -- WY (Wyoming) *
2 -- ND (North Dakota) *
2 -- HI (Hawaii) *
1 -- SD (South Dakota) *

EU [Europe] Members per DXCC Summary
303 -- England
275 -- Italy
243 -- European Russia
222 -- Germany
168 -- France
145 -- Poland
122 -- Spain
122 – Ukraine **CIS
95 -- Belgium
75 -- Netherlands
55 -- Czech Republic
49 -- Romania
48 -- Austria
43 -- Scotland
35 -- Sweden
32 -- Denmark
31 -- Greece
31 -- Switzerland
30 -- Croatia
26 -- Portugal
25 -- Hungary
22 -- Wales
20 -- Norway
18 -- Finland
18 -- Northern Ireland
18 -- Slovenia
18 -- Ireland
12 -- Serbia
10 – Slovakia *
10 – Bulgaria *
10 – Estonia *
8 – Belarus * **CIS
8 – Kaliningr *ad
7 – Latvia *
7 – Lithuania *
6 – Malta *
6 – Azores *
6 – Luxembourg *
5 – Macedonia *
5 -- Bosnia-Herzegovina *
5 – Sardinia *
4 – Crete *
3 – Jersey *
3 – Iceland *
2 -- Balearic Islands *
2 – Corsica *
2 – Monaco *
2 -- Isle of Man *
1 – Moldova * **CIS

Commonwealth of Independent States ( CIS)
Armenia **
Azerbaijan **
Belarus **
Kazakhstan **
Kyrgyzstan **
Moldova **
Russia **
Ukraine **

AS [Asia] Members per DXCC Summary
57 -- Asiatic Russia ** CIS
13 -- Kazakhstan ** CIS
7 -- Asiatic Turkey
6 -- Japan
6 -- Armenia ** CIS
5 -- West Malaysia
4 -- Israel
4 -- Thailand
3 -- India
3 -- Kyrgyzstan ** CIS
2 -- United Arab Emirates
2 -- Iraq
2 -- Lebanon
2 -- Cyprus
2 -- Azerbaijan ** CIS
2 -- Pakistan
1 -- Georgia
1 -- Saudi Arabia
1 -- Jordan
1 -- Sri Lanka
1 -- China
1 -- Oman

This event is NOT a Contest … no set times … no rules … no set exchanges … no winners other than those that participate with casual use of the 30 Meter Band and to promote activity on the Band knowing that others with like interests will be on this weekend to experiment, ragchew, DX and have some casual fun and maybe even work some stations towards your personal station goals of WAS - WAE – CIS!

Links to HamSpots (VK3AMA) 30m Spots and also LOTW/EQSL searches:

***Please note we are secondary users of the 30 Meter Band and to use good operating

Have fun and hope to see you on the waterfall!

Don KB9UMT 30MDG#0001

I hope to see a few of you on the band. I will be doing a lot of JT65a work around 10138.0 kHz so if you need North Carolina and more importantly the rare county of Clay on digital/30m, be sure to give me a shout out if you see me on the band. I qsl via LOTW (preferred), eQSL (AG), and paper qsls (direct and bureau).

CU this Saturday and 73 de N5FPW - Larry
My 30MDG member number is # 0942

Amateur Radio digital mode - V4

Looking for a new amateur radio mode to play with?

V4 is a new data mode optimized for amateur radio keyboard contacts using Viterbi FEC and 4FSK modulation.

It is designed to provide good copy even in weak signal or poor propagation conditions.

V4 can be implemented on most computers using standard PC sound cards with radio interfaces.

An Alpha version of the software can be downloaded from the files section of the V4 Protocol Yahoo Group.

V4 Protocol and V4 Chat document

Thursday, January 27, 2011

M1.4 Magnitude X-ray Flare 28 January 2011

From: "Tomas Hood (NW7US)"

At 0104 UTC, 28 January 2011, an X-ray flare with a flux magnitude of M1.4 erupted, unleasing a coronal mass ejection. The associated coronal mass ejection was not directed toward Earth, so it will not affect radio propagation at all. The only affect was the immediate (within eight minutes) where there was a short-lived Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance on lower frequencies, and, there was also a Type II radio burst (a rushing wind sound on HF).

The source of the eruption was the active sunspot region 11149 (and possibly involved the region 11147, which is north of 11149). These have now rotated out of view from Earth. That's why the CME is not heading our way. it erupted out into space away from us.

Here are a few movies I've posted:

The actual flare and CME as seen at the 304 Angstrom wavelength:

The CME as seen by LASCO C2:

The active Sunspot regions 11147 and 11149, showing flares and surges prior to the M1.4 Magnitude flare:

73 de NW7US,

Tomas David Hood
Hamilton, Montana


Twitter Space WX : @hfradiospacewx
Twitter NW7US : @NW7US

Jonathan's Space Report No. 637 - 2011 Jan 26 Somerville, MA

Editorial note: the JSR website has just been moved to a new server. This should be transparent, but there may be transition problems; we will now discover if I have learnt to configure the mail server correctly.

Shuttle and Station

Expedition 26 is now underway with crew commander Scott Kelly, flight engineer-2 Aleksandr Kaleri, flight engineer-3 Oleg Skripochka, flight engineer-4 Dmitri Kondratev, flight engineer-5 Paolo Nespoli and flight engineer-6 Cady Coleman aboard the Station. Soyuz TMA-01M is docked at Poisk, Progress M-07M at Zvezda, and Soyuz TMA-20 at Rassvet.

On Jan 21 Kondratev (in spacesuit Orlan-MK No. 5) and Skripochka (in suit No. 4) made a spacewalk to install television equipment on Zvezda and Rassvet and to retrieve exposed experiments. They depressurized the Pirs airlock around 1409 UTC, and opened the hatch at 1429 UTC. At 1653 and 1654 UTC they jettisoned a cable reel and an antenna cover (cataloged as 1998-67CC and 1998-67CD). They returned to Pirs and closed the hatch at 1952 UTC, repressurizing shortly afterwards. (Thanks to Andrey Krasil'nikov for the IDs on the suits).

On Jan 22 the second H-II Transfer Vehicle, "Kounotori" 2 gouki ("White Stork" Unit 2) was launched from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center on the second H-IIB rocket. The 16000 kg spacecraft will link up with the station and deliver cargo. The H-IIB used Pad 2 of the Yoshinobu complex; Pad 1 is used for the H-IIA. Tanegashima also has two other launch sites, Osaki and Takesaki, now retired. Osaki had pads for the N and Q rockets, while Takesaki had launchers for small rockets.

Progress M-08M undocked from Pirs at 0042 UTC on Jan 24 and was deorbited over the Pacific at 0516 UTC.


The Nanosail-D2 experiment launched in November has belatedly ejected itself from FASTSAT. The ejection occurred at 0300 UTC Jan 18, according to the mission web site at Santa Clara University. The satellite has not yet been cataloged. The solar sail was deployed on Jan 21 at around 0400 UTC.


Russia's new Elektro-L weather satellite was launched on Jan 20 at 1229 UTC. The Zenit-3SLBF launch vehicle consists of a two-stage Zenit-2SB80 booster and the Fregat-SB upper stage, with an additional SBB (Sbrasivaemiye baki banov, separable propellant tanks) section compared to the original Fregat. The Zenit-2SB80 second stage reached a 179 x 620 km x 51.4 deg orbit; the Fregat upper stage separated as the second stage fired retrockets and jettisoned four separation motor covers into 90 x 850 km orbits. The first Fregat burn reached 298 x 4406 km x 50.4 deg, after which the SBB separated. At 1558 UTC the Fregat then made a burn to 356 x 35753 km x 48.5 deg geostationary transfer orbit. A third Fregat burn at 2119 UTC put the spacecraft in a 35627 x 35870 km x 0.46 deg geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Fregat then separated and was placed in a subsynchronous drift orbit of 34195 x 35718 km with a final burn.

Elektro-L is the first use of the Lavochkin company's new Navigator bus, also to be used for future science satellites. The spacecraft carries a scanning visible / infrared radiometer, solar environment monitors and a COSPAS-SARSAT search-and-rescue transponder system. Spacecraft mass at launch is around 1700 kg.

NRO satellite

A US National Reconnaissance Office satellite, codenamed USA 224, was launched from Vandenberg AFB on Jan 20 aboard a Delta 4 Heavy rocket. Launch NROL-49 carried the payload into a 252 x 1023 km x 97.9 deg polar orbit. Observations of its orbit are consistent with reports that it is an Improved CRYSTAL type (KH-11 derivative) imaging reconnaissance satellite; congratulations to Bob Christy for picking it up so quickly.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.
Dec 6 1025 Glonass-M ) Proton-M/DM-3 Baykonur Navigation F03
Glonass-M ) Navigation F03
Glonass-M ) Navigation F03
Dec 8 1543 Dragon C1) Falcon 9 Canaveral SLC40 Spaceship 66A
SMDC-One ) Comms? 66C
QbX-1 ) Secret 66F
QbX-2 ) Secret 66B
Perseus 000) Tech? 66H
Perseus 001) Tech? 66E
Perseus 002) Tech? 66G
Perseus 003) Tech? 66D
Caerus/Mayflower) Tech 66J
Dec 15 1909 Soyuz TMA-20 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 67A
Dec 17 2020 Beidou DW7 Chang Zheng 3A Xichang Navigation 68A
Dec 25 1034 GSAT-5P GSLV Sriharikota SLP Comms F04
Dec 26 2151 KA-SAT Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms 69A
Dec 29 2127 Hispasat 1E) Ariane 5ECA Kourou Comms 70A
Koreasat 6) Comms 70B
Jan 18 0300 Nanosail-D2 Fastsat, LEO Tech 62
Jan 20 1229 Elektro-L Zenit-3SLBF Baykonur LC45 Weather 01A
Jan 20 2110 USA 224 Delta 4H Vandenberg SLC6 Imaging 02A
Jan 22 0537 Kounotori 2 H-IIB Tanegashima Y2 Cargo 03A

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km

Dec 4 0421 ECOMA 7 Nike Orion Andoya Meteor dust 135
Dec 5 1911 Topol' RV Topol' Kapustin Yar Test 1000?
Dec 6 1719 Maracati 2 Orion Alcantara Range Test 103
Dec 6 1730? NASA 41.087NT Terrier Orion White Sands Tech 120
Dec 12 0638 NASA 40.026UE Black Brant XII Andoya Aurora 500?
Dec 12 1535 MICROG 1A VSB-30 Alcantara Micrograv 242
Dec 13 0324 ECOMA 8 Nike Orion Andoya Meteor dust 138
Dec 15 1957? FTG-06A Target LV-2 Meck Island Target 1000?
Dec 15 2003 FTG-06A KV GBI Vandenberg LF23 Interceptor 1000?
Dec 19 0236 ECOMA 9 Nike Orion Andoya Meteor dust 135?
Jan 22 0610 Aegis Target Terrier Oriole Wallops I. Target 100?

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
| Somerville MA 02143 | inter : |
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

NASA Needs YOUR Help!

NASA Seeks Amateur Radio Operators' Aid to Listen for Beacon Signal

On Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontaneously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection of NanoSail-D also has been confirmed by ground-based satellite tracking assets. Amateur ham operators are asked to listen for the signal to verify NanoSail-D is operating. This information should be sent to the NanoSail-D dashboard at: You can follow the mission via this dahboard link.

According to the mission dashboard NanoSail-D ejected on 1/17/11 at approximately 1900 PST. Beacon data is being routinely received by the public throughout the world. The NanoSail-D beacon signal can be found at 437.270 MHz. Telemetry now indicates that the sail has deployed.

If you look at, NanoSail-D was launched with other nanosats. Their beacons are also on the air as follows:

O/OREOS 437.305 MHz
RAX 437.505 MHz
FASTRAC-A 437.345 MHz
FASTRAC-B 145.825 MHz

The current element set for the NanoSail-D follows:

1 90027U 0 11020.08293137 -.00000469 +00000-0 -58126-4 0 00027
2 90027 071.9753 005.7427 0021680 201.8671 158.1355 14.77033912000116

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Amateur Radio DX Entity?

From the Ohio/Penn DX #994

POSSIBLE NEW ENTITY (Southern Sudan referendum)? BBC is reporting that "early results from Southern Sudan's referendum indicate the region has voted overwhelmingly to split from the north and form a new country. Full results of the poll are not due until next month, but the region is widely expected to choose to secede." To read the complete report, go to:

Thunderstorms Make Antimatter

Could this be the vehicle that creates the e-skip we use in the late Spring and Summer for VHF (10 meter and above) skip. Sure is an intriguing thought.

Scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected beams of antimatter produced above thunderstorms on Earth, a phenomenon never seen before.

Scientists think the antimatter particles were formed inside thunderstorms in a terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF) associated with lightning. It is estimated that about 500 TGFs occur daily worldwide, but most go undetected.

"These signals are the first direct evidence that thunderstorms make antimatter particle beams," said Michael Briggs, a member of Fermi's Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). He presented the findings Monday, during a news briefing at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.

Fermi is designed to monitor gamma rays, the highest energy form of light. When antimatter striking Fermi collides with a particle of normal matter, both particles immediately are annihilated and transformed into gamma rays. The GBM has detected gamma rays with energies of 511,000 electron volts, a signal indicating an electron has met its antimatter counterpart, a positron.

Although Fermi's GBM is designed to observe high-energy events in the universe, it's also providing valuable insights into this strange phenomenon. The GBM constantly monitors the entire celestial sky above and the Earth below. The GBM team has identified 130 TGFs since Fermi's launch in 2008.

"In orbit for less than three years, the Fermi mission has proven to be an amazing tool to probe the universe. Now we learn that it can discover mysteries much, much closer to home," said Ilana Harrus, Fermi program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The spacecraft was located immediately above a thunderstorm for most of the observed TGFs, but in four cases, storms were far from Fermi. In addition, lightning-generated radio signals detected by a global monitoring network indicated the only lightning at the time was hundreds or more miles away. During one TGF, which occurred on Dec. 14, 2009, Fermi was located over Egypt. But the active storm was in Zambia, some 2,800 miles to the south. The distant storm was below Fermi's horizon, so any gamma rays it produced could not have been detected.

"Even though Fermi couldn't see the storm, the spacecraft nevertheless was magnetically connected to it," said Joseph Dwyer at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "The TGF produced high-speed electrons and positrons, which then rode up Earth's magnetic field to strike the spacecraft."

The beam continued past Fermi, reached a location, known as a mirror point, where its motion was reversed, and then hit the spacecraft a second time just 23 milliseconds later. Each time, positrons in the beam collided with electrons in the spacecraft. The particles annihilated each other, emitting gamma rays detected by Fermi's GBM.

Scientists long have suspected TGFs arise from the strong electric fields near the tops of thunderstorms. Under the right conditions, they say, the field becomes strong enough that it drives an upward avalanche of electrons. Reaching speeds nearly as fast as light, the high-energy electrons give off gamma rays when they're deflected by air molecules. Normally, these gamma rays are detected as a TGF.

But the cascading electrons produce so many gamma rays that they blast electrons and positrons clear out of the atmosphere. This happens when the gamma-ray energy transforms into a pair of particles: an electron and a positron. It's these particles that reach Fermi's orbit.

The detection of positrons shows many high-energy particles are being ejected from the atmosphere. In fact, scientists now think that all TGFs emit electron/positron beams. A paper on the findings has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters.

"The Fermi results put us a step closer to understanding how TGFs work," said Steven Cummer at Duke University. "We still have to figure out what is special about these storms and the precise role lightning plays in the process."

Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CBP Houston Air and Marine Branch

CBP’s Houston Air and Marine Branch, has been operating three Cessna C210 aircraft, two American Euro-copter AS350 A-Star helicopters and two Cessna C550 aircraft from the David Wayne Hooks Airport in Spring, Texas according to an article on the Government Security News website.

See article at

Friday, January 07, 2011

Launch Notification: HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 December 29, 2127 UTC
Site: Europe's Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana
Launcher: Ariane 5
International Designator(s): 2010-070A, 2010-070B

SSC Name Owner

"Two commercial satellites for the expansion of communications services from space were launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket today, capping another successful year for the booster that saw a dozen payloads deployed in 2010.

"The hydrogen-fueled main engine roared to life at 2127 GMT (4:27 p.m. EST), followed seven seconds later by ignition of the twin solid rocket motors to begin thundering out of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou on the northeastern coast of South America.

"The heavy-lift launcher, making its 55th flight, climbed steeply through the late afternoon sky and headed downrange for a half-hour trek into geosynchronous transfer orbit to deliver the Spanish Hispasat 1E and South Korea's Koreasat 6 spacecraft."

"The Ariane achieved a highly elliptical orbit stretching 22,321 miles [35,922 km] at its farthest point from Earth and 155 miles [249 km] at the nearest. The satellites will use their onboard engines to circularize the orbit and reach geostationary slots in the coming days.

"Riding atop the dual payload stack was Hispasat, a powerful spacecraft to be operated by the Madrid-based company of the same name, will expanded available video and data transmission services for bridging the Atlantic and coverage across Europe."

"Manufactured by Space Systems/Loral with an 18-year lifetime, the 11,725-pound [18,870-kg] satellite carries 53 Ku-band transponders and a Ka-band capability.

"It will be parked in geostationary orbit over the equator at 30 degrees West longitude alongside the Hipasat 1C and 1D birds launched aboard Atlas 2AS rockets from Cape Canaveral in 2000 and 2002, respectively."

"Sharing the ride to orbit aboard the Ariane 5 rocket was the 6,275-pound [10,099-kg] Koreasat 6, a communications satellite designed to operate at least 15 years and serve South Korea by operator KT Corp. of Seoul.

"Built by Orbital Sciences with Thales Alenia Space supplying the communications payload, Koreasat 6 is bound for a geostationary orbital slot at 116 degrees East longitude. It has 30 Ku-band transponders for telecommunications and direct-to-home TV transmissions.'

"The new satellite replaces Koreasat 3 that launched aboard an Ariane 4 rocket in 1999 and was sold to another Asian spacecraft controller earlier this year."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "2010 concludes with Ariane rocket's 199th launch"