2015 AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Election Results Announced

As a result of the 2015 Board of Directors election, Barry Baines, WD4ASW; Jerry Buxton, N0JY; Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA; and Bob McGwier, N4HY; will serve on the board for two years. The First Alternate is Mark Hammond, N8MH and the Second Alternate is Bruce Paige, KK5DO.

The results of the voting with 625 ballots cast are as follows:

Barry Baines, WD4ASW…………475
Jerry Buxton, N0JY………………..417
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA………366
Bob McGwier, N4HY………………316
Mark Hammond, N8MH……………289
Bruce Paige, KK5DO……………..198
Steve Coy, K8UD…………………..194
E. Mike McCardel, KC8YLD……….152

Submitted by: Martha Saragovitz , Manager

Speaker Announced for 2015 AMSAT-NA Symposium Banquet

FrankAMSAT-NA is pleased to announce that AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, will give the after dinner talk at the Saturday Banquet. In addition to 36 years at NASA, he has been a longtime supporter of AMSAT and the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.  Please see Frank’s biography for more details.


“Making a Difference: AMSAT’s Contribution to Navigation and Timing in HEO/GEO Space and Its Profound Impact on Earth and Space Science”

In the mid-1990s, as an engineer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO garnered funding and proposed a GPS reception experiment on the AMSAT Phase 3D satellite. The experiment was to measure the signal strength of the GPS satellite constellation while Phase 3D traversed in its High Earth Orbit. This information was critical to understand whether GPS could be practically used for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) at altitudes above the constellation as well as to map out the GPS satellite antenna patterns, including the side-lobe signals.

At the time, the GPS flight experiment flown on AO-40 was the most comprehensive data reception of GPS signals above the constellation. The AO-40 experiment was cited many times in aerospace literature as it remained the most comprehensive above the constellation data source for nearly a decade. AO-40 mapped the GPS vehicles main and side lobe signals. These results have led many, internationally, to develop weak signal GPS receivers to fly in HEO/GEO in an effort to extract as much navigation and timing data from GPS as possible.

As a result of the AO-40 experiment, the following has occurred:
* In 2006, GPS modified its specifications to protect the main lobe signal for above the constellation space users
* Global space agencies, including NASA, and commercial manufacturers have invested millions of dollars into weak signal tracking GPS receivers that can exploit GPS in HEO/GEO orbits
* Missions flown in the past 12 months have demonstrated game-changing PNT performance improvements through the use of GPS in HEO/GEO
* GPS main and side lobe signals are now routinely being used on many HEO/GEO space vehicles to improve their PNT performance
* Earth weather satellites at GEO will soon use GPS to predict hurricanes and observe severe storms, saving lives
* Space weather satellites are measuring the dynamics of the ionosphere, potentially protecting astronauts in space and enabling better prediction of ionospheric effects
* NASA is working with the GPS directorate on potentially modifying the GPS specification again, this time to protect the GPS sidelobe signals for users in HEO/GEO orbits.

The results from AO-40 have jump-started a profound and game-changing transformation in navigation at HEO/GEO altitudes. It is enabling new and exciting missions in these orbits. This represents a tremendous accomplishment for humanity and will result in saving countless lives. And AMSAT played a key role in making this happen.

Come to the AMSAT Symposium and hear about how AMSAT played a key role in this HEO/GEO transformation!

Please make your reservation for the 2016 AMSAT-NA Symposium and social activities including the Banquet on the AMSAT Store.

AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Election Ballots in the Mail

Ballots have been mailed to AMSAT-NA members in good standing, and must be received at the AMSAT-NA office by 15 SEP 2015 in order to be counted. Those sent outside North America were sent by air mail. If you have not received your ballot package in a reasonable time for your QTH, please contact the AMSAT-NA office. Your completed ballot should be returned as promptly as possible, and those from outside North American preferably by air mail or other expedited means.

This year there are eight Board candidates:

Barry Baines, WD4ASW
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
Steve Coy, K8UD
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
Mark Hammond, N8MH
EMike McCardel, KC8YLD
Bob McGwier, N4HY
Bruce Paige, KK5DO

The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be seated as voting Board Members with two year terms. The two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will serve as non-voting Alternate Board Members with terms of one year. Please vote for no more than four candidates.

Election of Board members is both a responsibility as well as an opportunity by our membership to help shape the future direction of AMSAT-NA. Please take the time to review the candidate statements that accompany the ballot and determine who you wish to see on the Board.

AMSAT-NA Board Approves Technology Development Seed Funding

The AMSAT Board of Directors met on December 2, 2014. As a part of AMSAT’s “Design The Next AMSAT Satellite” challenge, the Board of Directors approved $5000, within the 2015 engineering budget, to be used as seed money for future satellite development. Additional fund raising sources will also be investigated and pursued.

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, “We’re prepared to return to space starting in 2015 with a fleet of satellites that will equal, if not exceed, the performance, and availability to the average ham, of our previously popular AMSAT OSCAR 51. Meanwhile, we are preparing for the future looking to potentially leverage new technologies, to provide the best opportunities for enhancing amateur radio’s presence in space.”

Director Tom Clark, K3IO, noted the need for a defined future systems program. Tom said, “We saw a significant number of both new and old members who want to see the development of critical system elements for future opportunities by 2018-20. As I see it, critical ‘tall poles’ in applying potential technologies require significant work to begin now to ensure success.”

AMSAT is interested in supporting technology ideas that enhance the utility of using the CubeSat form factor to support more robust amateur satellite capabilities.   The scope of potential interest in not limited; some examples of  technology enhancement might include:

+ Microwave technology suitable for use in amateur spacecraft. This   includes the need to identify optimum frequency bands.

+ Complementary, low-cost ground systems, including an effective ~1º antenna pointing system.

+ Define and develop optimum coding and modulation schemes for low power microwave use.

+ Attitude determination & control systems to point the spacecraft   antennas towards the user while maximizing solar panel production.

Individuals interested in learning more about this initiative should contact AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY using the contact form found here.

Meanwhile, the development of AMSAT’s current series of the Fox-1 cubesats continues on schedule. AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY reported during the Board meeting that construction and testing of five Fox satellites is on schedule:

+ Fox-1A will launch on a NASA ELaNa flight during the 3rd quarter of 2015 from Vandenberg AFB,

+ Fox-1B will fly with the Vanderbilt University radiation   experiments expected in 2016.

+ Fox-1C will launch on Spaceflight’s maiden mission of the   SHERPA multi-cubesat deployer during the 3rd quarter of 2015.   This flight was purchased by AMSAT.

+ Fox-1D is a flight spare for Fox-1C. If not needed as a spare   it will become available to launch on any open launch slot which   becomes available and be submitted in a CSLI proposal in 2015.

+ Fox-1E is built as a flight spare for Fox-1B but has been   included in a student science proposal as part of the November,   2014 Cubesat Launch Initiative (CSLI) for an ELaNa flight slot.   If selected the Fox-1B spare will fly as Fox-1E.

More details of the “Design The Next AMSAT Satellite” challenge can be found on-line at:
http://www.amsat.org/?p=3395 – and – in the November/December 2014 AMSAT Journal, currently in-transit to your QTH.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Board Of Directors for the above information]