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SA AMSAT EZINE
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Getting ready for Amateur Radio’s first geostationary satellite
Download brochure here
If all goes according to plan the Qatar Satellite Company’s second satellite, Es’hailSat-2, will be placed in a geostationary orbit by a Space-X Falcon-9 rocket in early January 2017. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) managed to secure the privilege to have an Amateur Radio payload as part of Es’hailSat-2. Discussions regarding the payload were held with experts from AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-OH and AMSAT-UK.
In a paper presented at the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium, Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP explained that the gain of an antenna on a geostationary satellite is limited by the area that needs to be covered (the satellite’s footprint). With too much gain the beam width becomes very narrow leading to areas not being illuminated by the antenna on the satellite. This is the case for spot beams. In order to cover all the visible Earth from geostationary orbit the beam width may not be less than 17.4° leading to a maximum gain of ~20 dB.
Read the full article here and learn about an inexpensive way to set up a ground station.
AMSAT Kletskous transponder
Download the presentation (PDF) here
Watch the video presentation by Jacques Roux here
SARL PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR ZR1DE
Deon Coetzee ZR1DX was awarded the SARL President's award 2015. The award, a gold pen, was presented to Deon at the SARL National Convention Gala Dinner and Awards evening by SARL President Fritz Sutherland ZS6SF. The event was held in Sasolburg on 21 May 2016 and hosted by the Sasolburg Amateur Radio Club. Deon received the ward for his contribution to amateur satellite communications with special reference to his work on the design and construction of the Kletskous space frame.
AMSATSA DISPLAY AT F'SATI (CPUT)
Photo by ZR1DE
MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN KLETSKOUS EPS
The electric power system (EPS) is the sub-system that provides the satellite with power. The sub-system started out as a set of specifications and requirements which evolved to a basic block diagram. From there a few simple conceptual experiments eventually led to the first prototype. The first prototype was based on 10 V (open-circuit) solar panels, a 2-cell lithium polymer battery and 2 switch mode step-down converters for 3.3 V and 5 V power conditioning. Taking the risk of fire or explosion was somewhat justified by the good energy to weight and power to weight ratio it offered. However, in the meantime a new battery technology has emerged from the laboratory stage to being (fairly) commonly available on the market. This new technology is the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Also based on lithium it still offers a fairly high energy to weight but it is inherently much safer and has electrical characteristics that are very similar to the lithium polymer and lithium ion type batteries. Another advantage is the longer expected lifetime of the LiFePO4 battery.
GREAT INTEREST SHOWN ON KLETSKOUS AT SFSA2015
SA AMSAT’s stand at the Science Forum South Africa which was held at the CSIR conference centre on 7 and 8 December was visited by many delegates and dignitaries from the Department of Science and Technology, the SA Space Agency and the Education Department. Various elements of Kletskous, SA AMSAT’s CubeSat project were on display with demonstration of the operational prototype of the transponder.
TAKE YOUR SCIENCE PROJECT INTO SPACE WITH AMATEUR RADIO
SA AMSAT has launched the “Take your science project into space with Amateur Radio” initiative. For more information about the initiative download the information leaflet here
GET INTO SATELLITES WITH FOX 1A
An easy to operate satellite recently launched by AMSAT NA
Get all the details here
CPUT planning a successor to Africa’s first nanosatellite
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is planning a successor to its first CubeSat and has set it vision on ship-tracking. In a paper presented at the recent SAAMSAT space Symposium in Pretoria Daniel de Villiers, Development Engineer at French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) at CUPT, said that ZACube-2 will be the second satellite in F’SATI’s ZACube-I nanosatellite mission series. These missions are developed at the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) and the Africa Space Innovation Centre (ASIC) at CPUT with funding principally from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). Development of some subsystems has been ongoing for a number of years and has yielded a suite of commercial CubeSat parts that is ready for use in the satellite.
Download the paper here
JOIN THE SDR CONVERSATION
At its recent strategy meeting the association discussed its long term plans which includes the development of a Software Defined Radio transponder and other digital payloads. Radio Amateurs who have an interest in being part of discussions on these projects are invited to send their contact details including their Skype address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on SDR down the SDR presentation delivered by Deon Coetzee ZR1DE at the recently held space symposium. Join the conversation! Get it here
Become a partner in space
Donate to the AMSAT SA Kletskous fund and become a partner in space
Please make your contribution. You may pay directly into our account electronically. Please send the payment details with your name, callsign, email and postal address to email@example.com .
You will receive an acknowledgment certificate and will be listed on the list of donors. (See lower down) The account details are:
SA AMSAT, ABSA Menlyn
Account no 560 153 171
AMSAT SA is building its own
Listen to an interview with Deon Coetzee ZR1DE Click here
African Radio Amateurs will soon have access to a geostationary satellite
In the next few years radio amateurs will have access to two geostationary platforms, one that will service the Americas and another one, particular attractive to South Africans, that will be positioned at 26° East giving 24 hour access to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. These two geostationary projects will be included in commercial platforms similar to Amateur Radio Satellite (AMSAT) South Africa seeking to have an amateur radio transponder included in South Africa’s next satellite currently designated as EOS-1 (Earth Observation Satellite). Read the full story here
Science Forum South Africa 2015
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RS, the component supplier in South Africa has become
a component sponsor for the KLETSkous project.
TRAX SPONSOR PCBs for KLETSkous More about TRAX
Avnet Kopp: a broad line supplier of semiconductors, passives, magnetics, enclosures, optoelectronic, GPS / GSM, interconnect, electromechanical, embedded products and components