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AMSAT SA TO HOLD SECOND SDR WORKSHOP
AT NARC -
AMSAT SA is holding a half day SDR workshop in association with the SARL at the NARC on 18 February 2017
This is a hands-on workshop where participants will install a VHF/UHF RTL dongle and program it to become a VHF/UHF receiver covering 24 MHz - 1.7 GHz.
The workshop will be presented by Anton Janovsky ZR6AIC and Cor Rademeyer ZS6CR
Date: 18 February 2017 9:30 - 12:00
Venue: SARL National Amateur Radio centre, Sender Technology Park, Octave Street, Radiokop, Roodepoort.
and SARL Members R450
The fee includes a RTL dongle and a memory stick with all the required software as well as light refreshments.
Register before 11 February 2017.
Join the SDR Conversation
TWO SPACE FRAME SPONSORS
The manufacturing of the KLETSkous CubeSat spaceframe is picking up steam. The process chain development is a major component of the project. This will ensure that the manufacturing processes used does not create excess waste and is as streamline as possible. The STC LAM, Stellenbosch Technology Centre’s Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing, manufactures the CubeSat rails using a WEDM Wire Cutting machine. This process ensures high dimensional accuracy of the parts, while achieving the required surface roughness as specified by the CubeSat Design Specifications document.
Loci Laser Cut and Manufacturing is a manufacturing company situated in Stellenbosch that specialise in laser cutting and high precision bending. They will laser cut the top and bottom panels of the spaceframe. These parts are to intricate to machine using WEDM technologies, and the laser cutter will achieve the required accuracy and manufacture the parts at extremely high speeds.
The side panels of the KLETSkous spaceframe will be manufactured out of titanium. Because of the reflective properties of this alloy, the laser cutter could not be used. Leading Edge Engineering & Waterjet Cutting specialises in the cutting of precision parts using a waterjet cutter. They are situated in the Plankenburg industrial area in Stellenbosch forms part of the manufacturing cluster that will produce the first KLETSkous prototype. The waterjet cutter forces a stream of water through a tiny hole inside a diamond nozzle which creates the extreme forces that are necessary to cut through titanium.
By combining all of these manufacturing processes we are able to manufacture precision parts at very high speeds through the help of a manufacturing cluster situated in the Stellenbosch area.
Es’hail-2 with Amateur Radio Transponder launch now Q3, 2017
WEEKLY SATELLITE ACTIVITY DAY
AMSAT SA is planning to arrange a weekly satellite day to encourage radio amateurs to operate satellites. The proposal is to dedicate preferred slots for satellite operation, for example Tuesday between and 18:00 and 23:00. There are a number of relatively easy to operate satellites. These will be identified and operating slots with details about the orbit and time over South Africa and neighbouring countries will be published in advance. AMSAT SA is seeking input from radio amateurs who would be interested in participating. Please send your proposals and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the third quarter 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
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.
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
Listen to Hannes Coetzee ZS6BZP as he updates the projects and talks about the way forward in 2017 here
CALL FOR PAPERS
The 2017 AMSAT SA Space Conference will be held on Saturday 20 May 2017
in Pretoria. This is the first call for paper proposals.
Proposals should include a brief synopsis of the proposed paper. The closing date for proposal is 31 January 2017. The following is the complete time schedule:
Closing date for paper proposals
Authors will be notified of acceptance
Full paper in word 15 April 2017
PowerPoint presentation 15 May 2017 *
*may be brought to the conference on a memory stick
Papers will be made available to all delegates on a memory stick or CD
For sponsorship opportunities please call AMSAT SA on 082 781 4631
Section dedicated to Software Defined Radio
applications in space.
Listen to an interview about SDR with Deon Coetzee ZR1DE 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.
All contributions will be acknowledged on this page (Scroll down). Donations of R500 or more will be acknowledged with a certificate.
AMSAT SA, ABSA Menlyn, Branch code 632 005
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
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