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Subj: [ANS] ANS-316 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
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In this edition:

* Trends in Propulsion Systems for Small Satellites
* FO-99 Re-enters
* URESAT-1 Designated Spain-OSCAR 120 (SO-120)
* New Satellite Distance Records
* Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for November 10, 2023
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information
service of AMSAT, 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]

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service
Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:

ANS-316 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

>From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002

DATE 2023 November 12

Trends in Propulsion Systems for Small Satellites

Recently AMSAT News Service had the opportunity to interview Jonathan
Brandenburg, KF5IDY, AMSAT Assistant VP – Engineering about recent 
in propulsion systems for small satellites.

ANS: “Jonathan, we understand you are looking at propulsion systems
might be added to future satellites.  What is the impetus for this?

JB: “As we all know, debris is becoming a big issue in space. The a
mount of
debris in space is growing and any of it that hits a satellite can cause
significant damage. The European Space Agency estimates that there are more
than 35,000 pieces of space debris, 2/3 of which is in LEO. Further, for
the first time the FCC has issued a fine to Dish Network because they were
not able to move its defunct EchoStar-7 satellite fully into the intended
disposal orbit. Dish was supposed to move it 186 miles further from the
earth, but it only reached 76 miles because the satellite ran out of fuel.
This fine is likely a harbinger of things to come.

“The FCC has pending requirements to be able to deorbit on command.
we are beginning to hear rumblings that we may have to be able to maneuver
satellites to avoid a “conjunction event,” that is a collis
ion. This is
just in the conversation stage.”

“In addition, we often wish to reach higher orbits with AMSAT
s satellites.
With the ability to thrust we can launch into a lower and more accessible
orbit then raise our orbit with onboard thrusters.

ANS: “That is very crucial capability for AMSAT to add. What is req
uired to
do this and how difficult will it be to achieve?”

JB: “We need three things: a GNSS – a Global Navigational S
pace System, an
ADCS – an Attitude Determination, and Control System, and a thruste

“A GNSS is needed to determine the exact position of the satellite.
 We have
a current ASCENT project in progress for this.

“We have to be able to accurately determine the position and orient
ation of
the satellite so that we know the thrusters are oriented in the correct
direction when they are fired. We are currently planning to fly an ADCS on
the GOLF-TEE satellite which estimated to be launched in Q2 2025. The plan
is to fly an ADCS purchased from CubeSat.

“We have a new ASCENT project for small satellite thrusters.  This 
is our
topic of discussion here. There are many different types of thruster
systems. Examples are:
- Solid motor thrusters which are very powerful,

- Hall effect thrusters which are popular, large and power hungry but very

- Electrospray thrusters are relatively inexpensive and simple. The
propellant can be solid or a liquid which melts down quickly and then is
accelerated out of the nozzle with an electric field. It is an affordable
technology, and a moderately simple technology.

- And pulsed plasma/vacuum arc thrusters which have the advantage of being
a very, very simple and affordable technology. It uses an electric arc to
ablate the material which becomes the fuel. The fuel material can be a
light metal or a high technology plastic.

“Weve recently acquired a demonstration kit for a pulsed p
lasma type
thruster. We are in the early stages of engaging our volunteers to perform
an in-depth analysis of this thruster as part of our investigation to
determine which thruster is the most appropriate for AMSAT.

ANS: ”Interesting. How can we learn more?”

JB: “I gave a 20-minute presentation on this at the recent AMSAT An
Space Symposium, which you can see on YouTube.  The presentation includes a
short demonstration of a pulse plasma type thruster made by Hypernova
Space. The demonstration includes firing the thruster, the control
software, and some of the output data.”

ANS: Thank you for your time, Jonathan!

Link to Jonathan Brandenburgs presentation is:

[ANS thanks Jonathan Brandenburg, KF5IDY, AMSAT Assistant VP – Engi
and Mark
Blackwood, KI5AXK for the above information.]


           The 2023 AMSAT President's Club coins are here now!
   To commemorate the 40th anniversary of its launch
on June 16, 1983, this year's coin features
an image of AMSAT-OSCAR 10.
 Join the AMSAT President's Club today and help
Keep Amateur Radio in Space!


FO-99 Re-enters

FO-99 re-entered on November 9, 2023 after nearly five years in orbit.
Launched on January 18, 2019 on an Epsilon launch vehicle, the 1U CubeSat,
named NEXUS for Next Generation X Unique Satellite, was designed and built
by Nihon University in collaboration with JAMSAT. The satellite
demonstrated a high speed QPSK transmitter and also sent SSTV transmissions
and carried a VHF/UHF linear transponder.

[ANS thanks Nihon University, JAMSAT, and AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager
Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, for the above information]

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