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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS013 (1996)

ARLS013 UNAMSAT-B in Orbit

Space Bulletin 013  ARLS013
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  September 9, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLS013 UNAMSAT-B in Orbit

UNAMSAT-B, the first Mexican Amateur Radio satellite, has been
launched into orbit from Plesetsk, Russia. The successful launch on
September 5, 1996, follows years of postponements and
disappointments, including the destruction of UNAMSAT-1. The
satellite was built at the Autonomous University of Mexico under the
tutelage of David Liberman, XE1TU.

UNAMSAT-B functions as a 1200-baud store-and-forward packet file
server similar to OSCARs 16 and 19.

Uplinks: 145.815, 145.835, 145.855 and 145.875 MHz; downlink:
437.206 MHz.

In addition to its packet capability, UNAMSAT carries a meteor
experiment.  The satellite will transmit pulses on 40.997 MHz to
detect the presence of meteors entering Earth's atmosphere. By
analyzing the data files, which will be made available on the
server, hams can get a glimpse of meteor activity over various parts
of the globe at specific times.

Reports indicate the satellite is sending strong signals back to
Earth.  AMSAT says a first look at telemetry from UNAMSAT indicates
all is working well aboard the satellite. It is tumbling, as
expected, so signal strength and polarization sense are changing
randomly. It should lock in on Earth's magnetic field in a few days,
and that will stabilize the downlink signals.  The transmitter is
running at a ''safe'' power level of about 0.2 to 0.3 W.

AMSAT said that observers should expect the satellite to remain it
its current mode for several days as the UNAM team returns to Mexico
City and works through the checkout and test procedures. Observers
are requested to collect telemetry in KISS mode and send files
attached to e-mail to for the next 48 hours.

Congratulations to the UNAMSAT team at the National Autonomous
University of Mexico. For more information, see their Web page at


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