DE NNN0ASA 139P 211235Z DEC 2006
FM NNN0ASA VA
SUBJ: MARSCOM SATELLITE INITIAL OPERATIONS
1. THE FOLLOWING WAS RECEIVED FROM NNN0APR MDE, ON THE LATEST STATUS OF THE MARSCOM SATELLITE:
FOR ALL NAVY MARINE CORPS MARS AND ALL ARMY AND AF MARS:
AT 0156Z ON 21 DECEMBER, THE MARSCOM SATELLITE WILL DEPLOY FROM THE SPACE SHUTTLE AND BEGIN OPERATING. IT'S PACKET CALLSIGN IS NMARS ANDWE INVITE ALL ACTIVE MARS MEMBERS TO TRY TO COPY ITS WEAK SIGNAL ON------ MHZ +/- 2 KHZ. THE MODE WILL BE AX.25 PACKETS BUT IN SSB MODE.
IT WILL ONLY TRANSMIT ONE PACKET A MINUTE UNLESS WE HAVE USERS PINGING THE SPACECRAFT. TO PING NMARS, SIMPLY SEND AN UNPROTO PACKET VIA NMARS ON THE NAVY MARS UPLINK OF ------- FM STANDARD PACKET. IF THE SPACE CRAFT HEARD YOU, IT SHOULD DIGIPEAT THE PACKET. THIS WILL GIVE YOU A SIGNAL TO TUNE IN AS THE DOPPLER CHANGES.THE PRIMARY MISSION OF MARSCOM WILL EVENTUALLY BE FOR VOICE NETS, BUT THE COMMAND AND CONTROL REQUIRES PACKET. AND SO WE CANNOT ACTIVATE THE VOICE TRANSPONDER UNTIL WE HAVE COMMAND. THIS WILL BE HARD DUE TO THE DOPPLER AND SSB DOWNLINK.
SO WE INVITE ALL MARS STATIONS THAT ARE CAPABLE OF PACKET, TO PING ON------- FOR THE FIRST DAY OR SO OF OPERATION DURING PASSES OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE (THEY WILL BE IN SIMILAR ORBITS FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS).
PLEASE MONITOR THE ------- FREQUENCY BEFORE TRANSMITTING BECAUSE IT IS A VERY COMMON INPUT OR OUTPUT TO OVER 60 NAVY MARS REPEATERS ACROSS THE USA. IT IS OFTEN PAIRED WITH ------- MHZ SO CHECK BOTH FREQUENCIES TO MAKE SURE A NET IS NOT IN PROGRESS BEFORE TRANSMITTING TO THE SATELLITE ON -------. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE HTTP://WWW.EW.----------------/MARSCOM.HTML
BOB --------, NNN0APR
US NAVAL ACADEMY SATELLITE LAB
NOTE: THE SATELLITE OPERATES 1200 BAUD VHF PACKET.
2. A LATER E-MAIL UPDATE INDICATES MARSCOM WAS SUCCESFULLY DEPLOYED AND NNN0APR REPORTS THAT TELEMETRY HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE SATELLITE INDICATING BATTERIES ARE CHARGING UP.
3. NAVMARCORMARS: PROUDLY SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE.
Since Bo and the Navy MARS folks continue to play their secrecy game, here is the scoop in the MARScom (ie frequencies) direct from a public website associated with the mission. Someone really needs to teach these people that you can't run from Google.
As first published on this blog July 24, 2006:
If STS-116 launches in December, it will carry two experimental satellites into orbit built by students at the US Naval Academy.
RAFT is a US Naval Academy Aerospace student project currently manifested on Space Shuttle Mission STS-116. It is designed to give students real hands on experience in satellite engineering, design and operations. The USNA RAFT hopes to accomplish the following objectives:
As usual there is the usual MARS frequency disclaimer on the main webpage stating that the MARS frequencies are sensitive and will not be published. But also as usual digging around the website and its links revealed the following:
Downlink 145.825 MHz, 2 watts 20 kHz bandwidth FM with both AX.25 packet and PSK-31 signals, Uplinks
28.122 MHz linear PSK-31
216.980 MHz NSSS transponder (Radar fence)
RAFT1 Satellite Operating Modes:
Telemetry Mode, Packet Transponder Mode, PSK-31 Transponder Mode, Packet/Voice transponder, and the XP217 radar fence mode.
148.975 MHz Uplink
27.9635 (27.962) MHz SSB downlink
123.100 MHz SAR AM Monitor
MARScom Satellite Operating Modes:
Telemetry Mode, Packet Transponder Mode, Voice Relay Mode, and SAR Monitor Mode.
What is amazing to me is that the brain thrust in MARS actually thought they could keep the frequencies of their orbiting satellite secret. It is obvious that they are not technically the sharpest knives in the drawer. Someone needs to educate these folks that low earth orbiting platforms are quite easy to hear, even on simple multimode handhelds. Duh huh!