Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

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November 8, 1999 - Issue 190 Final Edition

SCIENCE - Ham Radio Operators Get Chance to Help NASA With Space Experiment (Nov. 4)
Sometime after December 2, the Joint Air Force-Weber State University Satellite, or JAWSAT, is scheduled to launch a group of satellites, including a Plasma Experiment Satellite Test, or PEST. PEST includes an enhanced Differential Ion Flux Probe, which will be used to determine the intensity, temperature and ionic mass of an ion stream. The PEST instruments will fly over the poles at 700 km. Nobie Stone, project scientist for the PEST at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, explained, "We think that flying a new generation of instruments at this altitude (700 km) over the Earth's poles will provide a good data set that can be used to improve our ability to model that poart of the maagnetosphere. It's an important area because the polar regions are very active, including the aurora borealis, energetic particle streams, and out-flowing plasma that escapes from the Earth."

Fred Berry, the PEST project manager and a ham radio operator, said, "Hams will be able to obtain data that characterizes certain aspects of the ionosphere above the D, E, and F layers where most of their signals are reflected. We're going to publish the data format in terms that everyone can understand." Telemetry data will be transmitted on 437.175 MHz or 2403.2 MHz and may be received using either a G3RUH or GMSK modem. Data rates should be as high as 38.4 kb/s. NASA will publish instructions for submitting data collected to the PEST team.

More information, photos and links are available in the HASA News Headines for November 4.

FCC DTV Status Page Tracks Applications, CPs, Licenses and On-Air Stations (Nov. 2)
The FCC Mass Media Bureau is posting data on pending DTV applications, construction permits (CPs) granted, licenses granted and DTV stations on the air. The page has been updated on a regular basis. On November 2nd, the FCC DTV Summary Page reported that the FCC Mass Media Bureau Video Division had received 474 DTV construction permit (CP) applications. Among these stations, 220 have been granted DTV CPs and 66 are on the air with full facilities. Another 25 are on the air with special or experimental DTV authority. The FCC said "The remaining applications are awaiting additional information; Mexican, Canadian or other clearances or are the non-checklist or maximization type." "These applications are currently being processed in proper priority order."

The FCC also has a web page for DTV Stations on the Air. The complete listing of applications, CPs and licenses, along with the dates filed, can be found through the DTV Status Page.

DTV - ATSC Adds New Members - Membership Now Over 200 (Nov. 2)
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) welcomed six new members: Digitra Systems, Fujitsu Microelectronics, Hubbard Broadcasting, iSurfTV, Nielsen Media Research and NxtWave Communications. The ATSC now has over 200 member organizations. More information is available in the ATSC Press Release (Adobe PDF) and the ATSC.

OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified November 16, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung