set MyFiles=*.flac *.wav *.aif *.mp4 *.mp3 *.mp2 *.aac *.ogg
for %%a in (%MyFiles%) do ffmpeg -i "%%a" -y -lavfi showspectrumpic=s=1920x1080:color=fiery:gain=.7:fscale=lin:orientation=0:saturation=1:mode=combined:legend=enabled:start=0:stop=8000 "%%~na.jpg"






RSID: <<2023-03-23T23:31Z MFSK-32 @ 9265000+1500>>


Welcome to program 297 of Shortwave Radiogram.

I'm Kim Andrew Elliott in Arlington, Virginia USA.

Here is the lineup for today's program, in MFSK modes as noted:

  1:35 MFSK32: Program preview (now)
  2:41 MFSK32: Grow rice in Martian soil?
  6:07 MFSK64: Small-budget satellite is space junk remedy*
13:16 MFSK64: This week's images*
28:39 MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with image(s)


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From Science News:

Martian soil may have all the nutrients rice needs

But the plant is going to need some tweaking to survive a
toxic chemical there

By Nikk Ogasa
March 17, 2023

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS - Martian dirt may have all the necessary
nutrients for growing rice, one of humankind's most important
foods, planetary scientist Abhilash Ramachandran reported March
13 at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. However, the
plant may need a bit of help to survive amid perchlorate, a
chemical that can be toxic to plants and has been detected on
Mars' surface.

"We want to send humans to Mars ... but we cannot take everything
there. It's going to be expensive," says Ramachandran, of the
University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Growing rice there would
be ideal, because it's easy to prepare, he says. "You just peel
off the husk and start boiling."

Ramachandran and his colleagues grew rice plants in a Martian
soil simulant made of Mojave Desert basalt. They also grew rice
in pure potting mix as well as several mixtures of the potting
mix and soil simulant. All pots were watered once or twice a day.

Rice plants did grow in the synthetic Mars dirt, the team found.
However, the plants developed slighter shoots and wispier roots
than the plants that sprouted from the potting mix and hybrid
soils. Even replacing just 25 percent of the simulant with
potting mix helped heaps, they found.

The researchers also tried growing rice in soil with added
perchlorate. They sourced one wild rice variety and two cultivars
with a genetic mutation - modified for resilience against
environmental stressors like drought - and grew them in Mars-like
dirt with and without perchlorate.

No rice plants grew amid a concentration of 3 grams of
perchlorate per kilogram of soil. But when the concentration was
just 1 gram per kilogram, one of the mutant lines grew both a
shoot and a root, while the wild variety managed to grow a root.

The findings suggest that by tinkering with the successful
mutant's modified gene, SnRK1a, humans might eventually be able
to develop a rice cultivar suitable for Mars.

Shortwave Radiogram now changes to MFSK64 ...


RSID: <<2023-03-23T23:36Z MFSK-64 @ 9265000+1500>>

This is Shortwave Radiogram in MFSK64

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Scrappy SBUDNIC satellite hitched a ride to space

March 22nd, 2023
Posted by Juan Siliezar

A satellite built on a small budget and with off-the-shelf
supplies could be a solution to space junk.

A team of students from Brown University sent the satellite -
which is powered by 48 Energizer AA batteries and a $20
microprocessor popular with robot hobbyists - into space about 10
months ago, hitching a ride on Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket.

Now, an analysis of data from Air Force Space Command shows that
the satellite successfully operated. It could also have
far-ranging impacts on efforts to cut down on the growing problem
of space debris, which poses a potential danger to all current
and future space vehicles.

According to NASA, there are now more than 27,000 pieces of what
it calls orbital debris or space junk being tracked by the
Department of Defense's global Space Surveillance Network.
Orbital debris ranges from any human-made object in Earth's orbit
that no longer serves a useful function, like nonfunctional
spacecraft, abandoned launch-stage vehicles, mission-related
debris, and fragmentation debris. It also includes defunct
satellites that remain in orbit sometimes decades after their
mission is complete.

That's a problem, given that most satellites remain in orbit for
an average of 25 years or more, says Rick Fleeter, an adjunct
associate professor of engineering. So when his students got a
once-in-a-lifetime chance to design and build their own satellite
to be launched into space, they decided to engineer a potential

The students added a 3D-printed drag sail made from Kapton
polyimide film to the bread-loaf-sized cube satellite they built.
Upon deployment at about 520 kilometers (323 miles) - well above
the orbit of the International Space Station—the sail popped open
like an umbrella and is helping to push the satellite back down
to Earth sooner, according to initial data. In fact, the
satellite is well below the other small devices that deployed
with it. In early March, for instance, the satellite was at about
470 kilometers (292 miles) above the Earth while the other
objects were still in orbit at about 500 kilometers or more.

"You can see in the tracking data that we're visibly below
everybody else and accelerating away from them," Fleeter says.
"You can see that our satellite is already descending toward
reentry, whereas the others are still in a nice circular orbit
higher up."

The data suggest that the student satellite, called SBUDNIC, will
be out of orbit within five years versus the estimated 25 to 27
years the students calculated for it without the drag device.

Fleeter and the students believe that their initial analysis of
the publicly available tracking data serves as a proof of concept
that this type of sail can be part of an effort to reduce the
number of space debris in orbit around Earth. They hope similar
sails can be added to other same-sized devices or scaled up to
larger projects in the future.

"The theory and physics of how this works has been pretty well
accepted," Fleeter says. "What this mission showed was more about
how you realize it - how you build a mechanism that does that,
and how you do it so it's lightweight, small, and affordable."

Sputnik? No, SBUDNIC

The project is a result of a collaboration between researchers at
Brown's School of Engineering and the National Research Council
of Italy. It is also supported by D-Orbit, AMSAT-Italy, La
Sapienza-University of Rome, and the NASA Rhode Island Space
Grant. The name of the satellite is a play on Sputnik, the first
satellite to orbit the Earth, and is also an acronym for the
project participants.

This is the second small satellite designed and built by Brown
students that's been sent into orbit in recent years. The
previous satellite, EQUiSat, did 14,000 loops around the Earth
before ending its mission and burning up upon re-entering the
atmosphere at the end of 2020.

SBUDNIC, however, is believed to be the first of its kind that
was sent into orbit made almost exclusively from materials not
designed for use in space and at such an astronomically low-cost
when compared to other objects in orbit. The total cost of the
student-designed cube satellite was about $10,000.

"The large complex space missions we hear about in the news are
amazing and inspiring, but they also send a message that space is
only for those types of specialized initiatives," Fleeter says.
"Here, we're opening up that possibility to more people… We're
not breaking down all the barriers, but you have to start

A group of about 40 students designed and built the satellite in
one year. It started in the course Design of Space Systems, which
Fleeter taught in Spring 2021. Italian aerospace company D-Orbit
approached with an opening for a satellite on the SpaceX Falcon 9
rocket that would launch in one year. Fleeter turned to his
students, who had just listened to their first seminars on space
systems design, and presented them the opportunity. From there,
the race was on.


The students began by conceptualizing and designing the
individual subsystems of the satellite, often working with
industry advisors who provided feedback and engineering guidance
on the feasibility of their proposals. Students then put their
plans into action, managing the technical aspects of the
satellite along with coordinating the administrative pieces. The
continual prototyping, testing, and improving required amounted
to a herculean effort from students in terms of hours and brain

Students purchased materials they needed at local stores and
online retail websites. They often had to engineer nifty
workarounds to their materials so they could survive in space.
The approach often meant coming up with test apparatuses that
replicated specific environmental conditions of space, like the
high vibration from the rocket launch, says Marco Cross, who
graduated last year with a master's degree in biomedical
engineering and served as chief engineer for SBUDNIC.

For instance, the team used reptile heating lamps in a vacuum
chamber to test the thermal shield they created to protect the
satellite's electronics from the sun.

To be cleared for launch, the satellite had to pass qualification
tests and meet strict rules and regulations that SpaceX and NASA
follow. "It is a zero-failure-tolerated environment," Cross says.
"The team never wavered."

The students got the green light after a series of vacuum,
thermal, and vibration tests. A group then traveled to Cape
Canaveral in Florida to deliver SBUDNIC so it could be inserted
into D-Orbit's larger carrier satellite, which was then put onto
the SpaceX rocket.

Along with presenting their findings at conferences and
submitting their data to a publication, the SBUDNIC team is
currently planning a series of presentations in schools
throughout Rhode Island. They hope to inspire future innovators
and make high school students more aware of the opportunities
that exist for them in space engineering and design.

Source: Brown University

See also:

Image: The SBUDNIC cube satellite, with a drag sail made from
Kapton polyimide film, at the Brown Design Workshop.

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This is Shortwave Radiogram in MFSK64

Please send your reception report to



This week's images ...


A winner of the 2023 Mobile Photography Awards (photos by
smartphones). ...

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A daffodil Brussels, March 13. ...

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Ice crystals on the petals of a Dianthus flower after a heavy
overnight frost in Manchester, England. ...

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Jilin, China, during a sandstorm.

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A car silhouetted against the setting sun at the vernal equinox
in Kansas.

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Lined trees in a field after sunset near Vic, Spain. ...

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One of the favorite cherry trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington
DC is know as "Stumpy." ...

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Late winter snow at Allegany State Park in New York. ...

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Our painting of the week is "Le dégel, un soir de mars,
Arthabaska [Quebec]" (1913) by Marc-Aurèle Suzor-Coté. ...

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Shortwave Radiogram returns to MFSK32 ...



RSID: <<2023-03-23T23:58Z MFSK-32 @ 9265000+1500>>


This is Shortwave Radiogram in MFSK32 ...


Shortwave Radiogram is transmitted by:

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