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[jamsat-news:1330] * SpaceNews 18-Sep-00 *

* SpaceNews 18-Sep-00 *

BID: $SPC0918



The Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully docked with the International Space
Station last week and transported the initial Amateur Radio communications
equipment to the Zarya module on ISS.  More information on the Amateur
Radio station being built on the Internation Space Station including
photographs is available at the following URL:


Alan Adamson, NE1H, has created an e-mail response engine to generate
and deliver satellite pass predictions.  Using this service, users are
able to select a satellite, a location for which they would like the
predictions, and the timezone they would like the dates and times
delivered in.  It is also possible to select the number of days
for which the predictions are desired.

The basic mechanism is as follows.

Send an email to: igor@ne1h.yi.org
Subject - Your callsign
Body - One line command as detailed below.  You can place more than
one command in an email, just make sure they are on separate lines.


help - Gives you a listing of commands

commands - Same as help

weather - For what it's worth, provides the weather from Alan's
personal weather station (mostly useful for his 2-way pager)

forecast [county | list] - Returns the NOAA forecast for a given county.
Right now only Georgia is supported.  This command will default to
"gwinnett" county in Georgia USA if you don't specify the county.  If
you do, it needs to be a valid Georgia county for now.  Other states
and counties may be added later.  If you specify 'list', it will
return a listing of the available counties.

For example:
forecast - will retrieve Gwinnett county NOAA forecast
forecast hall - will retrieve Hall county NOAA forecast

Satellite [satname | list] - this will use PREDICT to retrieve
the current location of AO-27 by default and the next AOS for it.
'list' will retrieve the current listing of available satellites.

For example:
satellite - will retrieve current position and next AOS for AO-27
satellite uo14 - will retrieve current position and next AOS for UO-14

Predict [satname | list] [location] [timezone] [days] - this will use
SatTrack to provide a printable listing of predicted passes for a satellite.
Again AO-27 is the default.  You can provide a satname or 'list' as above.
Also you can specify a location.  This needs to be a major city near you.
Most of the major metro areas are there based upon the people that have used
the e-mail service to date.  Timezone needs to be a USA version of EDT, EST,
etc. or it can also be UTC (only USA timezones are directly supported, Alan
is working on the rest of the world.)  Finally, days is the number of days
of prediction you would like.  Order is important, so make sure you match
the number of parameters.  You can leave the last one out if you like
and it will default to 2 days.

For example:
predict - will predict AO-27 for Buford, Georgia in EDT for 2 days
predict uo22 los_angeles PDT 7 - will predict UO-22 for Los Angeles, CA
in PDT for 7 days worth of passes.

If you get a response back that there are more that one available city,
include an underscore for the space, but include the "," (comma) (for
example: rochester,_ny for Rochester, New York).

[Info via Alan Adamson, NE1H]

Several reports received indicate that the FUJI-OSCAR-20 satellite
now ceases to function when the satellite is in eclipse, but works
fine otherwise when the satellite is in sunlight.  Tak Okamoto,
JA2PKI, reports that the Ni-Cad batteries on-board FO-20 are now
10 years old, and the satellite's Under Voltage Controller (UVC)
is shutting the satellite down when in darkness to prevent the
batteries from excessive discharge.  There is nothing that can
be done on the ground to prevent this problem.  Ground stations
simply need to realize that the satellite may be unavailable when
it is not sufficiently illuminated by the sun.

At the present time, the satellite is receiving approximately 990
minutes of sunlight per day.

An Arianespace Ariane 5 launch vehicle has successfully delivered a
pair of communications satellites into Earth orbit.  AR-506 placed
the Astra 2B and GE-7 satellites into the desired geostationary
transfer orbit after a spectacular launch from the European
Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.  The launch took place
Thursday, September 14, 2000 at 22:54 UTC.

The Astra 2B satellite will broadcast digital TV programs throughout
Europe.  The GE-7 satellite will primarily provide radio and Internet
transmission services for North America and the Caribbean.

Following the successful launch of AR-506, Arianespace and
AMSAT-DL have announced that V-507 is scheduled not to occur before
November 3, 2000.  Aboard this flight will be the AMSAT Phase 3D
communications satellite, which is now undergoing final preparation
at the Kourou launch site.

According to AMSAT-DL Executive Vice President Peter Guelzow,
DB2OS, who is leading the launch team, the advance members of the
launch team arrived in Kourou on September 9th.  Most importantly, they
have ascertained that Phase 3D appears to be in excellent condition.

Tests of Phase 3D's systems are now underway, including charging of
the satellite batteries.  The launch team has successfully performed
pressure tests on the propulsion systems and are now preparing P3D
for RF testing.

AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, informed
The AMSAT-NA News Service that the Phase 3D launch team is awaiting
the provision of electronic mail in Kourou which will enable more
frequent bulletins to be provided.

[Info via the AMSAT-NA News Service]

Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor
(John, KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW:        http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
MAIL:       John A. Magliacane, KD2BD
            Department of Engineering and Technology
            Brookdale Community College
            765 Newman Springs Road
            Lincroft, New Jersey 07738
INTERNET:   kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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