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[jamsat-news:1349] * SpaceNews 09-Oct-00 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC1009
* SpaceNews 09-Oct-00 *
MONDAY OCTOBER 9, 2000
* PHASE 3D LAUNCH UPDATE *
AMSAT-DL Executive Vice President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, has reported
that the launch of the Phase 3D satellite will now be delayed until
mid-November. It had been reported earlier that the launch would
occur on 31-Oct-00.
The November launch delay stems from the non-arrival of one of
P3D's launch partners and the subsequent launch preparations
that this satellite will need to undergo.
DB2OS reported that the delayed satellite is due to arrive at the
European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana very shortly and will
immediately begin the same style launch preparations that P3D has
Peter also reported that P3D's fueling operations are now complete.
The last chemical to be added in the fueling process was NH3, with
P3D becoming only the world's second satellite to use ammonia in
its fuel, a premiere for spaceport Kourou! Because of the safety
considerations involved in handling the chemicals loaded into the
satellite (N2O4-dinitrogen tetroxide, NH3-ammonia and
MMH-monoethylhydrazine), this was a slow tedious process.
"These are not your every-day household chemicals," said team
member Chuck Green, N0ADI, "they are very hazardous! However,
with proper training and equipment, it can be done safely."
The filling process of each chemical took approximately two days. The
first day was used in setting everything up for the fueling operation.
Actual fueling was done on the second day.
The first chemical installed was an oxidizer, N2O4. When the preparations
were completed, protective clothing worn and all the final connections
made to the equipment and tanks -- only then was the fueling process
started. The entire operation was carefully monitored by both on-site
safety people as well as members of the AMSAT launch team. The room
for monitoring the fueling operation is in a building about one
quarter of a mile away. There are several TV monitors which can be
panned and/or zoomed - enabling the safety officer to closely follow
the entire process. There is also an impressive array of vapor detection
devices and access controls available to the safety team. During
each filling operation, the three people actually doing the work
were in constant two way communication with the people in the control
Filling the N2O4 tanks in P3-D took almost exactly one hour. However,
Chuck reported that "the process started early in the morning and final
clean-up ended much later that evening, a very long day through most
of which was spent wearing rather uncomfortable clothing." Dick Daniels,
W4PUJ, was one of the team members fueling P3D.
Phase 3D will be move shortly into the final assembly building at the
European Spaceport. From here, the satellite will soon be mated to
the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.
The launch team has updated its Internet web site with several new
photographs showing the Phase 3D fueling process. To visit the site,
point your browser to:
[Info via the AMSAT-NA News Service]
* TAPR ELECTS OFFICERS *
TAPR Elects Officers at 19th Annual Digital Communications Conference
John Ackermann, N8UR, was elected the new president of TAPR at the 19th
ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference held in Orlando September 21-24.
135 hams, including a dozen from outside the US, attended the annual event,
which includes presentation of technical papers, hands-on demonstrations,
and beginner's sessions. Over 100 people attended Friday afternoon's APRS
seminar, and 70 were present for a technical symposium on programming PIC
chips held Sunday morning.
Ackermann succeeds Greg Jones, WD5IVD, who had served as president since
1993, with Steve Bible, N7HPR, replacing Ackermann as vice president. Bob
Hanson, N2GDE, will continue to serve as secretary, and Jim Neely, WA5LHS,
remains treasurer. The elections were held at TAPR's annual board meeting,
held in conjunction with the DCC.
"Greg Jones led TAPR through a period of growth and innovation,"
Ackermann said. "On his watch, we brought significant new products to
market, including the DSP-93 digital signal processing unit, Totally
Accurate Clock, and Mic-E and Pic-E data encoders. Greg also laid the
groundwork for our Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Radio project. He
guided us into the Internet age, along the way creating the TAPR SIG
mailing lists that now handle thousands of messages per month. Greg is
also responsible for our increased publishing activities. His retirement
leaves a void in TAPR that will be hard to fill."
Ackermann said that his primary objective will be to ensure that
TAPR remains on the cutting edge of radio technology, with a special
emphasis on emerging concepts such as Software Defined Radios. He will
also focus on increasing membership and optimizing the organization's
Ackermann (ex-AG9V), who lives in Dayton, Ohio, has served on the TAPR
Board of Directors and as vice president since 1995. He was first licensed
in 1974 and has helped build packet radio networks in Ohio and Wisconsin.
Ackermann is active on APRS, runs a Linux-based Internet site at his home,
and can occasionally be found on CW chasing DX.
Bible lives in Kingsland, Georgia, and has been a TAPR Board member since
1996. He was project manager for TAPR's Totally Accurate Clock (TAC-2),
EVM Radio Interface, PIC Encoder, and DGPS Reference Station kits. Bible
is leading TAPR's development of a road map to develop Software Defined
Radio technology for amateur use.
In other news from the DCC:
* TAPR announced that it will be offering the "EasyTrak" satellite rotor
and radio controller. This PIC-based unit will control azimuth and
elevation rotors for satellite use, as well as tune popular radios
for Doppler correction.
* PRUG, the Packet Radio Users Group of Japan, demonstrated the
possibilities of low cost Internet-connected sensors and software mobile
agent technology. PRUG also introduced the TINI-AMEDES, a Java based
one-board computer with Ethernet interface which supports the Dallas
Semiconductor 1-wire interface, and provided an update on their 2.4 GHz
spread spectrum radio, which has been commercialized by Root, Inc.
* Geoffrey Dick, WA4IKQ, was winner of the grand prize awarded at the
Saturday evening banquet. Geoff won a TM-D700 APRS-capable mobile radio
donated by Kenwood.
DCC 2001 will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio from September 21-23, 2001.
Conference coordinators will be Steve and Sheila Bible assisted by local
coordinator Hank Greeb, N8XX.
TAPR (officially, Tucson Amateur Packet Radio, Inc.) is a non-profit
research and development corporation dedicated to advancing amateur
radio through digital technology. It focuses on development of
hardware and software tools that enable ham radio operators to explore
leading edge technologies. Despite its name, TAPR is an international
organization with over 2000 members worldwide.
Telephone: (940) 383-0000
[Info via Steven Bible, N7HPR]
* SPECIAL EVENT STATION W2L *
The Ramapo Mountain Amateur Radio Club, WA2SNA, will conduct a special-event
operation on Saturday, 14 October, to mark the official opening of a new
public library building in Ringwood, New Jersey (Passaic County, grid square
FN21). The club's monthly meetings take place there.
The FCC has issued the callsign W2L for this event.
Ray Soifer, W2RS, will be participating by operating W2L on the 1530 UTC
passes of AO-27 and UO-14. Ray asks that you please listen for him!
The QSL manager for W2L is W2ZF.
[Info via Ray Soifer, W2RS]
* FEEDBACK/INPUT WELCOMED *
Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor
(John, KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
MAIL: John A. Magliacane, KD2BD
Department of Engineering and Technology
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, New Jersey 07738
PACKET: KD2BD @ WB2COP.NJ.USA.NA
INTERNET: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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