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[jamsat-news:1371] * SpaceNews 20-Nov-00 *
SB NEWS @ AMSAT $SPC1120
* SpaceNews 20-Nov-00 *
MONDAY NOVEMBER 20, 2000
* PHASE 3D SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED! *
A new era in Amateur Radio communications was ushered in on
November 16, 2000 (UTC) as AMSAT-DL Executive Vice President
and P3D Mission Director Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, informed AMSAT
News Service that the launch of the Phase 3D satellite from the
European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana was successful following
a spectacular night time launch.
"It was a textbook launch" said DB2OS, "from the first minute of flight,
until P3D separated from the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, all received
telemetry indicates the launch went perfectly and our satellite appears
to be in very good health."
Launched with three other satellites - the large PAS-1R communications
satellite and the smaller STVR-1C and 1D satellites, Phase 3D was
placed into geostationary transfer orbit, from where it will be nudged
into it's final elliptical orbit.
The Ariane 5 flight proved to be a record setting mission as it marked
the first use of the ASAP-5 platform. The ASAP-5 enables the launcher
to carry auxiliary micro and mini satellite payloads. By coincidence,
P3D was married to the PanAm-1R satellite, which was also the case when
the first Ariane 4 (flight 401) rocket also launched both an AMSAT and a
On this launch, PAS-1R becomes the largest commercial satellite ever
put into orbit -- and P3D the largest Amateur Radio satellite ever built
At liftoff the Ariane 5 launch vehicle mass was over 6,200 Kg (almost
13,700 lbs.)! This included the mass of the PanAmSat primary payload
and the three auxiliary satellites (of which P3D was one), as well as
the mass of the ASAP-5 platform and the other payload mounting and
AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, welcomed the news of the
launch, noting "that the design, building and financing of P3D by
international volunteers is a great achievement."
Immediate AMSAT-NA past President Keith Baker, KB1SF, told the AMSAT-NA
News Service that he was "delighted" by the news of the Phase 3D launch.
"Obviously this is a big thrill for all of us who have spent the better
part of our lives over the past ten years bringing the satellite to
fruition. I have no doubt that today will be regarded as one of the
greatest days in the history of Amateur Radio."
Word was also received from AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Chairman (and
past AMSAT-NA President) Bill Tynan, W3XO. "I can't begin to tell you
how happy I am to see P3D in orbit," said Tynan, "as I followed the
launch sequence, I thought of the many people who have been involved
with this project from the very beginning and how pleased everyone
must be to see the reward of such hard work."
Although safely in orbit, there is much work to be done with Phase 3D
before the satellite is opened for general Amateur Radio use. Initial
housekeeping tasks are now underway to verify the health of the many
complex systems onboard - followed by bringing these systems online.
As previously noted P3D is now in a transfer orbit used for
To move P3D from this orbit the Arcjet motor will burn intermittently
(at perigee) over a 270-day period, with final inclination and apogee
adjustments made by the spacecraft's 400 Newton motor. "When these
maneuvers are completed and three-axis stabilization is achieved, the
satellite solar panels will then be spread out to receive full sunlight,"
said Haighton. "It is anticipated that at this time the satellite will
be fully operational for use by Amateur Radio operators around the world."
A 50 second video of the P3D launch can be seen at:
After its successful launch, the Phase 3D satellite has been renamed
AMSAT-OSCAR 40. AO-40's 2-meter telemetry beacon has been widely received
on a downlink frequency of about 145.900 MHz.
A recent Keplerian element set issued for AMSAT-OSCAR-40 over the weekend
by Ken Ernandes, N2WWD, follows:
AO-40 / OSCAR 40
1 26609U 00072B 00321.07636550 .00000001 00000-0 12528-4 0 39
2 26609 6.4414 247.6325 7351717 175.8868 13.4478 2.03016775 16
Satellite: AO-40 / OSCAR 40
Catalog number: 26609
Epoch time: 00321.07636550
Element set: 3
Inclination: 6.4414 deg
RA of node: 247.6325 deg
Arg of perigee: 175.8868 deg
Mean anomaly: 13.4478 deg
Mean motion: 2.03016775 rev/day
Decay rate: 7.56000e-09 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 1
The latest element sets are available via the Internet at:
* KITSAT-OSCAR-25 NEWS *
The KITSAT-OSCAR-25 satellite went silent over the weekend when the satellite
went into a power safe mode due to an overcharge of its battery system.
The spacecraft has since been brought back on-line, and is available for
[Info via KyungHee, HL0ENJ]
* OSCAR-11 REPORT *
During the period 17 October to 14 November 2000, good signals have
been received from OSCAR-11's 145.826 MHz VHF-FM beacon. The satellite
is currently experiencing favorable solar conditions and this should
continue until the end of the year.
Following ground control operations on 05-October to reset the
magnetorquer counters, the spin period has varied between 217
and 276 seconds. Eight +ve magnetorquer correction pulses have been
counted, while there have been 350 Z-axis correction pulses.
The battery voltage observed during daylight passes is unchanged.
The average value observed was 14.0, with a range of 13.9 to 14.1 volts.
The internal temperatures have increased slightly during the month,
and are probably near their maximum value for the current eclipse
cycle. They are now 6.6C and 4.8C for battery and telemetry
The single WOD survey of channels 1, 2, 3, 61 (X, Z, Y magnetometers
and status) dated 06-October-2000, has been transmitted.
The Mode-S beacon has been heard by Hideki JA4CMZ in Shimane and Ken
G8VR in Kent. Hideki reports signals 10 dB above the noise at 59
degree elevation, using a 2.5 metre dish. He uses a VE4MA feed
(RHCP), FHX35LG pre-amp, and home brew converter into an IC-375
multi-mode. Ken reports hearing the beacon weakly, while
recommissioning his equipment in readiness for P3-D.
The operating schedule is unchanged:
ASCII status (210 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY ENG (30 seconds)
The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and
frequencies of all the amateur radio satellites. There are additional
status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted, and between ASCII TLM
The Mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but
telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half
power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing Mode-S
converters in anticipation of Mode-S communications through Phase 3-D.
However, the signals are very weak and there is a lot of Doppler shift.
Users should also note that the polarization of OSCAR-11 is LHC. Even
if you can't hear OSCAR-11, your equipment may still be OK for P3-D.
Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz would be most welcome, and should
be directed to Clive Wallis via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSCAR-11's UHF beacon on 435.025 MHz is normally OFF. However, it can
sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control,
ie. within range of Guildford, UK. When the UHF beacon is transmitting,
the VHF beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly binary.
Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting a web site dedicated
to this satellite. The site contains details of hardware required and
some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD.
There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is
continually being expanded as new data is captured. Also included are
some audio files containing examples of each type of data transmitted
by OSCAR-11. Each one plays for about ten seconds. There are also
examples of Mode-S reception. All the audio files are zipped so that
they can be played off-line. These should help listeners identify the
various types of data, and give an indication of the signal quality
required for successful decoding.
The URL is:
[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV (email@example.com)]
* SpaceNews NEWS *
SpaceNews is available once again in Spanish as 'Noticias del Espacio'.
It can be found on USENET under the newsgroup of es.rec.radio.amateur.
SpaceNews is translated in Madrid by Pedro Jose at EA4ADD (God willing)
right after being edited and distributed (maybe one or two days after)
by John, KD2BD, in order to bring the news on space related and amateur
radio issues to Spanish speaking peopole too all around the world... and
Enjoy it, and have a good time: que lo paseis bien!
[Info via Pedro Jose Ruiz, EA4ADD]
* 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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