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[jamsat-news:1698] Special Bulletin - new satellite
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-115.01
AMSAT-NA TO BUILD NEW COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 115.01 FROM AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD, APRIL 25, 2002
TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS
AMSAT-North America has started construction of a new low-earth-orbit
(LOW) communications satellite. Although the satellite will be similar in
mass and size to the original AMSAT MICROSAT design, it will
incorporate all new, leading edge electronics and RF technology.
Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, AMSAT-NA President, discussed the new
project at the organization's Board of Directors meeting held in
Washington, DC, April 20-21, 2002. "I am very pleased that we are
embarking on a brand new satellite project. I am particularly pleased
that this new project will operate as an EZ Sat, as well as serving as a
test bed for new and exciting technologies." he said.
Returning to the original pre-launch numbering system used in many of
the earliest AMSAT-NA developed satellites, the new "bird" will be
named AMSAT-OSCAR E (Echo) until launch. Plans call for the satellite
to contain analog and digital VHF/UHF FM transponders similar to those
carried on the UOSAT-OSCAR 14 and AMRAD-OSCAR 27 satellites
currently in orbit. In addition, the new satellite will have the capability
host one or two other experimental payloads.
Continuing an approach used in past projects, AMSAT-NA has partnered
with an outside contractor, SpaceQuest, Ltd. of Fairfax, Virginia, who will
assist in building the satellite bus. AMSAT volunteers are responsible for
the design, development, integration and testing of the various
Dr. Tom Clark, W3IWI, AMSAT-NA BOD member and one of the "spark
plugs" for the original MICROSAT project noted that, "The last major
program that AMSAT-NA managed was the MICROSATS and this is a
superb chance for us to update that legacy with all-new technology." He
went on to note that, "We now have accumulated about 70 years of
on-orbit experience with the MICROSAT design since our original flock
were launched back in 1990, with several other satellites of that same
basic design now on the drawing boards. The design is a true classic."
The spacecraft is now slated to be ready for launch in late 2003. A
number of affordable launch opportunities are being actively explored.
AMSAT is very proud of its long tradition of excellence and the
contributions it has made to the advancement of space communications,
space education and the space sciences. AMSAT-OSCAR E will be a
new vehicle for Amateur Radio to continue that quest for
communications technologies for future generations.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, for this
Via the ans mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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