For Immediate Release
Number 98-01, March 23, 1998
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (AMSAT News Service) AMSAT teams from a number of countries recently converged on the Phase 3-D Integration Lab in Orlando, Florida USA to install the remaining electronic and communications modules into the new Phase 3-D International Satellite, and make it "flight ready" for launch.
In a joint statement issued just prior to their departure from Orlando on March 18th, Dr. Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC, AMSAT-DL President and Phase 3-D Project Leader, and Bill Tynan W3XO, AMSAT-NA President, outlined recent progress made on the satellite. "We are most happy to be here and to again participate with our international partners in the final integration of Phase 3-D," said Karl. "The cooperation with the American integration team in Orlando remains excellent." Karl went on to note that, "I am happy to say that after successfully recovering from the setbacks caused by the major structural reworks of last summer and fall, the spacecraft is now once again rapidly nearing flight readiness." Karl also expressed his gratitude to Stan Wood WA4NFY, AMSAT-NA's VP Engineering, Lou McFadin W5DID, P3-D Integration Laboratory Manager, and the other members of the Orlando Lab team including Dick Jansson WD4FAB, Rick Leon KA1RHL, and Bob Davis KF4KSS, for their hard work in preparing the satellite for the final integration phase.
Soon after his arrival, Peter Guelzow DB2OS, AMSAT-DL's Digital Integration Manager, performed a number of checks and measurements on the spacecraft's Internal Housekeeping Unit (IHU). The IHU is the spacecraft's main computer. Following this extensive checkout, Peter then successfully accomplished a major integration milestone by sending and receiving commands from the spacecraft via radio uplink. This was a critical task that had to be accomplished before each of the individual flight electronic modules could be commanded on and tested for flight readiness. Dr. Stacey Mills W4SM, P3-Ds North American Command Station, was also present in Orlando to assist the integration team by putting the finishing touches on software to format and decode the telemetry stream from the satellite. Needless to say, there were big smiles all around when once again, P3-D team members heard the familiar "growl" of 400 baud PSK telemetry coming from the new "bird".
In addition to his duties as AMSAT-DL's Vice President, Werner Haas DJ5KQ, is responsible for coordinating the entire communications suite for Phase 3-D. While in Orlando, Werner performed yet another bench test on each of the flight electronic modules just prior to their re-installation into the satellite.
Then, Werner directed other members of the communications team including Freddy de Guchteneire ON6UG, and Dr. Matjaz Vidmar S53MV, in successfully powering up each of the onboard flight electronic modules. Michael Fletcher OH2AUE and Harri Leskinen OH2JMS were also on hand in Orlando during this time to re-install the 10 GHz transmitter hardware. In addition, Stefaan Burger ON4FG, assisted the communications team by connecting and powering up the 24 GHz transmitter. It performed "as advertised", delivering its designed 1 watt output into its 26 dB gain feed-horn antenna.
The RUDAK team was well represented in Orlando by Peter Guelzow DB2OS, Bdale Garbee N3EUA, Jim White WD0E, Chuck Green N0ADI, and Harold Price NK6K. They gave the RUDAK digital experiment module a thorough checkout and declared it "electrically flight ready". Bdale also performed a complete check of the JAMSAT SCOPE camera. In addition, Gerd Schrick WB8IFM, was on hand in Orlando to help the P3-D team put the final touches on the satellite's all-important Earth and Sun sensors. These instruments will help ground controllers determine Phase 3-Ds physical orientation in orbit for tracking and motor burn considerations.
Meanwhile, Konrad Mueller DG7FDQ, AMSAT-DL's Structural Specialist and his team consisting of Horst Wagner DB2ZB, and the P3-D Lab's Bob Davis, were busy preparing the second Specific Bearing Structure (SBS) for flight. The SBS is the large cylindrical structure that will ultimately carry the Phase 3-D spacecraft to orbit. In addition, Phase 3-D's Documentation Manager, AMSAT-DL's Wilfred Gladish, was also present in Orlando to insure that all the spacecraft's documentation, including each of the spacecraft's drawings and photos, match the "as built" spacecraft.
Despite the very good progress made in this most recent integration effort, a definitive launch opportunity for Phase 3-D remains unsure. However, negotiations with the European Space Agency for a ride to orbit are continuing in earnest, and all remain optimistic that Phase 3-D will be successfully launched...hopefully sometime this year.
AMSAT-North America Keith Baker, KB1SF; Executive Vice President 1324 Fairgrounds Road Xenia, Ohio 45385-9514 USA Phone/Fax: +1 (937) 429-5325 Internet: email@example.com
AMSAT-Germany Werner Haas, DJ5KQ; Vice President Holderstrauch 10 D-35041 Marburg, Germany Phone: (06421) 283551 Fax: (06421) 285665 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
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