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P3-D: ready for vibration




On behalf of the P3-D Team and the P3-D Integration Manager Lou McFadin
W5DID, I would like to thank for all the positive mail and reactions we got 
to our recent P3-D status reports. 

In the meantime the whole team consisting of Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC, Werner
Haas DJ5KQ, Peter Guelzow DB2OS, Wilfried Gladisch, Hermann Guenther,
Mirek Kasal OK2AQK, Matjaz Vidmar S53MV, Michael Fletscher OH2AUE and
Danny Orban ON4AOD are back in Europe. 

Over the last three weeks we have successfully tested all subsystems,
the bus and the electronic modules of P3-D. All receivers and
transmitters were tested again with the satellite highgain and omni
antennas during the rollout, including the 10GHz TWT and the 21MHz and
24MHz shortwave Receivers. 

One of the last things was the installation and testing of the YACE
camera and the microphone for the experimental IHU-2 (YAHU), performed
by Lyle Johnson WA7GXD, Chuck Green N0ADI and Peter Guelzow DB2OS. This
will enable us to make visual and audible recordings of the separation
during launch. The microphone will also pick-up the mechanical noise of
the wheels and other sources in the spacecraft after launch. In space no
one can hear you, but the microphone can still pick-up the mechanical
noise in the structure. The camera will be later used for other
experiments, including imaging the earth. James Miller, G3RUH was able
to obtain a license from ARM Technologies Ltd. to use their assembler
JPEG coding library for P3-D. Compressing of a typical YACE picture will
take only 56ms at an IHU-2 speed of 133 MHz using the StrongARM
processor. With a compression factor of 25, the original 256 KByte image
will be reduced to about 15-20 KByte file size, depending on the image
contents. Thus, downloading will be drastically improved without to much
loss of image quality. With the 8MB bulk memory of the IHU-2, we will be
able to take a "movie" of the separation, probably including sound. P3-D
will be the first (amateur radio) satellite to use on-board JPEG
compression software.

Stacey Mills, W4SM was able to almost complete his telemetry decoding
software, which is also used for commanding purposes. A general version
and detailed specification of the flight telemetry format will be made
available soon. 

Another major event was the successful completion of the SBS (support
bearing structure) load testing by Rick Leon KA1RHL, Bob Davis KF4KSS
and Jay. The SBS will carry the P3-D satellite inside during the launch
and needed to be tested according to the specification of the launcher
agency. 

After a few more close-out items and the spin balance test, P3-D is 
ready for the vibration and shake test, which is scheduled for later 
this month at NASA facilities in Washington. The test will be performed 
according to specifications from the launcher agency.  A final check-out 
of all electronics and a visual inspection will follow when P3-D returns 
to  Orlando, before it will than be shipped to the launch site. 

73s, Peter DB2OS


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