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Colloquium Report



     Report on the Amsat-UK Colloquium, 23 to 25 July 1999. G3RWL

Last weekend about 80 people from 18 countries and 5 continents got 
together to talk about satellites (and be talked to) and socialise. Seems 
everyone had a good time too.

No major news came out of the event; there were a few minor snippets though:

o Phase-3D. No launch date was announced. Whispers suggested an 
  announcement "real soon now" and the bird should definitely be up, tested, 
  and operational by this time next year provided the (already chosen) launch 
  has no problems. Commercial confidentiality (for the other rider(s) on this 
  flight) is the reason for the secrecy. But things ARE happening.

o What is P3D's highest frequency downlink ?  WRONG, it is not 24 GHz. 
  There is a laser on board, half a watt on 834 nM which is intended to be 
  modulated by 400 bps data and CW (a phantom flasher ?)

o SSTL's UoSat-12 (Oscar 36) carries a (yet to be used) gravity gradient 
  boom. Incidentally their first mock-up of the bird was made in plywood from 
  a local DIY store.

o Orbits can be "tuned", if you have a small propulsion system on board, 
  into what is called a "Frozen Orbit" whereby perturbations can be 
  minimised.

o Amsat-France have stopped work on their Maelle project so that they can 
  concentrate their resources on other (educational) projects.

o Techsat (Oscar 32) may have BBS software loaded soon.

There was a good mix of speakers across the board from PhD papers to how to 
modify various pieces of equipment (eg for 38K4 and Drake 2880's).

A small team of testers, with sophisticated test equipment reaching up into 
the microwave bands, did sterling service and were kept busy mainly, it 
seems, with Drake 2880 converters.

Beginners' sessions were, for the first time, included as a second lecture 
stream. These were popular on the Saturday but poorly attended on the 
Sunday (they competed with a rocket firing). This innovation (beginners, not
rockets) will be included in future Colloquia but probably only on the 
Saturday.

The annual Dinner and junkxxxxx sale of surplus equipment was well 
attended. There weren't many presentations (we sell surplus rather than 
make speeches) but Amsat-UK presented Amsat-NA President KB1SF with a 
cheque for US$13340 for P3D thermal blankets and Amsat-OZ put UK Pounds 876 
(about US$1400) into Amsat-UK's P3D fund. The G3AAJ trophy was awarded to 
Werner Haas DJ5KQ in recognition of his many (many, many) years of service 
to amateur satellites. It was presented to DB2OS as Werner was unable to 
attend.

The final presentation of the Colloquium was a report on the SWOT 
(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis conducted earlier 
this year by Amsat-UK in response to a decrease in membership. This full 
report will shortly be available on Amsat-UK's web pages 
( http://www.uk.amsat.org/ ) for all members who care to comment.

The Colloquium was followed by the Amsat-UK Annual Meeting where most of 
the committee were re-elected and other business was conducted.

73
Richard W L Limebear G3RWL
Colloquium Program Organiser
g3rwl@amsat.org
FOC # 1188

          So many beautiful girls ..... (sob) so little time
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