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Re: P3D information

on 10/5/00 4:33 PM, Howard Long at howard@hanlincrest.co.uk wrote:

> My recommendation would be to start off small with equipment you may already
> have. I'm guessing your friend may be surrounded by buildings if in a built
> up area, and therefore their visible horizon may be high. This can be a
> disappointment because most satellite passes barely break 30 degrees of
> elevation. Your friend may already have a vertical, and that should be
> sufficient to see when during a pass he/she can expect to hear. I suffer
> from a 10 degree horizon to the south, which makes AO-10 operation very
> tough for me.

This is good advice.  The only thoughts I can add is that due to the highly
elliptical orbit and high inclination of P3D, most passes will easily have
significant portions above 30 degrees elevation.  AO-10 would have it if it
had a stable orbital inclination (I forget the "Keplerian term).  And due to
its motor being damaged during rocket separation, AO-10 never did achieve
the orbit it was supposed to.

If your friend wants to build a good station now the best thing to do is to
build an AO-10 class station now.  If you can work and get into AO-10 in
mode B (soon to be mode UV) then you will most definitely be able to work
P3D when its up.

But there's a lot that could happen before the bird is operational.  Keep in
mind that it will be at a maximum apogee of 70,000 KM during the first year.
That's one heck of a long way!  In miles that is something like 58,000 miles
I think.  The bird will likely only have omni antennas at that time and LOW
power transmitters since the solar panels will not be fully deployed.  It
won't be 3 axis stabilized either.  Given all that, it will be very
difficult to reliably work the bird during its first year.

Also things could go wrong - heaven forbid, but it is a possibility.
Transmitters or engines could fail, etc.  Let's all pray they don't and all
the testing that's been done by the P3D team makes me feel confident it will
work well.  And I think the delay in the launch for the last couple of years
has given us a much better and more checked out bird.  But stuff happens.

It's exciting for sure.  Between P3D, the Presidential election in the USA,
and my marriage in less than 9 days, I've got more than I can handle right
now!  :-)



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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