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AMSAT Special Bulletin



SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-318.01
PHASE 3D LAUNCH UPDATE

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 318.01 FROM AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD, NOVEMBER 13, 2000
TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-318.01

A new era in Amateur Radio communications is about to be ushered in
as Amateur Radio satellite operators worldwide await the upcoming
launch of the Phase 3D satellite from the European Spaceport in
Kourou, French Guiana. The anticipated date and time of launch for
Arianespace Flight 135, on which P3D will fly, is confirmed for
01:07 UTC, Wednesday, November 15, 2000.

P3D will be launched with three other satellites - the large PAS-1R
communications satellite and the smaller STVR-1C and 1D satellites,
all to be placed into a geostationary transfer orbit.

As of Monday, November 13th, the AR-507 launcher was rolled-out
to the Launch Zone (ZL). Peter, DB2OS, reported to ANS "the
spacecraft is still in perfect shape and everything looks very well.
Tonight they will start filling the helium tank and tomorrow at they
will start filling the cryogenic main stage with LOX and LH2. In the
morning I will be attending a press conference and I will then be in
the Jupiter control center before launch."

Peter went on to say that "a very exciting day is ahead," adding
"thank you all for a wonderful satellite, in particular Karl."

Best regards from Kourou,

Signed, Peter, DB2OS

This Ariane 5 flight will prove to be a record setting mission, marking
the first use of the ASAP-5 platform. The ASAP-5 enables the launcher
to carry auxiliary micro and mini satellite payloads. If successful, this
launch will place into orbit the largest commercial communications
satellite ever built (PAS-1R) -- and the largest Amateur Radio satellite
ever built (P3D). P3D will be ejected from the launcher by three
spring-loaded arms pushing on the bottom of the satellite. As it now
sits ready for launch the satellite is being restrained from this happening
by explosive nuts attached to bolts holding P3D in place. The Ariane 5
launcher will be spinning at the time of separation (which in turn means)
P3D will also be spinning when it's ejected.

A view of the entire payload can be found at the following URL:

http://www.arianespace.com/news_missionupdate.html

The complete Phase 3-D frequency band plan is available at:

http://www.amsat-dl.org/p3dqrg.html.org

AMSAT's Ken Ernandes, N2WWD, provided ANS with estimated
Keplerian Elements for the Phase 3D spacecraft. Ken reports the
vector data was computed from Arianespace orbital parameters at
the time P3D is scheduled to separate from the Ariane 5 upper stage.
The elements were computed, in turn, from the vector.

Catalog number:	93400
Satellite:		Phase 3D
Catalog number:	93400
Epoch time:		00320.07636550
Element set:		1
Inclination:		6.5034 deg
RA of node:		246.6469 deg
Eccentricity:		0.7357988
Arg of perigee:		175.9296 deg
Mean anomaly:		13.3886 deg
Mean motion:		2.02435417 rev/day
Decay rate:		7.71000e-09 rev/day^2
Epoch rev:		1
Checksum:		283

N2WWD also notes that 93400 is a temporary catalog number and the
Keplerian elements represent a pre-launch estimate of Phase 3D's
initial orbit.

North American P3D Command Station operator Stacey Mills, W4SM,
has placed a zip file containing his P3D telemetry decoding program
(P3T.exe) as well as some additional supporting files at the following
URL:

www.cstone.net/~w4sm2/software2/P3t_AP.zip

The program will run on Windows 95/98/NT/2000 platforms. W4SM reports
additional programs are under development for Mac and Linux platforms.
A 400 baud PSK is required. Additional information regarding demodulators,
and the telemetry format can be found at:

http://www.amsat-dl.org/p3d/

Russ Tillman, K5NRK, AMSAT Journal Editor, told ANS "we plan to
devote two pages in the November/December issue of The AMSAT
Journal to show photographs of what our members were doing during
the launch of Phase 3D." For example said Russ, "if you are hosting
a Galaxy 4 viewing or HF net party for local ham radio club members,
take a photo of the get-together and send it in." Photos can be e-mailed
to k5nrk@amsat.org or sent via the K5NRK postal mail address.

The Radio Club of Kourou's FY5KE has announced plans to broadcast
the Phase 3D launch on 14.315 MHz in French ''and probably in
English.'' The FY5KE transmission will start at approximately 15 minutes
prior to launch and will end about 45 minutes later when the satellite
reaches orbit.

Closer to home, AMSAT-NA Vice President of Operations Keith Pugh,
W5IU, reports that details are being worked out for an AMSAT-NA P3D
Launch Information Net to run "live" during the launch. Keith told ANS
that "at a minimum, the net will include several HF stations and bands."
The current plan is to start about 15 minutes before launch and carry
through separation of P3D. The U.S. net will be based on the live
Arianespace satellite feed from the launch site and will also contain
commentary by key AMSAT officials associated with the launch.
Participating commentators will include newly elected AMSAT-NA
President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, Andy MacAllister, W5ACM, Pat
Kilroy, N8PK, (at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), launch team
second-in-command Chuck Green, N0ADI, Stacy Mills, W4SM, and
IARU Satellite Coordinator Hans van den Groenendaal, ZS5AKV.
Others will be added as the launch approaches.

According to W5IU, "dissemination of the launch information will be by
the Houston AMSAT Net connection and by key HF stations, led by
WA3NAN on their Shuttle re-transmission frequencies. Additional HF
stations and frequencies will be added to fill in North American
coverage." W5IU reports the plan is to monitor Arianespace for real
time information and then communicate the information. Keith reports
the group will not re-transmit Arianespace audio to avoid possible
problems with the FCC.

WA3NAN will re-transmit launch reports on 3.860, 7.185, 14.295,
21.395, and 147.450 MHz. Other HF frequencies used will be 3.840,
7.279, and 14.282 MHz. These frequencies will be used by W5RRR
or alternates.

The plan for WA3NAN participation in the overall AMSAT Launch
Information Net Service (ALINS) is to conduct standard, independent
Amateur Radio nets on each of the HF bands noted above during the
hour before launch. Callsign check-ins will be accepted and traffic
listed. Then, at about 15 minutes prior to launch, NCS will switch
over to simulcast the AMSAT audio. Shortly after Phase 3D separation
from the launch vehicle (L+42 minutes) the nets will close in the
absence of any additional traffic.

W5IU is still in need of additional HF stations (with phone patch
capability)
to participate in the P3D AMSAT Launch Information Net. If interested,
contact Keith at w5iu@amsat.org.

The Houston AMSAT Net connection will also be available via the
Internet using the Real Audio format. Visit the net web site at:

http://www.amsatnet.com/

Bob Arnold, N2JEU, is also planning to make the Arianespace audio
available on the Internet. Details are available at:

http://www.ralabs.com/livep3d/

The page currently contains information on the live audio stream
that N2JEU will be providing to the Internet along with a test stream
to check out your system.

CQ Amateur Radio magazine will offer continuously-updated coverage
of the upcoming launch on its web site:

www.cq-amateur-radio.com

These updates will be made every few minutes, or more often if events
require. In addition, there will be a link provided from the CQ web site
to one of two sites featuring live video of the launch.

ANS has been informed that live video of the launch will be available
via the C-band Galaxy 4 satellite. In addition, the Arianespace web
cast can be found at:

http://www.arianespace.com/news_livevideo.html

The AMSAT-UK launch net operated by Richard, G3RWL, will not
operate during the launch. G3RWL reports that "the AMSAT-UK net
will happen the following evening so that people can find out what
happened. This will be on Wednesday, 15 November at 19:00 UTC
on/about 3.780 MHz.

Stay tuned to ANS for additional bulletins from AMSAT, the official
source of information on the Phase 3D satellite.

[ANS thanks the ARRL, AMSAT-DL and AMSAT-NA for this
information and congratulates the AMSAT launch team on their
outstanding work]

/EX


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