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PCsat SAR system activated

PCsat SAR mission Activated.

First the CAVEAT:  *** THis is HAM RADIO **** and should never, ever, be
considered even as the slightest substitute for the official SAR, EPRB and
other commercial technologies for emergency reporting of remote travelers.

Today at 1815z we activated the experimental PCsat SAR capability.  THis
"experimental" capability allows any remote traveler with only the TH-D7
HT in his pocket or D700 mobile rig (or other Mic-E compatible APRS
system) anywhere on the planet to send up an Emergency or Priority message
for store-and-forward via PCsat to the rest of the world.

Normally PCsat relays communications only within its footprint, so normal
messages only reach the worldwide APRS internet linked system if there is
a downlink SATgate in the footprint.  ALthough we have such stations
around the world, including SANAE on Antarctica, there are vast areas with
no one monitoring the downlink.

To test this capability, we transmitted a single "test/priority" packet
and it was captured by the satellite and will be replayed once every 5
minutes on the 144.39 downlink over the USA.  There it will be picked up
by the continent-wide APRS system and be visible to all users.  Look for
the packet from WB4APR-8, saying in part...  "Test of emerg/priority

Remote travelers desiring access to this system let us know...

It was implemented within the KPC-9612+ TNC by a slight modification to
the MHEARD log that is found in all TNC's.  The TNC captures only the
special packets to its AHEARD log and then has a setting called ABEACON
that tells the TNC how often to dump its AHEARD log..  Remember, PCsat has
no computer or operational program on board.  It is only a flying TNC...

de WB4APR@amsat.org,  Bob

PCsat WEB  page     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat.html
ISS-APRS FAQ:       http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/iss-faq.html
APRS LIVE pages     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/aprs.html
APRS SATELLITES     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/astars.html

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