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Re: Oscar-21

Hi All,

Bill Greene VE7WFG wrote:

> What ever became of Oscar-21 (RS-14) ?
> Has it re-entered ? If not are there any keps for it ?

Launched in January 1991, AO-21 became silent on 12 October 1994,
when the mother satellite INFORMATOR-1 was left alone.
The primary mission was over and the INFORMATOR-1 groundstation
turned most subsystems of. We assume that due to the loss of
attitude control, the satellite finally lost it's energy supply.

So the answer is, Yes - the satellite is still in Orbit...
Look for INFORMATOR-1 keps...

The following article from our good old friend Leonid Labutin UA3CR (SK)
describes the history..

73s Peter, DB2OS



      The Space  Flight  Control  Centre  in  Golitsino-2  near  Moscow  has
    informed the AMSAT-R Group that since September  16,  1994  the  command
    radioline  of  INFORMATOR-1 is to be switched off and the ground control
    system  of  the  regimes  of  the  on-board   equipment   finishes   its
    functioning.  Several  other  space  objects that are of non-profitable
    character but that create only a headache for the  Military  Department
    have  the  same destiny.  Thus the financial difficulties of the Defense
    Ministry have influenced in their turn the radioamateurs.
      Previously there  was  an  agreement  between  AMSAT-R and Golitsino-2
    according to which the control of the satellite was done by the  jointly
    worked out programme.
      INFORMATOR-1 - an experimental artificial Earth satellite made by  the
    production amalgamation "POLYOT" by the order of the Ministry of Geology
    according  to  routine  technology  similar  to  those  satellites  that
    launched RS3-8, RS10/11, RS12/13, Cospas and many others. The geologists
    could not find  a professional organization  to make the transponder fit
    to  their  requirements  and the question has not been settled until the
    radioamateur  group  AMSAT-U-ORBITA  (Molodechno,  Byelorus)  took   the
    responsibility.  As  a payment for their work the geologists have agreed
    to install the radioamateur equipment on board the satellite.
      The design  of  the  radioamateur  equipment  consisted of two sets of
    linear transponders of Mode B (70 cm uplink,  2 m downlink),  CW, packet
    telemetry  and  the  command  radioline  equipment,  the secondary power
    supplies. At the same time since the spring of 1989 by the initiative of
    the  German side the "secret" talks between the RUDAK AMSAT-DL group and
    the Moscow AMSAT  group  have  been  carried  out  without  telling  the
    leadership  of  DOSAAF about a joint project of a radioamateur satellite
    with the use of the most advanced methods of digital signal  processing.
    A similar system called RUDAK-1 was worked out and installed in OSCAR-13
    satellite but it did not operate because of the technical defects.
      This idea   has   found   a   good   response  at  the  AMSAT-U-ORBITA
    designers.  The preliminary  minutes on  the joint project  were  signed
    during Amsat-UK Colloquium  at  the University of Surrey in August 1989.
    Their final version was agreed and singed in the autumn of the same year
    when the considerable  part of the  equipment  has  already  been  made.
    According  to  the  minutes   AMSAT-U-ORBITA is to work out and make the
    linear transponder,  receiver,  transmitter,  command  link,  telemetry,
    secondary power supplies and to settle  with the  authorities  all   the
    questions   concerning   the   installation  of  the  equipment  and the
    launch of the satellite to the   orbit.  RUDAK AMSAT-DL group is working
    out and making the digital part called  RUDAK-2 which includes a digital
    transponder, AX25 mailbox and its own command link.   The  equipment has
    large  possibilities for various  experiments  that   finally  made  the
    satellite one of the  most  popular  radioamateur   satellites  and gave
    the opportunity to make a series  of important  experiments  of  testing
    new  ideas  for the "satellite of the century"  Phase-3-D.
      The ground  control stations were organized in Molodechno (UC1CWA) and
    in Moscow (RK3KP).  The command stations of RUDAK  were  established  in
    Munich  (DG2CV)  and  not  far  from Hannower (DB2OS).  The Space Flight
    Control Center in Golitsino-2 made the general control of  the  on-board
    systems.  Some  of  the  life  important  commands  of  the radioamateur
    equipment were also duplicated there.
      The agreement  was signed on behalf of AMSAT-U-ORBITA by the technical
    head of the project called RADIO-M1  (also  RS14  and  AO-21  )  Mr.  V.
    Chepyzhenko  (RC2CA)  and  on  behalf  of AMSAT-DL it was signed by its
    President Mr. K. Meinzer (DJ4ZC).  Mr. G.Kuhlen (DK1YQ) was appointed as
    a technical head  of the equipment for RUDAK-2. The coordinators of the
    project were Mr. P.Gülzow (DB2OS) and Mr. L.Labutin (UA3CR).
      Here I would like to sing the praises of the packet communications. In
    those years (1989) the facsimile communications, the means of copying, the
    "non-sanctioned"  telephone  talks with the foreign colleagues have been
    strictly prohibited in this country,  there were also much  difficulties
    with  the use of the e-mail.  The radioamateurs of the USSR have not yet
    lived up to that day when it was permitted for them to  use  the  packet
    communications.  But  to  coordinate  all technical questions,  to solve
    hundreds of schematic  and  construction  problems,  to  coordinate  the
    actions  of  the  sides  were possible only by means of regular,  almost
    daily,  intercourse with the people  involved.  And  such  a  means  was
    finally   found   between   DB20S   and   UA3CR.  That  was  the  packet
    communications under the disguise of the third countries (the  socialist
    countries). With the help of the packet exchange not only texts but also
    drawings  have  been  sent.  In  short,  if   there   were   no   packet
    communications  there would be no the satellite AO21/RS14.  At first the
    launch was scheduled for the beginning of 1990.  There  was  too  little
    time  left  and  only  the  radioamateurs   enthusiasm  let  finish  the
    fantastic amount of work in  time.  Our  German  friends  even  had  to
    postpone the Christmas for further time...
      The equipment  RUDAK-2  was  delivered  first  to   Moscow   then   to
    Molodechno.  The  designers  of  the  AMSAT-U-ORBITA  group headed by V.
    Chepyzhenko (RC2CA),  L.  Maksakov (RA3AT) and L. Labutin (UA3CR) of the
    Moscow AMSAT group and S.Eckart (DL2MDL) of AMSAT-DL  took  part  in the
    adjustment  and complex testing of the equipment in Molodechno.
      But as it often happens in space mazes after the equipment was sent to
    the PA "POLYOT" it appeared that the production  of  a  non-radioamateur
    equipment  was  delayed  and  thus the launch of the satellite had to be
    postponed for an indefinite period of time.
      On the 29-th of January 1991 the first international satellite created
    in cooperation with the Soviet and German radioamateurs was successfully
    launched  to  the  orbit  from  the  Northern  space  launching  site of
    Plesetsk.  After launching to  the  orbit  it  was  given  the  name  of
    AMSAT-OSCAR 21 in commemoration that it was created by the radioamateurs
    of different countries.  We have experienced many dramatic moments.  But
    all that was to the good. And not only from the technical point of view.
    May be the most important result of it was the establishing  of  durable
    international    contacts   between   the   enthusiasts   of   satellite
    communications of Russia and many other countries.
      The AMSAT-groups are continuing their cooperation.

                                         73 L.Labutin, UA3CR
                                         November 1994

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