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Suitsat - seems to be alive - barely



All:


Believe suitsat is alive but alive does not mean performing as expected.

Sat Jan 4 2006 09:02 UTC pass over East Pa in USA had max elev of 75 deg.

On this pass I monitored 2 frequencies:

145.990 - monitored by using  my kit for NOAA WX sat reception (Icom R-7000
receiver, turnstile cut for 137 mhz and mounted 6 feet above ground, 50 
feet
of RG-8) - I added an ARR SP144 2 mtr preamp for suitsat reception. The  
R7000 was set for CW reception because news and chatter indicates that 
suitsat
signal, if it exists, is very weak.  This setup with a 220mhz preamp 
replacing
the 144mhz preamp and FFT postprocessing of the audio is capable of 
detecting
the moon passing through the NAVSPASUR radar fence (which the moon is 
currently
doing do twice a day through Feb 15).

437.8  - monitored with Kenwood D700 and 2 mtr groundplane under roof with
minimal feed line.

Recorded 145.99 audio from R-7000 receiver on laptop starting at 08:55Z
and ending at 09:06Z.  Definitely heard a brief (about 30 sec) but very 
weak
signal by virtue of CW mode beat note on 145.990mhz.

Nothing was heard on 437.8mhz.

Post processed audio using baudline (FFT utility) in a Linux environment.  
Spectrogram shows a doppler shifted signal - approximate visual signal on
the spectrogram begins at 09:00:26Z and ends at about 09:02:05.
Clock on Linux box is synced to NTP pool (via dialup connection) - the
resulting clock accuracy is usually +- 5sec or better.

Based on this I suspect that suitsat is transmitting a rather weak
signal on 145.99 and that someone with some antenna gain and tracking
capability should be able to hear suitsat and gather telem data.

I can upload audio file and screen capture of spectrogram if someone can
point me to some place on the AMSAT site that is intended for general
use/uploads.

FYI

Joe K3FMA
20060204-10:30Z
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