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Suitsat observation from Alaska--very weak!



I have read all the reports so far and lots of you have had many passes
ahead of me to do so.

I set up for ISS pass 41,277 and also used the keps provided by Mineo
Wakita / JE9PEL which only vary in pass time by a few seconds (suitsat is
ahead of ISS, barely).  Since reports were that suitsat was extremely weak
I decided to use my eme array instead of the setup I had used with Bill
McArthur on ISS.  Of course if everything were functional the suitsat would
be -10 dB from ISS (assuming equal antenna gain which suitsat probably is
not).

AOS was 4Feb., 1059utc, az=211.  I had my array parked on the horizon for
AOS and FT-847 tuned to 144.990 FM-mode.  The eme array uses two LNA's: 1st
is at the antenna (mgf-1801 0.15 dBNF measured) with a 3SK48 line amp
(1-dBNF) at the radio.  130-feet of LMR-400 is the Rx signal line.  This
set up is used on moonbounce regularly, so very sensitive.

Tuning slightly above/below 144.990 nothing was heard until az=178 when I
detected FM quieting and some digital tones (sstv?).  This was very brief
(fade in fade out).  More tuning and moving azimuth slightly produced 2 or
3 times to hear a voice.  This was too brief to understand what was said.
I ran Spectran to record (6.7min) a wav file and have it placed on my
website.  WARNING it is 8.75MB!
http://www.qsl.net/al7eb/sat.htm

I'm not sure it is worth downloading as I could not hear anything other
than a few periods of quieting on reveiwing the wav file.

I would guess if suitsat were to be in a higher inclination so that it
would pass overhead up here, then I might have had better copy.
Closest range est at 1354km and el=9 deg.

Conclusion is to keep trying for those stations at lower latitudes.  Also
if ISS could setup crossband VHF>UHF that might save the experiment for
school kids?  Apparently something has caused a drop in tx radiated power.
The tumble rate makes copy very difficult with the low ERP at present.

PS:  I briefly checked 143.625 and heard nothing.


73's,
Ed - KL7UW 
===================================
BP40iq,  Nikiski, AK      http://www.qsl.net/al7eb
Amsat #3212
Modes: V - U - L - S
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