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Amateur Radio Quiz: Here It Comes, Here It Is, There It Goes!


1. Perigee
a) Closest approach of a satellite to Earth
b) Farthest distance of a satellite from Earth
c) Average distance of a satellite from Earth
d) A failed launch

2. Mode
a) Orientation of orbit with respect to Earth's orbit
b) Angle between the satellite and the Sun
c) Uplink-Downlink frequencies
d) Relative angular difference between ground station's and satellite's polarization

3. Bird
a) Protective shroud jettisoned by the vehicle once in orbit
b) Refers to any space-borne instrument used to monitor weather
c) A satellite
d) Signals from a satellite

4. Acquisition
a) Notification of "space-available" by launching agency
b) Completion of fund-raising
c) Phase-lock to satellite telemetry signals
d) Reception of signals from satellite

5. Keplerian
a) Refers to early orbital theory
b) Anything in the shape of an ellipse
c) Coefficients describing a satellite's orbit
d) Acceleration from a planet's gravitational field

6. Alligator
a) Sensitive satellite receiver
b) Ground station with better transmit than receive capability
c) Control station in charge of cutting off over-powered users
d) Nickname for the container in which a satellite is launched

7. Mean Motion
a) A fast az-el rotator
b) Number of satellite rotations in a solar day
c) Relative velocity of satellite to the Earth's surface
d) Relative velocity of satellite to a geosynchronous orbit

8. Apogee
a) Maximum altitude of an orbit
b) An orbit you don't really care about
c) First prototype of a civilian rocket to achieve orbit
d) Longitude at which satellite is moving the fastest

9. Pass
a) Decline the opportunity to transmit
b) Suppress a competing signal by raising power
c) Authorization to act as a control station
d) Period of satellite visibility

10. Decay
a) What an orbit does
b) Failure of re-entry
c) Trailing edge of CW signal
d) Echoes from the lunar surface

11. ESA
a) Extra Shuttle Activity -- a spacewalk
b) Europe Satellite Amateur -- a Region 1 radio association
c) European Space Agency -- the European equivalent of NASA
d) Elevated Solar Absorption

12. Quadrifilar
a) Omnidirectional antenna in the shape of a helix
b) Transmission line with four conductors
c) Magnet with two sets of poles
d) Stereo signal with front and back channels

13. LOS
a) Line of sight
b) Loss of signal
c) Left on second
d) Lead of satellite

14. Elliptical
a) Polarization of crossed-dipoles
b) Reflection coefficient of reactive loads
c) Orbit that alternates between close to and far from Earth
d) Shape of "kick" motor nozzle

15. $26
a) Cost per foot of silver-plated S-band waveguide
b) Total out-of-pocket expense for OSCAR-I
c) Equivalent expense over commercial satellite for average ham QSO
d) Dinner tab at AMSAT's inaugural board meeting

Bonus -- Arthur C. Clarke


1. a -- Perigee is the closest distance and Apogee the farthest
2. c -- The mode tells you which transponders are active
3. c -- Slang for any satellite
4. d -- When you first hear the satellite, you have acquisition
5. c -- The orbital elements allow you to find the satellite in the sky at any time
6. b -- This means the same for all amateur communications!
7. b -- A low-orbit satellite will have a high mean-motion
8. a -- See question 1
9. d -- A pass is the entire time you can hear the satellite's signals
10. a -- An orbit decays as it gets closer to the Earth
11. c -- The European Space Agency has launched many ham satellites
12. a -- These compact antennas give good hemispherical coverage for satellite communications
13. b -- LOS occurs at the end of a pass (or when your preamp dies)
14. c -- Elliptical orbits have a large difference between perigee and apogee
15. b -- True! The ejection spring was from Sears and cost $1.15.

Bonus -- A noted science-fiction author, Mr Clarke first described the geosynchronous Clarke Orbit in 1947.

Ward Silver, N0AX



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