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Es’hail-2 Geostationary Satellite Launch Said to be Imminent

11/12/2018

According to AMSAT-Germany (AMSAT-DL), Es’hail-2, the world’s first geostationary satellite carrying Amateur Radio transponders, will go into space from Cape Canaveral in a few days. Space news outlet Spaceflight Now says that the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher is set to launch on Thursday, November 15, between 2049 and 2229 UTC. Positioned at 25.5° E, the satellite will carry an Amateur Radio S-band and X-band payload capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand; it’s unlikely that Es’hail-2 will be accessible from North America, at least not with conventional Amateur Radio satellite gear.

The recent subject of an AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentation, Es’hail-2 will carry two Phase 4 (P4-A) non-inverting Amateur Radio transponders operating in a 2.4 GHz up/10.45 GHz down configuration. This offers a 250 kHz bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analog operations, plus an 8 MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television.

The Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating on the Amateur Radio project, and AMSAT-DL is providing technical support. Commercial payloads on Es’hail 2 include 24 Ku-band and 11 Ka-band transponders to provide direct broadcasting services throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as government communication services.

AMSAT-DL has explained that the launcher will not go directly into geostationary orbit. Several orbital maneuvers are necessary before Es’hail-2 enters its commissioning phase, which may take several months. AMSAT-DL has said that, while it invites reception reports, no one should attempt to transmit into Es’hail-2 until after it’s formally released for use.

If US hams want to see if they would be in range of Es’hail-2, they can try the Dishpointer web page. While the satellite is not in the drop-down menu, Eutelsat 25B is close to the position that Es’hail-2 will occupy. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service; AMSAT-DL



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