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February 14 is Es’hail-2 (QO-100) Teleport Inauguration Day

02/11/2019

[UPDATE: 2019-02-12@1645 UTC] The Eshail-2 narrowband transponder now is live and open for Amateur Radio operation. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society has invited amateurs worldwide to use it. M0EYT reported making a contact on SSB while running just 500 mW to a 1.2-meter dish.  — Thanks to Trevor, M5AKA

Thursday, February 14, is Teleport Inauguration Day in Qatar, celebrating the opening of the new Es’hailSat teleport and the official opening of Es’hail-2, which carries the first geostationary Amateur Radio payload, a German P4A package. Es’hail-2 launched last November from Cape Canaveral. The two Amateur Radio transponders onboard what’s now known as Qatar OSCAR 100 (QO-100) also will be made available on February 14 for general operation by radio amateurs within QO-100’s footprint. Emceeing the opening ceremony will be Qatar’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, A71AU, who chairs the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and is a satellite patron.

A delegation from Germany — AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Thomas Kleffel, DG5NGI, of the P4A team — will be in Qatar to set up and commission the ground segment of P4A at the QO-100 ground station. In addition to LEILA and the DVB-S2 DATV system, this also includes a club station, which will operate under the auspices of QARS as A71A. A backup station is installed at QARS headquarters in Doha.

An AMSAT-DL ground station at the Bochum Observatory in Germany is also ready for reception and transmission via QO-100, with later radio operation via the satellite carried out using the call sign DL50AMSAT. AMSAT-DL has requested that radio amateurs refrain from attempts to transmit via the new satellite until commissioning is complete.

On opening day, a video of Es’hail-2 will be transmitted in an endless loop in DVB-S2 format on the DATV beacon of the wideband transponder. Beacons will be transmitted via the narrowband transponder.

The satellite transponder offers a 250-kHz passband for modes such as SSB, FreeDV, CW, RTTY, and other modes, plus an 8-MHz wideband downlink for digital amateur TV (DATV) modes. Downlink frequencies are at 10 GHz. The uplink frequency is at 2.4 GHz. 

Stations located outside of the QO-100 footprint or lacking 10 GHz receive capability can monitor the proceeding using online WebSDR resources. In cooperation with AMSAT-DL, the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) will operate a WebSDR for the narrowband segment, and a spectrum viewer for the wideband (DATV) segment. The Goonhilly Earth Station is supporting the project, providing hosting at the facility in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The IS0GRB Es’Hail-2 SAT 26E WebSDR receiver on Sardinia Island, Italy, can be accessed too.

The satellite is now in geostationary orbit at 25.9° E. AMSAT-DL has posted Es’hail-2 narrowband and wideband Amateur Radio transponder operating guidelines and Es’hail-2 Amateur Radio information online. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-DL 



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