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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS001 (1999)

ARLS001 SUNSAT amateur radio satellite "alive"

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 001  ARLS001
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  February 26, 1999
To all radio amateurs

ARLS001 SUNSAT amateur radio satellite ''alive''

After more than a month of delays and aborted launch attempts, the
Delta II rocket carrying the South African SUNSAT Amateur Radio
satellite and other payloads lifted off February 23 from Vandenberg
AFB in California. The SUNSAT team in South Africa reports it has
communicated with the new satellite and monitored telemetry.

On a communication pass February 25, the team brought one of the
satellite's onboard computers, OBC1, to life--''a big step forward,''
the team said. ''The 'jingle' that OBC1 onboard SUNSAT relayed was
'I'm Alive.' Good news indeed.''

Earlier, SUNSAT relayed the temperature of both its top and bottom
plates. ''Both temperatures were quite low, which is good for the
condition of the batteries,'' the SUNSAT team said. SUNSAT should be
fully operational in about a month.

Because of weather and technical glitches, the Delta II vehicle
carrying the Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite
(ARGOS) primary payload as well as SUNSAT and the Danish Oersted
satellite was put off numerous times since its originally scheduled
January 14 launch date.

SUNSAT, which stands for Stellenbosch University Satellite, takes
its name from the South African university whose students
constructed the payload. Stellenbosch professor Garth Milne, ZR1AFH,
is heading up the effort.

The SUNSAT package includes digital store-and-forward capability and
a voice ''parrot'' repeater that will be used primarily for
educational demonstrations. The unit has two VHF and two UHF
transmit-receive systems. The latest Keplerian elements and other
information are available on the SUNSAT Web site,


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