ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS011 (2000)

ARLS011 Phase 3D Set for Halloween Launch!

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 011  ARLS011
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  September 26, 2000
To all radio amateurs

ARLS011 Phase 3D Set for Halloween Launch!

The next-generation Phase 3D Amateur Radio satellite is set to go
into space on Halloween! The launch agency Arianespace said that in
addition to Phase 3D, an Ariane 5 rocket would attempt to orbit the
PAS 1R, STRV 1C and STRV 1D satellites on Tuesday, October 31.

Earlier information from AMSAT and Arianespace had indicated that
Phase 3D would not be launched any earlier than November 3. The
launch will take place at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French
Guiana, South America.

Arianespace says the mission will mark the first use of the Ariane
Structure for Auxiliary Payloads platform, designed to carry mini or
microsatellites as secondary payloads. AMSAT officials were
encouraged by the successful September 14 Ariane 5 launch that
placed two communication satellites in orbit.

Launch preparations for the October 31 Ariane 507 Phase 3D flight
officially got under way September 18 in Kourou and are proceeding
''on target,'' according to AMSAT-Germany Executive Vice President
Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, who is heading the P3D launch team.

AMSAT News Service reports that RF testing has been successfully
completed. The solar panel simulators have been disconnected, and
P3D is now kept alive by a umbilical charging system. The next tasks
are to close out the equipment bays and install the solar panels.

Team member Chuck Green, N0ADI, has been serving as Guelzow's
primary assistant in Kourou. ''Because P3D is such a complex
satellite, a lot of work is involved in checking it all out and
getting it ready to launch,'' he said. He reports that team members
have been making use of amateur UHF hand-helds to communicate among
themselves during the launch preparations.

Green says interface cables for connecting to P3D just prior to
launch have been fabricated, and the 400 N engine was installed.
Power was applied to the satellite and the ability to communicate
with it was verified. In addition, leak testing of the satellite
fuel system was successfully completed, along with a complete
checkout of the various transmitters, receivers, experiments, and
support functions.

Once everything is ready, the rocket and the satellite payload
packages it will carry will be integrated in the Spaceport's Final
Assembly Building.

The launch team has established a Web site that includes photographs
of the team preparing the satellite. It's at .

A launch contract accepting Phase 3D as a payload for the first
suitable Ariane 5 launch vehicle was signed last fall. For more
information about Phase 3D, visit the AMSAT-NA Web site,