ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS013 (1998)

ARLS013 Phase 3D satellite to undergo testing

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 013  ARLS013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  October 16, 1998
To all radio amateurs

ARLS013 Phase 3D satellite to undergo testing

Amateur Radio's Phase 3D spacecraft will undergo pre-launch testing
this month to analyze the satellite's ability to withstand the harsh
environment of space. Thermal-vacuum testing is set to begin October
20 at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Germantown, Maryland.

The spacecraft was transported by truck from the Phase 3D
Integration Lab in Orlando. AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Keith
Baker, KB1SF, says the satellite will be placed in a large chamber
for the thermal-vacuum test, and most of the air will be removed.
''Then the temperature will be cycled up and down to simulate the
harsh heating and cooling environment that the satellite is expected
to encounter while in space,'' he said. A complete thermal cycle
runs about 36 hours. The Phase 3D satellite will endure five cycles.

Barring unforeseen problems with the thermal-vacuum test, Baker
said, the satellite now is slated to undergo vibration testing to
simulate the launcher environment either late this year or early
next year.

While the satellite was in town, Maryland-DC AMSAT Coordinator Pat
Kilroy, WD8LAQ, has been arranging opportunities for AMSAT members
and supporters to view the spacecraft before it enters the test

For more information on Phase 3D, see the Phase 3D Spacecraft
Integration Laboratory Web site,