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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS022 (2000)

ARLS022 Limited AO-40 use possible in near future

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 022  ARLS022
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  November 22, 2000
To all radio amateurs

ARLS022 Limited AO-40 use possible in near future

Plans are in place to make AO-40 available for a limited period of
general amateur use ''possibly within a week or two,'' says AMSAT-NA
President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH. Launched November 16, the
next-generation Amateur Radio satellite formerly known as Phase 3D
remains for now in a geostationary transfer orbit while initial
housekeeping and checkout procedures are under way.

Just when and how the ''limited operation'' will occur is up to the
ground controllers, Haigton said. The provisional operation would
involve ''one or two bands at a time.'' Since the satellite's solar
panels will not be deployed until AO-40 is in its final orbit, full
power will not be available.

Haighton said the most likely configurations for the limited test
period would be 70 cm up and 2 meters down and 1.2 GHz up and 2.4
GHz down, SSB and CW.

Details of the limited test period will be announced.

AMSAT has stressed that the Phase 3D/AO-40 controllers are closely
monitoring the power budget and the satellite's current orbital
parameters. ''These two areas will be among the most important
factors that determine what happens with P3D in the near future,''
AMSAT said this week.

From all indications, most AO-40 systems are working properly at
this point, with the possible exception of the 70-cm transmitter.
Phase 3D Project Manager Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, says ''a problem with
the 70 cm transmitter'' led controllers to shift the telemetry
downlink from 70-cm to 2 meters, 145.898 MHz.

Phase 3D will not be opened for full amateur use until it's been
placed in its final orbital configuration. That's expected to take
about nine months.

For more information, visit the AMSAT-NA Web site,


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