Summer 2006 Issue
AMSAT’s Vision – P3-E and Eagle
By Keith Pugh, W5IU
The AMSAT forum and the AMSAT booth activity
at the Dayton Hamvention® this year featured progress reports on
fulfillment of AMSAT’s Vision, originally stated in 2004: “Our Vision is
to deploy high earth orbit satellite systems that offer daily coverage by
2009 and continuous coverage by 2012...” Fulfillment of this vision will
include the launch of P3-E and at least two Eagle satellites. Progress
reports on these projects along with the Software Defined Transponder (SDX)
are given below.
P3-E was started soon after the loss of AO-40
by AMSAT-DL as a means of getting back into high earth orbit as quickly as
possible and as a test bed for the German Mars Orbiter Mission. The
concept is to borrow as much from AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40 as possible,
update it with current technology, and secure a launch to high earth orbit
as soon as possible, currently envisioned as sometime in 2007. Peter
Guelzow, DB2OS, president of AMSAT-DL, prepared an excellent presentation
on the current status and plans for this project. At Dayton, Rick Hambly,
W2GPS, president of AMSAT-NA, gave Peter’s presentation and emphasized the
cooperation between AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-NA, and AMSAT-UK in the development of
A full suite of modes and functions has been
planned which will please both the old and new satellite users.
Frequencies utilized range from VHF through microwave. Much of this
versatility comes from a decision made in late 2005 to incorporate the
Software Defined Transponder developed by Howard Long, G6LVB, of AMSAT-UK.
Howard Long made an excellent presentation on SDX during the AMSAT Forum at Dayton. Howard and others from AMSAT-UK had been following the SDX ideas and progress being made by Bob McGwier, N4HY, and the Eagle Team in this endeavor. He added some ideas of his own and put together development model hardware and software to support a joint European Space Agency (ESA) and AMSAT-UK project.
The SDX (software defined transponder) is shown hanging on the Dayton Hamvention® booth curtain in the upper left-hand portion. Its block diagram is shown in the upper right. WB4GCS and N4HY are shown operating the demonstration.
© Copyright 2006, CQ Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or republished, including posting to a website, in part or in whole, by any means, without the express written permission of the publisher, CQ Communications, Inc. Hyperlinks to this page are permitted.