[eagle] Phase 4 on Amateur Radio Newsline

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at comcast.net
Fri Nov 2 12:18:36 PST 2007

Hi Everyone,

In case you haven't seen it, here is the pre-feed version for Amateur Radio
NewslineT Report 1577 -  November 2, 2007 in regard to Phase 4 Lite.

73 de JoAnne K9JKM
k9jkm at amsat.org


Its called Phase 4 Lite and it will likely change the face of ham radio
forever.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has a peek at the
future of a geosynchronous ham radio satellite in Earth orbit:


 The weekend of October 26th to the 28th has likely changed the face of ham
radio space operations.  So say two leaders in the Amateur Radio space
program speaking at the AMSAT-North America Space Symposium in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania.  That's  they announced that a first-ever geosynchronous ham
radio satellite is now in its initial planning.  

In satellite talk, geosynchronous means stationary in the sky.  From the
standpoint of a ground station user, it means always knowing where to point
an antenna.  No tracking and no guesswork.

At that gathering, AMSAT President Rick Hambly, W2GPS, and Vice-President of
Engineering Bob McGwier,N4HY,  announced that AMSAT has been in consultation
with Intelsat.  This, regarding an application of an Intelsat platform
carrying amateur radio satellites into geosynchronous orbit.

The Phase IV Lite Geosynchronous Payload is planned to consist of similar
transponders already under development for the Phase 3 satellites.
Accelerated development on the digital Advanced Communication Package is
anticipated.  The Intelsat geosynchronous platform would be able to provide
the AMSAT Phase IV Lite payload with approximately 400 watts of DC power for
15 years.

In addition to the on-orbit payload AMSAT plans to develop an earth station
attainable by the average ham so that users can immediately take advantage
of the audio, digital messaging, and video services of the Phase IV bird.
The Advanced Communication Package would be a self-contained earth station
which could be sent with amateur radio communication teams or delivered to
disaster areas to provide for 24 hour a day, 7 day a week and 3565 days a
year emergency communications.  These teams would be able to point a small
dish at a predictable spot in the sky and immediately begin delivering
disaster communication support without depending on the vagaries of High
Frequency  propagation.

But that's not all.  Hambly and Mc Gwier say that the Phase IV payload could
also be used to provide a Tracking and Data Relay System Satellite -like
relay of ARISS communications.  The current 10 minute school contact could
now be expanded to hours-long contact with the International Space Station.
This opens possibilities for extended student involvement with experiments
aboard the space station.  

As the late Roy Neal, K6DUE, might have said:  Truly a new world of Amateur

For the Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.


So when can we expect this new satellite to be on-orbit?,  AMSAT says that
engineering studies, funding studies, among other negotiations are
continuing so no specific date can be set.    However Bob McGuier N4HY
observes that the project is far enough along that AMSAT needs to begin
planning engineering work and possible construction of such a geosynchronous
payload so it is  ready if Intelsat says they have a ride for it.

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