AMSAT-NA has congratulated AMSAT-DL (Germany) and the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) for their roles in the successful launch on November 15 of the Es’hail-2 satellite, which carried AMSAT-DL’s Phase 4-A transponder aloft. Es’hail-2 will be the first geostationary satellite to sport an Amateur Radio transponder. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle, Es’hail will be capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand, although it’s unlikely to be accessible from North America with typical Amateur Radio satellite gear.
“I applaud the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and AMSAT-DL’s achievement, the result of 6 years of work,” AMSAT President Joe Spier, K6WAO, said. “To be a first at something in space is indeed a rare, rare honor. It is this type of honor that AMSATs around the world work on every day.”
Satellite manufacturer Mitsubishi (MELCO) and Es’hailSat will begin the In-Orbit Testing (IOT) program in the next few days, once the satellite has been positioned in a test orbital slot. According to AMSAT-DL, IOT will take a few months, and the Amateur Radio payload will remain off during that period. AMSAT-DL will commission the Amateur Radio transponder ground station in Doha, with the Es’hailSat control team.
Once IOT is complete, the satellite will be moved into its final orbital slot of 26°, and AMSAT-DL will announce when the transponders are available for use. AMSAT-DL cautions that radio amateurs should refrain from attempting to access Es’hail-2 before testing and commissioning are complete. Any interference to the test program will delay the satellite’s release, and, if excessive interference occurs, the satellite owners may decide not to make the facility available for amateur use, AMSAT-DL said.
The satellite transponder offers a 250-kHz passband for modes such as SSB, FreeDV, CW, RTTY, and other modes, plus an 8-MHz wideband downlink for digital amateur TV (DATV) modes. Downlink frequencies are at 10 GHz. The uplink frequency is at 2.4 GHz. In co-operation with AMSAT-DL, the British Amateur Television Club will operate a web SDR for the narrowband segment, and a Spectrum Viewer for the wideband (DATV) segment. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service; Southgate Amateur Radio News
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