[svlug] P3D launch
ikluft at thunder.sbay.org
Thu Nov 16 15:02:01 PST 2000
I don't know how many of you remember back around 1997 or 1998 there was
a big deal made about how AMSAT chose to use Debian Linux for the ground
station console for their Phase-3D ("P3D") amateur radio satellite. It
was one of the very early stories on Slashdot.
AMSAT P3D was successfully launched yesterday evening aboard a European
Ariane 5 rocket. At 650kg, it was the largest amateur satellite (built by
volunteers, funded with donations) ever built, and now the largest in orbit.
AMSAT reports all systems appear to be in good health on the spacecraft.
Ham Radio operators around the world are "chomping at the bit" to use this
bird as soon as AMSAT says it's ready. P3D has larger solar panels and
more transmit power than any previous amateur satellite, making it usable
by less powerful Ham Radios on the ground, possibly including handheld
transceivers during good conditions.
For more information, see AMSAT's web page at http://www.amsat.org/
If you use any satellite tracking software (like PREDICT for Linux)
then you can find the "two-line elements" for tracking P3D under its
new name, "OSCAR 40". ("OSCAR" means "orbiting satellite carrying
amateur radio." An OSCAR number is only assigned upon successfully
achieving orbit. P3D is the 40th amateur radio satellite in orbit.)
I only mentioned this here because a big deal had been made about P3D
a few years ago because it would be controlled from the ground by Linux
systems. Some of you might have remembered it. But if this interests
you, you can find other enthusiasts at local Ham Radio clubs like WVARA
Ian Kluft KO6YQ PP-ASEL sbay.org coordinator
ikluft(at)thunder.sbay.org http://www.kluft.com/~ikluft/ San Jose, CA
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