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Author Topic: P3E and Eagle  (Read 7451 times)
VK2FAK
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Posts: 87




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« on: December 19, 2011, 02:43:00 PM »

Hi all....

The question is,  will we ever see either of the satellites  P3E or Eagle..

The German P3E website does not seem to have been updated for a long time....Not sure about Eagle...

P3E is already a few years late..

Why doesn't Amsat-US and Amsat-DL get together and try to get one of the birds in orbit,,,then they can both take a little longer to put the other one up....

Is the cost to put these satellites in orbit getting to much for amateur radio...

John
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:56:19 PM by VK2FAK » Logged
W7AIT
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 05:25:56 PM »

AMSAT SAT Status, sad state of affairs, nothing much to talk on.  Does anybody care?
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KO1D
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 10:45:44 AM »

For a long time AMSAT US had a major problem due to US legislation prohibiting transfer of dual use technologies outside the US. This included to our allies. Thus AMSAT had to fight with Capital Hill to once again work with others on satellites like Eagle and P3E. Now the problem is best explified by the previous comment. They have a huge need for funds. They are not having the luck finding "cheap" or "free" space for their satellites. So the cost has gone through the roof for launches.

Its not an easy situation for them these days.

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VK2FAK
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 07:07:32 PM »

Hi all....

True about the transfer of technology and I can understand that........so the easier thing to do is put the money into one big project at a time....either of these birds would be great for amateur satellite coverage........the toys up there now ( called LEO's)  are very restricted in there coverage and usage time.....but fantastic for learning.

Our only hope I think, is if the Battery short on AO-40 opens thus allowing limited sunlight use.

John
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2011, 01:58:42 PM »

Hi John!

Why doesn't Amsat-US and Amsat-DL get together and try to get one of the birds in orbit,,,then they can both take a little longer to put the other one up....

Is the cost to put these satellites in orbit getting to much for amateur radio...

In the case of the P3E satellite built by AMSAT-DL, yes - the launch cost is the big roadblock.  According to a presentation AMSAT-DL gave at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium last July, the P3E launch cost was estimated to be 10 million euros.  Unfortunately, as you noted, there hasn't been much updated on the AMSAT-DL site in terms of how much money they have and still need to raise.  The American ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) government regulations have deemed satellite technology to be munitions, limiting what can come from the US - in equipment, as well as assistance by US citizens.  AMSAT-NA in the USA has had to make a full disclosure of work done with non-USA individuals and organizations in the past to clear up those issues in the eyes of the US government, and is now very mindful of the ITAR regulations for future projects.  ITAR puts strict limits on US citizens and nationals working with non-US groups, so AMSAT-DL had to complete work on P3E without the help that had been coming from people here in the USA.  The ITAR issues helped to scuttle the Eagle project, among other issues (including launch costs) that came up in the past few years. 

AMSAT-NA is proceeding with the Fox project, using only people in the US to design and build the satellite.  AMSAT-NA has filed an application with NASA seeking a free launch for the Fox-1 satellite, and is prepared to pay for its launch if the application is not approved by NASA.  Going to a lower orbit (650km), the launch cost would be in the range of US$ 70,000 (+/-) - a lot better than 10 million euros to the higher orbit planned for P3E.  The Fox-2 satellite may go to a slightly higher orbit, and could be the subject of another application to NASA for a free launch. 

There are other groups building satellites - KiwiSAT in New Zealand, the FUNcube and UKube projects in England, PW-Sat built by a Polish university that should be launched in a few weeks, to name a few.  Launch costs are the biggest roadblock, unless the groups are able to get government support or someone with very deep pockets to help fund a launch.  Building satellites is not the hard part.  The ITAR rules get in the way of US hams helping with non-US satellite projects, but that's (IMO) not as much of a problem as the launch costs have become.  The launch providers have lots of demand for launches from governments and private industry, so the costs continue to increase. 

I think that having a variety of projects for building and launching satellites is a good thing.  AO-40 (or Phase-3D, its prelaunch name) was a case of the other extreme, where hams worldwide contributed to a single satellite.  Unfortunately, AO-40 never worked as planned, and has been silent for several years.  Satellites will not operate forever, even with AO-7 still functioning in its fourth decade.  We need to have a stream of satellites going up, so that older satellites that go silent or have problems can be replaced.  Otherwise, we could reach a point in time where we don't have satellites available for our use.  AO-7 is the exception, as there are many older amateur satellites that have stopped working and stayed silent (or reentered the atmosphere).  This is why groups like AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and the KiwiSAT groups have their respective fundraising campaigns.  Contribute to the group(s) you want to help, in order to get more satellites in orbit.

73!






Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/



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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
KC2RBE
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 10:07:42 AM »

In order to keep the information in this thread fresh, I thought I would post this video I found entitled  Fox-1 Status Update, by Tony AA2TX - 2013 Dayton Hamvention: http://youtu.be/Gub5182mowg
I for one will be donating to AMSAT, if you are interested in seeing more birds, I hope you will too.
Enjoy.
73,
Patrick KC2RBE
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K7WDO
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 10:37:19 AM »

Just to add my thoughts:

I would agree the ITAR rules have certainly had an impact on satellite projects.  There has been a long history of international collaboration on the satellites and one of the issues holding up P3E was that they were having to redesign everything to keep it clear of those regulations instead of reusing earlier P3 designs.  In one bit of good news, though, the ITAR rules were recently changed to where satellite technology is back under the commerce department.  It'll take a while for everyone to figure out the new rules, but there may be some relief on that front in the future.

The final challenge is launch costs and while it's not too bad for a cubesat, getting a large, complicated bird like P3E into a GTO orbit is another matter.

As for KiwiSat, last I heard, it's basically complete.  They're just working out funding a launch at this point.
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 04:03:02 PM »

As far as what I've been able to ascertain, P3-E is basically done and built. There's just the launch affordability issue. It would be nice to know something though whether it's good or bad news about how close they are to funding a launch. We haven't heard anything in such a long time. If it's never going to be launched then I'd rather know that definitively rather than sitting here in the current state of limbo we are in. 
Michael, W4HIJ
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 02:00:56 PM »

In one bit of good news, though, the ITAR rules were recently changed to where satellite technology is back under the commerce department.  It'll take a while for everyone to figure out the new rules, but there may be some relief on that front in the future.

It all depends on how the government agencies write the regulations that implement the change.  Hopefully, it will be as you mentioned - moving much satellite-related stuff away from the US government munitions list. 

Quote from: K7WDO
The final challenge is launch costs and while it's not too bad for a cubesat, getting a large, complicated bird like P3E into a GTO orbit is another matter.

As for KiwiSat, last I heard, it's basically complete.  They're just working out funding a launch at this point.

Correct on both counts. 

AMSAT-DL had been counting on the German government to help underwrite the launch costs.  They were turned down last fall.  Unfortunately, AMSAT-DL does not publicize how much they have raised and how much more they need to cover launch costs.  That's unfortunate, since not knowing that information means we on the outside have no idea how close (or how far away) a P3E launch really is.  The New Zealanders are working on a launch.  The last update on the KiwiSAT web site was from March, and I can't recall seeing or hearing anything else since that time. 

73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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