Progress toward the launch of the Es’Hail-2 geostationary Amateur Radio satellite was reported as AMSAT-DL held its annual symposium on September 29 at the Institute for Environment and Future Research (IUZ) Bochum Observatory in Germany. Es’hail-2 is set to go into space this fall or early winter aboard a SpaceX vehicle; a specific launch date is not available. AMSAT-DL President Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, and Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, reported that AMSAT-DL recently finalized the individual components for the Es’hail-2 ground station in Doha, Qatar.
“Last week, we finished the work and made the equipment ready to ship,” Gülzow said. The components are to be installed in Qatar in the near future. A second facility at the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) in Doha will serve as a backup, while a third ground station will be installed at Bochum Observatory.
Es’Hail-2 will offer two AMSAT-DL-designed Phase 4 Amateur Radio transponders operating in the 2.4 GHz and 10.450 GHz bands. A 250 kHz bandwidth linear transponder is intended for conventional analog operation, while an 8 MHz bandwidth transponder will provide experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB digital amateur television (DATV). Both transponders will be equipped with antennas capable of providing full coverage of about one-third of Earth’s surface.
“We hope to be able to present live broadcasts in DATV at the next HAM RADIO [in Friedrichshafen], June 21 – 23,” Gülzow said.
AMSAT-DL has been offering technical assistance on the Es’Hail-2 project. The commercial Qatari satellite will provide the first Amateur Radio geostationary communication and will be capable of linking amateurs from Brazil to Thailand.
Gülzow will deliver a presentation, “Es’hail-2 and its Amateur Radio Payload” at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, October 13 – 14, as part of the Radio Society of Great Britain Convention in Milton Keynes, England.