[Forum] AMSAT groups support ZEL funding

Peter Guelzow peter.guelzow at kourou.de
Thu Nov 22 22:52:48 CET 2007

Press Release

AMSAT groups support ZEL funding

Earlier this year the Directors of AMSAT-DL were informed by the University
of Marburg in Germany that it had been decided that funding for the ZEL by
the University would cease at the end of 2007. The Directors approached
AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK for financial assistance in keeping the ZEL open for
another year. The sum of 25,000 Euros was requested.

At recent meetings of the AMSAT-NA Board and of the AMSAT-UK Committee, it
was agreed that both would contribute to the donation. Given the relative
sizes of the two donating AMSAT groups it was agreed that AMSAT-NA would
donate 75% of the money required, and that AMSAT-UK would donate 25%.

The ZEL (Zentrales Entwicklungslabor fur electronic, roughly translated as
the Central Development Laboratory for Electronics) has been the facility
which, over the last 40 years, has been at the centre of much amateur
satellite development activity by members of the University, members of
AMSAT-DL, as well as other members of AMSAT from outside Germany. The most
famous satellite to be produced there was OSCAR-13 which gave the Amateur
Radio Community many years of excellent service.

Currently under construction is Phase 3E, a satellite similar in size and
shape to OSCAR-13, but with many advanced features. It will carry a 70 cms
to 2 metre band transponder, as well as transponders on other bands.
Importantly it will carry its own rocket motor which will boost its orbit
into a highly elliptical one, which will give world wide coverage, allowing
ordinary radio amateur great DX possibilities through the transponders.
Radio Amateurs have not had such a satellite since the demise of AO-40 in
March 2004.

The P3E satellite is still under construction in the ZEL, and its completion
is anticipated for sometime in 2008. It is note worthy that some of the
personnel employed by the University to work in the ZEL have undertaken to
continue working on P3E as volunteers.


Pictures of the ZEL

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