The Astra 1M satelite was launched by a Proton-M launch vehicle from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 2044 UT on 5 November 2008. I picked up the news of the launch on www.spaceflightnow.com about an hour after launch and immediately set up the receiver on 1018.5 MHz. I checked once on 1020.5 MHz (the alternate telemetry frequency) but did not pick up any signals. This is not to say that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence"! However, I let my SDR-14 record the signal spectrum around 1018.5 during the night between 5 and 6 November. As I left home at 0700 UT there was a strong single carrier on 1018.5 MHz. The table below summarizes all receptions made.
For a more competet account of Briz-M tracking, check out an account of the first such reception here .
|Reception #||Date||Time (UT)||Notes||Time from lift-off||Adjacent mission event|
|1||6 November 2008||0056-0123||Three carriers, 0, +/- 16 kHz||+4:02 to +4:39||Briz-M shutdown at 0031 UT|
|2||6 November 2008||0154-0254||Two carriers, +/- 16 kHz||+5:10 to +6:10|
|3||6 November 2008||0337-0353||Two carriers, +/- 16 kHz||+6:53 to +7:09|
|4||6 November 2008||0527-0559||Two carriers, +/- 16 kHz||+8:43 to +9:15||Briz-M firing 0537-0543 UT. The S/C separated at 0556 UT|
|5||6 November 2008||0609-0612||Single carrier||+9:25 to +9:28|
|6||6 November 2008||0650-0657||Single carrier||+10:06 to +10:13|
It is instructive to compare these receptions with those made on 19 August 2008 during the transfer orbit of Inmarsat 4-F3. See the table here. It is possible that the Briz-M stage transmiitted on 1020.5 MHz during the first four hours of the flight.
For clarity's sake I have filled in all signal traces with yellow colour.
The strange shapes of the spectrogram traces are explained in a previous article on Briz-M tracking.
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