Ronald Rensen in The Netherlands has been observing testing of the Sicral 1B milsat on the satellite's UHF downlinks.
Ronald passed the following obs on the Hearsat newsgroup (monitoring on May 28): "Nice strong signals on 252.4750, 252.5250, 260.0000, 260.0750, 260.1250, 267.9500 and 268.0000. The only voice comms observed today were an Asian sounding phone conversation on 260.0935 and an Italian phone conversation on 252.520."
Here is what he posted for his May 27 observations:
252.4250 weak noise
252.4750 weak noise
252.5250 weak noise
260.0000 weak noise
260.0750 weak noise
260.1250 weak noise
267.9000 weak noise
267.9500 accidental relay, Asian or Arab accent, station (GARLIC?) working fighters STINGER 1/2, NATO style GCI
268.0000 accidental relay, Saudi Arabia, N739A (Aramco Boeing 737) working DHAHRAN MILITARY.
268.0500 weak noise
268.1000 weak noise
Thanks Ronald for sharing your observations with the rest of us.
And finally Paul Marsh shared the following recently on Hearsat:
"It is thought that the operators of Sicral 1B have begun their transponder tests. It may well be worth keeping an eye out on the UHF downlinks for new signals. I'm currently looking at the Ka band downlinks and some are in excess of 50dB over noise, absolutly huge signals! http://pjm.dyndns.org/sic1b_20668750.png shows one example of what is thought to be a transponder centre frequency on 20668.750 MHz."
Paul reported that the satellite appears to settle on station at 11.75 degrees East on May 7, 2009.
Financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, SICRAL-1B, which is dedicated to the Italian Armed Forces, will ensure strategic and tactical communications on the Italian and foreign territories as well as mobile communications between terrestrial, naval and air platforms. It will also provide UHF and SHF band satellite capacities to NATO forces, further to a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in 2004 between the Ministries of Defense of Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and the Atlantic Alliance.
SICRAL-1B will increase the availability and the complete reliability of the SICRAL system and will satisfy the operational requirements that the Italian Armed Forces are facing, mainly coming from "foreign areas". SICRAL-1B will be operational until 2019 and will be followed by SICRAL-2, which should be operational from 2011 until 2026.
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