Thursday, February 14, is Teleport Inauguration Day in Qatar, celebrating the opening of the new Es’hailSat teleport and the official opening of Es’hail-2, which carries the first geostationary Amateur Radio payload, a German P4A package. Es’hail-2 launched last November from Cape Canaveral. The two Amateur Radio transponders onboard what’s now known as Qatar OSCAR 100 (QO-100) also will be made available on February 14 for general operation by radio amateurs within QO-100’s footprint. Emceeing the opening ceremony will be Qatar’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, A71AU, who chairs the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and is a satellite patron.
A delegation from Germany — AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Thomas Kleffel, DG5NGI, of the P4A team — will be in Qatar to set up and commission the ground segment of P4A at the QO-100 ground station. In addition to LEILA and the DVB-S2 DATV system, this also includes a club station, which will operate under the auspices of QARS as A71A. A backup station is installed at QARS headquarters in Doha.
An AMSAT-DL ground station at the Bochum Observatory in Germany is also ready for reception and transmission via QO-100, with later radio operation via the satellite carried out using the call sign DL50AMSAT. AMSAT-DL has requested that radio amateurs refrain from attempts to transmit via the new satellite until commissioning is complete.