In recent numbers of the IRAM Newsletter, we have reported on the progress of the launch preparation of the Cloudsat satellite, whose cloud profiling radar operates at power levels which can permanently damage astronomical receivers in the 3mm band.
Cloudsat was launched successfully on April 28th, 2006. A first four-hours test with active radar was conducted on May 20th, on an orbital element well away from known radio astronomical observatories. On June 2nd 2006, the cloud profiling radar was activated in normal operational mode. Software tools for predicting the ground tracks and the latest orbital elements can be obtained from links on the Cloudsat home page (http://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/).
Protective measures against receiver damage have been implemented at the IRAM-30 (see the article by Peñalver and Navarro elsewhere in this Letter) as well as at the IRAM-PdBI.
We will closely follow the effect of the satellite on the observations.