[amsat-bb] Re: Why do the amsats get more and more complex?
bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Sep 19 18:10:13 PDT 2006
|New tech is great,
|but one line of thought is to keep most of the
|high tech stuff on the ground and keep the
|satellite relatively simple and reliable.
|Just a thought. Bob
> -----Original Message-----
> From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org
> [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Steve Meuse
> Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 1:39 PM
> To: Jason White
> Cc: Amsat BB
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Why do the amsats get more and more
> Jason White expunged (jason at jason.white.name):
> > Anyway, I'm just curious why it seems that every new
> satellite project
> > proposed seems to be bigger and more complex than the last?
> > hearing about exotic modes and uplink/downlink bands for
> P3E.. software
> > defined transceivers, etc. etc. and what it looks like to
> me are more
> > and more failure points. I understand the need to push the
> limits of
> > technology as a justification for our very existence, but
> personally I
> > feel like the designs are overly complicated and highly
> priced. I'm not
> > ready to switch my earth station to SDRs, for instance..
> I'm dubious
> > about putting one into orbit.. then again, I'm not skilled
> enough to
> > make those sorts of decisions.
> A minor note of clarification, the Software Defined
> Transponder (SDX) does not require groundstations to run
> SDRs. It's a new method to implement the traditional linear
> transponder design in software.
> Now, as for the bigger/better issue, I'll make some
> - P3E is purpose built as a technology testing platform for a
> very specific Mars mission, I don't see it as all bells and
> whistles. (bigger better for the sake of bigger better)
> - The Eagle design, as it's turning out, *seems* to be much
> less complicated than a AO-40 or P3E, at least in the number
> of bands and functions.
> Then there are the basics, like FCC Part 97 rules:
> §97.1 Basis and purpose.
> (b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven
> ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
> (c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service
> through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the
> communications and technical phases of the art.
> > What I'm getting at is that Oscar 7 proved how reliable
> older technology
> > can be.. For the price of one of the phase 3 birds it
> > several Mode B linear transponder sats could be put up, or
> a few more FM
> > sats. I personally would much rather see a modest mode B
> sat in AO-40s
> > intended orbital pattern than to try to wrangle parts for
> I've talked about this before, but it's important to remember
> that AMSAT is not a serivce provider. We don't exist to
> provide a continual supply of mode X transponders in Y orbit.
> We're here to advance the state of the art, IMHO.
> (of course, I still hold the right to throw a temper tantrum
> over mode S downlinks)
> > Wouldn't it be better to separate out some of the more
> > stuff from the old standbys? That way a failure of one
> whole sat would
> > still leave something usable for the same money spent. My
> vote would be
> > to piggyback a completely independent analog satellite onto
> P3E "just in
> > case".
> If you want to build an "old standby" sat, go for it!
> The people who are actively building sats aren't interested
> in that. I don't blame them either. But remember, AMSAT isn't
> stopping ANYONE from putting a team together to build a new
> > If someone could help me understand why the direction is
> the way it is
> > maybe I could get excited about the bigger sats, but I
> think you get
> > more "bang for the buck" with the smaller less complicated
> birds. My
> > favorite so far is PCSat I. Mostly off the shelf hardware
> and I had a
> > very easy time digipeating APRS through it. One of those in
> > elliptical orbit would be a hoot!
> Of course, you would likely need a more robust equipment set
> to work HEO :) It's a give and take, there isn't a perfect
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of
> the author.
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