[amsat-bb] Re: Eagle and emergency traffic (wasRe:Galileointerference on L band)

Edward R. Cole al7eb at acsalaska.net
Mon Sep 25 00:07:58 PDT 2006

At 04:25 PM 9/24/2006 -0500, George Henry wrote:
>Precisely the first point I tried to make:  anything less than 24/7 access 
>is not likely to be viewed as very useful.  In a disaster, I'd love to be 
>able to be on a satellite as I pull out of my driveway, like I can be on 40 
>meters thru 70cm today.  The reality is that any bird that I *could* be on 
>today, would be gone in 15 minutes or less.  Sadly, our current crop of 
>satellites is ill-suited to emergency communications, and it will be at 
>least 15 years before we can offer 24/7 coverage.  It doesn't mean that we 
>shouldn't try:  it just means that we should recognize the possibility that 
>disaster communications may never be our "niche".  In 15 years, other data 
>communications technologies will, almost certainly, affordably eclipse what 
>we have put into orbit.  And I don't know that AMSAT donors can ever afford 
>the $$ to get ahead of that technology curve, which has VERY deep pockets 
>driving it.
>George, KA3HSW


Comparing Eagle, P3E, or other past HEO's to the current Leo's is like
comparing a kite to a jet aircraft...both fly but that's all that is
common.  Maybe you have had no experience with Heo's, but AO-40 was
accessible to me for periods of up to 16 continuous hours per day!  That
may not be 7/24 but it whole lot different than 15-minutes time three
passes per day for AO-51!

However, your point that commercial satellite technology may likely provide
7/24 access for EnComm by the time Eagle flies is valid.   Still ham radio
with its decentralized, diverse distribution of resources still seems to
work better than the best made plans of the bureaucracies!  It may be fine
that the Red Cross or FEMA have inventories for satellite comms....but they
still need to get where they are needed...seems that was where the Katrina
response failed (100's of trailers stored in Arkansas and survivors still
waiting for a trailer...Nat'l Guard not able to comm with other units by
radio and resorting to runners with written messages...one sat phone for
the Nat'l Guard in the whole Gulf area...forgetting to fuel backup
generators for cellualr sites...lots of special EnComm gear that didn't
work because the repeaters had no power...the list is endless).  So it may
not be perfect but ham radio often is all that works...even if not 7/24. 

I think we still can play a role.  The concept is good, if not perfect.  It
is good PR for ham radio and Satellite ham radio.
"If it is worth doing, its worth doing imperfectly"! 
Ed - KL7UW 
BP40iq,  Nikiski, AK      http://www.qsl.net/al7eb
Amsat #3212
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