[amsat-bb] Re: [Bod] Re: Re: Top 10 sats

Michael Tondee mat_62 at netcommander.com
Sat Dec 12 16:22:56 PST 2009

Hi Bill and Drew,
 I'd just like to let you and the board know that I appreciate your 
efforts to get sats of any kind into orbit. I'm sure I'm not alone in 
that but maybe you guys don't hear words of appreciation often enough, 
it sure doesn't seem like it when I read this BB. I would dearly love to 
be able to operate on an HEO satellite since I have never experienced it 
before but I understand the reality. I don't for the life of me 
understand why some people seem to feel that the BOD is somehow against 
the concept of HEO's now. I must say that I find the term "grid sat" to 
be derisive. Most of us out here are just trying to have fun and if a 
single channel FM satellite is what's up there to do it with, and all we 
can do is exchange grid squares then so be it.
 I hope that AMSAT DL is somehow able to get P3-E launched then I will 
be able to experience HEO's and the guys who miss them so much will 
hopefully be content . Does anyone have any idea when they might receive 
a definite answer from their government?
Michael, W4HIJ
Bill Ress wrote:
> Hi Vince,
> Speaking as a Board member, I'm very confident the Board will commit to 
> building an Eagle (HEO satellite) when it can see a "clear" financial 
> path to building and launching it. We learned with the Eagle effort, 
> that satellite launches are now a very mature business enterprise and 
> the folks doing it are doing it make a profit.  Remember we're talking 
> "8 plus million dollars" here just for the HEO launch costs.
> As Drew states the days of folks in high places being able to secure 
> free or relatively low cost launches for us is "very" over. We are now 
> focusing on what is affordable and realistic.
> So you can ring your hands in frustration about what was once possible, 
> and still most desirable, or you came out from the HEO dream and help 
> support what is "real" today. Every Board member would dearly love to 
> build and launch a HEO, but we finally realized, with the cold hard 
> facts before us, that we just can't do it. We hope that AMSAT-DL can get 
> the German government to fund the P3E launch. They're our best HEO hope 
> right now.
> All that being said, this Board is working very hard to continue the 
> pursuit of any and all launch opportunities, and who knows, maybe an 
> affordable HEO opportunity will appear. That's our dream wish too, but 
> until then, we must proceed on a realistic and affordable path "back 
> into space."
> Regards...Bill - N6GHz
>> wrote:
>>> It's really sad that Eagle isn't on it.  Can't seem to get the AMSAT-NA BOD 
>>> to commit to building anything but grid sats.
>> I speak for myself here, and not the BOD or organization as a whole. 
>> Most of them are not the masochist I seem to be with regards to -bb.
>> I don't think committing to build satellites that we CANNOT afford to 
>> launch is good business, and neither do my fellow BOD members. Designing 
>> a satellite for an unknown launcher envelope and orbit isn't very wise 
>> either. Or would you prefer we have -two- HEOs that no amateur effort 
>> could afford to launch? AMSAT members should understand the days of 
>> cheap and nearly free launches to anywhere are over, especially to HEO.  
>> ESA's past charity with the Phase 3 Ariane launches has really ruined 
>> all reasonable expectations. I understand your frustration, but 
>> directing it towards the BOD is not productive. Sometimes you have to 
>> suck it up and face facts.
>> We currently have two new projects in development. One is a 1U cubesat 
>> known as AMSAT-Fox. 1U cubes only generate about 2w DC orbit average, 
>> which is not enough to run a transponder at a level of performance our 
>> members would expect. This is why it is a single channel system at this 
>> point of development. The radios will also be suitable for inclusion on 
>> other cubesats, as a income source for AMSAT, and as motivation to 
>> develop secondary amateur missions. Fox can also serve as a partial 
>> successor to AO-51 for about 1/5th of the cost. Without even really 
>> starting fundraising yet, we are well on our way to being able to pay 
>> for construction and launch.
>> The other project includes a Mode U/V linear transponder as a possible 
>> secondary package on a host satellite going to LEO. Sorry if that 
>> doesn't meet your approval to be classified as a non-"grid sat". It's 
>> the best we can afford to do in both terms of money and volunteers.
>> We also have a third project in cooperation with SUNY Binghamton and IBM 
>> to develop the frame and power systems for a 3U cubesat that will 
>> support good LEO comms missions.
>> I've been beating the bushes to find ways to get us back into the 
>> business of building and FLYING satellites, along with the rest of the 
>> Engineering Task Force. I have a spreadsheet two pages long of failed 
>> attempts and contacts, with only a few "may happen"s. Perhaps we'll find 
>> some path back to high orbit when we can revive Eagle, but we shouldn't 
>> and won't twiddle our thumbs until then.
>> 73, Drew KO4MA

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