RE: [amsat-bb] Re: HEO naïveté

Rocky Jones orbitjet at
Sat Feb 7 10:38:25 PST 2009

Joe...Thanks for your comments.  

My thoughts are similar but oriented along three lines

1.  The amateur satellite population does not increase  because of a couple of reasons...not the least of which is a) no stable supply of satellites which b) breeds no real stable supply of equipment which is obtainable and affordable and c) since the numbers do not increase the funding pool doesnt increase.  

2.  None of this is going to get better as long as the projects done do not keep those three things in mind.  HEO, LEO, or whatever doesnt matter all that much IF the satellite cannot generate the interest needed to sustain and grow the population of hams on the bird...and that is linked (sounds like number 1 again) to the availability of equipment.

3.  Many of the concepts floated dont address these issues.  I for the life of me have not figured out why the Europeans are working on a amateur radio satellite to go to Mars...if they can get funding OK but how many "earth" based hams are going to do anything meaningful with that...  The stuff in the latest journal is "nice" but is to be kind "vapor ware"...

I know that there are launch issues/cost etc etc...
but well maybe there is something I dont know...but if say SpaceX came to the community "monday" and said "free ride on the Falcon 9...that might go this summer.

Is there 'anything' to put up?

I dont think that the "orbit" is the problem.

Robert WB5MZO

> From: gary_mayfield at
> To: amsat-bb at
> Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] Re: HEO naïveté
> Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 09:50:24 -0600
> My observations...
> I miss the HEOs too, and I believe our AMSAT-DL friends have an HEO
> basically waiting in the closet if a ride were to show (I know that's an
> over-simplification).
> I think a phase IV shared space satellite would/could be a great boon to
> emergency communications!  And our public relations!  But I fear it would be
> about as much fun to work as dialing my cell phone, no tracking, no Doppler,
> 100% predictable propagation.  Okay, more reliable than my cell phone.
> The microwave thing always gets me though.  If the antennas are too big how
> come they can get them on cube sats?  I know the correct statement is
> high-gain antennas are too big.  The problem is gain antennas need some
> pointing mechanism (complicated and expensive) and they need to be pointed
> no matter what band they are designed for.  When using omni antennas the
> lower frequency will yield higher performance due to lower path loss....
> The bottom line is to keep building what ever we can get up there, and make
> sensible use of reasonable frequencies.  I'm still glad AMSAT-NA built and
> orbited AO-51 as opposed to dumping all of our resources in Eagle which I
> believe would still be on the ground anyway.
> 73,
> Joe kk0sd
> At 04:28 PM 2/6/2009, Rocky Jones wrote:

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