[amsat-bb] Re: Was HEO naivete; now GEO rideshare frequency choice, etc.

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Sat Feb 7 18:19:57 PST 2009

>1.  Do we have any reasonable expectation of government funding?  The 
>repeater group that I belong to in Houston is in the process of getting a 
>FEMA grant based on the repeater/packet system >performance in Ike...ie we 
>stayed up while the FEMA equipment colocated went dark.  It has been "nip 
>and tuck" and the election of a congressman from our district who some of 
>us participated in his >campaign has helped a great deal...but it isnt 
>"all" that much money at least in terms of what I suspect AMSAT was looking 

I'm not sure. I think the lower the number, the more likely we could get 
some of the Homeland Security money that flowed freely up until this recent 
economic downturn. Some have argued that we would need to show significant 
technological advances to be eligible for really substantial grants. To 
quote someone for whom I have great respect, "The only sure way not to fail 
is to do nothing."

>2.  even if we got the money and got the launch ...how does it change the 
>equation for the satellite community?  It puts "equipment in the air" but 
>would the "unique" equipment required be a show stopper >like the "spread 
>spectrum" satellite (PANSAT?) that was launched a few years ago.

Tom's last revision had both analog and digital modes. The analog could be 
on your doorstep a few days after you hung up with DEMI or Kuhne. Digital 
would have been developed in parallel with the satellite hardware. The 
balance between the two modes would be able to follow the demand.

>3.  I think that the "easy sat goal" is a "canard"...I think that it could 
>be as easy to talk on the birds as it is for me to type this letter to 
>you...and it wouldnt change the amateur satellite population all that 
> >much...but I do think that the other end is a limiting factor.  If hams 
>have to buy some "special box" that is the heart and soul of the station 
>and has zero use outside of the "bird"...then I dont think that is a 
> >measure for growth.

I would not agree with this. Look at the users we have on AO-51 (easy) 
compared to AO-7 (hard). The trick is getting them to support the program. 
We have way too many users who don't think it's worthwhile to support the 

>If SpaceX granted us a ride on its Falcon 9 which might go this summer...is 
>there anything to put on it?

It would depend on where it was going. To GTO I'd say we'd do all we could 
to get over our ITAR issues and get P3E onboard, if the Germans would agree. 
To LEO? That would depend on the orbit, whether we could justify the expense 
for a low orbit bird, whether it had the support of the membership, and 
whether it forwarded our goals. If someone said we have a space going to 
800km or higher,  I'd like to think we'd be all over it in one form or 
another.You know someone? ;-)

73, Drew KO4MA 

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