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

Edward Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Sun Feb 8 12:44:21 PST 2009


May I add a little historical perspective (as I understand it) about 
AO-40 (Inserted):

At 10:47 AM 2/8/2009, Rocky Jones wrote:

> > 73, Drew KO4MA
> >
>Drew and the group
>Thanks again for your well thought out reply.  I would just respond 
>with a few things that had "I" been in the board meeting I would have said.
>1. I don't think that appealing to "the young people" or the 
>"computer generation" is a viable means to increase our 
>ranks.  First off the "kids" (under 25 for me) of today almost have 
>unlimited data transfer capability with cell type equipment...and 
>that is going to do nothing but grow even during an economic 
>turndown.  My twin girls on their "youngster cruise" were 
>continually sending back "video's" of their experience, even on the 
>boat.  And that was a few years ago.
>My impression is that the market is the same as it has always 
>been...kids who get interested in "radio" (not computers) and 
>parents who have the time and money to spare in such an activity.  I 
>think that there is some validity in the "how difficult is it to get 
>on the satellite" metric...but I think one reason that the LEO FM 
>birds are what they are an Oscar 7is what it is in terms of people 
>is that the equipment for the LEO FM birds is acquirable for under 
>200 dollars AND has uses other places...

Probably the best reason they are called "Easy Sats"...easy on wallet 
and effort.

>2.  In other words Ithink that the issue with the sats is primarily 
>the cost of acquisition of equipment AND what its use is when the 
>sats are not "up" (or working).  No science or polls behind 
>that...just my viewpoint.
>3) Where I think that hamsats went off the wrong end was AO-40....it 
>was to many eggs in one basket, to much money was spent on the 
>"supersat" and far far to much was expected in terms of technical 
>expertise of the staff that was putting it together.  I realize one 
>cannot get to the orbit the bird was designed for without 
>propulsion, but it is clear that propulsion is rocket science and 
>that was the fatal flaw of 40...or probably any "amateur 
>effort"...unless we get some very talented volunteer "rocket scientist".

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  What you didn't state (and may not 
be aware of) was AO-40 was developed at a time when a nearly free 
ride existed for a big sat.  Having that opportunity, I'm guessing 
that the thought was to try to lift as much capability as could be 
accomplished with money and technical resources.  The concept was a 
wonderful "does-everything" satellite.  The failures apparently are 
attributable to the rocket engine failures, and not with electronics 
(I generalize here).

So if AO-40 were still working or better yet fully functional, all 
this monday morning quaterbacking would exist.  I did worry about the 
complication factor of trying to do so much in one satellite.  But it 
was done in a time when the ride was available (now we see how rare 
and short that existed).

>Without a ride to the appropriate orbit that might be the fatal link 
>in any future HEO.  But in any event more smaller birds to me make 
>more sense then "one big one".  And if we cannot get that for 
>various reasons...more AO-7's in my view are the answer.

The main obstacle is not big vs small, but how to launch 
anything.  Launch availability drives what can be done or considered.
Keeping this in mind the current effort toward building blocks that 
can be rapidly assembled for custom designs to respond to a launch 
offer, is a good approach...Sort of a spin off the cube-sat philosophy.

>Oh well I learned a long time ago that the joy in life was changing 
>the things you could change and just dealing with what one 
>cannot...and that for me just is using the sats that are 'there' and 
>having a ball at it.
>thanks again for your time and allowing me to bend your ear.  I use 
>to be The President of my Community Association so I realize what a 
>thankless job you and the AMSAT board have.

73, Ed - KL7UW
QRV 80m - 3cm
AMSAT #3212

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