[amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT, ITAR, More AMSAT-NA Volunteers & Such .

Alex, N3SQ amsat at elkmtn.org
Mon Nov 16 15:51:04 PST 2009

For those following what was announced at the AMSAT Symposium, there are 
two different ways AMSAT is working with the Universities:
(a) AMSAT-NA helps a University Satellite Program: This is the case with 
UCF, AMSAT volunteers are helping a University with their satellites.
(b) A University helps the AMSAT-NA Satellite Program: This is the case 
with Binghamton University, BU Students are helping build & launch AMSAT 

The two ways are not mutually exclusive, each has benefits.

The BU activity was organized to help get AMSAT back on it's engineering 
feet and to provide continuing assistance. We're doing that by providing 
engineering assistance and manpower to help AMSAT launch more modular 
design satellites ASAP. We're at 35 students right now, that number can 
grow significantly next fall at AMSAT's direction. Our goal is to get an 
Engineering model of the NextGen satellite bus ready for the AMSAT booth 
at the Dayton Hamvention in May 2010. Engineering model says we have the 
modified spaceframe with deployable wings ready, power system ready 
(with mock supercaps & solar cells) and the non-flight boards installed 
- basically stuffed 'n mounted on a stand for your viewing.

NextGen is an open-source spacecraft bus, it will provide a stable & 
robust platform for any university to build an experiment to fit within 
the bus.
I would personally advocate AMSAT launching up to two or three of the 
NextGen-class spacecraft in different 600-800km, sun-synchronous orbits 
to provide as much worldwide  coverage as possible. Given the proposed 
characteristics of the NextGen spacecraft bus, there is a strong 
possibility of carrying an IF Matrix Switch with L/S RF capability 
instead of an experiment payload. This would provide capabilities 
similar to AO-51  (V/U, V/S, L/U, L/S) but using SDX with an IF Matrix 

By using Supercapacitors instead of batteries there is a very good 
chance of having a significant satellite lifespan (15+ years).

All technology developed can be applied to other classes of AMSAT 
spacecraft, just as NextGen is using modules from the ARISSat-class 
spacecraft. I would expect that ARISSat-2 will most likely take 
advantage of the power system modifications developed for NextGen.

The possibilities are endless, all it takes are more people interested 
in working on a module.

Alex, N3NP

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list