[amsat-bb] Re: Why do hamsats? (Or anything else...)

Rocky Jones orbitjet at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 18 08:32:01 PDT 2009

> There are all sorts of reasons why flying digital transponders is a
> good idea.  Your cell phone (presuming you have one) 
> 73 Mark K6HX
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Mark...yeap we have cellphones here in Clear Lake Texas...you know we can send email, pictures, do GPS tracking wow isnt it amazing.  And over in Iraq cellphones (grin) would allow the Predators to send pictures where the bad people are so they can be "negated"...isnt ones and zeros great.  Next time you fly on a commercial airliner you should ask the drivers to let you look up front...lots of digital stuff there.  Dazzle the crew and ask them to point out the Flight management systems for you!

That still doesnt answer the question of why on Suitsat 2 they should fly a digital transponder.

In my view better engineering doctrine would imply that we try and put the digital transponder ON ISS and let it "cook" there for a bit.  

Think about that for a minute.  

OK why would that be a good idea?  Because the setup should be easier, if something goes wrong with the setup then the "back room" (SPAN) at JSC should be able to send up "words" which can fix the issue...then any problems with the Transponder as it is used could be resolved...and if the entire thing goes tango uniform then it could be brought back to earth (down mass is easy) and looked at.

As it is, with the knowledge that suitsat 1 died on deployment...we would never know if the transponder was just not working or wasnt put together well.

It is completely possible that AMSAT NA is so screwed in its technical ability that it might not be possible to get NASA to let that happen...but that would be a far better use of the transponder then tossing it out into space and seeing what happens.

Robert WB5MZO
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