[amsat-bb] Re: ITAR is interesting to me

Samudra Haque samudra.haque at gmail.com
Mon Oct 26 13:26:04 PDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 8:38 PM, Bill Ress <bill at hsmicrowave.com> wrote:
This continues to be a real sore spot with
> University research programs on things related to satellites or any of
> the areas subject to ITAR. It's get especially tricky when students,
> which are foreign nationals, try to become involved.

> Greg D. wrote:
>> I wonder if we could hook up with a university somewhere?  Become part
>> of their graduate program in Astro-something, even get some graduate
>> students to help with the design and manufacture...  What sort of
>> restrictions do they have on the definition of a "student"?
>> Just a thought,
>> Greg  KO6TH

Hi, I fall into that category (at present) - and did not have any
issue with my affiliation with AMU and recent contact with  JPL on
education matters etc. I beg to differ with the doom and gloom
everywhere I see at AMSAT, Bill.

Point: If you are studying at  US School, you are either a resident of
the USA or a visitor. All F-1, J-1 Visa holders are visitors. And they
should not be involved in any high technology subjects that are not
within the purview of a published syllabus by their academic
institution. Their academic advisors would need to arrange which
technologies they work with, and what restrictions they will fall

* I don't think these students would be able to find time to join an
AMSAT hobby, but if so, why not, as long as they don't go near a
satellite tech project and stay limited to user mode.

Point: If you are a US Lawful Permanent Resident, ITAR applies and you are OK
Point: If you are a Citizen, ITAR applies and you are OK
Point: If you are a foreign citizen: please don't apply for any ITAR
job, and be *very* careful about what you get your hands on while in
the US borders.

Note: Universities may be able to obtain permission to incorporate
students into ITAR research areas, but that is probably because they
have a good reason to do so (academic campus, partnerships and so on).
This should have nothing to do with AMSAT ever.

What is left is that if we are (amsat-na) limited to sourcing talent
from USA citizens and USA residents, what is the problem here?
To be ITAR compliant, make a self-certification and have it reviewed
by the organisation wanting to work with you.

If it was the case that we could not find talent in the USA (hello...)
then I would be worried. Besides, I'm surprised that you are not
seeming to take any account of the numerous foreign students who come
to the US and obtain legal residency after they graduate, and then
they stay as an LPR for about 5 years, during which they are ITAR
compliant and can work with us.

So, why worry ?

If any AMSAT-xx body wants to help AMSAT-NA that is of course allowed
and welcome under ITAR, through a TAA; what is wrong with that ? They
can choose to divulge their technology or not, or give cash or not, as
long as the payload flies. For AMSAT-xx wanting help from AMSAT-NA,
then I don't see why they need to be given access to our tech, keeping
in mind the current ITAR regime, unless it was a for a joint
development where they have something, we have something. Then again
the big question is "where is the integration" taking place ? In the
US or abroad ?

Still the big question (for me) is can AMSAT encourage more to join
and volunteer/donate so that US ITAR folks (citizens and LPR) can fly
more missions !

Or, better still, is there a job market for ITAR compliant folks who
want to design spacecraft ?

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