[amsat-bb] using a microsat as a potential high altitude VHF reflector

Samudra Haque samudra.haque at gmail.com
Wed Oct 28 12:46:34 PDT 2009

Hi all,

I read with interest an article on the web "ECHO - America's First
Communications Satellite"  By John R. Pierce  which is available here:

I know ham radio operators love using their hand helds to communicate
using active transponders or active repeaters in space... no issue
with that.

were there any ham radio projects (either through amsat-na or abroad)
that implemented a passive reflector on an orbital vehicle like
Project Echo

I quote from http://www.satmagazine.com/cgi-bin/display_article.cgi?number=490218137

The Echo-1 Balloon Satellite as it sits, fully inflated, at a Navy
hangar in Weeksville, North Carolina. The spacecraft measured 100 feet
across when deployed, and was nicknamed a ‘satelloon’ by those
involved in the project. The mylar film balloon acted as a passive
communications reflector for transcontinental and intercontinental
telephone (voice), radio and television signals. Echo 1 re-entered the
atmosphere May 24, 1968.

What strikes me is the implications of a large large very large
antenna (reflector), if only it could be reflective on one side of the
sphere only .... (any ideas?)

The Echo 2 was a 135-foot rigidized inflatable balloon satellite. The
satellite is shown undergoing tensile stress test in a dirigible
hanger at Weekesville. The satellite, 50 times more rigidized than
Echo I. When folded, the satellite is packed into the 41-inch diameter
canister shown in the foreground.

Did early amsat folks consider duplicating / adding to any of these
projects or launch their own 'satelloon' that did not carry an active
RF payload ? Could we outfit one of our future microsats to provide a
reflector to aid in Earth-LEO DXing like meteor-scatter ?

73 de Samudra, N3RDX

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