[amsat-bb] Re: using a microsat as a potential high altitude VHFreflector

jmfranke jmfranke at cox.net
Wed Oct 28 13:17:10 PDT 2009

One drawback of the design was the high drag from such a large structure, 
coupled with the low mass.  The end result was a satellite with a low 
ballistic coefficient and hence a short lifetime.

John  WA4WDL

From: "Samudra Haque" <samudra.haque at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 3:46 PM
To: "Amsat-bb" <amsat-bb at amsat.org>
Subject: [amsat-bb] using a microsat as a potential high altitude 

> 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:
> http://www.smecc.org/john_pierce___echoredo.htm
> 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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