[amsat-bb] Re: Charge for Satellite Tracking?

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Tue Nov 1 08:34:05 PDT 2011

Thanks Anthony for some perspective that some of us really need. If anything there needs to be tighter cooperation between the general AMSAT community and the universities, and less of this adversarial nastiness and "gimme" mentality. 

The Fox program is trying to address some of these issues by providing the spacecraft bus and repeater (or transponder in Fox-2), and room for an experiment from a partner university. We hope the experiment and university partnership gets us a low-cost launch, and the university gets a ground network and reliable comms system. AMSAT gets an on-orbit asset after, and probably during, the experiment part of the mission. Win-win.

73, Drew KO4MA

-----Original Message-----
>From: KE7OSN <ke7osn at arrl.net>
>Sent: Nov 1, 2011 4:26 AM
>To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
>Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Charge for Satellite Tracking?
>I think having stations set up to do that ranging would be neat to have if
>nothing else for an education opportunity.
>As a student working on building and launching one of these little
>nano-satellites I would like to see one thing cleared up. These are NOT
>University satellites, they are student satellites. They are designed and
>built by students, funded through grants and donations arranged by
>students. Universities provide little more then an framework
>for organizing these sorts of projects. So if the university is going to
>chip in to some fund on behalf of those helping track the satellites, then
>it would be really nice for them to through some money at the building of
>the satellites. At my school the department sponsoring our project has to
>pay the university rent for the space we take up in a building "owned" by
>the department for a project made up entirely of tuition paying students.
>We may only pay around $7-15K in tuition, and another $5-10K in housing,
>food, books, etc. but most of us if we are lucky can make about half our
>yearly costs from summer jobs or internships. The rest we scrounge for
>scholarships and grants. We put in around 20 hours a week into class and
>labs, another 15-40 in other school work. What little free time we have we
>spend in research labs instead of watching TV, or drinking. We spend a lot
>of that time trying to keep the project funded to a level that allows us to
>continue. We are very aware of how much it costs to construct a station to
>track satellites, and to build the satellites, and to launch the
>satellites. If we are able to bring in any extra money we spend that right
>back into the students we have putting 20 hours a week that they could and
>probably should spend on something outside of school. We devote years into
>these little boxes of electronics, in the hope that it will someday fly in
>space. We reach out and connect with other students doing the same thing,
>we congratulate them for their successes, and console them on their losses.
>I personally was up all night watching this latest launch as one of the
>cubes (E1P) was to have been launch on the Glory mission in march which
>failed to reach orbit. It is now on orbit and doing fine, M-Cubed however
>seams to be having issues and I will track it every chance I get to help
>that team understand what is going on.
>I got into nano-satellites by first being a HAM, and if I have my way
>anything I put into orbit will be switched over to a BBS, APRS digi, or
>even voice repeater when the scientific mission is done.  That time may not
>come in the operational life span of the satellite and it is very important
>that it complete the mission that someone has generously paid for. If
>nothing else then I hope what I learn from this endeavor will serve to
>further the collective understanding of something.
>I attend a state school as a student of Mechanical Engineering, I have been
>dumpster diving for parts, I carry two rolls of duct tape, I find a hammer
>can fix many problems, I have spent hours building things to replace tools
>I either cannot afford, or cannot afford to wait for. The moral is that
>these aren't multi-million dollar projects with blank checks, these are
>shoestring operations that have to take things one step at a time. If you
>don't want to help out the next generation of aerospace engineers and
>rocket scientists that's up to you. We won't turn down help, but many of us
>have grown to expect nothing from anyone. We will build a ladder so we can
>through our satellite into orbit if we have to.
>I'm sorry if I seam over passionate or long winded, but please keep in mind
>that I have watched for several years as budgets have been cut, my tuition
>and living expenses goes up, and my income and financial-aid remain the
>same. It is like a broken record (yes I know what records are) to hear
>people complain about a short term inconvenience and offer a solution that
>threatens long term progress.
>Anthony Odenthal
>President Amateur Radio Club at OSU

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