[eagle] Re: what is going on?, some technical content at last.

John B. Stephensen kd6ozh at comcast.net
Tue Jul 15 18:58:53 PDT 2008

Assuming the average occupancy that I witnessed on AO-13, a 25 kHz wide 
linear transponder would work for the current membership, but I have no idea 
whether they would provide enough donations to fund it.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew Glasbrenner" <glasbrenner at mindspring.com>
To: "Bob McGwier" <rwmcgwier at gmail.com>; "'John B. Stephensen'" 
<kd6ozh at comcast.net>; "'Bill Ress'" <bill at hsmicrowave.com>; "'David 
Goncalves'" <davegoncalves at gmail.com>
Cc: <eagle at amsat.org>; "'AMSAT BoD'" <bod at amsat.org>
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 11:20 UTC
Subject: Re: [eagle] Re: what is going on?, some technical content at last.

> Bob wrote:
>> There is an alternative to think about.  I would not wait forever for the
>> larger picture to come together, for the good of AMSAT and amateur radio. 
>> A
>> likelihood assessment needs to be made regularly about the "Vision Thing"
>> and the will power to change directions should be found if it needs to be
>> done.  We could put together a small, simple package and smaller than
>> desirable antennas and give our users analog transponders on an Intelsat
>> platform.   This would require large antennas on the ground and would 
>> serve
>> to make our current user base quite happy I am sure.   If we do this,  it
>> should be the absolute dumbest, most bullet proof, impossible to destroy,
>> dumber than rock, transponder without a single chance of failing in 300
>> years unless the rocket blows up or it is hit by a meteor.  It would be a
>> box with two connectors and a power plug going to the smallest possible
>> CREDIBLE antennas.  There has been an argument that this is very 
>> undesirable
>> for the long term health of AMSAT, Inc.  I made the argument in the open 
>> and
>> have suffered regular personal threats as a result since from one very 
>> angry
>> disgruntled member.  I am sure it was the manner in which I presented the
>> argument that caused the reaction so I am 99% to blame.
>> But this is clearly outside of the vision statement of AMSAT, but it 
>> would
>> be a way forward.  If we come in with very low mass, with little 
>> footprint
>> and 50-100 w peak power requirements,  and we look at the matrix of costs
>> Intelsat gave us,  I think we might be able to raise that amount from
>> "amateur radio sources".
> This idea has been floating around for some time now, but to see you 
> suggest it is a powerful example of convergent thinking. I do not believe 
> that it is an either/or situation. The ACP is a complex design, and 
> developing and implementing it is going to be a long road, that frankly we 
> may not have enough momentum to carry us down. A simple, SMALL linear 
> transponder as you describe would serve as an intermediate step, allowing 
> us to keep the organization alive, build the membership and hence the 
> donation base, and blaze the trail to launching ACP.
> One point of disagreement is that this intermediate step is, to me at 
> least, clearly -inside- the mission statement, even moreso than the ACP. 
> For those that have forgotten, here is the mission statement:
> "AMSAT is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and 
> operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. We work in 
> partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and fellow 
> amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific innovation, 
> and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground 
> system designers and operators.
> Our Vision is to deploy high earth orbit satellite systems that offer 
> daily coverage by 2009 and continuous coverage by 2012. AMSAT will 
> continue active participation in human space missions and support a stream 
> of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community 
> and other amateur satellite groups."
> The intermediate step would immediately fulfill the continuous coverage 
> part of the vision statement, and I think it has a much better chance of 
> success by 2012, and certainly 2009, than does the ACP.
> The decision to make this course correction certainly does have 
> considerable benefits and risks, but I think it is one the BOD -and- the 
> members should carefully consider, and if we go forward with it, the 
> infighting and Monday morning quarterbacking needs to be left behind and a 
> serious "get to the moon" effort be undertaken. We'll need 10 times the 
> people soliciting donations as actually building the thing, but I do 
> believe it's well within reason to be accomplished.
> 73, Drew KO4MA

More information about the Eagle mailing list