[eagle] Re: ITAR BS

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Tue Sep 9 21:08:50 PDT 2008

Hi Lou,

Perhaps you can talk Frank into making AMSAT an official 
educational/research division of NASA. Would affiliate status work?

Whoa - could something along those lines happen?? Hey, I'm for trying 
anything that might work. Come to think of it, I'm really not clear how 
the university CubeSats are treated by ITAR. I don't recall any of the 
participants complaining about ITAR. Someone got the answer??

Regards...Bill - N6GHz

Louis McFadin wrote:
> Chuck,
> I would like to point out that any work on ARISS is exempt since it is 
> a government activity NASA.
> You are free to help ARISS all you want.
> On Sep 9, 2008, at 11:18 PM, Chuck Green wrote:
>> Hi Bill,
>>> Chuck - I didn't mean to imply that you and the AO-51 team did any 
>>> thing
>>> under the table.
>> And I didn't take it that way.  My point was that we have rules for
>> taking a satellite out of the country, other rules regarding
>> international collaboration, and still other rules for public
>> dissemination of design information.  I was pointing out that we
>> followed the rules in each case, as far as I know.
>>> Just the opposite. You built a satellite in the US with
>>> US folks, got it to Russia for launch and no one went to jail. I also
>>> know much of the satellite details were disclosed in public forums
>>> (symposium, journal etc.) and yet no one went to jail. You did it then,
>>> why can you do it now.
>> I didn't disclose any technical details.  I can't speak for others.  Did
>> anyone cross the line?  Not to my knowledge.  All (I think) I know is
>> there be dragons here.  And I, for one, am not going where there are
>> dragons.
>>> My point is, the same requirements exist today as you faced 4 plus 
>>> years
>>> ago when you successfully launched AO-51. There is no reason why we
>>> can't do what SpaceQuest did. If there is, tell me why.
>> We certainly can do what SpaceQuest did as far as the launch is
>> concerned.  But SpaceQuest did not publicly disclose the schematics for
>> the various circuits in the satellite.  And the source code that runs in
>> the satellite is not publicly  available.  Both of these situations is
>> well understood and accepted.
>> But those willing to work on EAGLE made it quite clear that this
>> situation is *not* acceptable if they are going to be involved.
>>> What I will try very hard to counter is this "ITAR hysteria" that
>>> threatens to halt all AMSAT technical activities. Yes - hysteria is a
>>> harsh word, but instead of trying to be brought down by all the reasons
>>> why we can't built satellites, let's muster up our productive juices to
>>> find ways that we can build satellites. The alternative is to end 
>>> AMSAT!
>> Please do not take anything I said as "ITAR hysteria" but rather, a
>> simple realization that I do not have the financial resources to defend
>> myself should the ITAR regulators come after me nor do I have sufficient
>> years remaining to risk spending some of them in the hooskow.  Hence my
>> previously stated requirement for a signed copy of a statement exempting
>> AMSAT from the ITAR rules before I'll be back involved.
>> This has been going on for several years now and has been stated, AMSAT
>> has spent a lot of money trying to find a way through this minefield.
>> So far, there does not seem to be a way for us to safely proceed on an
>> open-source development effort with, or without foreign nationals being
>> involved.  So, given this state of affairs, I have concluded that we
>> will not find such a path (ITAR rules interpretation), but that the
>> problem will have to be resolved at the source.  But that's just me.
>> I'd sure like to be wrong!
>>> We have a new action plan to get re-started on ITAR and that involves
>>> dialog with attorney's and eventually State and you know that won't
>>> happen next week. In the mean time are you proposing we sit on our 
>>> hands?
>> Well, I'll not be sitting on my hands.  But they won't be working on the
>> next satellite developed by AMSAT either until they have the
>> aforementioned signed document in their possession.
>>> We really need to get
>>> this resolved.
>> I fully agree that this *must* be resolved and that it should be the top
>> priority of AMSAT management.  I believe the future of AMSAT may very
>> well hinge on this one thing.  I very much appreciate your willingness
>> to dive into this mess.
>> Chuck
>> _______________________________________________
>> Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
>> Eagle at amsat.org
>> http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/eagle
> Lou McFadin
> ARISS US Hardware manager

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