[eagle] Re: ITAR BS

John B. Stephensen kd6ozh at comcast.net
Tue Sep 9 21:26:27 PDT 2008

Cal Poly came up with Cubesats so there may be an engineering professor 
there that could provide guidance.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Ress" <bill at hsmicrowave.com>
To: "Louis McFadin" <w5did at amsat.org>
Cc: "'EAGLE'" <eagle at amsat.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 04:08 UTC
Subject: [eagle] Re: ITAR BS

> 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
>> W5DID
>> ARISS US Hardware manager
> _______________________________________________
> Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
> Eagle at amsat.org
> http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/eagle 

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