[Namaste-dev] AMSAT Engineering
Rick Hambly (W2GPS)
w2gps at cnssys.com
Fri Jul 11 07:18:13 PDT 2008
In the past weeks and especially the past days AMSAT's engineering
department has experienced some difficult times. Some might even call it a
meltdown. However, the majority of the active volunteers have just been
awaiting guidance and direction so I would like to provide a first glimmer
of that now. At the present time I am acting VP Engineering. In that role I
will be the team leader of all active teams and I will be the arbiter of the
guidance provided to engineering by the Board. I am generally accessible
because I work from home so anyone who would like to speak directly with me
can call 410-987-7835 day or early evening Eastern Time.
I want to thank Bob McGwier N4HY for his service as VP Engineering. He
single handedly revitalized the department and brought on many new high
quality volunteers to work on AMSAT new vision. He has also been the genesis
of new concepts like the use of software defined radio concepts as the basis
for our new high performance linear transponder design (SDX) and for the
implementation of a better HELAPS transmitter design using modern digital
techniques to control its linearity. Fortunately Bob is staying actively
involved in AMSAT and in our engineering efforts. He will be a key asset as
we continue our march toward achieving AMSAT Mission and Vision.
Attached is an advanced copy of my Apogee View for the (late) May/Jun issue
that will be in your hands very soon. In it I begin a process of providing
you with information that I hope will give AMSAT and our design teams a
unifying message that will allow everyone to pull together and see how their
efforts fit in the grand plan for AMSAT's future.
The path forward for AMSAT requires some refinement so the AMSAT Board and
Senior Officers will be meeting in August to review our vision and
particularly to review our plans for a high orbit satellite. In the mean
time, regardless of what new ideas may be discussed on our mailing lists,
AMSAT is committed to the path we have undertaken from the beginning to
launch one or more payloads each consisting of one or both of the following
* An SDX-based linear transponder with U and L-band uplinks and V and
* An Advanced Communications Payload that uses modern digital
technology to provide, at a minimum, quality voice and data communications
to the Amateur Radio community using no more than a 60 cm TVRO style dish
antenna. Additional modes and user classes were added by engineering, but
this is the minimum acceptable definition to achieve our mission goals.
I would also like to acknowledge that AMSAT engineering has other important
tasks such as SuitSat-2, software upgrades for AO-51 and the reconstruction
of the AMSAT Lab.
Any changes to fundamental Eagle goals will come from the Board and Senior
Officers team through me as engineering team leader. If anyone would like to
suggest new ideas for consideration you have free access to express yourself
either through your engineering team leader or directly to the members of
the Board and Senior Officers team (see the links at
AMSAT engineering needs some guidance to keep things moving and to minimize
the chances for more destructive conflict. I will be implementing changes
with advice from a presidential advisory commission I have established and
from all of you. It is my intention to come to the West Coast soon to meet
with as many of you as possible. I want to get to know you and have you get
to know me. In the mean time, I hope that those of you doing work on Eagle
(SDX and ACP as well as RF, mechanical, etc.) will either continue working
or resume your work. At this time, all group leaders on the Eagle project
are relieved of their leadership duties. Responsibilities will be refined
and particular emphasis will be placed on interfaces such as the ACP signal
in space, and digital to RF interfaces in SDX and ACP. For example, I would
like to see work resumed on the SDX RF modules (two transmit and two receive
modules). I would like a document written to describe the ACP signal in
space to which both the ACP and the ground station teams will be working. I
would like to se RF modules developed for ACP. If you are working on these
or other important elements of Eagle please let me know who you are and what
you are doing. If you would like to lead an activity please tell me.
From: Rick Hambly (W2GPS) [mailto:w2gps at cnssys.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 7:16 PM
To: 'bod at amsat.org'
Cc: 'namaste-dev'; 'eagle at amsat.org'; 'officers'
I expect everyone is anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the ongoing
conflicts within AMSAT's engineering department. I can assure everyone that
AMSAT's Board and the President are working hard behind the scenes to get
matters resolved quickly so AMSAT can get back on track toward a successful
implementation of our Mission, especially the design, construction and
launch of a high orbit satellite.
If anyone has concerns or wishes to express their opinions on this matter
they should call me, preferably during working hours or early evening
(Eastern time) at 410-987-7835 or, if I'm out, on my cell phone at
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