[Namaste-dev] Re: Tuesday Challenge 13 May 2008 (results from 6 May 2008)

Michelle w5nyv at yahoo.com
Tue May 20 10:23:30 PDT 2008

The good news is that we are indeed starting there. 
Classes of stations, as described in the summer 2006 San Diego meeting, are part of the foundational work for the ground station.
Instead of waiting until after feature sets and capacities are designed to introduce cost and price analysis, I'm including it during development, since cost and price will affect the design.
The reason for this is because cost is a constraint for our project. It therefore has to be included in the design cycle. Low cost as a design constraint dates back to Matt Ettus' first proposal, and I intend on meeting that constraint as competently and as cleverly as we're able to do. 
It's easy to be tempted to overload the cost/price data. It's also easy to dismiss it (e.g. "we don't have a prayer"). At this stage, we're gathering opinion - without defining the station. That's an on-purpose thing, not an accident. This input is valuable in the process of opinion study, and can show us how difficult it may or may not be to form opinions on cost and price later down the line. 
Cost and price analysis develops similarly to technical analysis. The assumptions and ideas that we have right now, will mature and change as we complete our work. These initial estimates, interviews, market research numbers, and survey results are a starting point. I have a small amount of experience here, and we have several other team members with much more extensive experience in this area, who are interested and motivated to get it right. 
In short, we are going to include the cost and price as part of the technical discussion going forward, and we're going to give it the same sort of engineering scrutiny that the hardware and software design will get.
I hope this explanation does several things. First, that it acknowledges the dynamic relationship between the design and the cost/price, secondly that it puts these initial numbers into perspective (as you correctly pointed out below), and finally, that it highlights the priority of cost/price in the project. 
By the symposium, I intend on presenting cost and price requirements. The discussion and work that supports a quality requirement benefits greatly from your input and awareness, and I'm so very happy that you have an interest in this area. I think what you're saying here is "right on the money".
Apologies for the pun, -Michelle W5NYV

----- Original Message ----
From: Eric Blossom <eb at comsec.com>
To: Michelle <w5nyv at yahoo.com>
Cc: Bdale Garbee <bdale at gag.com>; namaste-dev <namaste-dev at amsat.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:28:49 AM
Subject: Re: [Namaste-dev] Re: Tuesday Challenge 13 May 2008 (results from 6 May 2008)

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 08:19:09AM -0700, Michelle wrote:
> >> There are many phases of the project, which also affect price and cost.
> >I'm not sure I understand what you mean here?

> Phases with respect to time. Early versions of the ground station
> hardware and software will cost differently from later versions. If
> you think of this as at least a two-dimensional grid, with
> differently-costing configurations on one axis, and time on the
> other, you'll get a market summary for a constellation of
> configurations for a particular product over time. I don't have
> enough data to produce a market map quite yet, but it will be
> included as soon as those of us that are focused on
> manufacturability, components engineering, and procurement get some
> traction with the design. This won't happen for some time to come,
> but it's on the horizon, and we have a core group of those sorts of
> people that are looking forward to that phase of the project.
> -Michelle W5NYV

Until you know the basic feature sets and capacities of the various
configurations, you don't have a prayer of figuring out what they're
going to cost, regardless of time.  In addition, the feature sets and
capacities are coupled to the design of the air interface.

E.g, consider these hypothetical systems:


  Handheld gadget only capable of SMS style messaging.


  I've got room for a moderate sized antenna, and I want to
  send and receive digital voice.

  Space and power is no problem, I want streaming video.

How much does the ground station cost?

In the past there has been extensive discussion about different
classes of systems, and outside of the names of the various classes,
there seemed to be consensus that it was a good approach, and a suitable
framework for discussion.  I suggest we start there.

Eric K7GNU

More information about the Namaste-dev mailing list