[amsat-bb] Re: 9 Cubesats selected for free ESA ride to space

Mark Vandewettering kf6kyi at gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 15:27:51 PDT 2008

On Jun 7, 2008, at 10:24 AM, i8cvs wrote:

> Hi David, G0MRF
> It seem to me that while the Universities are becaming tennis players
> we collect telemetry without to be involved in their experiments and
> this is like to only pick up their balls and run with it.
> The only difference is that each University  receive governement
> contributions to build the satellite while we radioamateurs invest a  
> lot
> of personal money to build our own satellite stations.
> Since the Radioamateur Community make a worldwide service to the
> Universities my idea is to collect their TLM upon official donations  
> to
> be used to build our Orbiting  Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio i.e.
> satellites with linear transponders to talk each other.
> Is the Amateur Satellite Service becaming an endangered species ?
> It will became an endangered species if P3-E and EAGLE will be not
> placed in orbit as soon as possible but this requires our  
> contributions
> ............or not ?
> Do you like my TLM ?............Please donate !
> 73" de
> i8CVS Domenico

I can't understand this kind of attitude.

First of all, let's talk about why cubesats are important.  Cubesats  
are inexpensive enough for them to be launched with some regularity  
using funding sources that are available to universities on small  
grants.   They have launch opportunities which are affordable and  
relatively easy to find and schedule.   That means that people are  
building satellites and launching satellites with some regularity.    
The recent PSLV launch put nine different satellites into orbit.    
These satellites include one which contains a Mode U/V transponder,  
cameras, digitalkers, slow scan tv, and almost all have CW beacons.    
That's pretty darned cool.   Monitoring their telemetry has been a fun  
activity for me, and I look forward to using the Delfi C3 transponder  
when its available for our use.

And yet, we have radio amateurs complaining about them.  About them  
using _our_ frequencies.  Using _our_ equipment to receive  
telemetry.   We sound like a bunch of spoiled brats.   We should be  
trying hard to encourage cooperation between these university projects  
and amateur radio, not by _dictating_  what they do (after all, they  
aren't going to get grants to satsify your own personal desires) but  
by trying to find common ground between their goals and our own.  But  
we have to remember that we _aren't paying for their launches_ and we  
_aren't doing their research_.   We cannot dictate what they do.    
With luck and careful planning, we can _participate_ in what they do.   
If we say "if you are going to use our frequencies, we expect you to  
give money to us", the only thing that will happen is that they will  
cease to use amateur frequencies.

The opinion of a large number of hams on this list seems to be that if  
we aren't launching P3-E or Eagle into HEO, then the amateur satellite  
is doomed.  I think likely should be filed under "self-fufilling  
prophecy".   Yes, we'd all like have big hardware in HEO.  But how  
many of those launches have we had in the last decade?   What are our  
future prospects?  It seems to me that we should be paying much closer  
attention to these cubesat launches and trying to understand how they  
represent an opportunity for amateur radio.

But even if you don't buy that argument, try this one: these satellite  
launches have nothing to do with our own inability to get satellites  
into orbit.  They aren't filling slots on launch vehicles that we  
desire.  They aren't crowding frequencies that we use.  They aren't  
pulling money from any funding sources that amateurs use.  So if you  
can't get behind them, how about just shutting up about them.  If they  
aren't of any interest to you, so be it.  But stop complaining about  

	Mark (KF6KYI)

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