[amsat-bb] Re: 9 cubesats on board Vega

Bruce Robertson ve9qrp at gmail.com
Fri Dec 9 06:15:32 PST 2011

Whatever the politics or attitudes involved, I think it is possible to
view the situation more optimistically.

We all know that in today's climate a HEO flight will entail either a
huge donation campaign or a free ride. If both AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL
were chasing these funds, we would lose the opportunities that FOX is
offering in Cubesat design, and we'd certainly never raise the money
necessary for HEO. As it is, I think -DL is doing a great job
positioning themselves within the Euro context, but obviously there
are difficult economic headwinds for them to overcome.

I suppose we can all agree that the SDX on ARISSAT and about to be
flown on the FOXES will be an important technology whatever the orbit
of a future amateur communication satellite. In many ways, the
advantages of SDX are even more profound in HEO; indeed, if I remember
correctly, it was first conceived for Eagle, a HEO bird.

Thus if ITAR relaxes somewhat, AMSAT-NA's know-how in SDX can assist a
future HEO project in countries like India, where a future HEO launch
subsidized by the government is still possible. (And if it doesn't,
AMSAT-NA can still partner with cubesat projects within the US, a
sizable number.)

I suspect the misunderstanding below comes from two meanings of the
word 'cubesat', a confusion that I've noticed several times in the
last couple of weeks. Most accurately defined, cubesat is a physical
format and cheap launch system. However, because until now most
satellites in the cubesat format have not had a communications
component, we amateurs have tended to consider them 'telemetry and
control' satellites, omitting the communications component which we
all enjoy.

If, with reference to this latter definition, you were to say 'most
amateurs aren't interested in cubesats', you'd probably be right.
(Though I'm among those who find them fascinating.) However, the goal
of Fox-and-Friends (sorry, I've been avoiding making that joke for a
while now) is to provide Echo-quality communications. If you say 'most
amateurs aren't interested in cubesats' with reference to those
capabilities, I think you'd be quite wrong: who would stipulate that
the satellite must be big, heavy and expensive to launch in order to
have fun communicating with a neighboring country through it?

I hope nobody thinks I've misrepresented their ideas. I just think
there is far more that unites us than divides, especially with the
amazing opportunities that are on the way.

73, VE9QRP


On Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 12:56 AM, Stefan Wagener <wageners at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> Thanks for responding. I am amazed by your reaction to a simple post.
> Calling it "crude, false, blinded by rage" is quite a statement. But
> hey, you have every right to your opinion!
> Now then, please help me and others understand your comments you made
> at AMSAT-UK (listed below):
> "The amateur community in general is not interested in Cubesats,
> "I know some of you might not like to hear that
> "It might sound like a high nose attitude, but it is life
> "Those that have done P3 satellites have no interest in Cubesats
> If those statements, which by the way come directly from the AMSAT-UK
> video of your presentation (available online) are made by the
> president of AMSAT-DL at an international meeting, I certainly do not
> call this an endorsement but rather a denouncement of AMSAT-DL's
> interest in cubesats.
> If you call this "crude, false and blinded by rage"...  I am not sure
> what your talking about and it certainly does not help or aid in the
> discussion.
> The simple basic fact is that AMSAT-DL under your leadership is not
> building, designing or planning any CubeSat projects (as far as I
> know). Now, please prove me wrong. I would love to support
> (financially) an AMSAT-DL Cubesat mission.
> Stefan VE4NSA (DG1GWS)
> On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 5:36 PM, Peter Guelzow <peter.guelzow at kourou.de> wrote:
>> On 08.12.2011 16:17, Stefan Wagener wrote:
>>> very simple, politics.
>>> AMSAT-DL's  leadership has openly
>>> denouced Cubesats. So two of the biggest AMSATs either can't or don't
>>> want to. Talk about a pathetic situation for our community.
>>> Stefan VE4NSA
>> I don't know what kind of problem you have and why you make such crude
>> and false presences.
>> What is so wrong when we are saying that we (the AMSAT-DL members and
>> BOD) want to build and fly another "AMSAT P3-E" rather than a CubeSat?
>> Should we scrap P3-E for the sake of another CubeSat??
>> Neither does the AMSAT-DL BOD nor does our membership condemn or
>> disapprove CubeSats.
>> In the past years we had CubeSat team from German Universities coming to
>> our Symposium.
>> We have even given advice to some of them or help *if wanted*. We also
>> attended a critical design review of SwissCube, etc..
>> I was personally at the CubeSat laboratory of the University of Tokyo a
>> couple of years ago to see some of their first CubeSats and discuss some
>> ideas with the Students and their Professor.
>> We have simply decided to concentrate our efforts to what is more
>> important for our community.
>> If you would have listen *carefuly* and not blinded by rage to what I
>> have said during the AMSAT-UK Colloquium, you would not make repeatedly
>> such statements...
>> Peter DB2OS
>> President AMSAT-DL
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