[amsat-bb] Re: Amateur Satellites and the emergency on tornadoin Oklahoma and Texas

Bill Acito w1pa at hotmail.com
Wed May 22 18:10:45 PDT 2013

Yep, I was going to raise the same point and link. They list the following "benefits":

- providing Satellite based Amateur Radio 
						the long felt need for the Amateur Radio Operators of 
						South Asian region (especially a mode B bird)
- bring Satellite 
						Services within the reach of the common man and 
						popularize Space Technology among the masses.
- stimulation of technical interest and 
						awareness among the younger generation by providing them 
						with an opportunity to develop their technological 
- providing a low 
						cost readily accessible reliable means of communication 
						during emergencies and calamities like flood, 
						earthquakes, etc.

I never said the last one is a "falsehood". I am suggesting it does not hold anywhere near the same weight as the first three.

I have never been in a tornado. But I would suggest that those hams in the impact zone no longer have access to any working equipment, which means hams in the surrounding areas are coming in to help, and have the choice. If I was going into the impact zone and had the choice of what communications I might bring, it would be 
- a portable cell site
- mobile/HT VHF/UHF
- mobile HF
...in that order. A portable satellite station would be a distant fourth.

If you read the summaries in the aftermath of Joplin, amateur radio (VHF/UHF) played a critical role in the minutes leading up to, and the hours after the tornado tore through. Then mobile phone, mobile date, and social media took over when the mobile cell sites came on line. 

Back to prepping my FD station,

Bill W1PA

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