[amsat-bb] Falconsat3 ASTARS Network Concept

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Oct 12 23:23:46 UTC 2017

Falconsat3 brings back a great satellite capability for emergency response
traffic into and out of remote disaster areas.

Its file store and forward BBS using the PACSAT protocol is ideal for
getting multiline messages, and pictures and data out of an area. Amateur
radio Sateliltes sort of abandoned this concept with the rise of the
internet.  And then the short, real-time contact capability of APRS better
matched the shorter attention span of the evolving users.

But now we have both in Falconsat3.  But we also now have the Internet and
can integrate a worldwide collection of satstations capturing all the
downlink PACSAT BBS packets and building a WEB portal on the ground that
always mirrors the traffic on the bird.  Imagine that a remote operator can
post a photo or file that can be read on a Falconsat WEB portal by FEMA or
emergency operators back here anytime, anywhere.

The concept is suggested on this page:   http://aprs.org/PFS3.html

All we need is someone to write the internet server that collects the BBS
packets from all the ground stations like the APRS-IS already does for
APRS, but this new PACSAT-IS would be just for PACSAT BBS traffic.

Then someone to collect the data and write the WEB Portal.

Then people to put up satgates (hopefully using omni antennas) and with
enough stations, all packets could be collected.

Anyway, I created the above web page to kind of serve as a target for this
exciting new Amateur Radio capability.

So even stations that are using OMNI antennas now and only decoding a few
packets per pass, we need to understand how well this works for high
elevation passes.  Even this sparse data is good data.

Remember, with a standard TNC all you are seeing are the few UI packets in
the downlink.  I think if you set KISS mode, you will be flooded with all
the streaming BBS data too.  This continuous stream at 9600 can make it
easy to see the effect of an antenna in very short time.


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