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fahnen/11.jpg 2006 Board Candidate Biographies
Launch Pad Return


The following are the biographies of 2006 candidates for AMSAT Board of Directors. The order that biographies appear are totally random and do not represent any recommendations by AMSAT.

The candidates are:

Tom Clark K3IO | Bob McGwier N4HYLee McLamb KU4OS | Paul Shuch N6TXLou McFadin W5DID

Tom Clark, K3IO

Tom Clark BIO ---- 23 June 06

Tom Clark, K3IO is perhaps better known to AMSAT by his earlier calls, W3IWI and WA3LND. He holds an Extra Class license, and is a Life Member of AMSAT, ARRL and CSVHFS, and lives in Clarksville, MD with his wife, Elizabeth.

Tom has served AMSAT for more than 30 years in a number of roles. He has served on AMSAT's Board since 1974. He was Executive VP from 1975-80 and then took over from W3PK as AMSAT President in 1980. As President, he kept AMSAT alive after Phase-3A was lost in a failure of the Ariane launch vehicle, culminating in the successful flight of AO-10. After stepping down as President, he was honored to being designated President Emeritus. He is now the Board's self-proclaimed curmudgeon and assists W8GSM in developing Eagle's Fund Raising program.

Tom has strived to preserve AMSAT's reputation, technical integrity and leadership in the small satellite world; this has often involved dragging the organization into new technical endeavors. He built the 10M antennas for AO-8. In 1979, when only a few amateurs owned computers, he published the first "open source" elliptical orbit tracking software. Along with NK6K and KD2S, the concept of all-digital amateur satellites was hatched, culminating in AMSAT's Microsats. He developed the uplink receivers and the spacecraft LAN architecture used on all the Microsats (Oscars 16, 17, 18, 19, 26, 27 and 31). He developed the SAREX Packet "ROBOT" originally flown by WA4SIR. Along with N4HY, he developed the first amateur DSP hardware, including a number of modems. Most recently, he has been heavily involved in developing the C-C Rider and Software Defined Transponder concepts for EAGLE.

Tom has had many other exploits in amateur radio. He has been active in TAPR since its inception; recently this included the development of the "Totally Accurate Clock" and a new high-accuracy GPS-disciplined time/frequency standard. He has been an active VHF/UHF amateur since the 1960's; one notable achievement was earning a 70 cm WAC in under 12 hours. The Central States VHF Society honored him with their Chambers Memorial Award in 1996. He was inducted into the initial class of CQ Magazine's Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. On the satellite front, he has earned both WAS (#97) and a rare WAC (#3) using only LEO satellites. Thanks to incessant prodding by N4HY and W2GPS to get back on the air, he is currently awaiting delivery of antennas to replace those lost in an ice storm a few years ago.

Professionally, Tom retired as a senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 2001. His research in Astronomy and Geodesy led to the development of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to measure tectonic plate motions (now known to ~10 mmeters/year) and to study variations in the rotation of the earth (to levels of ~5 μsec/day); these activities led to his election as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the International Association of Geodesy. NASA honored him with the NASA Medal for Outstanding Engineering Achievement and Goddard's Moe Schneebaum Memorial Award. In 2005, he was the first non-Russian to be awarded a Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences for his VLBI developments. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and monographs. He now serves on several advisory committees and earns spending money as a consultant on topics including VLBI, GPS, Precision Frequency Control and Timing.

Bob McGwier N4HY

Board Candidacy Statement for Bob McGwier, N4HY

I am currently AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and 1st Alternate to the board of directors. I am a former multiple-term director of AMSAT. I was the Assistant Vice President of Engineering under Jan King. My involvement in AMSAT activities began in the late 1970's. My serious technical involvement began when I wrote the Quiktrak satellite tracking software package for the Commodore, Radio Shack, and then PC computers. I worked on several satellite projects and was a co-designer of the Microsat satellites. With Tom Clark, K3IO, I started the AMSAT/TAPR digital signal processing project. For my roles in AMSAT, TAPR, and the ARRL, I received the Dayton Hamvention Award for Technical Achievement in 1990. I have been with the same employer for 25 years, Center for Communications Research in Princeton, N.J. and I continue to love to go to that job every day. I live in East Windsor, NJ with my wife, Shann, N2HPE.

Current activities for AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL include P3E, P5A, and I am on the AMSAT-Eagle team. For the AMSAT Eagle project, I am the leader of the transponder design team because we are doing software-defined radio transponders for all modes. I am helping test and write software for the AMSAT-DL P3E and P5A projects using the integrated housekeeping unit (IHU-3).

Recent DSP and software-defined radio activities include authoring the DSP software in the Flex-Radio SDR-1000 with AB2KT. I am the chairman of the ARRL's Software Defined Radio working group and a participant in the GnuRadio project as well as High Performance SDR (HPSDR).

As a strong supporter of the current AMSAT mission statement, I will be a strong proponent of designing, building, and launching satellites that provide many hours a day of satellite passes (HEO, and others) and which provide new technical and learning experiences for our users. I support our statement's goal of helping other organizations in their quest build and launch satellite for low earth orbit. I strongly support the continued AMSAT involvement in the manned space program and will be helping to design upcoming SuitSat equipment. I am working as hard as anyone in the organization for you right now. And I look forward to working hard for you as a "new old" director.

Lee McLamb, KU4OS

Lee McLamb, KU4OS, AMSAT Life Member 2022

As a new member of the AMSAT Board of Directors I would work to make the Mission and Vision of AMSAT a reality. I am fully committed to the Eagle program and the goal to provide daily and eventually continuous access to satellites in high Earth orbit (HEO). Having multiple satellites in orbit and under construction is the key to avoiding long periods of time during which our gear sits idle while waiting for the next launch. Having a reliable and dependable satellite constellation will also promote membership growth. It will represent a fundamental change as amateur satellites move from a technical curiosity to a useful tool for routine communication, disaster preparedness, experimentation, and education.

To make Eagle, and the new AMSAT Vision, a reality will require much more than just technical capability. It will also require significant fund raising, membership building and greatly improved communications both within the membership, with other amateur radio operators and to those who may be interested in sponsoring or donating to our projects. I believe that I can contribute significantly in guiding AMSAT through this process by ensuring that all of those areas receive appropriate attention. Each one makes a critical contribution to the overall goal of being able to communicate by satellite at any time on any day.

Improving AMSAT's communications both within and outside the organization is very important to me. Within AMSAT I have been an editor for the AMSAT News Service for several years as well as authoring articles for the Journal and papers for the Symposium. I regularly read the AMSAT-BB and follow its discussion threads. One frequently overlooked fact is that ~79% of AMSAT-BB subscribers ARE members. As such I think it is very important for any AMSAT leader to follow the discussion there including the insights that might be gained from the 21% who are not members or maybe members of other AMSAT groups. In doing outreach work for AMSAT I have been donating half of my annual vacation each year mentoring and attending workshops to help educational groups understand the amateur satellite service and AMSAT. I have also been representing AMSAT at conferences where the people developing new launch opportunities for small satellites explain their programs and learning how ridesharing opportunities are negotiated.

Continuing to improve AMSAT's communications and making the Vision of 24/7 satellite availability a reality is why I am asking for and would appreciate your vote for the AMSAT Board of Directors.

Paul Shuch, N6TX

"AMSAT is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. We work in partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and fellow amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific innovation, and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground system designers and operators."

The above is AMSAT's official Mission Statement, straight off our website. In italics, I've added my own emphasis to a few key words. As a lifelong educator (33 years in the classroom), AMSAT's educational mission is important to me. And, it's important to your Officers as well. That's why they recently appointed me AMSAT Director of Education. Help me to help AMSAT fulfill its educational mission, by re-electing me to your Board. The next generation of amateur satellite enthusiasts will thank you.


Dr. H. Paul Shuch, N6TX


Lou McFadin, W5DID

Lou McFadin, W5DID, has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1959. Lou earned his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1963. Following graduation he began his career at Texas Instruments in Dallas. While there he was called to active duty and served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1967. After graduating from Officer Candidate School, Lou served onboard the USS Lake Champlain. As a crewmember aboard the Gemini 5 recovery ship Lake Champlain he decided that he wanted to become part of the space program. After his duty for the NAVY he worked for NASA at the Johnson Space Center from 1967 until his retirement in 1995.

Lou's career at NASA involved many technical disciplines and spanned across three decades. Among his most memorable projects were the Apollo Far Ultraviolet Spectrometer Experiment, The Apollo-Soyuz Ultraviolet Absorption Experiment and the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).

Lou was one of the hams responsible for making amateur radio possible on the

ground-breaking STS-9 mission when Dr. Owen Garriott W5LFL operated the first ham radio from space on the Space Shuttle Columbia. From 1983 until 1995

Lou was SAREX's principal investigator. During Lou's tenure with SAREX sixteen highly successful amateur radio flights were flown.

SAREX quickly grew from a simple experiment just for ham radio operators to a valuable educational tool for NASA and AMSAT. Since 1983 SAREX has been connecting school children and teachers to the wonders of amateur radio and Space travel. SAREX has evolved into the ARISS program, which currently provides the amateur radio equipment and manages the Ham radio school contacts on ISS.

After retiring from NASA in 1995, Lou served AMSAT as the Phase 3D integration manager and P3D Laboratory manager. P3D was launched in October 1999 and was designated AO40.

Lou still serves as the ARISS U.S. hardware manager, voluntarily offering his expertise to the ARISS team on a continuing basis in addition to serving on the AMSAT Board of Directors for the past three years. Lou also continues to manage the AMSAT Laboratory in Orlando as well as serving on the Eagle satellite project team. As a part of his duties as U.S. hardware manager for ARISS, Lou managed the U.S. portion of the Suitsat1 project and in now active with the planning for the Suitsat2 project.

Lou currently lives in Orlando Florida with his wife, two dogs and a cat. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and visiting with his grandchildren in Houston, Texas.

During his term on the BOD Lou has supported the modernization of the AMSAT database system and accounting system. This project is well on it's way as shown by the new face of AMSAT on the AMSAT web page. Lou has supported and continues to support the AMSAT mission statement and vision.

"AMSAT is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. We work in partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and fellow amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific innovation, and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground system designers and operators.

Our Vision is to deploy high earth orbit satellite systems that offer daily coverage by 2009 and continuous coverage by 2012. AMSAT will continue active participation in human space missions and support a stream of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community and other amateur satellite groups."

In keeping with that statement, Lou supports the AMSAT Eagle satellite development, The ARISS program, and the AMSAT-DL Phase 3E project.

- The AMSAT webteam would like to thank the candidates for their statements

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