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Re: More thoughts about what next ...

Mike Nason, KA7HBB, asks:

>   I know, no ones interested, right? 
>Has anyone thought what it would be like to send up another "p3d" 
>like the one we just built and link them together on some of their  
>higher frequencies?   Something like an Amateur TDRS system.  Every 
>now and then you hear someone mentioning that the Phase III satelites 
>tend to favor the nothern latitudes. Something like this would favor 
>all latitdue if we could figure out the orbital mechanics to make it 
>    It would even make for better DX because it would give us access 
>to areas we can't get to now. 
>    Any other thoughts on the matter?  It would make good use of the 
>switchable matrix anyway!. 

Sure we are interested. I only see two problems:

1. We seem to be having trouble getting even one P3D launched.
   Assuming that we get the first one into orbit, I highly doubt
   that we will be building another 600 kg satellite anytime

2. The antennas on P3D are designed to point down at the Earth,
   you would have to redesign them if you wanted intersatellite
   microwave links.

That is not to say that we will never ever launch another high
altitude satellite after P3D, just that the future satellites
will be a lot smaller, no larger than AO-10 and AO-13, but packed
with more modern electronics.

Also, there are a lot of people interested in using P3D as an
"amateur TDRS" to relay signals from the ham station on the
new space station. I think that will be an interesting thing to
work on when P3D is finally in orbit. The launch delay is 
actually a good thing for that, since it will allow P3D's
useful lifetime to overlap the period when the space station
is permanently manned.

Dan Schultz N8FGV
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