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Re: Query, please.

"Michael P. Olbrisch" wrote:

>         I have a question for the more knowledgeable of the list.
> I have a friend at work, a very intelligent and savvy tech, and
> a ham.  In talking last week, he brought up some questions that
> I could not answer.
>         He said that he could not see what the problem with the
> SWATCH satellite was...[snip]  His answer was "It didn't seem to
> bother hams in the past" How so I asked.  He used Uosat-11 as his
> example.  As he says, itwas built by SSTL, a commercial company.  It
> collects data that is"available" to hams, but not directed primarily
> at hams.  It has no uplink for hams to talk to it, but its downlink
> is in the ham bands.  He also assured me that it was not the only
> one, just his example.

I'm not sure I qualify as one of "the more knowledgeable," but my
answer would be that UO-11 had a primarily scientific/experimental
purpose in which hams were invited to participate, partially in order
to prepare there stations for more advanced modes coming down the pike
in future satellites with uplinks.  The SWATCH bird, on the other
hand, was nothing more than a flying bill board for the company, very
thinly veiled as "science," and hams were invited to do nothing with
it other than put up with the QRM.  If SSTL (an incubator company
started on the campus of the University of Surrey, with long
connections to the amateur satellite community) were to fly a bird
with downlink in the ham bands with no more purpose than squawk "Buy
your next satellite from SSTL" then I think the reaction would be

I do have beef along these lines, however:  It used to be that as soon
as a bird was in orbit it lost whatever tag it had as a work in
progress and took the name of its OSCAR designation.  P3B became
AO-10, P3C became AO-13, etc.  Sometimes the working name became
partially incorporated into the OSCAR designator, such as the UoSAT
series:  UO-11, UO-22 or the Fuji series, where Fuji A took its place
as Fuji OSCAR-20, Fuji B became FO-29, etc.

Now, however, we seem to want to hang onto the working names well
after the birds are flying: TechSat, SEDSAT, PANSAT, TMSAT all have
OSCAR designations, but these are seldom used, and if somebody talks
about PO-34 you have to go look to see which one that is, etc.
"UoSAT-12" has been flying for a few weeks and to my knowledge hasn't
even applied for an OSCAR designation.  Not only is it confusing, it
makes me wonder if your friend is right, and that ALL of the satellite
builders today are tending toward flying bill boards with their names
on them.  Anybody have any thoughts on this???
Mark D. Johns, Cedar Falls, Iowa -- K0MDJ (EN32sm)
 "Heaven goes by favour.  If it went by merit, you would
    stay out and your dog would go in." -- Mark Twain

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