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Re: FM satellites (was: Re: SUNSAT OVER EUROPE)

Hi Paul,

Thanks for responding!  Debate is good; grudges are not.

Just for the record, I am not advocating replacement of any amateur
satellite technology presently in development.  I also don't think we
should stop launching SSB linear transponder type birds either.  I think
a fleet of FO-20 type birds would be wonderful.  My proposal instead is
a design to include MORE operators in satellite use, by supplementing
the existing fleet, and other future designs.

Paul Williamson wrote:

> If we were successful in somehow arranging for the system to be
> reliable and easy to use, it would be instantly overloaded. Check out
> the widest-coverage 2m FM repeater in a major metropolitan area,
> and then multiply the potential user base to account for the size of
> the satellite's footprint. This is a recipe for failure.
I don't agree.  I don't have to check out a metro repeater either.  I
regularly listen to AO-27 and hear many, many successful operators
working a rare grid with an operator using minimalist equipment.  Is it
overloaded?  Of course it is, with 18 minutes of use, twice a day, on
north to south passes.  Would 5 more like it relieve the load?  How
about 20?  30?  50?

> Each piggybacking opportunity would have special requirements
> mechanically and require special approvals (possibly requiring design
> changes). No one satellite design is going to work on all opportunities.
Granted.  However, being spring deployed (carrying no explosives), with
post launch deployable antennas, and small compact design, a properly
approached launch organization might just be open to helping this
project succeed, that is if the left hand knows what the right hand is
doing, and all toes point the same direction.
> 20 or 30 satellites without any position control is a long way from
> "an entire constellation", assuming you mean full-time coverage of
> populated areas, unless you get them into high orbits.  High orbits
> are much harder to find piggyback opportunities for, and make for
> more difficult link budgets.
Nope.  LEOs.  I am proposing a system for the masses, easy to work with
a hand held radio or portable terminal.  Recently, I worked a fellow
hiking the Appalachian Trail using an HT.  This is the the capability my
proposal will enhance.

> Oh, and by the way, the idea of "production line" or "cookie cutter"
> satellites has been tried.  It even sort-of worked.
Great, so let's perfect it and try again.  It worked for Henry Ford, and
the devices I envision could be made from off the shelf components.  

And since a "flying toaster" would occupy so little space, it is
feasible 5 or 6 of them might hitch a ride at the same time.  My
proposal needs some work, I know. Nobody has all the answers, but that's
what's great about the amateur satellite community; there is so much
talent out there to take care of all those little details.

> >All of the "bent pipe" repeaters would be on the same frequency pair,
> >but uniquely toned, so operators would not key multiple birds.
> This would not prevent interference.
A moderately directive ground station antenna could be pointed at the
satellite an operator chose to work, and a unique tone access would
certainly cut down on QRM, especially if a minimum ERP was calculated,
specified, and used.

> >Are you on the bus?
> Not this bus.  I prefer one with an interesting destination and a practical
> chance of arriving.
I'm sorry you don't think this is an interesting possibility, but, I'm
not surprised.  With over 2000 sat contacts, I couldn't find a logging
for you, and I thought I've worked just about everybody!  

Perhaps one of these days YOUR bus will reach its destination, and
you'll finally see that 8th wonder of the world.  
All kidding aside, keep up the good work Paul, and I'm sure we'll see
bigger and colorful things from your camp soon!

73, Mike in Fort Myers, FL

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