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Re: re: Iridium to de-orbit their satellites?

> > We have a total of 10 birds that can use an FM mobile whip uplink.  We
> > either use 'em or loose'em.  The three 1200 baud ones are virtually
> > abandoned... already...!
> And how are we going to lose them?  They are goint to be up there for 
> some time if they are in stable orbits.

The biggest cost of all satellites is not the launch, or fuel... its the
operation and maintenance on the ground.  Say 10 day workers and 6 shift
people for say 10 years is 16 million dollars.  Not in ham radio, of
course, where the ground controllers don't get paid and do it out of the
love of the hobby.  But after a while, they must lose interest and want to
move on to something else.  IO26 was off the air for almost a year
because there was no reason to go to the trouble to reload it.  Same is
true for LO19.  

When a satelite needs a reload, its a lot of work for someone (a volunteer
in our case)..  WHen his time is no longer worth the return, then we "lose
the bird".  

Last year, AO16 and IO26 were re-activated for APRS and LO19 was left in
digi service. But since no one has really gotten around to using them
other than the dozen or so APRS users a few times for demos, I cant expect
them to remain healthy.  AO16 is now doing a good job of just being a
S-Band beacon for testing our P3D Sband capabilities.

The baud rate of 1200 baud is NOT a limitation, just how we use it.  Hey,
GPS is only 50 baud but they still provide a great service...

In one pass of a 1200 baud bird, we can transfer say 8 minutes or 72k of
data..  If everyone got one line of text, then thats almost 1000 users per
pass...:-)  Or one web page..:-(  

  depends on how you use it.

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