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Software Defined DSP Satellite Radio Project?



An idea has been floating around in my mind for a few years and I wonder
if it is feasible. That is to build a software defined DSP satellite
radio as a group project.

With the lack of an open source software defined DSP satellite radio
commercially manufactured, is it possible for a group of hams to design
and build such a radio that would be easily duplicated in kit form and
encourage experimentation. Perhaps even introduce hams to satellite
operation or high speed digital satellite operation.

There seems to be some good success lately in the software defined radio
(SDR) with the Kachina, Pegasus, and DSP-10. Could we build on this work
and other work and create a transmitter receiver strip for use with
transverters that was optimized for satellite operations? A radio that
would not only allow the ever popular voice, CW and 1200/9600 packet,
but be a framework for high speed digital modes and new emission types.

A number of questions need to be answered:

1) Is there sufficient demand for such a radio? Would this increase the
number of hams on the satellites or at least on the digital satellites?

2) Is there sufficient resources to design, build prototypes, kit,
develop software, produce documentation, etc. to develop the radio? Is
the TAPR model of producing TNCs, etc. something to be considered?

3) Can this type of project be managed and built with the use of the
Internet as a communications medium much like open source software is
created? Elecraft and the DSP-10 seem to benefit from this model.

I for one would participate in such a project, but do not have the
expertise in hardware design and construction or DSP programming.
However, I could build user interface and control software. I suspect
that I am like a number of hams who would have expertise in one or two
areas, but not all disciplines to take on such a project by ones self.
As a group I would expect that the collective expertise would be
immense.

Comments please!

Darrell Bellerive
VE7CLA

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