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Report: AMSAT-DC Meeting and Space Seminar

The Maryland-DC area AMSAT Meeting and Space Seminar was held Sunday, April 1,
2001 in the Visitor Center auditorium of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Maryland. Here's my summary of the events for folks who couldn't
attend. My apologies to anyone whose contributions I've overlooked in this brief

Rick Hambly W2GPS, gave a fascinating, detailed presentation on the recovery
AO-40 telemetry and the efforts the AO-40 Telemetry Improvement Team. Ther's
cerainly some fascinating work being done in this area, one of my personal

Bob Rose AA4RR, founder of KI3DS, told us about his efforts building an
organization to make amateur radio more accessible to young folks. It's a trusim
that we should be concentrating on bringing succeeding generations into  ham
radio, and space operations should be one of our a major drawing cards. Bob is
actually *doing* something about it.

Frank Bauer KA3HDO, AMSAT VP for Human Spaceflight Programs briefed us on future
plans for ARISS equipment and enhancements, (including packet, SSTV and ATV)
while Will Marchant KC6ROL gave us an update on current and near-future ARISS
operations, and Ken Nichols spoke on AMSAT-DCs direct involvement in the

On the display table were examples of the new ARISS UHF/VHF and HF antennas, as
well as the ARISS packet controller. A number of other exhibits showed work
members are doing with microwave antennas, test equipment and transmitting and
receiving systems.     

On the official AMSAT-NA end of things, Robin Haighton VE3FRH, shared some of
his views from the AMSAT-NA captain's chair, and Barry Baines WD4ASW, explained
his Field Operations organization and the very flexible roles of AMSAT Area

Dick Daniels W4PUJ presented "What happened to AO-40", starting with a slideshow
of photos from the AO-40 launch campaign and then donned his AO-40 Propulsion
Systems Manager hat for an concise but detailed and authoritiative review of
what is known, suspected, and not known about events on-board AO-40. 

Tom Clark W3IWI (AMSAT President Emeritus) was entertaining, witty and wise
holding forth on the subject of what it *really* takes to get a satellite
on-orbit (and how very little of it really has much to do with amateur radio) as
well as the scaling of cost, scheduling and reliability as the complexity of a
satellite design rises.  

Bob Bruninga WB4APR, the resident Mad Scientist of Annapolis, brought and
demonstrated his $500 briefcase-sized automated digital satellite station, and  
spoke about the PCSat project, as well as some of his other projects such as
possible new PSK-based birds.  

This was my first time attending this annual event, and I'm sure to be a regular
in the future. Perhaps the most valuable part of the event was the time spent in
personal introductions from everyone attending, followed by a group photo
session and half an hour's socializing and schmoozing time; a fertile networking
opportunity, indeed. 

Pat Kilroy, N8PK, did a highly polished and professional job of organizing and
orchestrating the whole shebang, and we're all in his debt on that score. This
is an annual event, so if you're within striking range of the DC area, make room
in your calendar for it next year!

 73 de Maggie K3XS

-----/___.   _)   Margaret Stephanie Leber    / "The art of progress  /
----/(, /|  /| http://voicenet.com/~maggie   / consists of preserving/
---/   / | / |  _   _   _    `  _AOPA 925383/ order amid change and /
--/ ) /  |/  |_(_(_(_/_(_/__(__(/_  FN20hd / change amid order."   /
-/ (_/   '  K3XS  .-/ .-/    ARRL 39280   /___ --A.N.Whitehead ___/
/____ICQ 7161096_(_/_(_/__AMSAT 32844____/ <maggie@voicenet.com>
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