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Re: AMSAT has a SECRET!




>So past that.
>
>The "mistake" in AO-40 was not the various "bands" nor "modes" it was the
>concentration on a single platform which in itself was not replaceable.
>
>Put it this way.  Had the Ariane V landed in the drink then it wouldnt have
>mattered weather the bird was insured OR NOT the loss to the Amateur Radio
>Satellite community would have been enormous and perhaps not replaceable in
>oh say another 10 years?

It depends how you look at it.  AO-40 is a chance to try several different 
technologies... Mode-S was one-- it works, and if you are like me and don't 
already have (or want) a 10'+ long 2m crossed yagi and preamp, you can spend 
the same $$ on a MMDS dish and a preamp, cheaper and smaller.  It does 
work.. I've listened...  Hopefully I'll have my uplink antennas ready when 
the transponders are back on.....

LEILA seems to be a success as well.  RUDAK is well on its way to being a 
success.  The power budgets seem very good on the bird. The propulsion was a 
bust.  Stuff happens.  We do not have enough $$ to be fully risk adverse as 
amateur satellite enthusiasts. Failures happen on commercial sats.  They 
just usually have the $$ to send up replacements!  AO-40 wasn't a total 
success, but its redundant systems mean that its a >50% success.  And it 
was/is so diverse that half of all that went up there is still tremendous!

The only three things I'm a bit sad about is that the intended orbit would 
have meant that to work apogee, two sets of small antennas and no rotors 
would have been necessary.  But the sat moves so slowly at apogee anyway, 
that manual pointing from the ground is feasible!
A 45K apogee would have shown what a simple Mode-S station could do better-- 
and thats why small dishes are now required instead of tiny helixes (at 
60K).  The thing I'm most sad about though is the decision to not three-axis 
stabilize future sats.  I do, however, understand the extra complexity here 
as well.  Maybe electronically steerable pattern antenna could be developed 
as an alternate solution?!?

But AO-40 is the Apollo 13 of the history of ham sats.  We may have "lost 
the moon" but we have gained much knowledge and functionality from the 
satellite and its problems-- and the people behind this at AMSAT are heroes 
(and in reality we are not still in that bad of a situation).  They are 
devoted to the point of insanity!  So being a weenie about something that 
was beyond the control of anyone isn't appropriate.  Stuff (manure-type) 
happens.

Actually to a techie like myself this makes the satellite more appealing to 
me.  If it were really simple, it'd be boring.

And really, Mode-S and operating the sat is still fairly simple.

Fred W0FMS

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