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Our Digital Future



Robin, Ray & all the Officers & Board & Users like me

I have been out of the Satellite hobby for about 20 years so I may be way of
track, but I'll ask anyway.

Has AMSAT thought about two geostationary birds, one east and one west to
provide coverage of a good portion of western Europe, the US and eastern
Asia and down under?

Further, has there been discussion about using digital MPEG voice & video
compression or a simpler algorithm for highly efficient use of the 1-10Ghz
spectrum, and to create many, many paths for QSOs? Such a program would open
much of the world to reliable, consistent amateur satellite voice
communications. I think it would bring aboard many new users, from the ranks
of the repeater fans, the DXers, to the younger people who understand and
use compressed digital everyday.

I realize that the station keeping for a geostationary is a bit of a
challenge, but with the right birds, I think we would be up to the
challenge.

Especially as far as the younger generation is concerned, if it isn't
digital, it is the STONE AGE. We need to move with vigor into this
technology or the Ham, as a hobbyist, is in long term trouble. (We may
already be! )

The engineering for digital voice & video hardware is everywhere. Thus, the
likelihood that the Icoms & Yaesus of the world would jump on such a concept
and view it as their future with Hams, is very good. They have to be
wondering where we are going and how long there will still be an analogue
market.

Packet digital information transmission is very nice and serves many
constituents, but there is something wonderful about just chatting with an
old fellow ham friend, or just making new friends around the world with
voice to video communications. What a difference and how much more personal
than the hunt and peck of an Internet chat room.

Big bucks, but whats new?

Your Thoughts?

Gunther Meisse
W8GSM
AMSAT LM# 594

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