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Re: Saudisats????

No, Assi, I don't have a misunderstanding of what it takes to commission a
satellite.  I am an engineer by training and back-ground and I know full
well how one wants to have all their facts straight before making a public

That is fine and I have no problems with it.  Your ASU-Sat was one of the
few where we did indeed get a very good response about what happened in a
reasonable time.  But how many satellites are up there that have NEVER had
any explanation or an admission of failure?

That's what I am talking about.  There are many birds up there that you can
check the status of and see, "Unkown.  No information on this satellite has
been obtained since....."

I think many of these do fail, people don't like to admit it, they may not
be able to fully determine what went wrong, so they never say anything and
hope that eventually it will pass from people's minds.

Call me a cynic, but in my life and experience in the real world, this is
the way stuff works.



on 7/26/01 11:21 AM, Assi Friedman at 4x1kx@iarc.org wrote:

> It seems like you have a misconception of what it means to commission a
> satellite.
> When a bird goes up there, there are so many unknowns and many many things
> that can go wrong.
> If the team is lucky, the commissioning phase goes without any problems, and
> they can indicate to the public that that is so.
> Now, if a problem arises, the entire story changes. Unlike a car, where
> changing the oil pump does it, in space there are many many factors which
> can contribute to a failure. In many cases, when device X does not work, its
> not because device X failed, but a temperature change in device Z caused
> device Y to quit sending the gizmo command to device X and as a result,
> device X does not work. This kind of complex relationship which can easily
> occur would make satellite operators irresponsible if they come out and say
> "device X failed". Due to this, we see satellite operators take their time
> while they try to make a good job of finding out exactly what happened. A
> good example of this would be the Mysterious Force acting on P3D. During the
> Minotaur launch of Jan 2000, so many things went wrong, that the satellite
> operators were trying to figure out what went wrong. Without looking at
> cross satellite correlation, just we (the ASUSat1 team) had over 15
> different failure paths which could have contributed to the failer. As a
> result, for several weeks, we did everything in our power to try and verify
> the correct failer mode. It would have been irresponsible of us to come out
> and say after just one day "we know what went wrong". So give satellite
> operators some slack when it comes to post launch operations. Trust me that
> we and I think every operator out their does everything in their power to
> make a bird work right. "holding back" information is not an ego thing, its
> just a responsibility issue.

Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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