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January 02 AMSAT-NA President's Letter

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Several times each year ANS will feature information from AMSAT-NA
President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH. This feature is known as the
President's Letter. The following is the January 2002 installment:

The holiday season has come and gone and during this time the
AMSAT-NA Board of Directors has been busy looking at an exciting
new proposal for a satellite.

As many of you are aware, our membership is comprised of people from
all walks of life, including those who earn their living designing and
building satellites. A company who builds satellites - with AMSAT-NA
members as senior officers - approached the Board with a proposal to
build a microsatellite in conjunction with AMSAT. This microsatellite,
based on a design with several receivers and high power transmitters
will enable users to:

* communicate using analog voice through the satellite on several VHF
  uplink and UHF downlink channels simultaneously. Operation will be
  similar to AO-27 and UO-14 - but with handheld QRP power!

* communicate using 9600-baud digital store-and-forward data, similar
  to UO-22 and KO-25

* communicate using APRS 9600-baud packet data, in either a digipeat
  or store-and-forward mode

* repeat 1200-baud AFSK APRS packet data through the satellite's
  analog repeater

* experiment with PSK-31 operation (28 MHz up/70-cm down)

* uplink voice or data on 23-cm, 2-meters or 10-meters with a 70-cm

* receive up to 56K-baud digital transmissions using a UHF downlink
* receive spacecraft telemetry and bulletins

* experiment with various, simple, low gain antennas

There is also room on board for one or two secondary payloads. This
is quite a lot for one small satellite, but with shrinking electronic
components it is possible to get so much more into a small space.
Personally, I am very excited by this opportunity, which the BOD has
accepted in principle. We anticipate that the satellite will be designed,
constructed, and undergo all its tests in 2002-2003 and be ready for
launch in late 2003. A suitable launch has not yet been defined,
however, there are several opportunities that are being investigated.
It is important to note that during the development of this bird, the
design of the Eagle satellite project will continue. Eagle, being a larger
satellite (and to be launched into GTO) will take longer to design and
build. Currently, we hope that Eagle will be launched sometime in 2004,
and we are still negotiating launch requirements.

As you can see AMSAT-NA has a full agenda for the next few years, and
we are making every effort to meet the operating requirements of our
members as well as the expectations of the designers and builders. Your
support of these programs is essential, and financially absolutely
We now have more than 30 members of the President's Club and are
looking for many more to be able to keep this exciting work going. Are
you able to participate at any one of the three President's Club levels, or
send regular donations to the AMSAT-NA office?

Now for a few special notes:

My congratulations to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, and the excellent work
done with PCSat. Bob and his group have worked very hard on this
project and it is always a pleasure to see such outstanding results, and
a satellite usable by so many of us.

Also, my congratulations go to Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and the ARISS
Working Group who developed and built the new antennas that are being
deployed on the International Space Station. Much of the construction
work was done by Lou McFadin, W5DID, in the AMSAT-NA lab in
Orlando. These new antennas will provide enhanced communications
with ISS, a good example of your AMSAT-NA dollars at work!

Finally, another thank you to the AO-40 command team who very
successfully operated the onboard GPS system, providing NASA with
very interesting data from AO-40. This was the first time that data has
been received from a satellite outside of the GPS ring. Yet another first
for Amateur Radio! My congratulations to Stacey Mills, W4SM, Jim
White, WD0E, Bdale Garbee KB0G, and Mike Kingery, KE4AZN, who
were all involved in the AMSAT-NA part of this operation.

See you on the birds!

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
AMSAT-NA President

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for this information]


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