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That Cubesat issue

Bruce & Cliff & all AMSAT Members,
I have had some communications off -bb which I think I'll respond to on
-bb.. It is a REAL ISSUE:
CUBESATs: What do you think?
Well, let me tell you the short answer: I don't yet have an opinion, and
I'll tell you why.

CubeSats are a double edged sword. 

They are an absolutely wonderful way to get young people active in the
arena of satellites. I remember, like it was yesterday, going to the
transmitter room of a local radio station I hung around, and sitting on
the floor in front of the equipment rack listening for Sputnik to come
over. It sent chills up and down my spine, that I can feel today, just
thinking about it. Beep.....Beep.....Beep... From this little sphere
with those funny whips sticking out. Not exactly communicating (duplex),
but what a thrill!! I can only hope that these young people who are
participating in the Cubesat programs around the world, get at least
half the Goosebumps I did.

Now, if every high school or college senior class in the world started
launching cubesats, WE WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM... We would have intermod of
Beeps to the extent that no one would be able to figure what they were
listening to... More then that, we could see the precious spectrum full
of nothing but:  Beep...Beep... The first answer that pops to mind is:
frequency coordination. Something we are all accustomed too in the 2m
repeater program... In our satellite hobby, it is a slightly different
program. You know, most of the people we have to coordinate with, live
under a different government, with different priorities, different
motivations. With other words, International coordination is a VERY
POLITICAL subject, not something we can just, vote to fix. We will
probably need to spend a good deal more time talking, and developing
political clout, worldwide, to get the best of this issue. I don't have
a good background in this sort of international issue but we have such
people, and we'll need to encourage them, and give them the support they
need, to work on our behalf on this issue.

WE ALL need to think this one out!! However, we can not think it to
death. We need to look at all the implications, pick a position, and
then pursue it with vengeance!! That position must be in the best
interest of AMSAT members, today AND in the future.


Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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