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BOD election

To all on AMSAT-BB,

This is my input to the AMSAT-BOD election.
The first thing I need to communicate is what I am NOT.
I am not running  in order to pump up my ego.  I have enough plaques 
and awards from AMSAT, ARRL and NASA to look obnoxious on the wall 
I donít believe that it is necessary to send out a mailer to every 
AMSAT member other than the one that is sent out with the ballots. It 
would be wonderful if folks who want to help AMSAT that badly would 
invest that money in AMSAT. The reason I put my name in is that I 
sincerely believe I have something to offer to the BOD at a time when 
AMSAT is facing some very severe challenges.

I have spent the last 20 years working on various AMSAT projects like 
SAREX, Phase 3D, ISS-HAM(ARISS) ECHO, and Eagle. I believe in getting 
in there and doing something to help on projects not lurking in the 

I am not a politician, I will probably not always be politically 
correct although I will do my best.

I am an engineer. I spent 30 years at NASA designing systems as needed 
for their space program. I worked on many systems that were supporting 
research and science both on ground based systems and space flight 
systems. My specialty was sensors and Robotics.
I was not a paper pusher or much of a beaurocrat. That probably 
explains why I was never the head of NASA.

I always try hard to listen to all who take the time to communicate to 
me their ideas. Personally I prefer doing that privately so that 
everyone can be candid and not be pursuing a political agenda. Those 
who know me will attest that I always listen but take the 
responsibility to make a decision on myself.

I believe that the efforts we spend on ARISS are very valuable. In many 
ways it is planting seeds. While we donít always see the fruits of our 
labor immediately, there are many ways in which AMSAT and therefore  WE 
the members of AMSAT benefit. First of all those young kids will grow 
up to be adults. If we donít plant the seeds we canít expect to reap a 
harvest in the future. Where will we be without them in the future? 
There wonít be any ham radio much less an AMSAT.  For each child we 
reach there are parents, teachers local politicians  the press and the 
public who are also watching.  There is certainly an amplifying effect 
for all those successful school contacts. At the same time we gain a 
level of respect from the space agencies who are also watching. It 
helps when you are asking them for a launch.
I worked on the first ham radio that was taken into space by an 
astronaut by Owen Garriot W5LFL in 1983 and have worked on some part of 
every system since. I have been there and I have stayed the course. I 
intend to continue to work on the ham radio system on ISS as I have 
since itís beginning.

In 1995 I took five years off from working on the manned spacecraft to 
work on Phase 3D which is now called AO-40. I was able to apply my 
experience gained working for NASA 30 years by serving as P3D 
integration and Laboratory Manager and assembling the most complex 
amateur radio satellite ever built.  It is still performing although 
not as well as we had hoped. How many spacecraft do you know that have 
sustained an internal explosion and are still functioning?

Right now I serve as the the U.S. Hardware manager for the ARISS.  In 
that function I am responsible for the design of all U.S. Hardware on 
the ISS-HAM project.

I believe that AMSAT needs to complete the project Echo LEO satellite 
and then follow up with the Eagle high orbit P3 type satellite which is 
now on the drawing boards. Both will serve our customers who are you 
the members of AMSAT. Personally I enjoy the high orbit phase 3 type of 
satellites although I havenít been on much. There always seems to be a 
higher priority task either at home or with the ISS - HAM project.  I 
have been on UO-14 and AO-27 many times but am frustrated by the taxi 
drivers and the constant walking on each other. Some folks love that. 
That is good also. AMSAT is a diverse group and some folks will like 
and dislike whatever you do.

One of the things I bring to the board is a thorough understanding of 
what it takes to build a satellite and to operate a satellite. I think 
such representation is very much needed on the AMSAT BOD.

I am very concerned about the future of AMSAT.
It seems to me there are at least two major problems.
The most obvious is financial. AMSAT is using up itís reserves. This 
must stop!
There are several ways to stop that. One is to stop spending. In that 
case we would not be providing any services to the members and AMSAT 
would wither and die from the second illness and that is the membership 
loss. Personally I think itís the membership who makes AMSAT what it is 
and what can save it. We must find a way to bring back the enthusiasm 
and make the membership feel like they are getting their moneyís worth.

How do we do that? I am sure I donít have all the answers to that.  I 
do believe it can be done through careful  listening to and taking some 
actions on the memberís desires.

We also have to look for other sources of revenues.
Some have mentioned endowments. That will be wonderful if we can find 
sources of funds to put into the endowments.
I am not sure what the answer is. I do think we can do a better job of 
selling software and services to the public and to our members. We need 
to create a user friendly environment for all our members and 
customers. We need to contact previous members. If we make AMSAT the 
kind of organization everyone is proud to belong to the membership will 
be there.

In these days of poor economic times all not for profit organizations 
are having a hard time.
The key is to be resilient, to stick together and keep our sights 
focused on the future of Amateur Radio in Space. If we can succeed in 
that we can insure a future for AMSAT.

I will appreciate your support for the AMSAT BOD.

Lou McFadin W5DID AMSAT life member.

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