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Re: where does our money go?



I think most business today is looking for "off the shelf" stuff.  We are so
concerned with designing, engineering, and building, that we seem to never
think about what already may be available.

An example from my job:

My company wanted to keep track of its workers in the field and to be able
to assign them work without them having to come in to the shop.  Instead of
adopting and modifying what UPS, FedEx, BellSouth, etc. used, we had to
reinvent the wheel.  Well, the wheel we invented turned out to be an oval.
Now, GPS capability is no longer used; however, they're still using the
dispatching portion.  All of this involved designing, testing, and
installing an entirely new system that is *very* similar to what other
companies are using.  After this experience, my company now looks at what is
available off the shelf.

There's one satellite project already going on (heck, it may be Echo) that's
using some off-the-shelf stuff.  Look at PCSat.  Look at StenSat.  They used
some off-the-shelf components if I'm not mistaken.

I'm no "rocket scientist" so to speak, but if AMSAT is to suceed, we need to
get our managers and engineers talking.  Make business cases for *every*
project - every business, if they want to remain profitable (viable I
suppose would be correct for a non-profit) makes a business case for any
capital expenditure.  Let's face it, building a satellite is a capital
expenditure.  Make a business case for it and if it doesn't work out on
paper, don't build it.  Be prepared for the backlash you'll get because
someone's "pet project" didn't get implemented.  It'll teach them to design
a better project.

Managers manage projects, engineers design them, and technicians build them.
Keep this separate!  Your engineers don't need to manage a project and
technicians don't need to design them.  That's why they have the
distinctions.

Using off the shelf components will not only be cheaper, but it will also
insure that more satellites can (I didn't say *will*) be built because the
designs are already available.  Are we so smug and have our noses so high in
the air that we cannot "copy" what someone has already done?  Remember,
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

73,

Joel B. Black, W4JBB
w4jbb@charter.net



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeff Davis" <jeff@ke9v.com>
To: "Amsat Bulletin Board" <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 6:46 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] where does our money go?


> * Robert McGwier <rwmcgwier@comcast.net> [2003-07-10 23:54]:
> > It is clear to me that the fine art of estimation is a lost and
> > dying skill.  Unfortunately, another dying skill in AMSAT-NA is
> > the art of making transponders.  If you want Mode B or Mode L or
> > whatever, someone has to design the transponders on paper and then
> > make them happen.  I would hazard a guess having been in the
> > technical side of this house a while ago that I am not far
> > wrong when I say that we are now at ZERO in terms of people
> > available to do this work anywhere in AMSAT-NA that we can
> > count on to deliver you what Werner Haas and his comrades
> > or Matjaz Vidmar delivered or the Finns or . . . .  I am
>
> Bob,
>
> You are 100% correct.
>
> But lost in this discussion is the fact that the membership of
> AMSAT-DL has not significantly diminished since the demise of AO-13.
>
> They are planning P3E which is the kind of bird that half (according
> to Robin Haighton) of us are asking for. They seem to be confident that
> they can not only build the spacecraft (transponders and all) but get a
> ride for it to GTO.
>
> Perhaps we should be raising funds for P3E or perhaps we could just get
> the plans from them and build a duplicate for a later launch?
>
> Why must every new project begin with redesinging the wheel?
>
> Why is it that AMSAT-DL thinks they can do something that many here
> don't believe possible?
>
> Why?
>
> -- 
> Jeff, Ke9v
> ----
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