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Purposes of an Amateur Satellite



I recently read the IARU's "Amateur Radio Satellites:
Information for Developers...".  In light of the recent
vigorous discussions about whether it is appropriate for
student-built cubesats to use amateur frequencies, and
at the risk of confusing the issues with the facts, I 
found the IARU's interpretation of the ITU Radio
Regulations interesting.

	A.  Purposes of an amateur satellite

	The purposes of an amateur satellite should be to:

	(1)  Provide communication resources for the general
	     amateur radio community and/or

	(2)  Conduct technical investigations relevant to the
	     development of radio technique.
	     [See RR 1.56 and RR 1.57]

Note the phrase "and/or".  That is, at least in the IARU's
interpretation, there is no regulatory requirement that a
satellite using amateur spectrum include a transponder or
support voice communications.

Of course, anyone is free to say that he or she doesn't like
the ITU regulations or doesn't agree with the IARU's
interpretation.  But, I think that the regulatory basis
for asserting that an amateur satellite must carry a
transponder is marginal, at best.

As you might guess, I liked the paragraphs that followed in
the IARU document.

	Development of "radio technique" means having a
	reasonable possibility of application to the development
	of radio communication systems.

	Examples of technical investigations relevant to
	development of radio technique include, but are not
	limited to: 

	o  operational analysis of protocols for digital voice
	   and data communication
	  ...
	o  development of spacecraft computers, memory, operating
	   systems, programs, and related items
	  ...

You can read the whole document at:

	http://www.iaru.org/satellite/sat-freq-coord.html

I just thought you would want to know.  Ok, ok, I thought
you would be a better person if you knew...

-tjs
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