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Re: Re: Moon-based amateur radio transponder



What`s on Everest  ,
why did people climb the Eiger.

It`s the moon silly....

Regards
Chris RWE

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Daniel Schultz" <n8fgv@usa.net>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 11:31 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Moon-based amateur radio transponder


> Dear Michael and Piero,
>
> The subject of a moon-based amateur radio transponder surfaces here every
> couple of months. I will not revisit the technical arguments in great
detail,
> you can look in the Amsat-BB archives for more of that.
>
> I just want to ask what the mission and purpose of a moon based amateur
radio
> transponder is supposed to be, in order that we can define who we are
working
> for and to whom we should appeal for funds.
>
> Specifically is Amsat supposed to be:
>
> 1. A ham radio organization, supported by money contributed by radio
amateurs
> who want satellites for communication between hams on the earth, and
aiming to
> deliver satellites that are directly accessible to the largest number of
ham
> radio ground stations?
>
> or are we:
>
> 2. A space exploration organization, perhaps along the lines of the
Planetary
> Society, supporting space projects to advance the cause of space
exploration,
> even if those projects are not directly accessible to a large percentage
of
> the world's ham population?
>
> As I have posted here before, a transponder on the moon is approximately
six
> times farther out than AO-40 at apogee, giving by my calculation 16 dB
less
> performance in each direction than an AO-40 downlink. No matter how you do
the
> calculations, the number of hams who can work such a lunar transponder
will be
> some order of magnitude less than those who can work the same hardware in
a
> high earth orbit. If Amsat starts building such a project instead of
something
> like Eagle, will there be cries of "elitism" on Amsat-BB from hams who
learn
> that they cannot work such a transponder with an HT and a rubber duck?
Will
> people decline to renew their membership because Amsat is not working for
the
> "little guy"?
>
> I'm not saying that a lunar mission might not be an exciting and inspiring
> thing to do. I'm only saying that before you start the technical planning
of
> such a mission, you must define what the mission is to be and who your
> customers are.
>
> Several Amsat members including myself have made presentations about Amsat
in
> front of the space interest groups at their annual conventions. The
response
> has been lukewarm, certainly not the level of support that Amsat enjoys at
the
> Dayton Hamvention and other large hamfests around the country. This leads
me
> to think that radio amateurs are and will continue to be our core
constituency
> for the foreseeable future, and missions should be designed to meet their
> communications interests in order to secure their continued support.
>
> If you can get funding from the Planetary Society or a similar group to
build
> your moon lander, then by all means please go ahead. But those of us old
farts
> who have been down that road before recall that we are usually met with
blank
> stares when we talk to the space interest groups.
>
> Your ideas about ion propulsion are right on the mark, I think Amsat needs
to
> look at this technology as a way to enable high altitude satellite
missions,
> and I have been collecting information about this in my copious spare
time.
>
> Air bags work on Mars (sometimes- we still haven't heard from Beagle 2)
> because they are the terminal part of a total system that uses a heat
shield,
> parachutes and retro rockets to arrest most of the downward velocity, with
the
> airbag there at the end to absorb any leftover residual velocity. Heat
shields
> and parachutes will not work on an airless body such as the moon.
>
> Lastly don't apologize for your inexperience, we are all ignorant of
different
> things. Those who have been able to get a formal education have simply
refined
> their ignorance to a higher level. When all is said and done, perhaps the
only
> reason for the continuing existence of amateur radio in the 21st century
is
> the opportunity it affords people like us to learn new things. Without
that we
> might as well just subscribe to our local cable company's internet service
and
> become good little consumers with no knowledge of how the magic works.
>
> Dan Schultz N8FGV
>
>
>
> ----
> Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
> Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org

----
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