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RE: Will AMSAT (world wide) be ready for the next disaster?



First, AMSAT's decision to retask AO-51 (ECHO) for disaster support is very
good response.
I know of no other government, military or commercial (for-profit) satellite
operator that has performed such a retasking due to the Indian Ocean
disaster.

A few facts (missing from the media news readers):

Only a few local earthquakes have been large enough to generate tsunami during
historical times, those in 1868 (M7.9) and in 1975 (M7.2) produced tsunami
that were large enough to kill people.
In human recorded history, these are the leading tsunami (in fatalities) that
are known:

Volcanic eruptions that triggered tsunami:
  a.. Tambora, 1816: as many as 90,000 people
  b.. Krakatoa (Krakatau), 1883: about 36,000 people [the volcanic eruption in
this same region was heard around the world]
  c.. Shimabara, Japan, 1792: an eruption of Mt. Unzen led to a massive
collapse of the volcano into Shimabara Bay, killing about 15,000 people
Earthquakes + tsunami (difficult to tell which event killed more people):
  a.. Lisbon, Portugal, 1531: 70,000 people died from earthquake and tsunami
  b.. Peru 1868: about 28,000 people in all
  c.. Kamaishi, Japan, 1896: about 27,000 people in all
Earthquakes that triggered tsunami:

  a.. Hoei Tokaido-Nanhaido tsunami, Japan, 1707: about 30,000 people
  b.. Sumatra / Indian Ocean tsunami, Indian Ocean 2004: current estimates
over 120,000 people
The Hilo, Hawaii event of May 23, 1960 (Tsunami triggered by earthquake off
the west coast of South America estimated at 8.25 to 8.5) was the last one for
United States territory.
http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/1994/94_05_20.html

The usage of small satellites for Disaster Monitoring and support is not new.
http://zenit.sstl.co.uk/index.php?loc=25
Some of our AMSAT members may not be aware of SSTL's role in the Disaster
Monitoring Constellation (DMC) that consists of AlSAT-1, BILSAT-1,
NigeriaSat-1 and UK-DMC that were first launched in November 2002.   The DMC
Consortium was conceived to supply daily images for global support of disaster
response, initially in partnership with Reuters AlertNet.
http://zenit.sstl.co.uk/index.php?loc=27&id=746

Is not the real question:
"Should AMSAT coordinate or be a participant in a constellation of satellites
for communications support of disaster response?"  The small satellite
technology construction, know-how transfer / training (KHTT) program and
operational operation of a constellation of satellites (DMC) has been started
earlier by SSTL.  (A valuable resource of "lessons learned" by SSTL staff --
many who are also AMSAT members).

One answer could be:
"AMSAT should be a participant within a partnership of nations and relief
agencies (CARE, Red Cross, etc.) that will coordinate future responses to
global disasters"  It is very likely that such a coordination group may
created or added as a new task to an existing global agency in the coming
weeks and months from a number of countries and groups:  United States,
Canada, EU, UN, etc.

w9gb

> Message: 7
> Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 11:02:35 -0600
> From: "Greg Wycoff"
> Subject: [amsat-bb] will AMSAT be ready for the next disaster?
>
> AMSAT takes a hit from the Earthquake/Tsunami.
>
> It is to bad that AMSAT's world wide was not ready for the Tsunami disaster
> of a few days ago. it seems that there is more interest in funding the ARISS
> program and building LEO satellites that don't offer much help in a time of
> a disaster (minutes ver hours), if there were two HEO satellites up in orbit
> just think of the recognition and PR that AMSAT as a whole could get and
> maybe some government backing in future projects. AMSAT should have been
ready
> to play a small role in any emergency traffic to be sent out/in of those
> effected areas because that is what hams do. I hope that AMSAT change's its
> vision and direction to making HEO satellites a top priority rather on their
> own personal projects (ARISS/LEO sats). AMSAT has way too many
> resources/people to be spread so thin. I am not against ARISS or LEO's but
> they should only be a secondary projects that don't drain AMSAT of its funds
> and resources.
>
> Will AMSAT-world wide be ready for the next disaster?
>
> AMSAT member.
> Greg N0ZHE
----
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