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



It seems to me that AMSAT and the ARRL (ARES and RACES) need to discuss
emergency communication and where satellites fit.

One trend that I am aware of, via the ARRL HSMM WG,  is that the emergency
communications is increasingly digital. The goal is to transport information
from the disaster area to communications links (mainly the Internet) in
unaffected areas where it is distributed to the rest of the world. That has
caused the ARRL to embrace WinLink 2000 and Pactor 3 for HF communication.
Although HF works well for long-distance voice communication, it is the worst
environment for digital communication and speeds are limited. Satellites
uniquely offer high-speed long-distance digital communication. Since voice
communication is equivalent to a 300-baud modem, almost any digital link is
better than voice at moving non-real-time traffic.

Its not clear to me whether LEOs or HEOs are best suited to emergency
communication. Since information can be stored on the satellite, high-speed
bursts of data to and from a LEO satellite within a short window could be just
as effective as lower-speed communication with a HEO satellite in a longer
window. A single HEO has long outage periods while the five LEOs that it
replaces could provide coverage every hour. The three HEOs needed for continuous
coverage displace 15 LEOs that could also provide continuous coverage so the
determining factor is probably which type of ground station is best suited to
emergency use.

73,

John
KD6OZH

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stefan Wagener" <stefan_wagener@hotmail.com>
To: "'Emily Clarke'" <w0eec@amsat.org>; "'G. Beat'" <gregory.beat@comcast.net>
Cc: "'AMSAT BBS'" <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
Sent: Friday, 31 December, 2004 17:31 UTC
Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] RE: Will AMSAT (world wide) be ready for the next
disaster?


> I think that summarizes it very well. In addition,
>
> I might add that we (AMSAT-NA) need to also define our abilities for
> emergencies. How useful is a particular satellite if the power is out on
> land and only battery operated equipment works? What services can we provide
> within the current and upcoming framework of satellites and what are minimum
> (and reliable) means of communication, which are useful and realistic for
> folks on the ground?
>
> Such an inventory and assessment might be helpful for discussion within the
> emergency communication network. One of the positive steps taken in this
> direction is the approach by the AO-51 team to allow for low power, handheld
> testing during certain times. These types of activities will help us to
> develop the skill sets necessary to respond in an emergency. Future
> exercises might be very helpful.
>
> What would it take to establish a discussion paper within AMSAT-NA on this?
> What is the opinion of the board and how can AMSAT-NA members help?
>
> Happy new year,
>
>
> Stefan, KC8NSA/VE4
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org] On Behalf
> Of Emily Clarke
> Sent: December 31, 2004 9:59 AM
> To: G. Beat
> Cc: AMSAT BBS
> Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] RE: Will AMSAT (world wide) be ready for the next
> disaster?
>
> At 08:29 AM 12/31/2004 -0600, you wrote:
> >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
>
> I have been thinking how to articulate exactly these thoughts and you have
> done an excellent job.  ARES/RACES type training has value for satellite
> operators, and many of us have taken EmComm type training including Level
> 3. However at this point I think AMSAT lacks some of the essentials
> required to step into an EmComm mission and do an effective job on a global
> scale.  These include:
>
>          a) an emergency management structure in the northern hemisphere
> and international regions
>          b) an agreement with international refugee/aid organizations who
> will become served agencies
>          c) a clear mission including activation/deactivation plans and
> procedures (this may include operators travelling to affected areas)
>          d) help with funding and grantsmanship to underwrite construction
> and launch of satellites that support these missions
>          e) potential funding to underwrite the acquisition and
> pre-positioning of deployable groundstations and support equipment
>          f) a trained group of operations and management volunteers
>
> Without these, we will likely have difficulty supporting these missions on
> a worldwide basis except in very limited situations.  Many experienced
> EmComm managers would probably tell you that without e) don't even bother
> trying.  So while I totally agree that AMSAT should do more, the important
> question is "Should AMSAT-NA duplicate the EmComm efforts of the ARRL and
> RAC, compliment them, or simply be a small adjunctive service asset?"
>
> I personally don't know the answer to that question, but think the first
> step to answering it is for AMSAT (NA) to create an EmComm investigation
> committee.  This committee should be tasked to evaluate possible missions,
> partners, funding, and technology. It should then make recommendations to
> the BoD on how AMSAT might best do more to support natural disasters and
> other refugee situations in the future.
>
> It's good to do more, it's better to do more wisely.
>
> 73,
>
> Emily
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> W0EEC - CM87tm
> AMSAT Area Coordinator - San Francisco Bay Area
> http://www.projectoscar.net    http://www.PlanetEmily.com
>
> Join AMSAT!  http://www.amsat.org
> ----
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> ----
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----
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