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



John,
The ARRL has always had an H.F. mentality, and I have suggested several
times that they should change their name to the Antique Radio Relay League.
To be effective you need many Amateur Radio Operators, as most of the work
is gathering the information on what is needed, where it is needed and when
it is needed. Then their is H&W traffic, which helps maintain sanity in a
disaster. H&W traffic is best handled separately by individual operators as
no prioritizing is needed.
The need to prioritize aid requests and have local transportation for
arriving supplies arranged is best handled from a single disaster center.
 Having a continuous data stream in and out of a disaster area is very
unlikely to happen as relief workers will need time to assimilate incoming
data as well as compile a list of needs to be sent.
Capacity: "A picture is worth a thousand words" or many thousands if it is
hi resolution. In an emergency the volume of data can be modulated or
compressed to meet the available bandwidth.
Most emergency drills I have heard contain 70% or more superfluous
conversation that is not related to the disaster. Operators so enamored with
their tactical call signs that they forget to ID with their Amateur Call,
and worst of all, not announce every 5 minutes that this is a drill.
Hopefully in a real emergency the opportunity  to showboat, is sobered by
the seriousness of the disaster.
More Bandwidth on the satellites? Remember someone on receiving side has to
read and interpret everything that is sent.  One clown with a digital camera
can overload any system with unneeded information, this is where screening
comes in.
AMSAT has an opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of AO-51 in this most
recent disaster. A look at the amount and type of usage, will define baud
rates,  store forward capacity, and the number of satellites needed. This
will help to define number and type of future launches. This is an acid test
for LEO's as they have the least coverage at the equator and the best at the
poles (every orbit)
 LEO's would be more effective if  higher UHF and SHF frequency are used.
2.4 and 5.8 GHz are becoming harmonized as license free bands world wide.
The 435-437 band has interference from commercial traffic, as we all heard
on AO-40
 An HEO that filled in at the equator might be needed for disasters that are
near the equator. All of this is tempered by the fact that a disaster of
this type occurs at a rate of less than once per century.
I sincerely hope that AMSAT does put forth a serious effort to effectively
evaluate the performance of AO-51 during this most recent disaster. I expect
many surprises.

 Art, KC6UQH

---- Original Message -----
From: "John B. Stephensen" <kd6ozh@verizon.net>
To: "Stefan Wagener" <stefan_wagener@hotmail.com>; "'Emily Clarke'"
<w0eec@amsat.org>; "'G. Beat'" <gregory.beat@comcast.net>
Cc: "'AMSAT BBS'" <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] 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
> > ----
> > 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!
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> > ----
> > 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!
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> ----
> 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!
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----
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