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Useless CubeSats

Hello Domenico,

> As we see, most of these boxes like Cubesat and Nanosat are almost useless,
> in particular for the ham satellite community and they are a waste of money
> and resources. It's more like a prestige object for many Universities.

I don't like you boiled down all these new little satellites allowing so many
more people to exploit space to a pile of 'junk' used for the Alumni mags,
graduate theses, and school recruitment. I'm sure that these fellows will love
hearing that. I know I did!
 Cubesats and nanosats are funded by the sponsoring institutions from which (I
don't think, correct my if I am wrong) AMSAT doesn't receive much in donations.
The manpower going into the sats is mostly from new people who had a desire to
learn more about the business of building satellites. I recommend people go out
and read the websites published by these groups. And as for dilution of our
current volunteer force -  folks who are from our 'fold' are working hard to
get comms on their satellites, despite the power and space limits. They are
doing a wonderful job! And if the schools are drawing away money from buying
recessed lighting and glass-walled computer rooms to build satellites, that is
a waste I'd approve of. Students already waste time from studies, no problems
there :-)
  These are students, engineers and scientists that are learning how to design,
build, and manage a satellite. This is a pool of possible volunteers to build
the new ham satellites. They built one, why not another? And think about where
they may be in the future, and how that will help continue the development of
amateur satellite communications.

> As you can see looking at the List of Satellites Projects for wich
> frequencies have ben coordinated by IARU there are actually about 25
> Universities building these boxes only for their experiments but not for
> hams instead they are using the amateur frequency allocation without
> involving the amateur community with amateur radio communication
> capabilities comparable to that available beginning  from OSCAR-6
> to AO40

 So many times I have heard that people are not experimenting enough in amateur
radio. Here! Experiments! Amateur radio! There are such wonderful ideas - VLF
receivers, radar transponders, materials experiments...  BUT...
 The amateur radio community is used to a very open style of experimentation -
ideas and results published on personal websites or magazines.  I don't agree
with the operation of satellites in the amateur bands without some disclosure
or discussion of the experiment to the community. It happens, however, and
there aren't any laws (that I know of) saying they have to disclose much. I
feel it just isn't in the spirit of the hobby and of academia.
 I think, however, that the benefits of encouraging this satellite work will
payoff in the future.

> At least I believe that AMSAT-DL is working hard to get P3-E finished and
> launched soon, but I think that the mass flood of these Cubesat and other
> Nanosat makes it indeed more difficult just in direct proportion of funds
> and man power dilution.

I think the complete opposite - but let's see what happens. I'll bet you $1 that
I'll be right within 10 years. I eagerly await my buck...

It makes me wonder; how many of these >microsat folks are on the email list?
Perhaps a show of hands, guys? I can account for three in Boston. Who else is
working on a Cubesat? Nanosat? I'd be interested in talking to other folks
about their projects; if enough people are out there, I'd like to set something
up to exchange ideas and hints. Let's not wait for the journal papers to be
published - should I use Kapton tape for attaching thermistors to components?
Or epoxy?
Why keep reinventing the wheel? Puzzling over the same problem?

Dave Goncalves
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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