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Re: LONG and long overdue report


Thanks for your note and thank you for starting my petition.

First your worries are based on what I consider to be a false 
propostion.  The false proposition, in my opinion, is that an all 
"analog" transponder would be more reliable.  For many reasons, I 
believe this
is false let me hasten to add, that this will get years of beating 
before we go into orbit.  I believe it will be years before we have a 
ride around which we can build a mission.  The answer is there will be no
traditional analog transponders on board as of this note.  None are 

I completely understand your feelings about software and lagging.  This 
is exactly what has driven me INSANE about RUDAK, etc. for years.  The 
nicest thing about using the "Brickle/McGwier"
dttsp code, is that it already exists and works in a much more punishing 
environment than our spacecraft and that is on multitasking, 
multiprogramming, preemptive pseudokernels like Microsoft XP.
We are building an embedded microcontroller based system around the code 
for work and play.  That is an easier environment to control.  I need it 
for my work and that  demands that it get a thorough beating.  It will 
get this beating.

I think you will feel more comfortable after we give the talk in La.  I 
think from that talk, until the thing is in orbit, will be about 5-7 
years.  I hate to be so pessimistic, but I am also a realist.  We do not 
have a single inkling of an idea where we will get a ride.  We have 
heard a lot of talk and hot air but not one person has been asked to go 
to a meeting with a launch authority, much less sign a contract.


Andrew Glasbrenner wrote:

> Hi Bob,
> Thank you very much for the update on the Eagle transponder progress. 
> The SDR based transponders sound very cutting edge and extremely 
> adaptible to AMSAT's needs. I very much look forward to hearing them 
> at the symposium in a few months. I'll have my satellite backpack 
> station that was used for the Dayton demos, and will be glad to offer 
> it up for demonstrating the new transponders. CC Rider is also very 
> exciting and sure to open new realms of small stations and portable 
> operation.
> As someone primarily looking in from a user/member point of view I 
> would like to offer two comments. First, I'd hate to think we are 
> going to hang our entire mission on just the SDR transponders. 
> Wouldn't it be prudent to include at least a bare bones analog backup 
> transponder? Please tell me this is the plan. Second, I'd like to 
> encourage that software development not lag too far behind the 
> hardware. I'm not a big fan of the idea of writing the code once it's 
> in orbit. One does not have to look too far to find where AMSAT has 
> oversold or overpromised features based on writing the software after 
> launch. Please take these comments in the spirit with which they were 
> offered, with only my desire to see Eagle as succesful as possible.
> 73 and thanks for your efforts,
> Drew KO4MA
> AMSAT #33438
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