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The ESA/SSETI Team Set A New Standard For "Openness"!!!



All AMSATs Take Note!!

The SSETI Team has set a great new standard for openness, public relations
and communications.

Throughout the past year I felt like I was a member of the team.

With the weekly and often daily updates from Graham Shirville, I was with
the team during the project milestones. (a great job Graham! - Thanks a
bunch for your time and enthusiasm!!)

Then there were the webcams where I felt like I was helping wire the
harnesses.

Then how about that live feed on the Internet of the launch??

I fully agree with the fine post by Bruce Robertson on the great successes
of the SSETI endeavor. But I think another significant success was also
achieved by the SSETI team - "UNPRECEDENTED OPENNESS and COMMUNICATIONS."

Graham confided in an email that the Internet savvy and "open" leadership of
25 year old SSETI Project Manager Neil Melville made it easy for him to keep
the amateur community with SSETI's team all the way. Great job Neil!.
Perhaps youthful, enthusiastic leadership is part of the answer to our
sometimes stalled satellite programs.

There have been times in our amateur satellite building past that I felt we
were building and launching "military spy" satellites and not amateur
satellites. I hope the current satellite teams take a lesson from SSETI and
learn to communicate better and more often.

So while I too will miss the opportunity to use the U/S transponder, that
possible short coming is overshadowed by the achievements, knowledge and new
friendships this international student team has taken away from this
project.

To everyone on the ESA and SSETI team - thanks for the new standards you
have set!!

Bill - N6GHz

(I'm still maintaining an optimistic attitude that it's not over yet!)



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org]On
Behalf Of Bruce Robertson
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 6:32 PM
To: amsat-bb@amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] Learning from SSETI Express


The current inoperability of SSETI Express is of course a great
disappointment
for many of us in AMSAT, but I think we should take our lead from the
attitude
of the students involved, who are concentrating on the lessons learned and
the
goals achieved. It may seem to us that describing the 'successes' of SSETI
Express is excessively optimistic, but I suggest that isn't the case. I work
with undergraduate researchers in my job, and it is quite true that a great
deal
can be achieved and learned even if the prime objective is not reached.

Indeed, I would argue that the same logic can be applied to the situation of
amateur operators. Let me give three examples and a suggestion.

For our part, I have on many occasions heard it argued that satellite
operations
give amateur radio as a whole its forward-looking face and provide the
public
with a more balanced view of our hobby. If you've been reading the news
media
reports on SSETI, both before and during its troubled last few days, you'll
have
been proud of being described as an 'international team of amateur radio
operators' and the like. SSETI's generous inclusion of us as team members
has
been a public relations success (and an honest one at that, as anyone who
reads
this list can attest!)

Secondly, Graham and the rest have pioneered a deeper model of
collaboration,
wherein critical hardware, the expertise to use it, and access to our data
collecting power is traded for use of the satellite after its primary
mission is
completed.  Again, I think it is clear that this model of collaboration was
a
success. A reading of the past week's amsat-bb would leave no doubt that we
amateurs would have been effective in our role.

Thirdly, it should be noted that within our ranks there was a kind of
bargain
struck: the digital ops. were going to have a few months of work and fun,
and as
a result a voice repeater would have been opened up.

Look at any list of the cubesats and microsats that are planned for the next
five years, and consider how we might apply the lessons learned from SSETI
Express to these opportunities. For my part, I believe that we should
encourage
the production of suitable hardware, especially difficult to obtain
materials
such as the S-band transmitter, to have on hand in order to help projects
that
are willing to make the same bargain as the SSETI Express one. It is certain
that some of these projects will run short on time or on data bandwidth like
SSETI Express and be happy to make use of such equipment were it available
on
short notice.

As for us, I think this project shows what enthusiasm there is for a LEO
S-band
signal. I know I was looking forward to SSETI Express's FM transponder to
help
me improve my S-band setup before the arrival of the HEO's.


73, Bruce
VE9QRP
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