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Re: lower frequency downlinks

>RS3-RS8 launched together on a small KOSMOS launcher (alongside RS1 & 2) 
>were much smaller birds and although information is patchy, were probably 
>based on the small STRELA satellite bus used by the Russian military for 
>store-dump battlefield communications. They did not have the benefit of 
>'stealing' power for a larger craft and were autonomous amateur radio birds 
>with fairly small solar generators.  These small craft although in LEO (I 
>believe 1000Kms) put out cracking signals and were very popular birds.
>Much of course depends on whether you use a piece of wet string or a proper 
>antenna on the ground:-)  Signal strength is a subjective issue.

Al, what you said is true, but.....;-)

Part of my point was the available power. The Strela buss you mention as the basis for the RS3-8 sats has a mass of 64 kg, compared to a microsat like Echo/AO-51 with a mass of 11 kg. More mass, bigger satellite, more panels, more power. 64 kg is getting close to the size of our HEOs!

I do agree...the proper antenna makes a world of difference, and the Mode A LEOs of the past had good signals. I cut my teeth on RS-12 Mode K and usually used a dipole horizon to horizon. But it's all moot anyways, AMSAT-NA's mission is HEO now, and it's up to a university or other AMSAT group to build and fly something LEO. (Doesn't mean we can't _help_!)

BTW, what happened to the Russian ham satellite program? 

73, Drew KO4MA
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