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Re: an amateur satellite for $295



Only possible COMMS method from inside to outside I can see is
Accoustic, to modulate the aluminized bubble skin, and then
Laser reflection to recover that on the ground <GRIN>...  

Or, from outside-in, use a wrap-around LCD display on the tiny package
that can display packet messages sent from the ground with high-
power transmitters.  The messages are seen on the on-board 
camera that views the items and then to the website.... Bob

>>> "Tom Clark, K3IO" <K3IO@verizon.net> 07/20/06 5:44 PM >>>
It appears that the keep the items contained and flying loose within the
inflatable module(see the graphic at
http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/fly_stuff/items/examples.php), so you
must be prepared to occasionally contact somebody else's item and the
balloon's walls. Also, as Pieter noted, it's not clear how much solar
energy leaks thru the VECTRAN (http://www.vectranfiber.com/)skin if you
want to try some solar mini-panels for power.

I also note that Vectran has a dielectric constant = 3.3, so when you
design your antennas, you need to take into account that you will be
executing a random walk inside a "balloon" which has a velocity factor
of 1/sqrt(3.3)=0.55 and an aluminized skin.

Have fun !! -- 73, Tom
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