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FM LEO satellites



Joe WB9SBD wrote:

a whole bird with one "Channel"  seems like a HUGE waste.  Cool?  Yeah,, 
  but single user uh,,  nah.


Wayne W9AE replies:

AO-51 runs TWO transmitters most of the time.  I'm NOT a big supporter 
of LEO FM satellites, and I definitely wasn't happy about the "bait and 
switch" after the first Eagle fund-raising campaign.

But in retrospect, AO-51 was VERY timely because it was launched shortly 
after the demise of UO-14.  UO-14 was probably the most popular hamsat 
ever, measured by the number of ground stations who made contacts. 
Also, the AO-51 digital payload came online when we were down to (I 
think) only one, and sometimes NO working digital satellites.

In addition, AO-51's experimental modes help fill a vacuum while we wait 
for the next HEO/microwave satellite.   We ground station operators get 
to dabble with bands V/S and L/S, and modes SSB/FM, and PSK/FM.

In general, I believe that the large AMSAT organizations (NA and DL) 
should concentrate on HEO satellites and let the universities and 
smaller AMSAT groups build LEO satellites.  Satellites like VO-52 from 
AMSAT-India, and KiwiSAT from AMSAT-ZL.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Oakland, Oregon, USA, CN83ik
AMSAT Area Coordinator, President's Club Member

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