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Re: One satellite or many?

sco@sco-inc.com wrote:
> a good hf station costs more than many satellite stations.
> V band and U band are common low freq sat bands. what is lower that those?
> yes to work satellites the operator needs to learn a lot more than 
> working a FM repeater on a hilltop.
> more than one satellite at $6,000,000 each, how many do you want to fund?
> Eagle is not a tech challenge, except perhaps the higher freq digital part.
> the host satellite decides where our antennas go. they will likely 
> need to be omni-directional to be of any use to use?
> P4 sounds like the simplest and easiest to use ham satellite that has 
> ever been thought about or built. Both for the builders and the users.
> Les W4SCO


Let me state it clearly again.  I promised I would and I will until it
gets through.  This audience cannot fund our satellites, none of them
that are proposed.  We have attempted to get this audience to support
these activities and have failed.  There are members of AMSAT who could
write an $18,000,000 check for three payloads and they might wince, but
then would figure out a way to turn it into an asset. They have chosen
not to. Given this state of affairs, these packages are all much too
expensive from design to orbit for "folks who are working for a
paycheck" like most of us.  We have multimillionaires who read this
group who have given less than $100 in ten years.  Go figure.  This
situation, needing millions and getting hundreds has been THE SINGLE
factor preventing anything from being done.  Believe, don't believe,
nothing will change the facts.  Had we been able to, we would have
purchased a launch in 2000 and put up a P3 satellite and this
conversation would not be happening and we would not be aware of the P4
Lite opportunity.  It has nothing to do with laziness,  stupidity, poor
design, lack of leadership, etc.  There simply is no easy way to raise
the money unless somebody else WANTS to pay for it.  There are no free
rides (so far as the launch vehicle or payload companies are concerned).
 We MIGHT be able to arrange a free to us launch and the funding that
will get auxiliary payloads (piggy back) to orbit but we are going to
have to deliver a service to the customer in return.  This is not at all
unlike designing building the structure that supported PANAMSAT-1 during
the AO-40 launch, or the design work/construction that went into the
ASAP for Microsats, UOSAT's, etc.

A satellite such as AO-10,13,40, P3E, and Eagle are extremely complex
systems that happen to carry RF packages. Eagle would need several
telescopes/cameras, attitude control systems, rocket motors and
fuel/oxidizer storage and flow assemblies, solar panels that are
horrendously expensive, batteries that won't die in space, etc. etc.

With the P4 Lite approach,  we have none of this at all.  We concentrate
only on delivering the services we and the members want to deliver.  But
again, the members will not fund this package because of the large
expense of having Intelsat give us territory on their bus and hundreds
of watts for 15 years!   What we need of members is to support the
preliminary design work so the launch authority will believe we are
credible enough to sign a deal with us.  It is not that we are asleep.
We did not know this opportunity existed until last summer and we have
scrambled continuously since.  We are waiting on their response to our
request for lots of details on all sorts of things.

We need member support to handle meetings, prototypes,  overhead,
laboratory building, and much of the overhead of building the spacecraft
or payload.  I am not trying to discourage members, I am trying to help
you understand that we have to do what we can get money for.  No bucks,
 no Buck Rogers.

The path loss from Geostationary to the ground would imply you need a 6
meter (> 19 foot) foot dish to use the omni antennas on the digital and
darn large on the linear transponder.  We will not have omni antennas as
the primary antennas because we need lots of gain on the spacecraft so
we are putting most of our radiated energy on the earth and not calling
ET and the universe.

Should all of you decide these packages and this thesis makes sense,
then support the design work irrespective of whether I am on your
Christmas list or not.


AMSAT Director and VP Engineering. Member: ARRL, AMSAT-DL,
“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why
must the pessimist always run to blow it out?” Descartes
Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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