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Re: The Whole GEO Package - EMCOMM



The notion that Maybe ARRL should be the driver(s) of GEO's
for emergency satellite radio flew past a moment ago.
At least it would appear the issue is larger than just AMSAT-NA

Joe K0VTY
==================
On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 12:09:41 -0500 "Roger Kolakowski" <rogerkola@aol.com>
writes:
> I actually equate the preparation and package to being a combination 
> of the
> previous efforts of Civil Defense and MARS (not the planet.)
> 
> During the Cold War the government funded the placement of 2 meter 
> Gonset
> Communicators in many CD Shelters and city/town communication 
> facilities
> around the country. Nets were held. Groups were formed.
> 
> Currently I do know that, at least in Massachusetts, there is still 
> funding
> available to the towns for a "Civil Defense" director in the local
> governments.
> 
> So...as part of the EMCOMM..."Civil Defense" services are again 
> strengthened
> through a local "Communications Officer", the old lessons of traffic 
> passing
> are updated and practiced ala "MARS" TYPE traffic nets (though not 
> under
> Military oversight), new "standards" are set, satellite "nets" are 
> formed
> for readiness training allowing the development of "systems" and as 
> usual
> "emergency traffic" gets priority.
> 
> This may preclude 100% access by the casual operator during "net" 
> evenings,
> but assuming timezone differences and a sufficiently wide passband, 
> these
> "CD" nets might be held one day/night per week.
> 
> In this case, we prove and provide capability, develop a "league" 
> of
> operators who can become EMCOMM qualified while allowing themselves 
> and
> others to use the satellite "freetime" while developing their skills 
> at
> disaster relief if they so choose.
> 
> Previously these activities came under the "umbrella" of the ARRL. 
> That
> would be one solution, however there is a real possibility that this 
> becomes
> an opportunity for AMSAT to step up and drag EMCOMM kicking and 
> screaming
> into this century.
> 
> Will it require more of an organization, yes...will it require more
> "members"...yes,
> but the opportunities for digital to pencil traffic handling and
> communications are endless.
> 
> Roger
> WA1KAT
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Edward Cole" <kl7uw@acsalaska.net>
> To: <brobertson@mta.ca>; <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:30 AM
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: The Whole GEO Package
> 
> 
> > At 04:29 AM 12/20/2007, Bruce Robertson wrote:
> >
> > >In this spirit, might I ask this list to imagine what needs to be 
> done to
> > >make the emcomm/geo package a reality? The following is my rather 
> long
> > >analysis of the situation.
> > >
> > >I believe the proponents of the Intelsat agreement have done us a 
> great
> > >service by identifying a real and persisting need which AMSAT 
> can
> uniquely
> > >fulfill. By doing so, they not only greatly increase our chances 
> of
> funding
> > >otherwise prohibitively expensive launches, they give our branch 
> of the
> > >hobby a greater reason to do what we do.
> > >
> > >However, I also think the EMCOMM branch of our hobby has 
> different needs
> > >than the usual satellite station operator. If we are to really 
> and
> honestly
> > >make the world a safer place and save lives, I think we will need 
> to
> > >provide a GEO EMCOMM package that will require us as a 
> organization to
> > >branch into some new and exciting efforts. Let me explain what I 
> mean.
> > >
> > >Traditionally, a satellite station has been developed through 
> one
> person's
> > >expertise gradually growing regarding a number of interrelated 
> aspects:
> low
> > >signal VHF and UHF operation; the mechanics of an az-el antenna 
> array;
> > >computer control; and doppler correction. Certain satellites or 
> operating
> > >habits allow one to omit one or more of these, but in general 
> it's, even
> by
> > >ham standards, a challenging array of new skills and 
> understanding. I'd
> say
> > >the members of AMSAT are self-selected as those who enjoy this 
> challenge
> > >and seek to learn as many aspects of the field as possible.
> > >
> > >However, for an EMCOMM system to be effective, it cannot rely on 
> a broad
> > >array of such specialized knowledge: it is unreasonable to expect 
> that
> the
> > >first ham on the scene of a disaster will be one of the AMSAT 
> 'us', a
> > >person who has acquired this specialized knowledge. It is only 
> reasonable
> > >to assume that it will be an amateur radio operator, familiar 
> with the
> > >general principles of radio theory and operation. In fact, in my 
> region t
> he
> > >EMCOMM specialists and the technical specialists (if I might put 
> it that
> > >way) are often not the same people.
> > >
> > >So our challenge is more extensive than the challenge that faced 
> AMSAT
> with
> > >any previous launch: we need to make communication through this 
> bird
> > >possible for any ham shmoe who is opening up a box of equipment 
> after,
> say
> > >an afternoon of instruction half a year ago.   Please note, this 
> is not a
> > >matter of dumbing-down the bird or making it uninteresting. In 
> fact, for
> > >the old-hands and the technically adept around here this will be 
> very
> > >interesting and a great outlet for our skills. In this 
> application, if
> not
> > >on all birds, we should take it as a sign of success when people
> > >effortlessly get connected, because it would mean that, in a 
> true
> emergency
> > >there would be a greater likelihood of useful service.
> > >
> > >If this analysis is accurate, we need to imagine, broadly, three 
> things:
> a)
> > >the services (or modes) this ham will offer to support EMCOMM; b) 
> the box
> > >of stuff that this ham opens up; c) the afternoon's training she
> undertook
> > >to know how to use it. These are interrelated, of course. The 
> training is
> > >apropos the box of stuff, and the box of stuff allows the 
> services. They
> > >should also, I think, be *standardized* to an extent that has not 
> been
> the
> > >case before with satellite work. Recently I heard the argument on 
> Amateur
> > >Radio Newsline that ham EMCOMM services should be more 
> interchangeable
> > >across the continent; the same will surely be the case regarding 
> this
> work.
> > >Ideally the 'stuff' and the training is the same everywhere so 
> that the
> > >shmoe has a chance of recollecting her training and is required 
> to factor
> > >out/in as few local variables as possible.
> > >
> > >The advantage we have is that it isn't unreasonable to expect the 
> box of
> > >stuff to be perhaps more pricey than individual hams would like 
> such
> things
> > >to be.
> > >
> > >A large part of a) and b) will be determined by the ACP team, 
> whose goal
> > >even with Eagle was to provide ground-station hardware alongside 
> the
> bird's
> > >hardware. (The wisdom of this new approach should be applauded; 
> I'm sure
> it
> > >has made re-purposing Eagle hardware for P4/EMCOMM much easier 
> to
> imagine.)
> > >As I've argued before, I think one of the most important mode we 
> can
> offer
> > >is simple Internet connectivity, allowing the emergency services 
> folks to
> > >use the communication tools like email with which they are most 
> familiar.
> I
> > >hope this will be part of the mix. As for the second half of b) 
> and c), I
> > >think it will focus around designing and teaching the use of 
> software.
> > >Perhaps the box of stuff will include a laptop that operates well 
> with a
> > >specialized linux distribution-on-a-disk, including all the 
> software
> tools
> > >needed to assess link quality, perform simple communication, etc. 
>  If I'm
> > >right, this is fortunate because we seem to have quite a number 
> of adept
> > >software developers in our midst.
> > >
> > >Finally, the course. Can we provide standard lesson-plans, ppt 
> slides and
> > >the like? I think this would significantly lower the bar on each 
> of us
> > >teaching a session on P4 to our local club or EMCOMM group.
> > >
> > >I think we should spread the load on these tasks as early as 
> possible,
> > >making many of us participants in the final goal of increasing 
> the safety
> > >of our communities and nations. I'm excited to hear what others 
> think
> about
> > >the broader implications of the P4 initiative and how we can 
> deliver on
> the
> > >whole GEO package.
> > >
> > >73, Bruce
> > >VE9QRP
> >
> > Bruce,
> >
> > This is an excellent topic to bring to the -bb.
> >
> > Off course until the design of P4 has progressed, this is mostly
> speculation.
> >
> > The EMCOMM radio package will most certainly drive the satellite
> > requirements, as well.
> >
> > The ground package needs to be:
> > 1- compact (portable)
> > 2- standardized (so diverse groups can assemble a package)
> > 3- well documented (both for assembly and use)
> > 4- versatile to power (anywhere in the world)
> > 5- robust (to endure rough handling; harsh environments)
> > 6- easy to interface (with computing hdwr; telco; other ham 
> equipment)
> > 7- simple to assemble and aim
> > 8- affordable
> > 9- kit or ready to use (within reason considering the technology)
> >
> > This should probably be close to the same package that the 
> apartment
> > user will have.  This would expand the volume of units made.  
> design
> > be made available to commercial sector to provide units (fitting 
> the
> spec).
> >
> > Hope this gives a starting point.
> >
> >
> > 73,
> > Ed - KL7UW
> > ======================================
> >   BP40IQ   50-MHz - 10-GHz   www.kl7uw.com
> > 144-EME: FT-847, mgf-1801, 4x-xpol-20, 185w
> > DUBUS Magazine USA Rep dubususa@hotmail.com
> > ======================================
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> author.
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> 
> _______________________________________________
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> author.
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> 
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