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Re: Six Amateur Radio Satellites to Launch in March

On Jan 16, 2008 4:29 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga@usna.edu> wrote:
> >> Instead of complaining about what these
> >> satellites don't do, maybe getting in touch
> >> with the builders and explore ways to
> >> add features and capabilities...
> >
> > A HUGE +1 to that thought! Work with these
> > guys on their goals while providing extended
> > missions for hams, invite them into the
> > fraternity and treat them as brothers, not as
> > outsiders.
> And this does NOT MEAN contact them and tell them that they are
> not doing what YOU think Amateur Satellites SHOULD do.  Its
> Paul's rule.  Don't criticise in the slightest.  Just provide
> help, info, resources, tools or leadership in the direction that
> might be where you'd like to see them end up. (if you're lucky).
> Bob

Of course, even in that spirit, it could be helpful for we AMSAT'ers
to discuss and concur among ourselves where we might like cubesat
projects to go, and some of the easy ways they might do so. This board
would make a great place to propose, imagine and reject crazy
ham/cubesat applications, either as a supporting payload or as the
main show.

Here's one that, Bob, I think you proprosed a while back: a HF
ionosphere sounding project. Especially as the 'sphere is going to get
activated by the new cycle, I'm sure there's some science to be done
by pinging on 10m.

A super-simple communications idea that has bounced around my head is
to get non-linear (say, AFSK FM) transmitters to operate as
single-user CW transponders. It works this way: if the receiver hears
a signal over a certain threshold, it triggers the transmitter.
Period. You'd want decent switching time to be useful for CW ops, but
I think it could be fun. It seems to me to be so simple that it could
be integrated with an AFSK system with very few components. I know
someone's thinking 'CW, man that's old school', but in my experience,
it would make an excellent demo: there's nothing like pushing a button
down here and hearing a beep from space. Nothing.

Where do we stand in SDX technology? Could we provide a cubesat sized
SDX 9600 modem, receiver and transmitter that could periodically serve
as a linear transponder or FM beacon, or whatever? I imagine some of
the cubesat groups that have very long-lived birds might at this stage
be glad to have a new mode with which to wow the world.

All of this would also suit us more if it were in higher orbit. Are
the current cubesat orbits (and even the projected ones for amateur
microsats) by preference or necessity, I wonder.

73, Bruce
Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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