February 29, 2004

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AMSAT Strategic Plan Announced

To All Members,

In the following "AMSAT" refers only to AMSAT-NA except where specifically shown.

Forward by Robin

February 21 and 22, 2004 may be considered as critical dates in the continuing development of AMSAT. Most of the Senior Officers together with most of the Board of Directors met to start developing the "New AMSAT Strategic Plan". It is now some 5 years since the last plan was developed and since that time your Board of Directors has undergone a radical change. At the same time the world has also changed dramatically with 9-11, Enron, Worldcom and a turn down in the economy of the USA. Your Board thought that a new Strategic Plan should be developed taking these changes into account, and the differences in thinking of the "New Board of Directors".

The theme of the meeting was to decide what the our membership (you) wanted from AMSAT and what AMSAT must do to remain an active organization and survive the next 8 to 10 years. It was agreed that the strategic plan will be under constant review thus continually pushing the 8 to 10 year time period outwards. A short Board meeting was held (Minutes to follow later) at which Dick Jansson brought the BOD up to date on his thinking on Eagle, then we tabled a motion on rules for "Electronic Board Meetings", until all had a chance to review the matter for 24 hours. The BOD meeting was adjourned and we commenced the strategic Planning meeting. In addition to the Board members Stan Wood VP Engineering, Martha Saragovitz Corporate Secretary, Art Feller Treasurer, Bill Burden VP Strategic Planning, Jim Jarvis Marketing Manager, Steve Diggs Assistant to the President, and Lee McLamb BOD Alternate were present. Apologies were received from Gunther Meisse who was sick. The session was held under the direction of and with the assistance of Gerald Youngblood who has held many such sessions with similar organizations and was recommended to the Board.

After reviewing the Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) to AMSAT we were able to determine a Mission and Vision for AMSAT which includes a long range plan, and to which all present were able to commit themselves. This plan assumed launching Echo later this year, and the successful launch of P3E by AMSAT-DL within the next 2 or 3 years. It takes into account the possible launches of one or more Low Earth Orbit satellites from one or more of New Zealand, Australia, and India together with other LEO satellites at the same time as Eagle. The plan assumes that although there will be AMSAT interest in AMSAT-DL's P5E (to orbit Mars) there will be very few AMSAT members who will have suitable equipment to work that satellite.


AMSAT is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. We work in partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and fellow amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific, innovation and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground system designers and operators.


Our Vision is to deploy High Earth Orbit satellite systems that offer daily coverage by 2009 and continuous coverage by 2012. AMSAT will continue active participation in human space missions and support a stream of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community and other amateur satellite groups.

Commentary by Robin:

In both the mission and the vision we discussed using specific names (such as ARISS) but decided it would be better to leave the statements generic. Daily coverage by 2009 means two satellites in orbit such as P3E and Eagle well enough spaced apart that there would be one available everyday. Continuous coverage means there will always be a high earth satellite for some form of operation in North America (probably elsewhere too, but orbits have to be developed for this). These would include P3E, Eagle and another as yet un-named satellite.

Although all present gave their agreement to these plans, much detailed work remains to be done over the next several months to determine implementation methods, your BOD will be meeting bi-monthly by teleconference to work on these issues. Our first Teleconference will be to "Define Roles and Expectations for BOD and Officer positions". Meeting these goals will require a great effort, particularly on behalf of the members of the Board of Directors. Each BoD member will have to become an active AMSAT representative and fund raiser, we will be looking for support from all of the membership financially, technically and administratively.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President, AMSAT

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH, for the above information]

AMSAT at the Nanosat-3 Design Review

NASA and the AFRL had a review/poster session with the University Nanosat 3 team of universities just a few weeks ago. This was held near the Dulles Airport in the DC area. All 13 universities were in attendance. We also had a significant contingent of AMSAT leadership there including Tom Clark, W3IWI, Art Feller, W4ART, Perry Klein, W3PK, Mark Kanawati, N4TPY and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. They provided significant guidance to the university students, the professors and to the NASA and AFRL members in attendance. There was a lot of AMSAT hardware development knowledge in that room. The AMSAT team members had some substantial one-on-one dialogue with the university teams on frequency coordination, dos and don'ts of spacecraft design, etc.

This was our opportunity to discuss how their projects might fit into the structure of amateur radio. Art and Tom had collected the relevant AMSAT & IARU literature into one place. This 1 Mbyte data package included:

Art provided about half the universities with this material on CD, while Tom provided the other half by "sneakernet" using a USB "chewing gum" memory stick. This was material was also provided to update the closed USAF/NASA University website. Overall whole event was a win-win for the universities, for the government agencies that sponsored it and for AMSAT. Events like this one hold great promise as a model for future collaborations with universities building satellites.

There will be another University Nanosat review planned for the small sat conference in August. AMSAT has been invited to support this with reviewers. Planning is underway for AMSAT experts to be there to provide their guidance and sage knowledge to these young students.

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO and Tom, W3IWI, for the above information]


The following HF Nets meet weekly. They generally feature AMSAT bulletins, and answer many questions from newcomers and old-timers alike.

AMSAT International Sun  1900 UTC 14.282 MHz
AMSAT-NA East Coast  Tue  2100 Eastern  3.840 MHz
AMSAT-NA Mid-America  Tue  2100 Central  3.840 MHz
AMSAT-NA West Coast  Tue  2000 Pacific  3.840 MHz
AMSAT-India Sat-chat Sun  0730 IST  7.070 MHz

Additional information about VHF and local nets is available from the AMSAT website at

[ANS thanks Paul, KB5MU, for the above information]

This Week's News in Brief

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. AO-7. AO-10. UO-11. UO-14. AO-16. LO-19. FO-20. UO-22. KO-23. KO-25. IO-26. AO-27. FO-29. GO-32. SO-33. PO-34. UO-36. AO-40. SO-41. SO-42. NO-44. NO-45. MO-46. AO-49. SO-50

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Lee McLamb, KU4OS,