2018 AMSAT Board of Director Candidate Biographies

New ballots, labeled “CORRECTED BALLOT 7/20/2018” and printed on yellow-colored cardstock have been mailed to all AMSAT members. Please vote for no more than three of the 2018 candidates. Ballots must be received at the AMSAT office by September 15, 2018.

Candidates Listed Alphabetically:


Tom Clark, K3IO

Tom Clark, K3IO is also known to AMSAT by his earlier calls, W3IWI and WA3LND. He holds an Extra Class license, is a Life Member of AMSAT, ARRL & CSVHFS, and lives in Clarksville, MD.

Tom has served AMSAT for more than 40 years in a number of roles. He has served on AMSAT’s Board since 1974. He was Executive VP from 1975-80 and then took over from W3PK as AMSAT President in 1980. As President, he kept AMSAT alive after Phase-3A was lost in a failure of the Ariane launch vehicle, leading to the successful flight of AO-10. After stepping down as President, he was honored to be designated as AMSAT President Emeritus. He continues to serve as the Board’s resident curmudgeon.

Tom has strived to preserve AMSAT’s reputation, technical integrity and leadership in the small satellite world; this has often involved dragging the organization into new technical endeavors. He built the 10M antennas for AO-8. In 1979, when only a few amateurs owned computers, he published AMSAT’s first “open source” software for tracking satellites in generalized elliptical orbits. Along with NK6K and KD2S, the concept of all-digital amateur satellites was hatched, leading to AMSAT’s Microsats. He developed the uplink receivers and the spacecraft LAN architecture used on all the Microsats (Oscars 16, 17, 18, 19, 26, 27 and 31). He developed the SAREX Packet “ROBOT” originally flown by WA4SIR. Along with N4HY, he developed the first amateur DSP hardware, including a number of modems. He has been involved in developing AMSAT’s Software Defined Transponder (SDX) concept.

Tom has had many other exploits in amateur radio. He has been active in TAPR since its inception; recently this included the development of the “Totally Accurate Clock” and a new high-accuracy GPS-disciplined time/frequency standard. He has been an active VHF/UHF amateur since the 1960’s; one notable achievement was earning a 70 cm WAC in under 12 hours. The Central States VHF Society honored him with their John Chambers Memorial Award in 1996. He was inducted into the initial class of CQ Magazine’s Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. In early 2016, The ARRL honored “veteran AMSAT personality and Amateur Radio digital pioneer Tom Clark, K3IO with its President’s Award”. On the satellite front many years ago, he earned both WAS (#97) and a rare WAC (#3) using only LEO satellites.

Professionally, Tom retired as a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 2001. His research in Astronomy and Geodesy led to the development of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to measure tectonic plate motions (now known to ~10-20 microns/year) and to study variations in the rotation of the earth (to levels of ~5 microseconds/day); these activities led to his election as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the

International Association of Geodesy. NASA honored him with the NASA Medal for Outstanding Engineering Achievement and Goddard’s Moe Schneebaum Memorial Award. In 2005, he was the first non-Russian to be awarded a Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences for his VLBI developments. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and monographs. He now serves on several advisory committees and earns spending money as a consultant on topics including VLBI, GPS and Timing.

Mark Hammond, N8MH

 Thank you for your nomination to once again serve on the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. My current call is the Extra class vanity call of N8MH. I hold membership in AMSAT-NA (life member), AMSAT-UK, and ARRL. I have previously served as the AMSAT Vice-President for Educational Relations. My first call sign of KC4EBR was issued in 1988, and I immediately got hooked on HF digital modes and VHF packet. The launch of the digital microsats AO-16/DO-17/WO-18/LO-19 in 1990 attracted me to satellite operations, where I have been active ever since. The telemetry bug bit deep and hard during the golden years of AO-40, where my station faithfully collected and contributed data to the command team. In 2007 I was invited to become a command station for recovery attempts of AO-16, resulting in a novel configuration that enabled numerous FM/SSB QSOs around the world. I enjoyed the privilege of serving on the command team for AO-51, and I still maintain a reasonable level of on the air activity (mostly fixed, yet sometimes portable). The launches of AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92 have allowed me to once again provide command station services to support amateurs worldwide.

By formal training I am a molecular biologist that has evolved into an academic administrator (a provost/academic vice president) at the collegiate level. Education remains an essential component of AMSAT’s mission. Our dependence upon the linkage between education and our hobby/service is ever increasing. Partnerships with schools, colleges, and universities are key to our survival as an organization and to the training of the next generation of satellite builders and enthusiasts. Two and a half decades of experience in academia has prepared me to address the educational aspect of our mission by bridging AMSAT with future academic partners; I understand the structure and function of educational institutions of higher learning. (It is important to note is that my employer does not have any type of space or satellite programs, so there is no conflict of interest or hidden agenda.) As a re-elected member of the AMSAT Board of Directors, my goal is to improve the critical educational aspects of our mission. Serving as member and alternate of the Board for the last several years has been an enlightening and rewarding experience. Much good work remains to be done! Thank you again for considering me to continue as a representative for you in AMSAT.

Scott Harvey, KA7FVV

Thank you for the consideration for the AMSAT Board of Directors. I have been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1980. Involved in amateur satellites since the days of AO-10, AO-13 and AO-40. I work all of the satellites but am quite active on the FM satellites. I also do local education on working the FM “Easysats” at local club meetings and our local hamfest where I have done a satellite seminar for the past several years. It would be an honor to be on the AMSAT Board of Directors and be involved in the future of amateur satellite communications.

Bruce Paige, KK5DO

Bruce is a Life Member of AMSAT, and has been the Director of Contests and Awards since 2001. He is currently on the Board of Directors and has previously been a member of the Board of Directors during the building of AO-40 as well as the building and launch of AO-51 and again during the FOX program.

In 2004, he proposed that AMSAT join eBay’s Giving Works so that members could donate a percentage of sold items to the organization. Bruce is the manager of the AMSAT Online Store and instituted the issuance and payments for all of the AMSAT Awards via the secure website and the submission of applications via email. Stateside as well as International submissions for awards have sharply increased because of this change.

Bruce holds an Amateur Extra Class License and has excelled in his ability to work the satellites and teach others. He has written many segments for beginners and experienced operators alike on ‘How to work the satellites’ which are available on the AMSAT web site. He created the segments on the Houston AMSAT Net in the mid 1990’s. He has been instrumental in bringing the Houston AMSAT Net to those throughout North America and the world via a link to various commercial geostationary satellites as well as via MP3 over the World Wide Web which has now morphed into podcasts at the iTunes store. His radio segments have been translated into Italian and appeared in ‘Radio Revisata’ (the Italian version of QST). He has also written articles for the AMSAT Journal and CQ Ham Radio (Japanese version).

His affiliations with the ARRL include Volunteer Examiner and Field Checker for WAS, 5BWAS and VUCC. He can be heard weekly doing a satellite update for the “ARRL Audio News.” He was the president of the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club in 1998 and is a life member. He served on the Board of Directors for the Clear Lake Amateur Radio Club from 1994-2001.

Articles have appeared in local newspapers about his amateur radio activities and his work with local schools to bring the SAREX/ARISS program to children, and he helped install a ham station at a local middle school. He continues to spark interest in AMSAT and working satellites. Your support and vote is greatly appreciated.

Peter Portanova, W2JV

It has been a privilege to have been elected to the board in 2017 and I hope I can count on your vote in 2018. I have been licensed since 1965; original call was WB2OQQ, now held by my wife Adele. In 1998 I upgraded to Amateur Extra, my current call is W2JV formerly held by a decorated WW2 veteran. I’ve been active on the Amateur Radio Satellites since 2008; achieving VUCC in 2010, and always looking for more grids, I became an AMSAT Ambassador in 2010. In 2014 I was accepted as a forum presenter at the ARRL National Centennial Convention speaking on “getting started with the amateur satellites.” I was also a part of the AMSAT group that conducted training classes at the Convention on Amateur Satellites. I was recognized in 2016 for my efforts in fundraising, resulting in a significant financial contribution made to AMSAT.

In 2012 I initiated an introduction to meet Rep. Peter King and with the help of Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, Hudson Division Director, N2GA and W2KFV we opened communications with Rep. Peter King former Director of Homeland security. We discussed Amateur Radios role in emergency communications and the pending bill that would offer part of our 70 meter spectrum to the broadcast industry. Rep. King promised to bring our concerns, and raise the awareness of amateur radio to Congress, the bill never reached the Senate floor.

I’ve been a consultant to the board since 2014 serving as a Congressional Liaison Export Control, working closely with Barry Baines and the board on ITAR’s policy changes and its impact on our amateur satellites.

My wife and I are members of the Great South Bay ARC; I have served as a Director and Public Information officer.

It has been my goal to bring more young people to our wonderful hobby and show them how Math & the Sciences (STEM) can be enjoyable thru Amateur Radio. In April of 2017 I received an e-mail from the Central Islip School District asking the GSBARC to sponsor an ARISS contact as required in the application process. Our club provided all the necessary equipment for a radio contact with the ISS. On April 18th, 2018, selected students had the privilege to speak with Astronaut Ricky Arnold aboard the ISS. I was asked to speak with the 850 students in the auditorium about Amateur Radio, ARISS and Amateur Satellites. As a result of that special day the district is planning to purchase a station and the GSBARC will begin a technician licensing class.

Professionally I am the co-founder of a consulting firm that was formed in 1987; I strongly believe I will continue to be a contributor to the Board’s deliberations. My business background and experiences coupled with working alongside several board members and my impact on AMSAT over the past few years will help me become engaged in driving the strategic direction of AMSAT.

Thank you for your consideration.