G. Gould Smith, WA4SXM Steps Down from AMSAT Board of Directors, VP-User Services Positions

Gould, WA4SXM at the AMSAT Booth at Dayton
Gould, WA4SXM at the AMSAT Booth at Dayton 2012.

G. Gould Smith, WA4SXM of Knoxville, TN has resigned as an AMSAT Board of Directors member as well as his position as VP-User Services on the AMSAT Senior Leadership Team.  Gould notified AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW of his decision via an e-mail that states in part, “It is with deep regret that I must resign my AMSAT positions of BoD member and VP of User Services.  AMSAT has played a major part in my life over the last 25 years; the incredible people have made it such a great pleasure.”

Gould has persevered despite chronic health issues, but  recent severe medical issues have precluded him from active participation in AMSAT for some time.  Gould noted, “I had hoped that I would be able to contribute this year, but that hasn’t worked out. The organization needs to have contributing people in these positions.”

In his reply to Gould’s notification, Barry responded in part, “I’m sorry to receive your resignation; you have done so much for AMSAT over the years.”

Under AMSAT By-Laws, the position of an AMSAT board member who resigns is filled by the First Alternate elected in the prior election.  JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM steps up as a board member as she was the “first runner up” in the 2013 election cycle.  She will remain on the Board through the 2014 election cycle later this summer, when  this position will be open for election by the membership.  The VP-User Services position is currently open.

Gould has been an AMSAT member since 1989 and a life member since 1998.  An Advanced Class license holder, Gould became immediately involved with AMSAT once he joined, first as an Area Coordinator, then as a prolific writer of various “Guides” that have been donated by Gould to AMSAT for publication.

Among the books written by Gould and updated each year include Decoding Telemetry started in 1990 which later became The AMSAT-NA “Digital Satellite Guide in 1994 and published until 2008;  The RS Satellite Operating Guide” published from 1993-1997 became the Analog Satellites Operating Guide” in 1998 which in turn became the Getting Started in Amateur Satellites in 2003.  Getting Started in Amateur Satellites has been updated each year, and AMSAT intends to release a revised edition at the 2014 Dayton Hamvention with materials contributed by various authors.

Adding to his considerable body of work for AMSAT, Gould became a member of the AO-51 command team in 2006 after he wrote a book on the satellite in 2005.  AO-51 Development, Operation and Specifications described the satellite’s construction, launch, experiments and hardware specifications.

Gould’s writing has graced the pages of AMSAT JOURNAL over the years covering a variety of topics as well a numerous papers presented at AMSAT’s Annual Space Symposiums.  Gould saw needs within the organization and filled them, such as writing books that were useful to both newcomer and old hand alike.

As Director-Field Operations starting in 2004, Gould led a vibrant and enthusiastic team of area coordinators who represent AMSAT at the local level, giving club presentations, serving as Elmers, and representing AMSAT at local hamfests.  From 2005-2012, Gould also served as the Team Leader for AMSAT’s participation at the Dayton Hamvention, including booth design and staffing, developing support materials, and serving as a forum speaker on various topics.  As VP-User Services starting in 2008, Gould’s responsibilities broadened to include the AMSAT Journal, “AMSAT News Service”, Electronic Services (including the AMSAT website and electronic mail), Contests and Awards, as well as Field Operations with team leaders assigned to each area reporting to Gould.

Gould was first elected by the membership to the AMSAT Board of Directors in 2008.  As a BoD member he was actively engaged in the strategic direction of the organization, developing recommendations on improving communication with the membership and educational outreach.

arissatlogotightGould also stepped forward to serve as Project Manager of SuitSat-2 in 2008 after it became clear that the program, started in 2006, needed additional management direction.  When the Russians decided to discard the Orlan Spacesuit that was in storage on the ISS due to the need to “clean house” in 2009, the Suitsat-2 program morphed into ARISSat-1, a spacecraft to be deployed from the ISS.

ARISSat-1 departing the International Space Station after deployment by Russian Cosmonauts on August 13, 2011.
ARISSat-1 departing the International Space Station after deployment by Russian Cosmonauts on August 13, 2011.

Gould’s considerable dedication to the program was exemplified not only by his ability to redirect the engineering team towards the successful redesign of the spacecraft systems to be housed in its own structure, but his extensive personal involvement in spacecraft testing and integration in Orlando, FL in the summer of 2010.  The end result was delivery of the spacecraft to NASA in October 2010 for transportation to Moscow and successful deployment of ARISSat-1 from the ISS on 13 AUG 11. Gould helped to turn around a struggling program and delivered a promised project to Russia for deployment.

The AMSAT Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team thank Gould for his considerable accomplishments for AMSAT of the past 25 years and wish him all the very best in the future.