[amsat-bb] Was AO-7B, now new High LEOs

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 3 06:13:59 PDT 2012

Thanks for the report John. I was also on that pass, and concur with your observations, except I did hear two stations on voice repeating their calls, maybe trying to find themselves. Let's hope this is temporary, and due to bad solar angles or such. However, long term, every day AO-7 continues to tick is a gift. Eventually she'll degrade to unusability, or just quit altogether.

Along the same lines of thought, FO-29 is long in the tooth as well, even though it's current performance is stellar.HO-68 was a worthy replacement for FO-29, but we know how that ended.

As you well know, these two satellites are the backbone of the fleet at the moment. While I am extremely anxious to see everything on the next Dnepr launch fly and work well (FunCube, UKCube, Triton 1 and 2, etc...), the orbit isn't optimal for range and DX. The FOX satellites will likely be in similar orbits, although that is not known for sure yet. While it is important these satellites fly, and when they do they will fill important roles, I still think we really need some good DX LEOs. Launches of US and European small satellites are hamstrung by orbital debris rules requiring reentry in so many years.

What's the solution? There are several. Look for launches to elliptical orbits with high apogees (like the recent Vega launch). Support projects from countries that do not participate in the orbital debris restrictions (India, Japan, China, Russia, etc.)as well as the lower altitude projects. I cringe every time a so-called "amateur" bird launches to 800 to 1700km from one of those countries with no two way package, especially when they are 10-40kg!. Look for piggyback opportunities to higher orbits. Develop propulsion and reentry measures to allow deorbit from higher altitudes after mission end. Pray for P3E to find a launch and funding to cover it.

I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic in how we need to look for these opportunities before it's too late. I'm not knocking any current program; in fact I've donated heavily to Fox and FunCube. I'm just looking down the road to where we are headed.

73, Drew KO4MA

-----Original Message-----
>From: John Papay <john at papays.com>
>Sent: Aug 3, 2012 8:28 AM
>To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
>Subject: [amsat-bb] AO-7B Performance 1005utc 3Aug2012
>AO-7B continues to struggle along.  This mornings
>1005utc pass was no exception.  No signals were heard
>from Europe and I could not hear my downlink until the
>satellite was over 15 degrees.  Low power up on cw
>produced key clicks in the downlink.  Surprisingly, higher
>power started to produce a tone along with the key clicks.
>On voice the downlink was distorted with low power.  Again,
>higher power produced more audio and less distortion.  I only
>heard one station sending dah's but very weak.  AO-7 seems
>to have good passes and not so good passes.  You just have
>to keep trying and hope to find a good one.
>John K8YSE
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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