[amsat-bb] Re: A0 40 replacement

Bryce Salmi bstguitarist at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 08:37:17 PDT 2013

You just described the objective of the Fox-1 FM RF board. This is exactly the position AMSAT is trying to get into. There's a YouTube video that interviews Barry Baines and he ends up explaining this goal. I'd link to it but am currently typing this on my phone .

Zach Leffke <zleffke at vt.edu> wrote:
>Just throwing this out there:
>1.  University cubesats tend to want to occupy amateur satellite
>spectrum for their science missions, V/U is common.
>2.  Most *science* missions are only designed to last a few years, but
>orbits will last a while longer.
>3.  How many science missions have been completed, but the spacecraft
>still in orbit and occupying amateur spectrum? (I don't know the answer
>I suspect it's a decent number, probably out of single digits and into
>double digits, see
>http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CSLI_selections.html to get
>idea of the number of cubesats going up from universities, note the
>of "in work")
>4.  What if those university spacecraft carried Software Defined Radio
>technology as their primary method for delivering their mission data to
>5.  What if upon completion of their mission the universities turned
>control of the spacecraft to AMSAT.
>6.  AMSAT then reconfigures the spacecraft such that the SDRs are now
>for voice or data relay (FM, Linear, packet, whatever).
>7.  Now all of a sudden, hams don't have to wait for a new spacecraft
>to get
>built and find a launch.  Birds already in orbit, that are using
>Spectrum, now all of a sudden are providing a service to the Amateur
>Personally, I'm glad the universities are using Amateur Radio spectrum
>their science missions.  I view the skies as a "target rich
>even if all I can do is listen to these birds.  However, it would be
>nice if
>the birds occupying amateur spectrum actually provided a service to the
>amateur community.  But what if the SDX that flew on ARISSat, or the
>that will be developed for the Future of the Fox series could be "sold"
>given) to the university cubesat community as a radio capable of being
>to deliver science data?  Their science mission concludes, control is
>over to AMSAT, the radios are reconfigured, and they become transponder
>birds for the ham community.
>At the rate that these spacecraft are going up, even if we nab only 10%
>the spacecraft listed on the link above and convince them to fly SDRs
>can be reconfigured, that's roughly 9 satellites that over time become
>useable by the ham community as voice/data transponders.  We don't have
>build them, we don't have to find a launch, we don't have to do
>anything but
>wait until the science mission is over and then play.  Will the
>be of the same quality of what comes out of AMSAT? Maybe, maybe not,
>even if one only lasts a year as an FM or Linear Transponder, I'd take
>and use it.
>Granted, who knows what the orbits would be, so a replacement for
>Probably not.  But would the Amateur Satellite community accept maybe
>instead of 1 really long pass from a HEO bird, maybe in that same time
>10 or 20 or maybe even 50 passes from multiple lower birds (I made
>numbers up, no idea what the actual numbers would be)?
>Granted, there is a LOT that would go into making this idea possible. 
>have to have an SDR the universities are willing to use, probably one
>flight history (cough, Fox-2, cough).  We'd have to have someone go
>to the Universities and "sell it" to the Principal Investigators that
>radio will work for them (technical issues aside, maybe they get a
>little PR
>by adding support for the Amateur community onto their list of mission
>objectives). If they agree to fly the radio, and then turn over
>control, we
>need to be capable of supporting those spacecraft from an Operational
>of view when the time comes.  We would need to have some sort of
>such that if they drive the heck out of their spacecraft to the point
>it is nearly dead when their science mission concludes we have the
>option to
>reject taking the spacecraft over. Etc. Etc. Etc.
>There's a lot of "what ifs" up there, but my favorite "what if" to
>about is: what if the 89 satellites on that link above were capable of
>supporting amateur use at the conclusion of their science missions
>(Fox-1 is
>on that list, so ok 88 satellites)?  89 satellites + what AMSAT has and
>still putting up?  Can't make a contact during field day on an FM bird
>because of crowding, no problem, you have 5 other satellites to choose
>and try.
>My second favorite "what if" to think about is: what if the university
>cubesats occupying amateur spectrum actually provided a service to the
>amateur community?
>A traditional replacement of AO-40? No.  Effectively reproducing the
>amounts of access time and capabilities of AO-40? Maybe.
>Like I said, just throwing the idea out there...
>-Zach, KJ4QLP
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Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

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