There are -worlds- of difference when we try to make rules for satellite operations.
For example, using the BBS on ISS. It is extremely inefficient to attempt to logon to this BBS over Europe and the USA since it blocks other users from the more efficient digipeater mode designed for those high density areas.
However, a station in Hawaii, surrounded by 16 million square miles of ocean has virtually unlimited access. Similarly, some stations in South Africa, Australia/New Zealand, South America and others may be able to make practical use of it, with out interfereing with anyone.
The GLOBAL map of HAM radio activity is extremely diverse, with probably 95% of the HAM Radio population all sharing only 5% of the footprints of our satelites. Trying to make "rules" without accounting for this 400-to-1 diversity severly limits the utility of our satellites.
I propose that AMSAT endorse a global AMSAT map of "Operational Areas". There are 4 categories:
OA/0 - Isolated. Hawaii, Arctic, Antarctic, South Africa etc OA/A - Area, Regional. (Australia, NZ, Japan? Etc) OA/B - Border (10% footprint overlap into OA/C areas OA/C - Congested. USA, Europe
Then if we ever need to make any flat statements about operations, then it can very clearly be designated as to what operating recommendations apply where.
Further, such a map would help educate the satellite user about orbital geometry and network planning. It would also encourage better use of our satellites over remote areas where we can actually contribute very well to communications applications.
Any discussion about "operational receommendations" is a waste of time without also identify the area where it applies. This map should be published in ALL amateur radio publications that mention Amateur Satellites. It should be come as common as the callsign maps...
Anyone want to take a crack at drawing the map?
This same map can also overlay the "INTERFERENCE" areas which shows the footprint areas of HIGH QRM from pirates. These shaded areas would also help educate not only our users, but our regulatory bodies as well.