I think that people tend to wax sentimental when a new satellite goes up that fails to meet their sense of what the hobby is. I see geosync/phase4 being a great boon for the entire amateur hobby. Not only does it provide a means for us to do plug-n-play radio, but it also allows us to use parts of the spectrum that until recently have had no reason for usage. We would be able to utilize our band allocation rather than having them sit dormant risking reallocation by the FCC or other governing authority. Not having to compensate for doppler and with higher frequencies means we'll be able to fit more into what we're given and be able to "get back to our roots" instead of using the Internet as a bandaid for what we do. (Remember those old battles about IRLP repeaters is not really ham radio since the long haul isn't over a radio link?). Most definitely there will be extra expense unless you're a S-Band operator already which in their case, they probably have all the parts to hit 24+ghz in their junk bins. But the ability to have clear radio links anywhere the footprint sits, makes for an exciting hobby. Since most of us use directional antennas already, the thrill of tracking/tuning is still there for the existing LEO birds *and* I doubt by any stretch of the imagination that microsat/picosats will be going away for a long time. Colleges and Universities are sending them up more and more so they can teach engineering practices and be able to send up new "experiments" that would most likely be beyond the realm of the geosync/phase4 constellation.
That being said, I think the payload that goes up on the geosync/phase4 birds should reflect not only the current but the future of radio since they'll be sitting there for the better part of 15-20 years. Let's not dwell on the past where we try to accommodate everyone from DC to daylight and focus on bands/technologies that reflect the experience we've gained from 50 years of space flight. And since we don't have to deal with much stationkeeping tasks, more effort can be put into redundant RUDAK's and better efficiency in the power budget.
Any idea of where the proposed longitude locations will be and footprints? Will it be a shared antenna array? I'd love to know the engineering details of the agreement.
de Don - KL7EET
Michael Tondee wrote:
This is kind of along the lines of what I was thinking. Please don't get me wrong, I think AMSAT has an excellent opportunity here but won't this take some of the challenge out of things? I missed AO-40 altogether and I'm not active now because I had to sell my equipment but what originally drew me to sat operation in the first place was the challenge and thrill of working birds like the LEO linear and FM birds. I enjoy watching the footprint move across my PC screen. Heck, sometimes I just liked to go out on the deck on a not particularly good pass and watch the antennas track! I'll certainly be back in business for geostationary piggy back systems and use them but I'm thinking it will seem rather ordinary. Any ham who is capable of pointing an antenna to a fixed spot can become satellite active. I know, I know, thats good but it also takes away some of the novelty of it. I guess we can still challenge ourselves with P3E. Again, please don't misconstrue my intention here, I'm not meaning to criticize or complain, I'm just making an observation. 73, Michael, W4HIJ [email protected] wrote:
Hello To play the devils advocate for a moment. With a geo (stuck) sattelite we are pretty much stuck with the same foot print forever. Unless of course there is some sort of cross linking in the future. I very fondly recall AO-40 and bringing it up on my computer and seeing where the foot print was today. Maybe it's the Europeans or perhaps the VK's, ZL's (love their accent), or maybe some JA's, (practice my Japanese). At some time, I knew I could cover the whole planet. I do of course believe this is an excellent opportunity, though there are a some limitations.
-- 73 Bob W7LRD AMSAT member 28498 Seattle _______________________________________________ Sent via [email protected]. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program! Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb
Sent via [email protected]. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program! Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb