I've been thinking about the LEO vs. HEO debate recently and have come to a question, What is the cost comparison between launching 1 HEO sat vs. a constellation of LEO sats similar to what iridium has flying? Has this cost analysis been done? It seems many people just want a communications resource that is generally available from where they are and allows multiple simultanious (voice bandwith or wider) users. We seem to spend way too much time arguing over HEO vs. LEO when the real discussion seems that it should be how to most effectively provide a communications resource that best serves the amateur radio community in serving it's purpose as specified in 47CFR97.1 (apologies to the non-US hams on the BB but is not the outline similar most everywhere for our service) which reads:
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill. How can we best provide or at least contribute to this goal. What is the most cost effective option and how can we get there?
--- On Mon, 26/1/09, Eric Fort [email protected] wrote:
question, What is the cost comparison between launching 1 HEO sat vs. a constellation of LEO sats similar to what iridium has flying?
Wiki quotes the cost of the Iridium constellation at $6 Billion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_(satellite)
An HEO satellite could cost $4 million to launch add to that the cost of the satellite itself, maybe $500k using volunteer labour.
73 Trevor M5AKA