The 2009 AMSAT-DC Workshop was held this past Saturday as planned. It was held in place of the annual spring "AMSAT-DC Meeting and Space Seminar" of previous years, as voted by acclamation at last year's meeting. Something "new and different" was the vision. And, ...
What a great day ... for education, for AMSAT and for NASA!
The workshop was not without its scrapes, cuts and bruises. After all, it was an experiment unto itself, in part to see how well such an event might "take" in the mid-Atlantic USA region before attempting to emerge beyond. In the all-day event, a total of five individuals participated and three flight modules were built. We had humble beginnings, indeed.
A follow up session is in the planning stage. (We didn't have enough time to complete some troubleshooting and to start the calibration procedure on each module.) We will meet at NASA GSFC again in the next month or two -- this time, instead of in a huge cushy conference room serving as our "fab lab", it will be inside a real space flight hardware laboratory -- to calibrate the PICetSat II flight sensors.
Would you like to participate in a calibration session? Even if you missed the workshop, you are welcome to "finish the job" with us! The session(s) are free, but slots are VERY limited. Current AMSAT membership is required, and an advanced RSVP is required for security purposes.
Contact me by e-mail if you are interested in participating.
After our next AMSAT-DC planning telecon (to be held within the next two weeks) I will release our calibration date(s) and time.
Please share the excitement. Please pass the word. What a great day for education and outreach. And fun!
Pat Kilroy, N8PK, co-host Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ, co-host AMSAT-DC guys
------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 14:11:04 -0600 From: [email protected]> Subject: [amsat-dc] AMSAT-DC Workshop Saturday, April 25, in Greenbelt, Md To: [email protected]
AN AMSAT-DC WORKSHOP will be held on Saturday, April 25, at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
A small "simulated satellite" kit will be built, tested and operated by individuals attending. The completed kit, soon to be widely known as a PICetSat II module, is a simple remote sensing unit that serves as an expendable high-altitude small balloon payload. It transmits downlink telemetry on the 70 cm Amateur Radio band.
Other attendees will provide and configure radios, computers and software needed to receive, decode and analyze the PICetSat II telemetry.
The workshop is an experiment unto itself for the sponsoring AMSAT-DC group. This workshop may prove to be a fine training opportunity for one to learn the basics of the design, construction, testing, calibrating and operating an earth- orbiting satellite. All in one long Saturday of fun!
HELP IS NEEDED The workshop planning team meets weekly on Thursday evenings via a telephone conference. If you wish to help organize and/or execute the workshop then there may still be time to hop aboard if you are quick. Contact me by e-mail for the details of connecting with the group on the telecom at [email protected]. We need another experienced soldering and construction helper or two, a photographer, a videographer, and several "Go-fers" to name a few.
INFORMATION COMING Because of the workshop's experimental nature, the size is designed to be small in attendance this inaugural year. It will be an exclusive opportunity to AMSAT members, new and old alike.
On Sunday, March 16, we expect to release details on the attendance application process and donation. Watch for information about the workshop via the AMSAT News Service (ANS) bulletins, the AMSAT-DC e-mail list, and the local AMSAT-DC web page.
More info to follow later. Thank you for your patience on this subject.
Pat Kilroy N8PK AMSAT Area Coordinator