On 1/9/2023 10:25, Paul Stoetzer via Ltm wrote:
> Good morning,
> Do we have the potential capacity to support this project with an LTM?
Yes, we have the /potential capacity/ for one or two LTM.
The actual depends primarily on when it would be needed, and the number
e.g. suggested at least an Engineering Model and a Flight Model.
Frequencies must be coordinated with IARU early on and will need to be
known before delivery of any units whether engineering or flight.
Another capacity factor will be support, for integration and any other
that the customer expects. That will weigh out against how much time we
have to meet support beyond the expected base level of EM/FM, manual,
and some help with difficulties or bugs in getting it talking to their
And then cost, a one or two-off (EM, FM) build is more expensive than 5
or 10 so AMSAT should consider whether we want to do a run to have
others available for yet-unknown disposition or just serve customers on
an as-needed basis. Since we generally do not want to charge anyone for
the LTM (in-kind would probably be smart but is up to you, not
Engineering) then whatever costs we will absorb should fit our vision
and due diligence on spending.
And there are other factors IMO with that cost such as how long the
mission will last. I would expect them to operate the amateur radio
until the spacecraft demise, not just until their experiments are done.
I would expect the best possible orbit to extend that life and in that,
with Keith's mention of OD regs US vs. Canada if they can go higher and
longer, it makes sense to perhaps consider a minimum orbit lifetime of x
years for the cost to us for the LTM and support. Like, not an ISS
deploy for six months or a year IMO.
Summary: Yes, we have the potential capacity. What exactly that means
in terms of all of the above, is the real question.
I see no, or negative, value in saying we'll provide this
free-to-hamsats LTM sure thing let's go only to fail for whatever
eventualities (including supply chain). The risk of losing any future
chances by failure far outweighs over-optimism on meeting the sales pitch.
"AMSAT has been offering a fully tested cubesat transponder suite to
those groups interested in building and launching "amateur radio
qualified" experiments into earth orbit" is a sales pitch that does
bother me. Perhaps we should consider finding some better coincidence
of sales pitch vs. realism.
We do not want to own, or expect to be given, any or all LTM we give
away. You have it (our) radio, you license it, you operate it, you own
it, you keep it.
I think Keith is on that but it's not apparent in this email. It has to
be, in whatever sales pitch.
And what is a "transponder suite", anyway?
Jerry Buxton, NØJY
Vice President - Engineering
Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.