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Re: Right-sizing a sat

Thank you, John, for such a good response to this tripe!

Yes, the RF hardware is not what has caused problems on AO-40.  If the same
propulsion system was used on an AO-10/13 type bird with just a few
transponder bands, we would have a piece of space junk right now.  The
complexity of AO-40 did NOT cause the problems.  Rather, it saved us.  A
simpler, smaller bird with the same problems would have been toast.

And yes, launch costs for a Molniya orbit are the limiting factor.



on 1/13/01 5:31 PM, John Stephensen, KD6OZH at kd6ozh@gte.net wrote:

> I'm not sure what you are proposing. AO-40 was launched because AMSAT-DL
> recognized that AO-13 would reenter prematurely, identified a launch
> opportunity for a similar Molniya orbit satellite to replace it and built
> one to fit the available space. Since they had more space available they
> made the satellite larger so that they could increase downlink power and
> allow more people to use the satellite. The inclusion of extra bands hasn't
> made the satellite less reliable, but increased the possibility of a working
> transponder in the event of failures.
> The major limitation for AMSAT is the cost of the launch. To launch
> satellites more often without increasing the budget means launching low
> earth orbit satellites instead of Molniya orbit satellites.

Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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