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Re: Right-sizing a sat

>From: Jon Ogden <na9d@mindspring.com>
>To: Robert Oler <cvn65vf94@msn.com>, <kd6ozh@AMSAT.Org>
>CC: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
>Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Right-sizing a sat
>Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 23:12:56 -0600
>First of all, Robert, I agree with those who suggest you should go and 
>your own satellite since you seem to know so much about what a good
>satellite is.<<

Well thanks for your encouragement.  We got a little down after the group 
that had offered us a ride on their rocket went out of business even though 
they had test fired their second stage.  But enthusiasim remains high and we 
(a modest little group) are trying to figure out who to put Wrightway 
Aviation's first bird in orbit.

Whats interesting about your post is how it "could" have been taken.  Not 
you of course but one of the things I have noticed is that some folks get 
really jittery when any mention is made of going another direction then the 
one that we are going in.  But doubtless you would agree that any amateur 
should be able to add their opinion ANd even more so any member of the ARRL 
and AMSAT and perhaps even more so a life member in both organizations.  In 
the end for instance in amateur radio if only people who had built or were 
going to build satellites were the ones who were able to discuss where the 
future of amateur radio satellites is going it would be a small number 
wouldnt it?  I knew thats not what you had in mind because I havent noticed 
it stopping you from voicing "your" opinions.
>Second, reducing ground station size is INCREDIBLY important to a great
>number of hams.  These include:
>   * Apartment dwellers
>   * Mobile hams
>   * Hams on DX-peditions
>   * Hams with CCRs
>   * etc.

I dont know about "etc" but it would/will be interesting to see exactly how 
"small" antenna requirements will change the number of folks on the ham 
satellites.  I've had antennas (both VHF and above and HF in well 
military/college housing) in difficult situations and have always found 
where there was a will there was a way.  I have toyed with the idea if AO-40 
works to seeing if microwave mobile in the pickup would work.  Keeping that 
antenna(s) aimed is going to be "entertaining".

>Thirdly, the "complex" nature of AO-40 is NOT what has caused the problems.
>All the microwave crap that was added in to the bird is NOT what caused the
>failure.  The failure occured with an engine component that was a
>COMMERCIALLY MADE, SPACE QUALIFIED component.  Imagine that!  It was space
>qualified.  Should have worked properly, but it didn't.  It matters not how
>much stuff is packed inside AO-40.  That stuff didn't cause the failure.<<

I dont think that you (or I) know the failure scenarios of AO-40 right now.  
There might be a single engine related event or their might be "other" 
things in addition to the engine.  Additionally I dont think you (or I) 
understand what caused the engine to do what it did (or is doing) in terms 
of leaking.    However even assuming that we get past that (and its a big 
if) what failures are ahead is unknown.  But I would add this about the 
engine.  The burn might/would have been shorter had there been a smaller 
mass there AND that would have meant less fuel and no one knows how that 
would (or would not) have changed the equation.  If fatigue is a problem 
with some of the components less mass would have meant less opurtunities.

Likewise I dont think that I said that we (hams) shouldnt move into the 
microwave areana.  I just would argue for smaller more special purpose birds 
less be all to everyone.  I think that we could have had "more" birds with 
less capability for the price of one.

>Again, since you seem to be such a space expert and since you have a
>philosophy for building satellites, why don't you start building your own 
>others have suggested and perhaps people will chip in and help out.

thanks again.  We are self financed with a serious scrounging effort AND 
some donations.  All of us have day jobs and some days we make more progress 
then others but one day perhaps.

My theory on life is a life half lived is a life lived in fear.  I notice 
thats similiar to yours but I think its important what comes first.  My 
saintly great grandmother rode the horse until she went to heaven at 109.  
She was born in 1860 and saw men land on the Moon.  As she put it the day 
she went home..."Everyday I rode it as hard as I could".  Great advice.

Robert Oler WB5MZO Houston TX

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