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University Nanosat Program


Regarding the Nanosat-3 program, NASA and the AFRL had a review/poster 
session with the University Nanosat 3 team of universities just a few weeks 
ago.  This was held near the Dulles Airport in the DC area.  All 13 
universities were in attendance.  We also had a significant contingent of 
AMSAT leadership there.  They provided significant guidance to the 
university students, the professors and to the NASA and AFRL members in 
attendance.  For example, Tom Clark, W3IWI, Art Feller, W4ART, Perry 
Klein,  W3PK and Mark Kanawati, N4TPY were there as well as yours 
truly.  There was a lot of AMSAT hardware development knowledge in that 
room.  The AMSAT team members had some substantial one-on-one dialogue with 
the university teams on frequency coordination, dos and don'ts of 
spacecraft design, etc.  I think this whole event was a win-win for the 
universities, for the government agencies that sponsored it and for AMSAT.

Since I am on sit on two sides of the fence on this discussion (my team at 
NASA is a co-sponsor of the university nanosat program and I am an AMSAT 
Officer), I must say that this was a great event for the universities and 
for AMSAT.  It should be a model for future collaborations with 
universities building satellites.

There will be another University Nanosat review planned for the small sat 
conference in August.  AMSAT has been invited to support this with 
reviewers.  I am certain that the AMSAT experts will be there to provide 
their guidance and sage knowledge to these young students.

73,  Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

Message: 16
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 12:19:14 -0700
From: Al Zoller <n7ub@littleappletech.com>
Subject: [amsat-bb] Universities

Hello again,

Some weeks ago, I emailed the BoD on the subject of AMSAT's
Strategic Plan and Goals. The then current version of that document
contains several references to university satellite programs. To my
knowledge, nothing was ever done to implement those plans and

Bob's assessment of the success of the university satellite programs
is certainly on the mark but IMHO we (AMSAT) contributed to the
failures by our lack of attention.

I have subsequently been told that the BoD is going to seriously
consider the university satellite programs in the to be revised
Strategic Plan and Goals.

For the past year, I have been privileged to be deeply involved in
a university sat program. See http://www.ssel.montana.edu/merope/.
This program was well under way when I came on board so there has
been little opportunity to influence the configuration with regard to
amateur radio but this will not be the last sat built here.

I firmly believe that if AMSAT were involved in these programs early
in their conception and offered constructive guidance and help that
many would be more successful and result in more LEOs available
to the general ham population. If you go to http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/
you can get an idea of the magnitude of what is currently going on.
To get a bigger picture, explore http://www.smallsat.org/. Another
example is NASA's Nano Sat 3 program in which there are 13
universities involved. Ten of these have elected to utilize  amateur
radio frequencies! This situation is approaching critical mass.

All of these programs are producing more hams and they are also
producing the satellite designers and builders of the future. Dare
AMSAT neglect them?

My $0.02

73 de N7UB, Al
Area Coordinator,
Cube-Sat Advisor

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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