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Are there any Geosynchronous Ham Sats?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by N8NMG, Nov 22, 2021.

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  1. AI5DH

    AI5DH Ham Member

    I agree; hams are tightwads; who would pay for it? It has ZERO benefits to the public. China or Russia might like it, a free practice target no one would miss or mind much being blown out of orbit.
  2. K7WDO

    K7WDO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The challenge is that the free ride as "ballast" we used to get back in the early days of Oscar has disappeared and the commercial small launch industry has emerged to take its place as companies discovered you could make money on these types of payloads. Rocket Lab, Astra, Virgin Orbit, Firefly, and a slew of others are providing launches for small satellites that used be be secondary payloads but are now the primary payload. Even SpaceX is getting into this market with their transporter rideshare missions that can get 200kg to a 500-600km SSO orbit starting at $1 million. Not cheap, but it is less than a dedicated small-sat launch like Electron and way less than a Falcon 9 flight ($62 million+). About the most reliable way to find a "free" launch these days is to get someone to sponsor the cost like NASA's ELaNa program.

    One difference I see in the HEO vs GEO debate is opportunity. The elliptical orbit the Phase 3 satellites (AO-10/13/40) had provided that big GEO-class footprint at apogee but it moved around offering access across the entire globe and enabling different DX opportunities. QO-100 has been a great success, but that big footprint is locked in to one place and not available to everyone. Even for a GEO sat over North America, what would be the ideal footprint? Over the Atlantic, over the Pacific, or dead center? The Atlantic could open up Europe but might come at the cost of access to Hawaii. Over the Pacific would get Hawaii, but to reach Japan or New Zealand might come at the cost of the US east coast. And if your transponder is a secondary payload like on QO-100, you don't have much of a say in where that footprint will be.

    AMSAT is working on GOLF as an opportunity for HEO and I have to wonder if someone could strike up a partnership with one of the launch providers as another path to a P3 class satellite in HEO. Rocket Lab seems to tick all the boxes - they have the Electron for launch, the Photon satellite bus, and the Curie upper stage engine for adjusting the orbit. They're already doing the Capstone lunar mission using an elliptical orbit to reach the moon so they have the knowhow. And if you mimic AO-13's orbit which lasted less than 10 years, that would satisfy the orbital debris recommendations. I doubt they'd do it for free, but could they get the price down to something that could be crowdfunded?
    DM2TT, K6CLS and KA0HCP like this.
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lotsa good ideas there. I agree, a high elliptical orbit would be more fun than GEO. How about a Molniya orbit?
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Cover your mouth when you say that!!
    WA4SCA and K6CLS like this.
  5. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    OSCAR-13 was almost in a classic Molniya orbit at 58° inclination. I feel bad for new operators that have only experienced LEO. Once you go HEO, you never go back.
    DM2TT, KS1G, KG4RRH and 2 others like this.
  6. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I made Oscar 13 Mode S contacts with 6 watts to a 10 el cross Yagi on 70 cm and a 2 ft dish on 2.4 GHz receive. I have a QSL card that says my signal was one of the weakest he ever heard through the bird.
    I was in Hawaii and made contacts with Japan and the continental USA.
    KA2CZU likes this.
  7. KS1G

    KS1G Ham Member QRZ Page

    AO40? I enjoyed Mode S, but didn't use it enough! Still have my G3RUH dish, feed, and a CATV downconverter retuned for 2M IF. Wish I worked you when you were there!
  8. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wasn't there an amateur satellite that was supposed to go into a HEO but the "Kick" motor was presumed to have failed or exploded ?

    This may go back about 30 years, but I do seem to recall that.
  9. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. KD6RF

    KD6RF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Heck - maybe someone could convince US Military to sell or lease out 2 or 3 of those FltSAT-ish 25KHz channels that central and south American pirates and bootleggers and runners of all sorts have taken over ...... oh ya and get a few new narrow spectrum allocations around 300 MHz :p

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