Yes, we DO need/want a GEO sat with ham transponders over the Americas !

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KC9SGV, May 1, 2019.

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  1. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is the ORI website link:

    ORI states specifically their support for AMSAT and open sharing of their work product: "Phase 4 Ground is an Open Source satellite ground station project primarily intended for AMSAT as the flight customer and the Radio Amateur community as users. "

    Michelle Thompson W5NYV
    is continuing the work on Phase 4 Ground (P4G) that she has lead for AMSAT-NA for several years, under the ORI umbrella.

    COMMENT: I believe her work is extremely important for the future of satellites and SDR development. The ORI reflector messages give a good glimpse of the background work that goes into developing satellite hardware, software and the necessary industry collaborations.
    KC9SGV and WD9EWK like this.
  2. K6BP

    K6BP Ham Member QRZ Page

    ORI welcomes everyone, however we are very different from AMSAT, but no, you might not like ORI. I think most folks will. First, all of our work is 100% Open Source and carried out in the open where everyone can see and participate. We have entirely solved the ITAR issue which still today makes AMSAT incapable of executing on projects like Phase IV Ground. Our ITAR/EAR strategy is also used successfully by other space and Open Source organizations (and was used by Open Source organizations for decades before we started), and it is time that AMSAT took it up.

    Also, we're nicer. Really. I think a lot of you don't understand the problems that face a female chief engineer of a project at AMSAT, or anyone different. We solve all of that stuff, because it's important that Amateur Radio not be all fat old white guys. We have dealt with that problem in a way that AMSAT has yet to. We have codes of conduct that must be followed. Some significant folks in Amateur Radio technology have come up against them, and through a lot of work by us and friends now understand the issue.

    And our management is not hierarchical. You get to direct your project.
    KC9SGV, KA2CZU and WD9EWK like this.
  3. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I'm still very much a happy member of AMSAT-NA, but I also should point out that "being critical" of an organization isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm not a "yes man". Have said that, without knowing the back story, all I can say is that AMSAT-NA has treated me right. I will still look into ORI, though.
    WD9EWK likes this.
  4. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've always enjoyed the diversity of people to meet and befriend via amateur radio.
    K7III likes this.
  5. N8HM

    N8HM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We would absolutely like to carry out our engineering work on spacecraft out in the open to the extent possible and we do have attorneys retained and actively working on EAR/ITAR issues. At this time, those attorneys do not believe that a 100% open source framework is compatible with amateur spacecraft development work under the current statutes and regulations. I would note that a project like Phase IV Ground, focused on satellite user terminals, would generally not fall under any EAR/ITAR restrictions. Regardless, EAR/ITAR restrictions do not make us incapable of executing on any sort of project that we may wish to undertake, but they do create complications when partnering with foreign organizations.

    AMSAT does not tolerate any sort of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military/veteran’s status, and we have a written policy to that effect (

    This is certainly a difference in management styles. I can't disagree with that. However, if we are approached by someone who wants to direct a project that will further our organizational goals, the Board of Directors will consider the request and decide whether or not we can devote resources to such a project.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    And you were doing so well with the credibility thing until you spewed this stuff....

    K7III, WN1MB, W5SAT and 2 others like this.
  7. K6BP

    K6BP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I believe your attorneys think this. Ask them to explain the Defense Distributed case in detail. We have kept our policy in the face of the government in every way possible for a year and a half, and have given them every chance to object. They aren't interested. Defense distributed set a precedent they can't beat.

    The policy is a good first step, but it's difficult to actually know how to behave to make this work without training. We have had to explain concepts like "tone policing" that otherwise competent managers just had not encountered, and totally botched when they had to deal with it. Because you have not had to deal with this, you discount the total hell that AMSAT is for a woman engineer. Look around. They have all left AMSAT.

    Our organizational goals are to do scientific research and make the results available to everyone. We require that your work be Open Source. We have conduct rules. That is the filter.
    We are happy to host your project, and collect donations for you in a tax-free manner. It actually doesn't make sense to say "no" to a project if it isn't using up lots of money that the project itself isn't collecting.

    I know about 30 very smart people, whom I tremendously respect, who did major projects for AMSAT and no longer will work with AMSAT. I believe the problem is that they just can't do what they want to achieve within AMSAT. Innovation can't really be planned and so much discovery is accidental. Perhaps this is why Open Source is so successful despite - or I think because of - an overall lack of any roadmap or coherent management.
  8. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tell that to my state's AG. Apparently the 1st and 2nd amendment don't apply in PA.
    KG5CCI likes this.
  9. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The cool thing about AMSAT is it has been practicing "open source" before the term became popularized by Tim O'Reilly in the 90's. To this day, AMSAT publishes its teams' designs and other developments in its annual Symposium Proceedings.
  10. K6BP

    K6BP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only reason that Defense Distributed is relevant to AMSAT and ORI is its connection to ITAR and the concept of code as speech. Neither organization is an advocate on 2nd amendment issues, nor should they be. It's generally a bad idea for organizations to mix issues that way.

    There will be state challenges, but ultimately states can't beat the 1st amendment. They can, however, probably find other viable law that they can use to control firearms.

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