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[jamsat-news:1545] July 2001 President's Letter

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-200.01

BID: $ANS-200.01


It is with great pleasure that I write to you this month and talk about the
progress being made with our next satellite project, currently known as
"Project JJ".

Recently, a meeting was held in Denver, Colorado - attended by twenty
of AMSAT-NA's designers and officers. Their main objective was to
begin implementation of this project, as mandated by the AMSAT-NA
Board of Directors. While it is not my intention in this letter to go into
every detail about the meeting, it is important to note that one very
significant decision made was to make every aspect of this new satellite
(as it is being designed) completely available to the AMSAT community.
By every aspect I mean every drawing (including schematics), every
piece of code and all telemetry details, etc. The only details which will not
be released are those which would possibly endanger the security of the
spacecraft when in orbit (should hackers become active on the bird), and
any proprietary commercial data (which I don't think that there will be
much, if any, of). In other words, Project JJ will be your satellite!

Yes, this new project will be an "open concept" design and the project
committee will welcome your constructive feedback as the project
progresses. In fact, I am pleased to announce that Paul Williamson,
KB5MU, will be posting all project information on the AMSAT-NA web
page and Russ Tillman, K5NRK, will be writing an initial article for the
AMSAT-NA Journal - with more articles planned as we progress. I am
also pleased to announce that Lyle Johnson, KK7P, and Chuck Green,
N0ADI, have agreed to act as joint managers at the start of this project.

As with any project it is always wise to review, and learn from, previous
projects. Accordingly, at the Denver meeting a review of the Phase 3
series of satellites was undertaken. Discussion took place on advantages
and disadvantages, things we want to repeat and things we can improve
on. Such a review is a very valuable part of the design process.

Some of the decisions made at the meeting included:

1)	Sideband uplinks on L and U bands with a S-band downlink;
2)	Digital communications (TDMA) L-band uplink with S-band downlink;
3)	V-band telemetry beacon;
4)	Gain antennas for U, L, and S-bands;
5)	Omni-directional antennas (for initial commands);
6)	Propulsion system only if absolutely necessary. This is function of
yet undetermined launch dynamics and may require some form of
cold gas propulsion system for perigee adjustment. A decision on this will
be made in the near future.

Now to the important question of finance.

It is quite apparent that the days of inexpensive launches is over,
especially if we want a good, reliable launch, which I'm sure, we all do.
Therefore, it is imperative that we immediately commence a fund raising
effort -for a launch (currently estimated) for early 2004. I encourage you
to become a President's Club donor at either the $100/month (Gold) or
$50/month (Silver) level. In addition, a meeting of the AMSAT-NA
Development Committee will take place in mid-August with the main
objective of determining the best way to raise the necessary funds and
to coordinate the fundraising effort itself.

Meanwhile, you can take the initiative by calling Martha at the
AMSAT-NA office and give her your details for President's Club
Membership! Remember - AMSAT donations are tax deductible in the

Martha can be reached during normal business hours at:

(301) 589-6062

Again, this will be your satellite!


Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President, AMSAT-NA


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