Bulletins from the Pacific Packet Radio Society - page 132

During this discussion, Tom Clark outlined the possibility of a truly international implementation strategy. Tom described one scenario with the system design and user education/interfacing being the prime U. S. responsibility, on board hardware constructed in South Africa, satellite integration performed in the United Kingdom and actual launch handled by the commercial group in Texas which has recently flown a successful test mission (see A.S.R. #41, September 13, 1982). A part of the discussion involved the possibility that part of the US role might also include a new role for AMSAT in being responsible for the distribution of the hardware unique to packet radio unless commercial interest is seen soon; this could serve as a method for generating much needed revenues to support all of AMSAT's activities. To help get this activity moving, Den Connors agreed to act as interim PACSAT coordinator.

The general PACSAT concept was presented at the AMSAT general meeting, and the AMSAT membership welcomed the idea, with the only caveats being expressed as "Can we afford it? Are we stretching ourselves too thin?" Tom indicated that these were AMSAT management concerns too but that the key individuals were very enthusiastic about the concept. He stated that without a dedicated "hardcore" of technical volunteers, AMSAT loses its vitality. Since no further opposition was raised, Tom indicated that further development of the PACSAT concept can be expected.

Since the meetings at Goddard, Den has accepted the position of Project Manager for the US part of the PACSAT project , and several developmental efforts are in the formative stages. ZSLFE has confirmed the South African interest in pursuing the project, and G3YJO has begun "selling" the rest of the payload (which may well be called UOSAT-2). Key developments in the next few months will include ground station design, technology investigations to identify large flyable memories and modem (both MSK and PS K) design, planning for maximum utilization of the Phase-3B designs, conceptual designs of the on-board communications and processing hardware and software and coordination of the roles between the various groups that can contribute to this project.

It is hoped that this satellite will not only give the packet radio experimenters a much-awaited international linking capability, but also provide a new, challenging and unique outlet to the many thousands of new hams who are quite savvy in computer techniques and utilization. The AMSAT team solicits your indications of interest and assistance. This, as with all AMSAT projects, is a volunteer effort -- can we serve as a focus for your creative ideas?

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