Geosynchronous payload inches closer to reality

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Colonel Fred Kennedy, USAF, Space Production Division and Program Manager for the Wide Field of View satellite (hereinafter WFOV) has accepted the proposal to allow Virginia Tech to place a hosted payload consisting of a Software Defined Radio designed and built by Rincon Research Corporation using support equipment and antennas designed by Virginia Tech and other volunteers to this effort.

The spacecraft hosted amateur payload will be included in the Aquila M8 bus by Millennium Space Systems who is the integrator for WFOV.  Our first role and immediate action item is to raise the $100,000 for Millennium to complete the study of the inclusion of this payload on Wide Field Of View.  Following successful completion of this study,  Virginia Tech will raise money to defray the cost of integration and launch of this payload.  After achieving orbit,  volunteers managed by Sonya Rowe and Zach Leffke of Virginia Tech will operate the payload for as long as it is over the US.  We at VT with the help of the ARRL will prepare partners in other regions to operate the spacecraft should it be moved in order to allow the WFOV to accomplish its primary mission and be prepared to take over operation of the hosted payload on its return to the area of the Contiguous United States (CONUS).

Colonel Kennedy told me how much he admires how unbelievably capable amateurs around the world have been in their many organizations to get spacecraft to orbit and wishes us the best of luck in the onerous task we will have of raising $5M to get this on board.

I will be making many details public now that Colonel Kennedy has told us we are a go if we raise the money.  I know this is a tall order but “A coward dies a thousand deaths and a brave person dies only once”.  I would rather go down trying than cower in a closet.  This is not intended as casting aspersions on any individual or organization just saying I must proceed hastily to succeed at all and I cannot afford caution.

Let’s GO!

Bob McGwier
Co-Founder and Technical Director, Federated Wireless, LLC
Research Professor Virginia Tech
Senior Member IEEE, Facebook: N4HYBob, ARS: N4HY
Faculty Advisor Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Assn. (K4KDJ)

Geosynchronous Amateur Radio Payload