Broadcast 1210 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

21 Aug 2009 D. K. Sachdev, Rodger Williams
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Guests: D. K. Sachdev, Roger Williams. Topic: Satellites – everything you always wanted to know. Our guests today were D.K. Sachdev, President of SpaceTel Consultancy and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, along with Roger Williams, Managing Director of Technical Publications for AIAA. We started our program with Mr. Williams who was only with us for the first ten minutes of the show. Mr. Williams spoke with us about the AIAA publication effort, the categories, books, and series, plus the reviewed journals. We then switched to talking to Professor Sachdev about his book, "Success Stories in Satellite Systems." I initially asked D.K. what makes a satellite system successful and what leads to the most failures. Were they technical and engineering failures or management failures? DK said that most problems resulted from a mismatch in the reality of the market from expectations and planning. He also mentioned over-engineering of the satellite. This is an important discussion, don't miss it. We also talked about ITAR and he offered some very interesting specific observations that you will want to hear. Toward the end of the first segment, we talked about satellite system mergers and XM Radio. In the second segment, we led off talking about the Syncon system which was the first GEO system. Harold Rosen wrote this chapter, it’s a must read! During this segment, we also discussed other early satellites and systems, talked about the politics behind which system gets developed from the early days to now. At the end of this segment, we addressed the issue of latency and the concept of psychological delay was introduced to us. In the third segment, we started with clarifications for psychological delay and how to mitigate it in satellite communications. Future telecommunications were addressed in this segment as was the issue of high launch costs and television channels on satellites. In the fourth segment, we started out talking about Earth/Ground Stations, their economics, the types, the needs, and how they work and are staffed. D.K. explained the two basic types of stations and how they differ, plus we talked about their costs and ongoing operating and maintenance fees. Later in this segment, we talked about terrain fade for satellite and television reception and the economics behind mitigating it by using larger dish antennas. At the end of this final segment, we talked about security risks for satellites including radiation, debris, and jamming. Please visit D. K. Sachdev's website, http://members.cox.net/dksachdev/SPACETEL3/index.htm . If you have questions or comments for D.K. Sachdev, contact him at dksachdev@spacetelconsult.com or http://members.cox.net/dksachdev/SPACETEL3/contact.html .

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