Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (“Virginia Tech”) and Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (“AMSAT”) signed a Collaboration Agreement on February 4, 2013 that establishes a relationship for future projects in the development of space hardware, software, algorithms, documentation of same and an agreement to protect each other by protecting ITAR-covered materials and identifying same for the other. The agreement was signed by AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW and Virginia Tech Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration John Rudd.
The Agreement establishes a relationship that will allow both organizations to work together on future space mission opportunities as may arise. VT established the Center for Space Science and Engineering (Space@VT) in 2007 and with completion of the new Center for Space Science and Engineering Research Facility in 2012, has facilities for development of space hardware and cubesat development. Programmatic and technical coordination and direction will be coordinated between Dr. Robert W. McGwier ,PhD of Virginia Tech and Anthony Monteiro, AA2TX AMSAT’s VP-Engineering.
“Establishment of a formal relationship between VT and AMSAT provides the foundation for potential future satellite program opportunities for AMSAT as well as enhances prospects for AMSAT support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education outreach” notes AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW. “Space@VT recognizes the success that AMSAT brings to building successful spacecraft and with the development of Fox-1, to bring reliable
hardware in support of scientific payloads as well as enhance prospects for student projects to successfully fly in space. AMSAT benefits from a partner that will help provide justification for funding of spacecraft that supports amateur radio in space,” he added.
Virginia Tech Professor Bob McGwier, N4HY is looking forward to working with AMSAT on future projects. Bob remarked, “Being able to combine the student space science and engineering programs of Virginia Tech with AMSAT’s long history of innovative technical development in spacecraft is a win-win for both parties. I look forward to working with AMSAT on projects that mutually benefit space science, student engineering programs, and the amateur radio community.”