Potential Education partners in Africa

On another thread Syed raised the difficulties of getting devices deployed to remote rural areas.

I thought I’d spin this out as a separate topic.

Some partners that might be useful

World possible / Rachel
Why: because they curate content and have a great offline educational suite they have active on the ground projects that might trial and review Othernet

Close the gap
Why: Because they have solar-powered mobile IT suites already deployed in Africa

African Digital schools initiative
Why: Because working at a strategic level The African Digital Schools Initiative (ADSI) is a new methodology and set of frameworks to transform secondary schools into digital schools of distinction

Aleutia
Why: Because they have some good engineering solutions for classrooms, and real world projects all running 12v

Brck
Why: Because they have some nice tablets and offline content, they use 3G but that may not always be possible

International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa
Why: Because it’s a UN funded agency working strategically with exceptionally strong network.

Wi learn
Why: Because they have some hardware and some real-world deployments

Could this topic be a wiki?

It’s not difficult to find local partners. The tricky part is finding someone to pay for the devices and satellite capacity.

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welcome!
I would guess far north a big dish(think c-band 2m) might work to get an out of spot signal and hope no trees on the horizon aim point to wipe out the signal.
The USSR/Russia used/uses molinya orbit satellites to get their far north connected by a orbital hack fake geostationary but every period the sat needs to do a run around the backside of the earth. A molinua orbit requires some aiming, the backside blackout, and coming/apogee/going doppler frequency corrections.

That would be interesting, I’d like to see an amateur radio satellite with that orbit but I doubt it could be financed through donations as most amateur satellite operators and users are in the lower latitudes. I’ve seen the posted photos from (southern?) Alaska of the Dreamcatcher with a cone to improve the weak signal performance, maybe this is the wrong place to ask this and it should be asked under a hardware discussion heading, I’m curious to know what would it take (if its even practical) to set up a fixed location site as far north as 75 degrees?

AO-40 is broken now, the OMS engine blew up during a manuver at improving what I recall was a geostationary transfer orbit (that damage eventually killed it with shorted batteries), but they used a trick of venting fuel and it ended up with a really cool Molinya orbit which you could aim a tripod-ed antenna and not move it for minutes at a time; you could uplink on 70cm SSB/CW 350kHz wide passband transponder and on my favorite transponder configuration I think you used a C-band LNB to downconvert the 23cm(??) band downlink signals to an OOB 2m rig or VHF receiver. It was a neat swiss army knife of a satellite which has not been properly replaced.

I have to head out for a breakfast with our local amateur radio crowd, but I’m really enjoying the thread. I’ve recently used AO7 which has a higher orbit, but its not reliable, still fun when it works. I’ve looked at the satbeams maps, I figure that the coverage map has more to do with the beam pattern from the satellite, not it’s visibility from ground stations (those ovals cover large sections of North American arctic. Maybe the arctic solution is, would it be possible to get Othernet on an additional satellite with better northern coverage?

The footprint of the Dreamcatch ku beam to north america does not look good any reception near yellowknife, even a dish with it pointed at the very low elevation of 16 degrees would probably not work. The foot print say it work into mid-alaska, but I think that is a dream.

AO-7 is a super cool satellite and way better than the LEOs but is also a transponder vs a FM repeater so you need a rig that does SSB or CW, but the mode with a 10m transponder in the mix is a bit weird.
It is antisocial at the least but apparently in an emergency(think ARES) where you need out of that mode you can reset the satellite by keying up a wide FM signal on the transponder which undervolts the main power bus, there is no longer a battery in the loop, in fact that bird was dead for years before the shorted battery opened up and it now runs on solar only so it also dies when in eclipse.
I think it goes to 440 uplink and 2M down after resetting.

As for a molinya orbit it needs to be launched with a specific progression in its orbit to spend most of its flight in a very long run to apogee over a given area and a very quick round perigee around the backside of earth to get that useful and fuel saving orbit. I have only heard of the Russians using them for Siberia community communications and TV.