Executive Board Meeting Minutes 22 August 2023

Open Research Institute, Inc
1873 3525 Del Mar Heights Road
San Diego, CA 92130

23 August 2023 1000 US Pacific

Virtual meeting, held on Zoom


Keith Wheeler

Steve Conklin

Frank Brickle

Michelle Thompson

Not present (excused)

Anshul Makkar

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes was unanimously passed.

Motions and Votes

1) Director and Officer appointments.

Steve Conklin, Keith Wheeler, and Michelle Thompson agreed to continue as Directors. Frank Brickle was welcomed as a Director. Steve Conklin to continue as CFO. Michelle Thompson to continue as CEO. Michelle Thompson moved and Steve Conklin seconded Keith Wheeler’s appointment as Secretary. Motion passed unanimously.

2) An offered launch opportunity was discussed.

The short timeline to submit a proposal combined with three days of stabilized platform were weighed and considered. Michelle Thompson directed by the board to communicate with the individuals to thank them for extending the opportunity, decline this particular opportunity, and to identify long-term opportunities with enough lead time to leverage existing and ongoing work.

3) Liability insurance.

The insurance quote received from California Non-profits was reviewed. A motion by Steve Conklin and seconded by Frank Brickle was made to accept the quote and bind the policy. Motion passed unanimously.

4) Director and Officer reports.

A) Detailed updates were presented about Ribbit, ranging from successful DEFCON presentation to international field testing to earning the 2023 ARRL Technical Innovation award. Ribbit has a $1000 balance in a dedicated bank account and has generated $200,000 in capability return on an approximate $250 investment. Ribbit is lead by Pierre Deliou .

B) A new amateur radio club in Germany is seeking advice on low bitrate codecs. Michelle Thompson directed by the board to communicate about the decisions to go with high fidelity voice codecs as implemented in Opulent Voice.

C) RFBitBanger is a QRP HF transceiver design using Class E amplification and introduces a new digital keyboard to keyboard mode called SCAMP. RFBitBanger development team has produced Batch 1 kits, all 96 of which which were claimed by donors. The prototype cost $2,741.49 to design, document, and test. Donors have contributed $14,160.18 to produce, kit, and ship 96 transceivers. Costs are expected to be covered by the Batch 1 fundraising. Commit Change was commended for excellent performance and customer service. Batch 2 is under discussion. RFBitBanger was successfully demonstrated live and over the air at DEFCON31 in August 2023, will be presented at QSO Today Academy’s inaugural event in September 2023, and is lead by Dr. Daniel Marks.

D) ARRL’s new policy of identifying particular amateur radio educational organizations as competitors for ARRL Learning Center was discussed. ARRL’s decision to withdraw support to and drop collaboration with these particular amateur radio educational organizations was discussed. ORI disagrees with ARRL’s new policy of approaching amateur radio educational efforts as a zero sum game. Reclassifying amateur radio clubs that produce educational videos as competitors harms the amateur community and is not aligned with ARRL’s mission statement (ARRL’s Mission Statement: To advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio.)

E) The May 2023 custom training from Mathworks “HDL Coder for Software Defined Radio” class was a success, with excellentt demographics, high impact, very positive reviews, a significant increase in capability realized, and hard copies of class resources for ongoing reference obtained. 17 supporters donated $9,916 in a Commit Change fundraising campaign. 12 students enrolled in the class, which was delivered by MathWorks and cost $15,000.

F) Inner Circle newsletter launch was successful and contains project reports, guest editorials, outreach, and updates. Newsletter is free, friendly, and accessible. The goal is at least monthly, with special editions encouraged.

G) Next scheduled board meeting set for six months out.

Meeting Adjournment Time and Signature

Meeting adjourned at 1100 US Pacific time.

Minutes recorded by Acting Secretary Michelle Thompson

Minutes submitted to the board of directors for review 1 September 2023.

Spring 2022 Meeting Minutes

Recent Business:

Opulent Voice educational effort w/ University of Puerto Rico and University of San Diego
Goal is to develop curriculum using open source protocols

Rocket Desk Toy Fundraiser campaign via CommitChange
Supports open source electric engine synchronization that benefits high-speed digital communications mission integration

Morehead State University ASTROBi “Cost Sensitive KA-band LNA using COTS MMIC devices and novel coding” proposal

Deep space project that is interested in leveraging ORI’s work

AmbaSat sounding rocket work ongoing

Aeva Black of Open Source Initiative (OSI) nominated to the FCC Technological Advisory Board

FCC working group activity and participation continues with sub-working group “Safe Uses” co-chair service provided by ORI for 2022.

P4DX downlink encoder demonstration and code release at Ham Radio

Friedrichshafen 2022.
Report received

Code published (Pluto SDR with DVB-S2/X Encoder)

OpenRTX+M17 visit to Ham Radio Friedrichshafen 2022
Report received

Fiscal Sponsorship of Project Skylark

2021 tax return completed and filed

Grant proposals to ARDC for #104 “Douglas Qugaliana Contract Proposal” project and #106 “Transition from Remote Labs East to Remote Labs South”, both rewritten by ARDC, then declined by ARDC.
Both projects funded from alternate sources

Legal consult regarding a variety of ARDC behavior completed

Grant proposal to ARDC for “#272 A Low-Cost Open-Source Universal Radio Test Instrument” with Great Scott Gadgets deleted before the ARDC review committee saw it.

Government grants pursued as an alternative

Ongoing Issues:
M17 Project discussion of communication, expectations, and reimbursement

Items to Discuss:
Defcon “Retail Hacking Village” request to join Open Research Institute

Minutes approved 22 August 2023

Executive Board Meeting Minutes August 2021


Steve Conklin (CFO), Rose Easton (guest), Keith Wheeler (Director), James Wheeler (Acting Secretary), Michael Easton (guest), Paul Williamson (Master at Arms), Michelle Thompson (CEO)


Koi Restaurant, Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (DEFCON)


-Opening Remarks
–Motion passed to maintain current group of Directors (Bill and Karen in absentia)
-Previous minutes edits approved
-Open Lunar Business lab equipment obtained due to running under budget on equipment
-ARDC and ORI remote lab talks continue
-Plans on movement of Remote Lab East to Remote Lab South
–Motion Passed Remote Lab South to be established on the property of Keith Wheeler, in Little Rock, AR
–Shipping costs of equipment will likely push over grant budget
—Some amount of leeway needed to adjust budgeting to cover shipping
-ERR request being considered up to $10k
-Discuss to go beyond the budget originally allocated to make up for the sudden need to shut down Remote Lab East
-Additional discussion made to take from the M17 account to make up for additional cost
-Discussion conducted on determining how far over budget lab project can go before additional meetings must be conducted
-Pertinent Budget Information:
–Currently, under budget by $2k
–Lab equipment in bay area costs $500 a month
-Motion Passed: Proposal to allow for a $20k overage on the lab budget, to account for movement of equipment to Remote Lab South, and M17, used at the discretion of M approved. In the event that additional cost beyond this limit is reached, another meeting will be held
-Progress with discussions with M17 and FCC discussed
–Future discussion with International Satellite Bureau and OET planned after meeting with the FCC
-Plans to discuss successes with the FCC and defeating ITAR at upcoming HAM Expo
-Regulatory meddling in Texas successful
–space industry people happy with meddling due to discussing debris mitigation and FCC jurisdiction
-AMSAT maintains that debris mitigation rules should not be enforced on HAM radio, believe it will destroy space based HAM radio
–AMSAT invited to meetings and to be part of the planning committee but declined
-FCC seems to be leaning more towards ORI beliefs on debris mitigation
-Possibility of LEO being one of few exceptions to debris mitigation rules
-End goal of FCC discussion is to allow for ambitious missions, including graveyard orbits
–Possibility of third graveyard orbit
-The meetings will continue until morale improves
-Note of moving of satellite antennas to Remote Lab South, due to increased space
-Discussion of grant being written by Keith to get a salary for engineers on a contract basis from ARDC, and for payment for Lab Director to maintain lab equipment on Remote Lab South, no motion to be made at time, but grant will be applied for
-Closing Remarks
-Motion to adjourn

Executive Board Meeting Minutes September 2020

Attendees: Michelle Thompson, Karen Rucker, Ben Hilburn, Steve Conklin, Keith Wheeler
Date: 9/24/2020, 9 AM PT/10 AM MT

Approved minutes from last meeting in February – unanimous

Status on grants and fundraising:

Received grant money of $511,220,000 – deposited by Michelle at Wells Fargo
Took 14 months to obtain
Budget and proposal is still good
Actually 2 grants won in a single payment

3rd grant still in front of ARDC $140,000 (rent-a-geo)
Vision was to get more people to build microwave rx equipment for space

Board decided to hold on future fundraising efforts and concentrate on technical deliverables

Discussion of D&O insurance and legal considerations as a non-profit; might need to consider the legalities of having minor participants

Regulatory Updates:

Major win this summer with ITAR restrictions

Michelle has commissioned CCR for under EAR
Request board to authorize amount for commission and lawyers

Got a grant from ARDC to pay for CJ request (ITAR)

Ben made a motion to approve up to $10k for Dept of Commerce, Steve seconds, motion passes

Debris mitigation rules proposed to FCC
Rules will affect ORI’s spacecraft and potentially up cost of rideshares
Michelle proposes that we should file a comment – will send drafts ASAP
Expectation that we will indemnify

Paid for a booth at hamcation in Florida in February 2021
Steve proposes a motion to withdraw and ask for a refund due to ongoing COVID-19 complications, Karen seconds, motion passes

The technical meeting for FPGA team went well

Discussion of ORI board members’ involvement in GR Con 2020

Michelle proposes discussion on how we can improve our code of conduct

Action Items:

Need to update participant policies to reflect final determination with ITAR

Michelle to look into transferring the website over

2018-01-27 Executive Board Meeting Minutes

The January 27th board meeting was carried out via email, and proceeded until January 29. The directors received and approved the President’s report:

On January 9, I retained Foundation Group to handle our 501(c)3 application and our compliance with 501(c)3 requirements and filing of required forms through the end of 2018. The formation and compliance package cost $3500, which I paid from personal funds. This was not the cheapest vendor, but one which appeared to have good notices for successful formation of 501(c)3 organizations – which is no trivial feat. I generally bill about that much for a day’s intellectual property consulting, so I was happy to offload the work.

Foundation group filed our EIN application with IRS, our EIN is 82-3945232.

Foundation group has provided a set of formation documents, I will request that they amend the prototype bylaws to make it explicit that all required meetings may be carried out through electronic communications.

On January 27, I signed and mailed our corporation formation document (filled in by Foundation Group) to the Secretary of State of California, with $30 payment which I paid from personal funds. They are handling applications submitted about two weeks ago, so I expect to see a response in three weeks.