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FUNcube-1 / AO73 Update

AO-73. Photo by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG
AO-73. Photo by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

From the Funcube web:

Many will be aware that FUNcube-1 has been transmitting a special Fitter message to commemorate her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this month. Everyone who receives this message and uploads it to the Data Warehouse using the Dashboard can generate a certificate to remember this historic event. The special message includes a link to a website that has the full instructions. It is intended to keep this message active until the end of June.

The spacecraft’s orbit continues to run near the sun’s terminator and this is resulting in less than optimal solar power generation. The battery bus voltage is now centering around 7.45 volts rather than the 8+ volts that we have seen for many years. We believe that this reduced voltage level may be due to a combination of factors, illumination levels, battery and/or solar panel degradation or, possibly, gradual changes in some component values within the EPS. It is also possible that the high spin/tumble rates that we experienced over the recent months may be involved. Our thanks to to Colin VK5HI and his team for continuing to keep track of this issue for us.

Operators may have noticed that the spacecraft is now in high power telemetry mode when in sunlight and in receive only mode during eclipse. Although the transponder is not currently active, with the rapid fading presently being experienced on the downlink, the high power telemetry setting will assist listeners to decode the data more easily.

We continue to be extremely grateful to all those stations who continue to contribute their data to the FUNcube data warehouse. The information you are providing is invaluable to the FUNcube to team and will greatly assist us in managing the spacecraft through its “middle age” after more than eight years in space!

By SM0TGU

Webmaster and member of the AMSAT-SM steering group.

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