[amsat-bb] Re: AO-07 healthy CW

Robert McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Tue Nov 28 06:26:03 PST 2006

I really want to thank everyone,  especially Dick Daniels,  for being 
the photographic packrats we are.    I also want to thank those who have 
sent me captions.   I will steal Tom's note to make a caption for the 
batteries.  A lot of new captions will go up this week.   I am sure that 
this one example shows WHY this kind of photographic history is 
important and not just nostalgia.   In my case,  I have no memory.  I 
knew I attended the earliest design meeting for AO-40.   I did NOT 
remember it was the first five! 

I have been off for almost two weeks for work and Thanksgiving and I 
will be playing catch up now.


Tom Clark, K3IO wrote:
> N4HY sent this note:
>> There was one series string of Nicads as can easily be discerned from 
>> this photograph:
>> http://n4hy.smugmug.com/gallery/2053069/1/105529609
>> You can notice the series string starts at the upper left and works its 
>> way right and then down to the lower string and back to the left.
>> Bob
>> N4HY
> Those are sealed, space-rated NiCd batteries built to NASA's
> specification. The package you see is the flight spare for the Radio
> Astronomy Explorer (RAE) satellites. They originally cost ~$2000 per
> cell. With later satellites, AMSAT found that we could "make our own"
> batteries that were better by carefully screening industrial-grade
> commercial batteries by following a recipe devised by the late Larry
> Kayser VE3QB/VA3LK/WA3ZIA.
> RAE-A = Explorer 38
> (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1968-055A),
> launched July 4th, 1968 flew in MEO. This satellite had a a pair of
> Vee-beam antennas which provided gravity gradient stabilization. With
> each Vee-beam being 750' long, the satellite's 1500' total length made
> it the biggest structure put into space.  The antenna booms were made of
> flat beryllium copper tape that formed itself into a round tube after
> being unrolled.
> RAE-B = Explorer 49 flew June 15th, 1973 into Lunar orbit
> (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1973-039A). It
> also had the same long Vee-beam antenna. The very lumpy lunar gravity
> field made for interesting problems with the gravity gradient booms!
> FYI -- I note with some pride that I came to Goddard in 1968 as a staff
> scientist working on RAE-A and then RAE-B. I migrated from low-frequency
> radio astronomy into Pulsar and VLBI work.
> FYI#2 -- In addition to the flight spare batteries, Oscar-8's 10M
> antennas owed their existence to the RAE project.
> 73, de Tom K3IO (ex W3IWI)

AMSAT Director and VP Engineering. Member: ARRL, AMSAT-DL,
"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the
corridor in the other direction. " - Dietrich Bonhoffer

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