[amsat-bb] Re: Future radical satellite designs

Margaret Leber maggie at voicenet.com
Sun Jul 8 07:05:41 PDT 2007


On 7/8/07, Patrick McGrane <N2OEQ at aceweb.com> wrote:
> Hello maggie- I hate it when people snip or take things out of context.
> Go back to the original entire email to absorb the reason. thanks, patrick

I did read the whole thing.

 The challenges to amateur secondary payloads on commercial or
military spacecraft have been discussed here at length in the past.
*My* comment was that a standalone bird *designed* without
battery-powered transmitters might be an interesting approach.

As it stands now we have several birds on-orbit designed with larger
battery systems (that have subsequently failed) that come up in
various random control system states when they come out of eclipse.
These birds only transmit when in sunlight anyway; what if we designed
one that way on purpose? Now *that's* a "radical satellite design".

The payload weight that would have gone to bigger batteries to power
transmitters during eclipse could be used for other equipment. A
smaller (more reliable? certainly simpler and cheaper)  auxiliary
battery system could keep the control systems alive during eclipse. A
lot of work is being done with ultra-low-power processor chips for
mobile applications these days.

Imagine if AO-40 had used this approach (admittedly not at all in-line
with the elaborate something-for-everyone AO-40 design philosophy); it
might still be usable. As it is, when the complex power system failed,
we lost the whole bird. And the only hope of recovering it is the
outside chance that it might fail *again*.

--
73 de Maggie K3XS
Editor, Phil-Mont Mobile Radio Club Blurb - http://www.phil-mont.org
Elecraft K2 #1641 -- AOPA 925383 -- ARRL 39280


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