[amsat-bb] Re: Can we get them to fix AO-40 first then?

John P. Toscano tosca005 at tc.umn.edu
Mon Oct 12 08:52:11 PDT 2009

Greg D. wrote:
> The thing is, running the spacecraft with the panels open only works if the satellite is fully stabilized so that the panels continually point towards the sun.  Stabilization only works if lots of things, pretty much everything in fact, is working on the spacecraft.  I'd say that we've pretty much determined that is not the case.
> Let's follow the first rule of medicine (and spacecraft management), and "do no harm", until something changes and we know more about what's going on up there.  I, too, am anxiously awaiting that magic day when AO-07 gets a sibling.
> Greg  KO6TH

And taking Greg's analogy a bit further, imagine a comatose patient 
lying in his bed. Does the doctor stand at the bedside and scream at the 
patient, "Tell me what's wrong with you so I can treat you!!!" -- I 
don't think so.  If that analogy seems too gruesome to you, then perhaps 
another one that many parents of small children have experienced 
first-hand will work. Your 3-year-old child wanders into the bathroom to 
investigate all the pretty things inside, and she pushes the door closed 
behind her. Then she plays with the doorknob and accidentally pushes the 
lock button. Parents frantically stand outside the locked bathroom door 
and plead with the child to please open the door, while imagining all 
the dangerous objects on the other side of the barrier, such as sharp 
scissors, scalding hair rollers, a large porcelain fixture full of water 
to drown in, etc. "Please open the door!  Mommy and Daddy aren't mad! 
Please just open the door!" while the child on the other side has no 
idea what mommy and daddy are babbling about...

In case you miss my point, with essentially no power making it to the 
IHU or the receivers, how is the spacecraft supposed to "hear" a command 
to open the panels, or even if it heard the command, execute it with no 
electrical power?

Long before AO-40 went comatose (silent) for the last time, it had 
already been determined after long and careful deliberation that without 
the ability to properly steer the spacecraft attitude to keep the panels 
in the sun, they would do more good in the folded configuration, and so 
it was decided to NOT deploy them. There was some discussion on this 
point on the mail list. You could dig back through the archives to find 
that discussion if you were so inclined.

Indeed, it would be wonderful if the patient "woke up" from her long 
sleep like AO-7 did. There's no harm in wishing, even when the odds of 
success are so slim...

73 de WØJT

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