[amsat-bb] Re: Ao51

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Sun Jul 3 07:01:21 PDT 2011

On 7/3/2011 5:31 AM, mm0kjg wrote:
> Hello there.
> Can any one explain to me what's keeping 51 alive over Europe at the moment.
> Its been great getting to use it during the pass over Uk. I did notice tho
> that it does stop working for a day every 2 day's?. Is some one uplinking
> the software in Europe to make it work?.  Anyway cheers to people who are
> keeping the bird going am still fairly new to the satellite side of our
> hobby and want to use 51 one as much as i can..
Hi Kev,

AO-51 is up over Europe due to the US command team routinely restarting 
the satellite, and tweaking the power settings to find a combination to 
get it through eclipse, and lots of luck. Currently one of the 6 battery 
cells onboard is shorted, and another is in really poor shape. The 
onboard computer was crashing each orbit, but we seem to have found a 
balance point where it will sometimes go up to two days before crashing. 
Each time it crashes, we have to restart using the housekeeping software 
onboard in ROM, which has a much more limited functionality than our 
normal software which we would upload from the ground over a few days time.

How long we will be able to continue to limp along is anyone's guess. 
I'd encourage you to use it while it's available, and to financially 
support new satellite programs like Kiwisat, Funcube, and Fox when you can.

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations

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