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Picos save Opal!

Opal Update: 2/11/2000 PM

- Had perfect passes tonight.  Opal and the dish worked perfectly
together.  The logs and data can be found at:


- No more picos were fired tonight.  Thelma and Louise, the remaining
two picos, will be fired tomorrow AM.   This evenings pass we spent
downloading payload and spacecraft telemetry.

- Looks like the pico firing last night saved Opal!  A sharp drop
in temperature occurred shortly after the firing of picos.  This can
be seen at data point 700 on the graph:


An earlier event at data point 400 put Opal into a spin that faced our
bottom, large solar panel directly at the sun.  This resulted in the
batteries being overcharged as well as contributed to battery heating.
The pico launch perturbed our spin and saved us.  You'll notice a spike
around 900.  Not sure what this is.  This data was taken over 3 1/2 days
time.  See data sets for more accurate times.  Let's hope we don't do
this again.

- We downloaded a current set of solar panel data.  Check out:


You can also get attitude information from the temperature graph above

I'll give a Minotaur patch and Minotaur tatoo sticker to the first person
who takes this data and animates a model of Opal (complete with solar
panels and magnetometer...see Greg's mp3).  I want to see Opal tumbling
and the changes that we see in the temp data.  Depending on how good it
is, I might even throw in a free dinner.  

- We also have magnetometer data.  Check out the plots from the data

- Space Command has confirmed pico launch and is tracking them.  We
hope to have 2 line elements soon.  Unfortunatley, no one has heard
from JAK and only a faint transmission for STENSAT.  JAK's battery
is assumed dead by now, and let's hope STENSAT comes around!

- Tomorrow we'll take more payload data and fire T and L.  Let's
hope we have good contacts again.  

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