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Potential StenSat Signals




We have another apparent contact with StenSat to report, this one by
N4AFL during the 7:00 AM EST pass over Washington, DC.

Hank copied his DTMF going up on the downlink at S2, tracking 1 minute
behind OPAL.  After losing the signal, he switched to manual tuning and
managed to find it again, this time at S3+.  Shortly thereafter, he
heard unmodulated carrier coming down - he suspects this was someone
else attempting to work the satellite.

All contacts reports to date appear to have been at very low elevation angles.

We suspect this is due to the fact that the pico is rapidly moving away
from OPAL; while it remains on the same orbital track, it either leads
or trails OPAL by some as yet to be determined amount.  When the antenna
elevation angle is low, the beam pattern covers a longer portion of the
track (since it's roughly parallel to it).

Based on the rapid deceleration of the Aerospace (tethered) picos, we
suspect StenSat is leading OPAL; if its deceleration is on the same
order as the Aerospace picos (circa one minute ahead per day after
ejection) StenSat might be found around one to two minutes ahead of OPAL
- but this is just a guess.

We would appreciate full details of all contacts, including AOS and LOS
times, signal strength, and tracking angles.

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