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Re: FO-29 Operation sked for Sept-Nov.5 2000

In a message dated 8/28/00 9:34:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
na9d@mindspring.com writes:

> > Oct. 7(Sat) - Nov. 5(Sun)  Digi-talker(*)
>  Why the digitalker mode?  It's the biggest waste of a satellite resource.
>  I can understand putting it into digitalker for a week or so, but a WHOLE
>  MONTH??

Hi Jon,

One thing I've found to be true is that the satellite control ops always have 
the best interests of the satellite in mind even if it conflicts with user 
wishes. I too was perplexed by the seemingly long stretches of digitalker 
mode on FO-29. Personally I'd like to see some different recordings. I have 
recorded all of them so far. (cuckoo, bush warbler, xmas and new years 
greetings etc.) Even so, I find the FM signal to be an excellent test tool to 
check antenna alignment, antenna sidelobe performance and signal polarity 
peculiarities at various points in a pass.

Anyway, I started looking for possible reasons for the command decisions. One 
thing I found was that during these times there was a high instance of 
orbital alignment of both FO-20 and FO-29 over the US, South America and 
Japan. The footprints of both birds had major overlap. Seeing as the JA 
transponders on both birds use the same frequencies up and down, the switch 
of FO-29 to digitalker began to make some sense. During these "aligned" 
passes, if they were both JA, it is highly probable that you would be 
uplinking into both birds simultaneously. I have no idea if this is the 
reason for the digitalker mode. I simply offer it as a "what if" scenario to 
explain possible command decisions.

Mike, N1JEZ
AMSAT #29649
Local Area Coordinator
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."
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