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AO-10 dropping out



Tonight's pass starting at 2318Z in the Central Mass. area is exhibiting
some strange behavior.  The satellite is dropping out completely on an
approx. three minute cycle and FM'ing for a great portion of the time it
can be heard.  At this time there was a station trying to send SSTV and
somebody else in passband holding their key down and swishing around.

I just happened to look at Stacey Mills' AO-10 page today and three
minutes agrees with the spacecraft "tumbling" period he's deduced.
Either the illumination angle is such that the s/c gets no sunlight on
the panels during some part of the tumble or if something else is going
on.  Perhaps high duty cycle signals and/or uplinks using too much power
are creating more load than the panels can deliver w/o the batteries on
line? BTW, the s/c will go into eclipse towards the end of this pass.

Dave Reinhart

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