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Re: What happened to AO-40?



I have to admit I'm a bit surprised by this thread, but I guess I shouldn't
be. It'll be a month away yet in my column in Worldradio, but I've basically
recapped everything noted by Jeff's notes of where to look for info as well
as that put in the ARRL bulletin. It was said in the January 28 weekly ANS
report that the problem now is spin rate; without directly looking at the
piece, I believe it said that they would like to see it around 6 RPM instead
of the 17 - 18 RPM we have now...but that it's a bit hard to do with
inaccurate data from the sun sensors. The doppler shift of the beacon over
time is being used to approximate the speed with some possible accuracy, but
it's still going to take some time.

Please take the time to re-read all of the info in ALL of your past AMSAT
journals over the past two years if you really want to understand what is
necessary to commission the bird...ALL REPORTS initially said commissioning
would take approximately ONE YEAR...not 3 months...yes, there's been a
problem - but it really appears that it's not an insurmountalble one yet -
there will no doubt be some form of communication flowing from the bird.

The control ops, contrary to popular desire and opinion, have
JOBS...FAMILIES...OTHER INTERESTS (!?!) - we're all excited to utilize the
device, but "Patience is a virtue"...realize these folks in charge are
EXPERTS in this field - not "educated users" like most of us - they've been
down this road before with satellites and will do so again, and if they can
get it up and running for us, they'll do it. While we're sitting around
surmizing what it will be like, and are trying to support the bird with money
and hope, they've been spending hours and hours constructing, testing,
testing some more, and then traveling to Kourou for setup, etc., and now are
trying to analyze data on what's going on (and what did happen - i.e., the
burn problems) - You can download telemetry yourselves if you've got S-band
receive equipment (as many of us who were regular users of AO-13 have), and
it's definitely working...so hang in there and wait.

Instead of rankling over whether or not it's turned into the space mystery of
the new millenium, go work AO-10! It's still there, it's still working - as
are many LEOs...and lots of people would enjoy contacts on them.

Just my two cents worth - flame retardant is on and ready...
--
Terry Douds
N8KI
Amateur Satellite Columnist
Worldradio

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