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Re: AO40: Spring feelings!

Hi Peter and the group...Peter, you just keep "Making my day" as they 
say.....thanks for all the news and most of all for keeping us updated with 
factual, positive information...

Cheers from wet and rainy So Calif...........Lonnie  (NT6B)

At 10:24 PM 2/24/01 +0100, Peter Guelzow wrote:

>Dear All,
>Lot's of good news about AO-40!
>The SEU (sensor electronic unit) is triggering the sun again after the
>end of eclipse on orbit #147.
>The telemetry channel #100 (analogue spin rate) is now showing a value
>of #49. This is the same value that it was showing on orbit #89 when we
>lost Sun Sensor triggering.
>Within a few orbits we should see that the Sun Sensor SS2 also starts
>triggering and this would allow us to obtain attitude information and
>re-start magnetorquing to spin-down the spacecraft.
>A week ago the 3-Axis sun sensors have been turned on and they seem to
>work nominally. It was planned to use the information from the 3-axis
>omni directional sun sensors to obtain the necessary reference
>information for a new algorithm to spin-down the spacecraft without the
>SEU. The new software code, which will be patched into the 20ms
>interrupt service, is almost ready for upload, but due to the premature
>return of the SEU data, this might no more be necessary.
>Analysis of the IHU temperature by DB2OS recently revealed, that the
>maximum sun angle, with the lowest temperatures, was much earlier than
>anticipated. The temperature of the IHU reached it's minimum exactly on
>2001 February 01 with a temperature of about -8.4 °C. This is almost one
>month earlier than originally thought. There is no explanation at the
>moment, why this is premature.
>The spin rate of around 17.5 RPM did not changed in the last couple of
>weeks and whatever it caused to increase, it stopped. As soon as the SEU
>will deliver good sun sensor data, the magnetorquers will be used under
>the control of the IHU (integrated housekeeping unit) to reduce the
>spin, which will than make attitude changes easier. This will also
>improve the telemetry reception on S-band.
>The next milestone is to bring the spacecraft into a good orientation to
>fire the Arcjet with no electrical power and gaseous ammonia only. The
>test firing will be used to check the Arcjet control electronics and
>valves. Even without the Arcjet "burning", the thrust from the test
>firing will be enough to raise the perigee by about 100km.
>Several independent analysis (including the french space agency CNES)
>confirmed, that the current orbit will be stable for many years, i.e.
>more than the anticipated lifetime of the spacecraft.
>The test firing should give us additional safety margin and a better
>feeling. However, it is later planned to optimize the current orbit with
>a full running Arcjet. This is planned after testing of the 3-axis
>momentum wheels, which will be used to re-orient the the spacecraft
>during these maneuvers.
>While the spacecraft was in hibernation, the command stations were
>restless with preparations for the next activities, watching the
>spacecraft telemetry and healthy.
>AMSAT-DL expresses his thanks to Paul Willmott, VP9MU for his outstanding
>service in gathering and archiving the AO-40 telemetry from the different
>parts of the world. This is vital additional information for the command
>stations in their continuing effort to turn P3-D back into operation.
>Everyone should be encouraged to send captured telemetry (with P3T) to
>the AO40 telemetry archive at  'ao40-archive@amsat.org'
>After all, the spacecraft seems to be in very good shape, with no further
>damages or other problems detected. The power budget is very good and even
>during the maximum sun angle it was not necessary to reduce power
>consumption by turning off the S-band transmitter for parts of the
>This is indeed a good sign for the next activities.
>Stay tuned..
>Additional information can be found at the AO-40 web page at:
>73s Peter, DB2OS
>     AMSAT-DL
>Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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