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RE: Optical COmms experiment

At 07:39 PM 7/7/2001, Bob Bruninga wrote:
>PCsat will carry 80 stock LEDs (3 Watts input power) on its -Z face ... 
>these LEDS actually have a cone of about 40 degrees ... raising the 
>possibility to a magnitude of 5.5 just possibly visible to the naked 
>eye.  The spot will be about 300 miles across..(if it hits straight down)

That's a big if.  What's the attitude control situation?  Do you have any 
hope that the beam will be aimed toward earth any reasonable portion of the 
time?  Is this satellite one of those passive-attitude-control machines 
(ala AO-16, AO-17, AO-18, AO-19, etc) where you don't have a real model and 
can't really predict attitude with any precision?

>...we have not done any rigorous evaluation of this experiment yet.  If 
>anyone wants to take a crack at it, they are welcome to contribute!

I suggest that where the thing points is a real important part of the link 
budget.  If someone does get some time to think about this, the issue of 
where the light points should be given some priority.

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