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PCsat long term planning

PCsat power budget and future plans:

There are many cyclic effects on PCsat's power budget:
1) Daily Eclipse cycle
2) Annual phases of the sun and seasons
3) Precession of the orbit every 3.5 months (15 mins earlier per day)
4) Changing times of command station access relative to waking hours
5) Peak operating loads of users (evening Prime time)
6) Weekday versus weekend day users

All of these cycles fell into phase in the negative direction this last
week  and put PCsat in a power crunch causing resets every orbit during

We can fix some of this easily.  Remember that PCsat goes though the same
day/night cycle as we all do but 15 times a day.  THus, if is daylight in
your area during a pass, then PCsat is in the sun.  If it is dark, then
PCsat is in eclipse.  If it is past midnight for you, then PCsat is more
than half way through eclipse.  If it is before sunrise, then PCsat is in
its worst case, near then end of an eclipse.

Here is what we can do as a first step simple fix:

1) Ask for all operations to cease after 2300 local time eveerywhere
(this reduces PCsat battery load during eclipse with little user effect)

2) Ask all users to divide their NIGHT time rates by 2 or 4 and or cease
routine (non travelers) usage at night.

The question is whether users will adopt these measures?  So far usage
over the USA seems lighter than Europe.  Is it all more or less in
accordance with the mission of PCsat?  Or is there still some routine
types of usage that if minimized, might improve the user power budget

de WB4APR@amsat.org, Bob

PCsat WEB  page     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat.html

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