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PCsat<=>PCSAT2 joint sat test success.



PCsat <=> PCSAT2 constellation test sucess.

Today we rolled the PCSAT2 (fully coinfigured flight prototype) out onto
the Plaza for the 1210z pass of PCsat for a dual-satellite constellation
test.  Since PCSAT2 was in its normal flight configuration (but sitting on
the ground), this would demonstrate the range over which the two
spacecraft could communicate on orbit between their whip antennas.  The
results were excellent!

PCSAT2 was set to transmit a packet via PCsat once every 20 seconds.
Both birds on 145.825 MHz. These packets normally compete with other user
packets (The channel is contention based so 100% is never expeceted).
But a success means that the two spacecraft can comunicate over that
range.  There were 7 other spacecraft users at the time.

TIME     AZ  EL RANGE   Comments
-------- --- -- ------- ------------------------------------
08:10:18 Finished commanding PCsat into proper mode for test
08:10:29 107 49 1024 km Success
08:10:49 095 48 1040 km not heard
08:11:05 087 46 1066 km Success
08:11:25 078 43 1112 km not heard
08:11:45 070 39 1173 km Success
08:12:05 064 36 1246 km not heard
08:12:25 059 32 1329 km Success
08:12:45 055 29 1420 km Success
08:13:05 051 26 1510 km not heard
08:13:24 049 23 1616 km not heard.  Blocked by RIckover Bldg

THen it rained again.  We have been waiting to do this test for almost 2
weeks.  So we don't know if the ultimate range was about 1500 km or
whether we could have heard more if the building had not intervened. There
was no success before the time shown, as that time was spent commanding
PCsat to the proper mode...  We wont get to test again for at least 2
weeks.

We hope others that are building small AX.25 packet satellites will
consider including a TNC digipeater on 145.825 to add to this Amateur
Satellite constellation.

PCSAT2's July launch has been delayed by the Shuttle problem to
January.

Bob

http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat2.html
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