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PCsat still ticking...

PCsat keeps on ticking...

Since we are still getting reports of PCsat activity, we took a look at
the orbit geometry and two things are apparent.

When we are in the full sun phase, we are flying over the terminator so we
get much less albiedo and all of our sun energy is coming in from the side
panels.  During this last full sun 17-31 July, PCsat was unable to
communicate in this regime (always her best power budgets in the past),
thus we declared her dead.

But now at max eclipses, we also are traveling on the sunny side directly
under the sun.  Thus, with our magnetic stabilization, the TOP of PCsat
does in the northern hemisphere point to the sun.  Our +Z array is our
best, putting out almost 50% more than our side panels.  This is just
enough apparently to be able to support packet transmissions.  And all of
the side panels are seeing good albiedo..

So today I tuned her in while in that geometry and commanded her just
fine on two orbits.  We saw 4 users.  THis is not meant to encourage
anyone to waste their time trying to work PCsat.  Because she will only
digipeat a few packets in this regime, and would only be fully usable for
the last half of a pass IF one of the ground stations set her into low
power saving mode...  but that only lasts for that orbit only...

The purpose of this email is only to advise you of how things are going...
for historical purposes...


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