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Re: AO-40 shutdown?



Keith Bainbridge wrote:

>I heard a German station on AO-40 this morning saying that it was official,
>AO-40 was to shutdown in December for an unknown time at this stage.
>Is this correct as its the first I've heard it so convincingly, everyone
>else keeps hinting that it may not  happen at all.
>It will prob happen just as I'm ready to test my Mode L uplink !!
>73 de Keith VK6XH
>
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>
>  
>
December is the period when the solar angles on AO-40's solar panels  
are predicted to be their most adverse, so during a 2 to 3 week period 
every few months, the transponders are turned off until solar angles 
improve. Right now we are in a transitional time, when illumination is 
less than ideal, but by offpointing the antennas (Alon/Alat /= 0) 
adequate illumination of the solar panels can be maintained for at least 
some part of the orbit. Conditions will continue to deteriorate until 
the only time that adequate illumination of the panels can be assured is 
when the antennas are pointed away from the earth before conditions 
improve in January.

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