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Re: AO 40 Solar Panels

On 24 May 2004 at 19:26, Mike Hooles wrote:

> Re the apparent loss of dc voltage..
> Has it been 100% confirmed  directly,  or indirectly that the loss of power
> could not be due to damage by meteorite or space debris to one of the solar
> panels?
> Mike G3LGR

On 15 february 2004 a part of this message was puzzling  me. The above comments triggers also some questions.

AO-40 Update - 15 February 2004 

Tests of the auxiliary batteries at the Amsat lab in Orlando confirm the benign behavior of these cells when 
subjected to a scenario duplicating that experienced on AO-40. Extra main battery cells are not available for 

On january 30 2004 VEFRH@aol.com wrote:
An excerpt.

"From the telemetry that was being sent during the last few hours (and  
minutes) of the batteries life tests are being made on spare batteries in  our 
Orlando Laboratory to try and simulate the failure and determine what can be  done 
for recovery.
At this time AMSAT engineers and scientist at both Orlando and at AMSAT-DL  
are optimistic about the chances of recovery but (like the NASA Spirit problem) 
 this may take some time to accomplish.
The Board of Directors of AMSAT-NA unaminously want to commend the AO-40  
controllers and those working on the problem for their expertise and  dedication 
in determine the nature of the problem,  trying to simulate  the problem on 
Earth, and hopefully in developing a technique to resolve the  situation."

(Spirit is back on service actually and this took about 3 weeks)

If we can rule out any solar pannel dammages by an external source. Why we don't try to replicate the MAIN 
batteries problems here on earth? Is it only due to "Extra main battery cells are not available for testing"?

I try to find out the exact type and description of the actual AO-40 batteries but i cannot found anything.

I think from an user standpoint we can gained a lot trying to replicate the actual batteries failure theory.

I recently posted my questionning about the AMSAT-DL AO-40 headers who is actually written this way:

"Due to failure all transmitters are shut off until further notice"  If you take this sentence apart, you 
have DUE TO FAILURE...(we all believe it is batteries related)  and ALL TRANSMITTERS ARE SHUTT OFF UNTIL 
FURTHER NOTICE... Who will issued this further notice?

"Due to failure"  Mechanical failure, human failure?  If we are so sure it is battery related failure why 
thet don't wrote "DUE TO BATTERIES FAILURE"? Can we guess there is more we don't know about the FAILURES?

" all transmitters are shut off until further notice" What about the receivers, the IHU'S, the spin sensors 
and so on?

I also recently in a private exchange give my personal opinion about thw way this header was written and i 
wrote what i think this should be  a more suitable header "DUE TO MAIN BATTERIES FAILURE AO-40 IN NON 
Even if we know there is sufficient voltage to make the IHU'S and receivers IF run. A satellite unable to 
communicate with ground control is non operationnal that's the AMSAT vocabulary. Why for AO-40 the satellite 
is not listed as non operationnal instead of TRANSMITTERS ARE SHUT OFF UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE???

If i can recollect theses batteries/voltage problems appears just after an intense L BANDERS OPERATIONS 
period. Who is having the final authority over AO-40, Who can swithched it on an off at will? Is there is any 
top controller...a chief...a pilot.. who ultimatly can decide to "SWITCH ALL THE TRANSMITTERS OFF UNTIL 

If nobody seems interrested to and i quote "  trying to simulate  the problem on 
Earth, and hopefully in developing a technique to resolve the  situation." Can someone can described EXACTLY 
the type, model and specification of the actual main batteries on board AO-40?  We can try to estimates 
theses batteries reliabilities.

Why these "Extra main battery cells are not available" Are they discontinued? no more manufactured due to 
inherent quality problems? Or simply no more available due to an end of line lot simply bought in hurry to be 
installed in hurry in AO-40 due to BOD pressures?

There is no logic about this battery affair when i actually contemplate my UOSAT-OSCAR-II 20 years special 
QSL card. I'm not an engeneer nor a space specialist but only a simple private who still hear UO-11 after 20 
years of charging and discharging batteries cycles.

Could be it is only a translation issue here but i will have hard time with my sleep until further notice, 
hoping to find the main battery cells type and brand because when AO-40 was sent in space batteries where 

P.S. I have my monthly battery club card:)

Luc Leblanc VE2DWE
Coordonnateur AMSAT pour le Québec
Quebec AMSAT coordinator
Sites web sites: www.qsl.net/ve2dwe

Echolink node 115340 VE2DWE-L
Echolink node 101810 VE2DWE

P.O. Box 341
Sorel-Tracy  QC.
J3P 5T6

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