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SuitSat Thoughts and Additional Challenges


It has been over a week now and SuitSat is still operational.  It is quite 
impressive to see the outstanding detective work the amateur community is 
performing to determine the full message structure of SuitSat, its secret 
words, SSTV and telemetry information.  Please keep the telemetry 
information coming in!!  Now, more than ever, we need to see how long 
SuitSat will stay in operation.  The SuitSat team plans to provide special 
recognition to the person that copies the last SuitSat telemetry, 
specifically the Mission Time and Battery Voltage.

There has been a lot of dialog on the -bb regarding the AO-54 
designator.  While some may disagree with SuitSat-1/Radioskaf receiving 
this designator, the AMSAT International team that fabricated, tested and 
delivered this experiment in 3 weeks are quite honored that AMSAT provided 
this designation.

I thought you'd like to understand why we specifically requested the 
AMSAT-OSCAR designator as compared to other OSCAR designator configurations 
that have been discussed on -bb.  We did this for two reasons:

1)  to honor the AMSAT international team that was ingenious enough to 
develop and deliver a sophisticated ham radio experiment that met the 
stringent human spaceflight requirements in such a short period of time and
2)  to recognize AMSAT--the international organization with a long history 
of developing very low cost, pioneering spacecraft

Prior to the release of SuitSat/Radioskaf, we knew that this satellite was 
destined to capture the imagination of students and the general public, 
worldwide.  The publicity that SuitSat has garnered for AMSAT and the 
amateur radio community is some of the best ever.  One excellent metric of 
this is the hits at the www.suitsat.org web site.  We have received over 
7.5 million hits this past week with 2.2 million on the day that SuitSat 
was deployed.

While I had hoped that the SuitSat signal strength would have been much 
greater, SuitSat has taught me and I hope others some valuable 
lessons.  Most importantly, it has taught me to sharpen my radio reception 
skills and has given me additional incentive to improve my station 
reception capabilities.

Other items of Note:

--SuitSat power supply----Steve, N7HPR mentioned that the SuitSat power 
supply is a 28V-to-12V DC-DC converter and EMI filter which is connected to 
three Russian supplied 28V batteries in parallel.  One additional piece of 
information.  The DC-DC converter and EMI filter design is identical to the 
power supply system that runs the Phase 1 ARISS system.  This is the 
Ericsson and Packet system that is located in the FGB.

--Expected SuitSat orbit life----I have seen an orbit analysis, performed 
to ensure that no ISS-SuitSat recontact occurs, which predicts a 70-120 day 
orbital life for SuitSat.  The orbit life, of course, is dependent on the 
atmospheric drag that the satellite experiences.  Anyone seen SuitSat 
yet?  I would expect you will need binoculars to see it.

--We got word from NASA yesterday that a piece of the Suit has 
detached.  Lee, KU4OS described this in a -bb message and provided the Kep 
set below.

1 28934U 05035D   06041.32895386  .00163102  00000-0  98541-3 0    22
2 28934 051.6406 119.8476 0008149 262.6301 097.3530 15.76561648   329

--And finally I would like to thank all those that have kept the worldwide 
community informed of the latest information on SuitSat.  This includes the 
www.suitsat.org website sponsored by Steve Dimse, K4HG, 
http://www.aj3u.com/blog/ sponsored by A.J. Farmer, AJ3U, 
http://pd0rkc.ontwikkel.nl/ sponsored by Cor, the bulletins sent by Miles, 
WF1F and the AMSAT news/web page team---Emily, N1DID, JoAnne, WB9JEJ and 
many others!

Thanks to all and keep that SuitSat telemetry coming in!!

73,  Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-VP for Human Spaceflight Programs
ARISS International Chairman  
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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