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Re: super capacitors

The super capacitors are intriguing.  Whether or not they are a solution 
is hotly debated by various members of the Eagle team.  Some think 
they're the answer, others think that newer battery technologies (like 
on the Mars rover) are better, especially with respect to energy density.

So, we may fly none. 
Or, we may fly some as an experiment.  (especially if the science helps 
us get a launch!)
Or, we may fly many as a major (or complete) part of the energy storage 

We are conducting experiments.  When done, I intend to publish the 
results.  We will then make a DATA DRIVEN decision, BASED ON SOUND 

The power system will be designed to provide the needed power for the RF 
and housekeeping payload.

There's a limit to how much we can put on the bird to make the ground 
station "easy", even if we had infinite $$.  We still have to build, 
test, move, and launch the thing.

Nevertheless, when you see the results (in the next Journal) of the 
latest design meeting, you'll see that we are very well aware of the 
need to make the ground segment affordable and reasonable.  Those goals 
are very high on the REQUIREMENTS list.  All else is being driven by 

Also, for the first time ever, we are designing a SYSTEM, which includes 
the ground as well as the space segment -- with affordability and ease 
of use as key requirements.  You will probably spend hundreds on the 
ground segment -- just like I did for my first 3 APRS radios from 
Kenwood.  You will not spend thousands, is our goal and an important 
one.  "If you build it, they WON'T come."  We're well aware of that.

I thank you very much for your interest and support of Eagle.  I DO 
consider your probing questions to be supportive of Eagle.

Stay tuned to the Journal and EaglePedia for what is developing with Eagle.

Thanks again and very 73,

James A. Sanford, PE
AMSAT Eagle Project Manager

McGrane wrote:

>Congratulations to amsat for finding a possible solution to the limiting
>factor of the use of batteries on satellites. I was very pleased to read
>in the journal about the tinkering with super-capacitors.
>If I may start a discussion. Are they really a practical solution to the
>problem of battery life?
>My initial impression is that they would not emulate a similar size
>battery but I am very encouraged that they are being considered.
>Would their use limit the power available to the transmitters appreciably?
>If I can present a point to ponder, I believe it would be more cost
>effective to incorporate features into the satellite that lessen the
>ground station requirements. I would rather donate to a more powerful
>satellite than invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in ground station
>equipment. If cell phones required beams and preamps, they wouldnt be so
>Good luck with the capacitors, I hope they or some other scheme works.
>Nice to see good imaginations in the engineers.
>thanks, pat n2oeq 32323
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Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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