As you probably know, AO-85 has had issues recently with the batteries dropping precariously low during eclipse. We think it’s likely the batteries suffered degradation due to heat during previous periods of no eclipses. This has made it difficult to keep the satellite available for use without endangering the batteries. Today the nominally 3.6v pack was down to 2.8v at the end of the eclipse. That is dangerously low.
In an effort to extend the usable life of the satellite, this evening we turned both the IHU and the transmitter off. This ceases all transmissions, including the beacons every two minutes in both sunlit and eclipsed parts of the orbit. We will periodically turn the satellite back on for an orbit or two, in order to gather telemetry. If all goes as planned, we will turn the repeater back on during the next period of no eclipses beginning around January 24th. In the meantime, it is important to leave AO-85 tracked in your FoxTelem setups, in order for us to gather telemetry and keep tabs on the situation. If you do happen to hear a Veronica beacon, or either the normal repeater or the COR/no telemetry repeater, please let the AMSAT-BB know, or send me an email or message directly.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we try to make the most of the situation. Please consider supporting the AMSAT GOLF project with your membership, and one-time or recurring donations at
73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations