The time when AO-73 enters continuous sunlight, for the first time, is fast approaching. Current estimates show that this will commence on February 6th and last through until March 13th.
Obviously, the autonomous switching system that the spacecraft has been using to switch between amateur mode, with the transponder on in eclipse and educational mode with high power telemetry only in sunlight, will no longer work.
Already the periods of eclipse are reducing quite rapidly and we are therefore planning for manual mode switching to take be undertaken. This will start from the week beginning Jan 21st and will follow this initial plan.
Wednesday evening (UTC) or Thursday morning – switch to full time amateur mode – ie transponder on with low power telemetry.
Sunday evening (UTC) or Monday morning – switch to full time educational mode with high power telemetry only.
So if you are planning school demonstrations or particular DXpeditions please take this new schedule into account.
The team may have to flex this plan with experience as this situation was not allowed for in the original mission plan!
AO-73 / FUNcube-1 spin period and illumination December 2017
FUNcube Website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/
FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
FUNcube Forum https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-forum/
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