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July 21, 2009
News - Enginursday: The Sky Is N…
Thanks for the great article. It is always cool to see one of your own projects promenently displayed in someone else’s blog post, news article, etc.
My name is Michael Kirkhart (KD8QBA), and I am one of the $50SAT/MO-76/Eagle-2 developers as well as a SparkFun customer. I hope you enjoyed Howie’s talk at the PocketQube workshop. It has since been posted on YouTube, courtesy of Gustavo (links at http://www.diysatellite.com/workshop.html). Howie did an excellent job giving a 30 minute summary of the planning, design, and in-orbit performance of $50SAT, and I invite all who are interested to watch the video.
$50SAT has been in orbit for 7 months and is still operational. The battery is showing signs of aging, but it is still holding enough of a charge to keep the satellite running when solar power is not available. While the depth of discharge is fairly low (22 mA-hr on a 700 mA-hr battery), it does see temperature swings from 26 degrees C to -29 degrees C every orbit, and has completed 3244 orbits as of this writing.
I wanted to point out you do not need an amateur radio license to receive the downlink signal, and we (Stuart, Howie, and I) encourage all of you who can to monitor the transmissions from $50SAT/MO-76/Eagle-2. If you ever intend on building your own satellite, having tracking/monitoring experience will be extremely helpful. We even offer full color reception report cards (QSL cards in ham talk) for valid reception reports. On our WWW site (http://www.50dollarsat.info), we have links to our Dropbox, which contains (amoung other interesting things) a document describing the communication link. We also have a link to our Yahoo discussion group, where you can post your questions, comments, and hopefully, your reception reports and captured telemetry.
If you do have an amateur radio license, no one has completed the $50SAT uplink challenge. Details can be found at the following URL:
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