Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA provides an update on the $50SAT amateur radio spacecraft which measures just 5x5x7.5 cm.
Sunday, June 21, 2015 marked the 19 month anniversary of the launch of $50SAT/MO-76/Eagle-2. The good news is it still operating. The bad news is the power situation has been degrading, with an apparent step change on or near May 12, 2015, followed by another on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The last full telemetry capture made here in EN82 land was on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, and the last time it was heard was on Friday, June 6, 2015. I continued to attempt to listen for it for another week or so, and heard nothing. Has anybody heard it since then?
At this point, I have been monitoring it using Anton’s (ZR6AIC) WebSDR as it makes daytime passes over South Africa. These occur between 7:30 and 9:00 UTC, which translates to 3:30 and 5:00 AM here in EN82 land. This is tough, as I am not a morning person. Sometimes, however, you have to do these things; helping build a satellite might be a once-in-a-lifetime event. During these passes, where it has already spent a significant amount of time in sunlight, the battery voltage is below 3400 mV…..