We are no longer seriously trying to establish a data-link connection
with the satellite. It is still alive and continues to send signals, but
not as often as it used to, due to the battery problems.
However, the main motivation to end attempts now is that the we are now all busy writing our master thesises, and thus only have limited time to support further attempts. We hope to find the time to make some extended vacuum tests of the batteries, though.
While the project has not been a full success, according to the success criteria, it has provided the following:
- Excellent education and "hands-on" experience for all involved students. Success criterion 1
- We have established contact with the satellite. Success criterion 2
- We have downlinked very simple telemetry. Partly fulfilling success criterion 3
The last success criterion would be to successfully take pictures of the Earth and transmit them back to the ground station.
From the telemetry we have received, we have been able to conclude:
- Internal temperature is close to what is predicted by our thermal model
- The battery capacity has declined much faster than expected. This will be investigated further with ground tests.
- Power Supply Unit, On-board Computer and modem work as supposed taking into consideration the operation limitations imposed by battery.
- The radio/antenna system transmits with much less strength than anticipated
Through the complete project a large working body of knowledge has evolved and this know-how will benefit the next small student satellite project to be build at the university. This project will be announced fully within a couple of months.
We would like to thank all companies, organisations and individuals, who have supported the project. In particular we would like to thank Carsten Grøn and Poul-Henning Kamp for help with acquiring and decoding the weak signals from the satellite.
Thanks for the interest!
The AAU-Cubesat team - www.cubesat.auc.dk