Many will know that FUNcube-1 sent a special Fitter message to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this month.
Anyone who receives this message and uploads it to the data warehouse using the dashboard can generate a certificate to remember this historical event. The special message includes a link to a website with full instructions. It is planned to keep this message active until the end of June.
The spacecraft’s orbit continues to operate near the sun’s terminator, resulting in less than optimal solar power output. The battery bus voltage is now centered around 7.45 volts instead of the 8+ volts we have seen for many years. We believe that this reduced voltage level may be due to a combination of factors, light levels, battery and/or solar panel degradation or possibly gradual changes in some component values within the EPS. It’s also possible that the high spin and tumble rates we’ve been experiencing over the past few months are to blame. Our thanks to Colin VK5HI and his team for continuing to track this issue for us.
Operators may have noticed that the spacecraft is now in high-power telemetry mode when exposed to sunlight and in receive-only mode during the eclipse. Although the transponder is not currently active, with the fast fade currently being experienced on the downlink, the high power telemetry setting will help listeners decode the data more easily.
We continue to be extremely grateful to all stations that continue to contribute their data to the FUNcube data warehouse. The information you provide is invaluable to the FUNcube team and will greatly assist us in managing the spacecraft through its “middle age” after more than eight years in space!