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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS002 (2000)

ARLS002 StenSat Released But Possibly Malfunctioning

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 002  ARLS002
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  February 15, 2000
To all radio amateurs

ARLS002 StenSat Released But Possibly Malfunctioning

Little to nothing has been heard from the StenSat Amateur Radio
picosat, raising fears that the tiny picosat has malfunctioned.
Stensat was released February 10 by the OPAL ''mother ship,''
according to James Cutler of Stanford University.

StenSat was one of two picosats released by OPAL--Stanford
University's Orbiting Picosat Automatic Launcher. The other was the
JAK payload.

Since the deployment, stations monitoring StenSat's 436.625 MHz
downlink have heard only very weak signals, or nothing at all.
According to StenSat coordinator Hank Heidt, N4AFL, StenSat may be
operating in an ''abnormal mode.'' The picosat was supposed to
transmit a CW identifier and packet telemetry after deployment, but
neither have been heard. Heidt speculated that it might be operating
in FM transponder mode.

Clifford Buttschardt, K7RR, reported hearing his transmissions
repeated through StenSat on February 12 and 13, but signals were
weak and the audio distorted. Weak StenSat signals also were
reported by Johann Lochner, ZR1CBC, at the SunSat ground station in
South Africa.

The StenSat group asks amateurs to monitor the downlink and send
reports to

StenSat has a crossband repeater aboard that is designed to operate
much like the popular AO-27 satellite. Hank Heidt, N4AFL, of the
StenSat team has more information on the StenSat Web site at



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