Sunsat Obs Request

Date: Sat Jul 22 2000 - 13:31:00 PDT

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    Hello Everyone.
    Last April I received an observation request from one of the controllers of 
    The following is an e-mail that I received today:
    Sunsat is currently in a dawn-dusk orbit. It experienced a sharp increase in 
    temperature since entering permanent sunlight. To counter this, we 
    flipped the satellite over, pointing its top plate roughly towards 
    earth and the bottom plate (a better radiator) towards cold space. 
    We also spun the satellite up around its z-axis to tilt the top plate 
    towards the sun by about 20 degrees.
    The top plate is covered by highly reflective metal foil to protect 
    sensitive instruments. It is by far the most reflective surface on 
    Sunsat (although not as flat as the solar panels). Since it is now 
    pointed towards earth and the sun, I believe that Sunsat should be 
    more visible than before. However, due to light pollution and bad 
    weather over the last few weeks, I have been unable to confirm this. 
    I would love to receive your diagnosis, if such observations fits in 
    your schedule.
    At 40 deg N latitude it is not in a good position for me to observe.  It 
    passes in the west too soon after sunset for a reasonable chance to see it.  O
    thers on the list may have a better opportunity. 
    Don Gardner  39.1799 N, 76.8406 W, 100m ASL
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