The Fox-1A (AO-85) CubeSat has been turned off until further notice due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition, control operator Mark Hammond, N8MH, has announced. In December, AO-85 experienced precarious battery voltage drops during eclipse periods; it’s believed that the batteries suffered degradation due to heat during previous no-eclipse periods, making it difficult to keep the satellite available without risking battery damage.
To extend the satellite’s usable life, both the internal housekeeping unit (IHU) and the transmitter were shut down, ceasing all transmissions. This included the beacons running every 2 minutes during times of sunlight and eclipse. AO-85 was turned back on during the next full-sun illumination period that began on January 24 and enabled for regular use. AO-85 occasionally reset due to low battery voltage and operated in safe mode.
With AO-85 leaving full illumination and encountering periodic eclipses, its battery condition again began to deteriorate again. The satellite’s health will be tracked with periodic telemetry transmissions when commanded by a control operator. AMSAT asks satellite enthusiasts to continue tracking AO-85 in FoxTelem and post to the AMSAT-BB or contact Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service