RamSat mission progress

I’m opening this thread as a place to engage the SatNOGS and Libre Space communities on the RamSat mission, including discussion of spacecraft health, mission milestones, lessons learned, and planned operations. Our team is gaining tremendous value from the observations gathered by SatNOGS, from the database view of individual observations, from the dashboard aggregation of telemetry data, and from discussions in these forums. We hope to be able to repay our debt of gratitude in the future by initiating our own SatNOGS station, but for now our hands are full with our first satellite mission - so please accept at this point our heart-felt “Thank you!”
A potentially interesting point on which to start discussion: We have been learning over the past week or so about “high beta angles” and their impact on system thermal behavior. RamSat appears to be in a high beta angle configuration, with nearly continuous sun illumination for multiple days. In addition, the slow tumble of RamSat is such that its -X solar panel (one of the long sides of the 2U shape) has been facing the sun more or less continuously for multiple days, causing temperatures on the panel to rise to > 90C. This is a concern, and we recently achieved an uplink command to activate magnetorquers in an attempt to give a little nudge to get that panel out of constant illumination. Early indications are that this may have been effective - temperatures on the panel are coming down a bit, but more time is needed to know for sure. We may need to give another nudge. The first nudge happened on 7/15 at about 1:52 UTC.


RamSat seems to have now passed through its first high-beta-angle episode. Peak illumination lasted from about 13-17 July, with solar panel temperatures peaking at 95C, and interior temperatures peaking around 28C. Since then there have been multiple periods of darkness during which the panels have cooled to sub-zero range, and the interior temperatures are trending down. All good news, since the battery charging system did not seem very happy with the high temperatures.
We also have uplinked a recent TLE to the flight computer, and the flight code is now making its own orbital predictions. You can compare those with your own estimates of position by looking at the telemetry dashboard. The onboard real time clock has drifted a bit since pre-launch prep, and we need to update it. That will reduce some bias in the position estimates.
We’re working toward our first imaging commands, which will capture visible and NIR images of Earth.