Status of ESEO

  • Hi Thomas.


    This is the last press release I can find from ESA Education office. Dated May 23rd.


    "After having started its in orbit commissioning, since a few weeks the ESEO mission has been experiencing an anomaly. The educational path of the ESEO students however continues.

    The ESEO AMSAT-UK radio payload was successfully activated in the morning of 12 April 2019, and it started transmitting its payload telemetry. These data were received by many radio amateurs around the globe.

    Unfortunately, a few hours after the AMSAT-UK activation, ESEO suddenly started to behave anomalously, repeatedly sending the same notification message to ground, which normally should have been sent only once. The continuous use of the radio transmitter to send these notifications, in combination with the AMSAT-UK activation, led to a temporary discharge of the battery when the spacecraft was in eclipse. This under-voltage then triggered the protections to automatically shut-down the AMSAT-UK payload.

    A clear reason for the anomaly has not been identified yet, but the most accredited hypothesis is a possible radiation effect on a memory cell, which in principle could be recovered through an automatic reboot of the on-board computer (data handling system), that cannot however be anticipated.

    In the meanwhile, until this malfunction is resolved, ESEO cannot receive tele-commands and its in-orbit commissioning cannot continue."


    End quote.


    Current status: On 31st August the OBDH system reset following a low battery watchdog. This stopped the continuous transmissions and put the satellite back into safe mode. At present, telemetry is being received on 70cm and the attitude control system is being investigated. Commands are being successfully sent to ESEO and temperatures and battery voltages are back to nominal values.


    Speculation: After the platform checks have been completed it would be reasonable to assume the S band ( 2.1 + 2.2GHz commercial spectrum) system will be checked so that the science data from the student payloads can be gathered and downloaded via TU Munich.

    Thanks


    David