Friday, January 19, 2007

ANDE LASERs ON at 04:45 EST over Wash DC

From the AMSAT-BB and Robert Bruninga:

At 04:46 Saturday Morning Eastern Standard Time we will turn on the lasers on the ANDE MAA satellite as it comes over the Washington DC area.

This is a horrid hour, and we do not expect anyone to look or to waste sleep trying, but we figured we should alert the amateur list just in case... Someone had an interest.

Remember that these are not visible lasers, but 800 nm (infraredbelow visual red). They would need a CCD and large telescope to detect them. They will be pulsing several times a second for 3 to 5 minutes. We do not expect any amateurs to see them nor to even look for them.

Just wanted to give you a heads up. Oh, and we had the wrong names on the wrong objects so the object with the lasers on it is ANDE MAA which is now object 29664 .

The ANDE telemetry on 145.825 should show when the command is successful. You would see a packet coming back from ANDE saying LEDS WAS OFF (meaning it just switched to ON). Those of you with familiarity with the Kantroincs TNC (that is all ANDE is) will notice that all we did to control the lasers was to hook them to a switch hooked to the front panel POWER LED. Since the Kantrnoics TNC has a LEDS OFF command to save power when the TNC is in a low power application, we set the default to be LEDSOFF. This way, we can use that command to turn on the 6 Watts worth of lasers easily.

Bob, Wb4APR