The first stage of the satellite mission has been finished after 5 days and 30 communication sessions. During the aforementioned time, PW-Sat2 managed to check the operation of all basic systems on board and to activate experimental payloads for the first time. Thus, currently, we are moving ahead to the next, experimental stage during which we plan on collecting data from the Sun Sensor and cameras.
The first stage of the mission consisted of three basic phases:
- LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase),
- Bus commissioning (verification of platform’s operation),
- Payload commissioning (verification of experimental subsystems’ operation)
Each of these phases had very specific goals which were achieved. The first phase (LEOP) aimed to launch the satellite and prepare it for further operation. Even though it lasted only for a couple of hours, a successful completion of this phase was crucial for the mission. During this phase, PW-Sat2 deployed its antennas, provided us with the first telemetry data and activated the ADCS subsystem in order to reduce the angular velocities caused by separation with the ejector in orbit.
The next stage called bus commissioning started on December 4th at around 8:25 a.m. CET. At that time the first communication with the satellite was successfully established in both ways – up- and downlink. During several communication sessions, we were verifying the correctness of operation of the communication system, power system and on-board computer. We also observed the influence of temperature and cosmic radiation on basic subsystems. Analyses of the data collected during this phase confirmed that all the basic subsystems are fully functional.
During the payload commissioning phase, we were verifying the functionality of electronic devices responsible for the operation of our experiments. The command beginning this phase was sent on December, 5 at 11:38 a.m. CET. From that moment on the satellite launched each experiment for a short time, collected experimental data, temperature, and basic telemetry. during the next two days, the downloaded data was downloaded and analyzed.
The data sent by satellite was received via a ground station at the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology (Warsaw University of Technology), a ground station of the company Future Processing from Gliwice, Poland, and radioamateur stations which were able to publish the received telemetry frames using our website: radio.pw-sat.pl. We have to add that collecting such a large amount of data would not be possible without the help of radio amateurs from all around the globe!
Selected data from the first stage of our mission can be found below. However, you can also check all the data out under this link or at the website: radio.pw-sat.pl.
Temperatures during the first four hours of the mission
Angular velocities during detumbling
Translated by Ania Kozubal and Alicja Kasjanowicz, thanks a lot!