wa8sme wrote:The FUNCube is a bird that just keeps on giving. Today, my data indicates that the FC has passed a rotation rate mile stone and it has dipped above 1 RPM, from the previous low of around 8.5 minutes-per-revolution (.12 RPM). I am still unclear as to what may have happened on December 28th that caused the rotation rate turn around, nor am I any more clear as to the mechanism that caused the rate to slow down to the minimum and now spool up to the current rate. All indicators point to continued rotation rate increase (at probably a natural log track). It is also interesting that there appears to be a correlation between the MSE panel maximum temperatures and the rotation rate. Even though the thermal exposure of the MSE panels is at 25% throughout (when the panels are facing the sun they are illuminated 25% of the rotation), the heating of the panels tracks the rotation rate. I have come to the conclusion that the dynamic nature of the heating of the MSE panels has a significant impact on the behavior being observed during the MSE...of course I can't explain that either. [There is a definite correlation between the magnitude of the temperature excursions from a smooth curve to the rotation rate, that helps to quantify the differences in the emissivity/absorptivity of the two MSE panels.]
One other observation while I am at it is the change in the Z-axis wobble as a function of the rotation rate. By observing the deviations of the high res +Z-axis panel plot over time, the excursions from a smooth plot when the rotation rate was at the minimum were far greater than the excursions at the higher rotation rate. What I glean from this observation is that the higher rotation rate has the benefit of stabilizing any Z-axis wobble that may result from the flip Z-axis flip maneuvers during the orbit. Purely conjecture on my part.
In my view, the FC continues to out perform the expected education outcomes. There is a huge benefit from the questions generated...more so than the answers. This thing, in the hands of the right teachers, targets STEM education spot on.
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