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DIY Satellite Platforms by Sandy Antunes

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Power Charging Efficiency

Fellow TubeSat pioneer Wesley Faler of Fluid & Reason has calculated power curves we can expect for our orbiting picosatellites. He has generously allowed me to publish my summary of his analysis. His summarized estimate is that a six-cell solar panel in a sun-synchronous polar orbit with perfect positioning can expect to produce 0.5 watts, or achieve approximately 15% sustained charging efficiency. This sets our ultimate power budget for the satellite, and helps us choose appropriate instrumentation and control schemes.

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