Re: Need Help - Bright Double Flare over São Paulo city, Brazil

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (grd.holtkamp@t-online.de)
Date: Mon May 16 2011 - 16:16:24 UTC

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    On Sunday 15 May 2011 08:52, Greg Roberts wrote:
    >
    > A little OT but ERS-2  #23560  is still putting out a weak radio signal on
    > 2225.0 Mhz so its not entirely "dead".
    >
    
    ERS-2 is still operational until the end of this month. From 30-MAY-2011 on a 
    series of 10 maneuvers over the following 6 weeks should bring its orbit down 
    to less than 600 km (from which is is expected to decay within 25 years to 
    comply with regulations for the prevention of space debris). The reason the 
    maneuvers are spread out rather than performing just one or two larger 
    maneuvers is due to poor gyroscopes and batteries. 
    
    After ERS-2 is decommissioned (and no longer controlled) we might be expected 
    to see flares like the just reported ERS-1 flares. The ERS satellites have 
    antennae like the MetOp satellite which produce flares but because the ERS 
    antennae were always pointing away from the Sun they never flared while the 
    satellites remained operational. This is about to change now for ERS-2 as 
    well. Because ERS-2 will be in a lower orbit than ERS-1 (ERS-2 still happens 
    to have 50% fuel left at at the moment which helps to bring it down) the 
    flares might appear brighter still. 
    
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
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