We expected that AO5 would be spinning when it was ejected from its launch rocket from at least two causes:
- the spinning of the launch rocket, and
- the two ejection springs that pushed AO5 away from the launch rocket would not be exactly equal, thereby imparting a spin.
If AO5 was spinning, as we assumed it would be, then reading and decoding the telemetry could be much, much harder with the signals fading in and out of the background noise.
So we decided to:
- measure the spinning using photosensitive "Horizon detectors", see the Telemetry page,
- reduce the spin using lossy magnetic materials, and
- align AO5 with the earth's magnetic field.
You can see where the magnet is located, opposite, in the photograph.
Read more about the Orientation and Stabilisation system here.