Proof! Electrolyte Leaked out of ARISSat-1 Batteries
Ok, this is just a theory. I do not know the exact construction so this is simply conjecture.
I have been following ARISSat-1 since the day it launched and probably too closely I might add.. I received a SSTV image on 13 August 2011 0036 UTC. I have been puzzled by it ever since receiving it. I thought it might just be a focus issue, but I looked up the specs on the cameras and they are fixed lenses. Being out of focus should not be an issue with these cameras.
I checked the estimated time of battery failure (12 August 2011) and the dates of other “Red RS01S” stamped images and the one I found looked similar around the time of failure.
Received by me on 13 August 2011 0036 UTC:
Received by VR2RC, VR2GY, VR2UIO, VR2UGP, VR2VBU on 12 August 2011 1206 UTC
I also looked at the specs on the batteries and supposedly they are leak proof. The batteries use potassium hydroxide for the electrolyte and I am not sure if it was in a liquid state or not. Either way it looks like a leak should not of escaped the confines of the battery. However, lets imagine it did, is the liquid coating the camera lens at the time? Will it evaporate into space or damage other components? I have looked at recent Red camera images and they look normal.
Say my theory is way off, that begs the question: what is the cause of the “blurriness” in these two images? Either way we are fortunate to have the cells open instead of short so it will continue to operate off the solar cells.
Any ideas? Please email me at jason [at] n4jtc.com
See the ARRISSat-1 Power System page for more information on the power system.