Status Report

Pioneer 10 Status Report 1 July 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
July 1, 2000
Filed under
The RTGs are currently providing approximately 65 Watts of power (about 42% of the 155 Watts launch value).
The science and transmitter are turned off to provide enough power to fire the attitude control engines for the biannual spacecraft pointing maneuvers towards the Sun (the latest maneuver was executed on 2/11-12/00). The battery voltage is often discharged and charged.
However, the battery does not support any of the load, being charged to only about 1 volt at its peak, down from its nominal value of 9 volts.
The Bus Voltage is at a steady 27 Volts with a Bus Current of about 1.3 Amps.
The platform temperature is still within acceptable limits at
-41 degrees F (the nominal range is between -63 F to 180 F).
The Deep Space Network (DSN) continues to provide good data with the received signal strength of -178 dBm (only a few dBm from the receiver threshold of -180 dBm).
Although powerwise Pioneer 10 is operating OK with one science
instrument on, the DSN may not be able to get good telemetry lock as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) continues to decrease.
Even though in a year the DSN may still be able to get good telemetry lock, being this close to the receiver threshold and losing about 0.3 dBm/yr due to range, maintaining contact will be a challenge.
(From update report by Ric Campo, Pioneer Operations Supervisor)
Larry Lasher, Pioneer Project Manager

SpaceRef staff editor.