In late December 2019 we posted about Russian weather satellite Meteor M N2-2 which had unfortunately been struck by a micro-meteorite on Dec 18, causing it to lose control and go offline. Meteor M N2 and N2-2 satellites are often monitored with RTL-SDR dongles as it is relatively simple to receive their LRPT signal at 137 MHz which contains a high resolution weather satellite image.
Recently Happysat updated his Meteor M status page, noting that Meteor M N2-2 has been partially recovered, but due to low power it can no longer transmit a 137 MHz LRPT signal ever again. However, the L and X-bands are transmitting while the satellite is in daylight. Happysat writes:
January 2020 There will be only short-term power-ups in the radio visibility zone, and the battery life will be reduced tenfold.
Of particular concern are the batteries they are very quickly overheated and switching from regular to backup.
Unfortunately the power supply features do not allow the 137 MHz transmitter to be used in abnormal power, mode (from solar panels) which is used now although technically it is working fine.
There will be no LRPT Transmission's anymore.
The older Meteor M N2 satellite remains operational transmitting at 137.100 MHz.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed by Roscosmos that the satellite was struck by what is presumed to be a micrometeorite which caused a leak of thermal transfer gas, and hence a sudden orbit change. It seems unlikely that the satellite will begin operations again as the satellite cannot operate it's camera sensors without thermal cooling. Data is being transmit currently on the X-Band, however, it appears to be a stored image only, rather than live images.
On December 18, 2019, an abnormal situation was recorded on the Meteor-M spacecraft No. 2-2 associated with an external impact (presumably a micrometeorite) on its structure.As a result, he changed the parameters of the orbit and switched to a non-oriented flight mode with high angular velocities.
In accordance with the inherent logic of operation, the device stopped fulfilling the target task and automatically switched to energy-saving mode when the on-board systems that were not involved in ensuring its functioning (including all on-board target equipment) are turned off.
After entering into the zone of Russian ground-based controls with the Meteor-M spacecraft No. 2-2, communication was established and work began to restore its operability: damping angular velocities, transferring to the standard orientation, receiving telemetric and target information.
Currently, work is underway with the satellite under the program of the chief designer.Meteor-M No. 2-2 is in an oriented flight; regular control sessions are conducted with it to receive telemetric information and information from target equipment.
Meteor M N2-2 is a Russian weather satellite that was successfully launched into orbit on July 5 2019. Like with the NOAA and Meteor M N2 satellites, it is possible to receive weather satellite images from this satellite with an RTL-SDR (when it is operational).
The older but still operational Meteor M2 satellite has failed several times in it's history too, each time with the satellite entering an unstable tumble. However, each time the satellite was recovered back into full operation after a few days.
Message from Happysat Meteor M-N 2-2.Around 17/18 Dec lost orientation. Spent two days getting him back unther control again. Succeeded today. Now analysis is stil being carrieout before it becomes operational again. Why it came is still unknown. Thanks Alex.