The satellite is only in transponder mode when it is in eclipse.. In full sunlight it is in beacon mode only.
Just curious about the overall design goals of this operating mode? Putting solar energy into and then taking it out of batteries suffers about a 30% loss in efficiency. All else being equal it is usually better to use solar power directly if possible.
Maybe the value of this mode is for hams to use the satellite in the evenings during play time instead of during the day when schools and students could benefit.
Just curious. Thanks