Last email that I have after using it. It would appear we might still have 5 years?
Here is a quick AO-16 update. On Sunday I turned AO-16 long enough to get some telemetry packets. The satellite would remain on for less than one minute after being commanded on. A quick test of the "bent pipe" voice mode repeater was successful. . The "hardware watchdog timer problem" is still evident; as expected, spacecraft temperatures are insufficient to keep the transmitter ON (needs to be above 15 deg C).
Orbit projections suggest that satellite illumination conditions will not result in increased temperatures for nearly 10 years. Command stations do periodically turn AO-16 "ON" to check on its condition and see if the hardware timer problem has "automagically" fixed itself (which in not anticipated, but who knows...).
AO-16 telemetry 3 Oct 2010 1838 utc
PACSAT MBL Telemetry Decoder Ver. 1.3 (c) Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN =============================================================================== (average values)
+10V Battery Bus : 0.00 V Battery Charge Reg : 0.55 mA Base Temp : 9.07 °C PSK RF Out : 1.90 W +5V RX Bus : 4.87 V +8.5V RX Bus : 8.49 V +10V RX Bus : 11.24 V
Here is another teaser :) Several months ago I commanded the AO-16 S-band transmitter ON; it too remains functional (albeit weak), and was received by me, Drew KO4MA, and Alan WA4SCA.