Video – Status Update on Ham Radio CubeSat Fox-1

AMSAT FOXAMSAT VP for Engineering Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, provided an up-to-the-minute review of AMSAT-NA’s next satellite, Fox-1, at the AMSAT Forum at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention.

The first of a number of satellites planned for Project Fox, Tony reviews the motivation for building a CubeSat, the components that comprise Fox-1, and the capabilities and experiments included. He describes the launch assigned by NASA for Fox-1 and gives a brief look at future Project Fox satellites.

The FM voice uplink of Fox-1 will be on 435.180 MHz and the downlink will be 145.980 MHz with an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel.  The FM transponder is activated by a PL tone (CTCSS) and once triggered, it will stay on and repeat everything for 2 minutes even if there is no PL tone. It also re-triggers the timer every time the PL is detected.

The satellite will carry a camera that can take a VGA (640×480) image of the Earth every minute, it will take 50 seconds to download each image.

Watch Fox-1 Status Update, by Tony AA2TX – 2013 Dayton Hamvention

Further information on Fox at http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/2012/2012_Symposium_Fox_Overview.pdf

IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Fox-1a Ham Radio CubeSat
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/06/04/iaru-fox-1a-cubesat-frequencies/

IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Fox-1A Ham Radio CubeSat

AMSAT FOXThe International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Frequency Coordination Panel has announced coordinated frequencies for the AMSAT-NA Fox-1a CubeSat.

A 1U CubeSat, Fox-1a will serve as a communications relay for radio amateurs worldwide via the onboard FM repeater system. It will also carry an experiment consisting of a 3-axis MEMs gyro developed by Penn State University. The communications and experiment missions will run concurrently.

The uplink will be on 435.180 MHz for FM voice and the downlink on 145.980 MHz with FM voice and an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel. Fox-1a will employ passive magnetic stabilization.

Fox-1a is planning to launch from Vandenburg in November 2014 on the NASA ELaNa XII mission with ARC1, BisonSat, Lightsail and R2S (NEO). The expected orbit is 470 x 780 km at 64 degrees inclination giving an orbit lifetime of about 11 years.

For more information see http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/2012/2012_Symposium_Fox_Overview.pdf

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Status pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

AMSAT Field Day 2013

Saudisat SO-50

Saudisat SO-50

The AMSAT-NA site reports on satellite activity for this years ARRL Field Day which takes place June 22-23.

Every year AMSAT promotes a satellite version of Field Day during the ARRL annual operating event which is held on the 4th weekend in June. This year Field Day will take place from 1800 UTC on Saturday June 22, 2013 through 2100 UTC on Sunday June 23, 2013.

SaudiSat-Oscar-50 will be the only operational FM transponder satellite this year. If you are considering only FM voice operating for your AMSAT Field Day focus the single uplink/downlink channel will be extremely challenging. As in prior years, this intense congestion on FM LEO satellites drives the limitation in the rules allowing their use to one-QSO-per-FM-satellite. This includes the International Space Station. You will be allowed one QSO if the ISS is operating Voice. You will also be allowed one digital QSO with the ISS or any other digital, non-store-and-forward, packet satellite (if operational).

If you have worked the satellites on Field Day in recent years, you may have noticed a lot of good contacts can be made on the linear transponder satellites including VO-52, FO-29, and AO-7. During Field Day the transponders come alive like 20 meters on a weekend. The transponders on these satellites will support multiple simultaneous SSB or CW contacts.

The AMSAT Field Day 2013 event is open to all Amateur Radio operators. Amateurs are to use the exchange as specified in ARRL rules for Field Day. The AMSAT competition is to encourage the use of all amateur satellites, both analog and digital.

For the complete listing of the AMSAT Field Day Rules please refer to the documents posted on-line at:

http://www.amsatnet.com/2013fd.docx
http://www.amsatnet.com/2013fd.pdf

[We thank AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, Bruce Paige, KK5DO for the above information]

Source: AMSAT-NA K9JKM

AMSAT Fox-1 Ham Radio CubeSat Announcement

Fox-1 CubeSat at the Dayton Hamvention - Image Credit ARRL

AMSAT at the Dayton Hamvention – Image Credit ARRL

NASA announced on May 13, 2013 that AMSAT’s Fox-1 amateur radio spacecraft has been assigned for launch in November 2014 on the ELaNa XII mission. The expected orbit is 470 x 780 km at 64 degrees inclination. This orbit has a lifetime of about 11 years.

AMSAT Vice President Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, reported that the software development team successfully brought up the Fox-1 system software on the Internal Housekeeping Unit (IHU). The IHU is the brains of the Fox-1 satellite and it has a 32-bit, STM32L microprocessor. The operating IHU card was shown in the AMSAT Engineering booth at the Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT FOXThe Fox-1 Engineering Team will deliver the satellite for integration with the launch vehicle during May, 2014 with the launch scheduled for November, 2014. Tony commented, “While this is later than we had hoped, it is well within the normal variance of ELaNa launch dates and the extra time will be most welcome for additional satellite testing. This is very exciting news and really puts the focus on finishing the satellite and ground station software development.”

President Barry Baines says, “AMSAT’s focus on STEM education and development of a CubeSat platform capable of flying a science mission with a reliable communications link resulted in the selection of Fox-1 in the third round and RadFxSat (Fox-1B) in the fourth round of NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative.”

All Fox CubeSats are designed to host advanced science payloads to support future science missions that help us to continue qualify for NASA ELaNa (free) launches. The Phase 1 Fox satellites are 1-Unit CubeSats. They each include an analog FM repeater that will allow simple ground stations using an HT and an “arrow” type antenna to make contacts using the satellite. This was the mode made so popular by AO-51. The Phase 1 CubeSats also have the capability of operating in a high-speed digital mode for data communications. Phase 2 Fox satellites will include software-defined-transponders (SDX) like the one tested on ARISSat-1. These will be able to operate in a wide variety of analog and digital communications modes including linear transponders. Since this requires more power for reliable operation, these will probably all be 3-Unit CubeSats.

Source: AMSAT News Service (ANS) http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=443

A 1U CubeSat, Fox-1a will serve as a communications relay for radio amateurs worldwide via the onboard FM repeater system. Fox-1a will also carry an experiment consisting of a 3-axis MEMs gyro developed by Penn State University. The communications and experiment missions will run concurrently. An uplink on 435.180 MHz for FM voice and a downlink on 145.980 MHz with FM voice and an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel has been coordinated. Fox-1a will employ passive magnetic stabilization.

For more information see http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/2012/2012_Symposium_Fox_Overview.pdf

Fox-1a is planning to launch from Vandenburg during 2014 on the NASA ElanaXII mission with ARC1, BisonSat, Lightsail and R2S(NEO)

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/

Fox-1 has a Launch Date!

AMSAT FOX

AMSAT FOX

NASA announced Monday that AMSAT’s Fox-1 FM transponder spacecraft has been assigned a launch in 2014. For details on the launch vehicle, targeted launch date, orbit specifics, and more, please attend the AMSAT Forum and visit the AMSAT booth at the Dayton Hamvention this weekend.  Watch http://www.amsat.org/ and the AMSAT News Service for more details to follow as they become available.

AMSAT’s Fox-1 CubeSat aims to provide these features:

• Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51 and ARISSat-1 operations.

• In case of IHU failure Fox-1 aims to continue to operate its FM repeater in a basic, ‘zombie sat’ mode, so that the repeater remains on-the-air.

• Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its U/V (Mode B) FM transponder will make it even easier to work with modest equipment.

• From the ground user’s perspective, the same FM amateur radio equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.