Fox-1 CubeSat Publicity Handout

AMSAT is Amateur Radio in SpaceAMSAT-NA have released a single page Fox-1 CubeSat publicity handout for club meetings or hamfests.

Fox-1 carries an FM transponder with a 435.180 MHz uplink and 145.980 MHz downlink that you should be able to work using your FM dual-band HT.

It is planned to launch into a 470 by 780 km orbit with a 64° inclination on the Atlas-V ELaNa XII NROL-55 mission from the Vandenberg Air Force Base slated for December 6, 2014. Note all launch dates can slip, for the latest launch schedule see

Download the Fox-1 Publicity Handout

Fox-2 to have Mode J (145 to 435 MHz) transponder

AMSAT FOXTony Monterio AA2TX and the AMSAT News service (ANS) have released this update on the Fox CubeSat program.

The main point of Fox-2 is to develop and fly an advanced, software defined transponder (SDX.) An SDX can be programmed to be any kind of transponder. It will be a linear [SSB/CW], inverting mode-J [VHF uplink UHF downlink] transponder by default.

We would also like to try some new and interesting digital modes perhaps including digital voice which would be my personal favorite. That is the tremendous flexibility you get with an SDX. You can change the transponder in software.

ARISSat-1 was our first attempt at an SDX and it worked very well. It could only be programmed on the ground though. The SDX for Fox-2 will be programmable in orbit.

Fox-2 will be a 3U CubeSat (three times the size of Fox-1) providing a lot more power and space for the electronics.

The source of confusion may be because we are building four Fox-1 flight units. The idea is to have them available and ready to fly so we can easily team up with universities that want to fly science missions and get free launches. Building them all at once is also a much cheaper way to build satellites.

All four Fox-1 units will have the same hardware and avionics. The universities will supply their experiment cards and the software can be customized for each satellite as needed.

Once the Fox-1 flight models are built, the engineering team can begin working on Fox-2. That should start this year [2014].

The status of the Fox-1 satellites is as follows:

Fox-1 (Fox-1A) is scheduled to fly on NROL-55.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is a joint project with Vanderbilt University. It has already been accepted into the NASA ELaNa program but it has not been assigned a launch yet.

Fox-1C and Fox-1D are not currently assigned.

WRAPS: A Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System

WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System - Copyright ARRL

WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System – Copyright ARRL

The January 2014 edition of QST contains an article by ARRL Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer WA8SME on a portable azimuth and elevation rotator system for tracking satellites called WRAPS.

WRAPS stands for Wobbler RadFxSat Antenna Pointing System rotator system which Mark developed to support tracking CubeSats such as FUNcube-1 and the upcoming Fox-1 and RadFxSat/Fox-1B. His target audience includes school groups who want to access the capabilities of the CubeSats.

Thanks to Mark and the ARRL a copy of the article in PDF format is available here WRAPS – Mark Spencer WA8SME QST Jan 2014 Copyright ARRL.
For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the ARRL.

Mark Spencer WA8SME gave a presentation on WRAPS during the 2013 AMSAT Space Symposium in Houston, Texas, on Friday, November 1, 2013. His talk was recorded by Patrick Stoddard VA7EWK.

Apologies for missing the start of Mark’s introduction, and for the quality of this video. The Symposium organizers dimmed the lights in the front of the room for this presentation, which meant Mark was essentially standing in the dark as he gave his presentation.

Watch WA8SME: WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotor (2013 AMSAT Space Symposium)

At the AMSAT Forum at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention the presentations on education wrapped up with a talk by Mark Spencer, ARRL Education & Technology Program Director. “Spence”, WA8SME, briefly described his classroom experiments for measuring the “wobble” of the Fox satellite, demonstrating a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) for a solar array, and WRAPS a lower cost azimuth-elevation rotor system for lightweight satellite antennas.

Watch Fox Classroom Experiments, by Spence WA8SME – 2013 Dayton Hamvention

A limited number of complete WRAPS systems will be available through the AMSAT-NA Store. As of December 12 they were not yet available, and AMSAT-NA do not at present have a firm date when they will be in stock. Because of uncertainty of the price and number which will be available, they are not taking advanced orders. When they are ready to process orders, AMSAT-NA will make the information public.  Please do not call the AMSAT office.





ARRL International Membership with a digital version of the monthly QST magazine cost $39 (£25), see

AMSAT’s FOX-1 Ham Radio CubeSat

AMSAT FOXIn HamRadioNow episode 85 Gary Pearce KN4AQ talks to a pair of AMSAT Vice Presidents – Tony Montiero AA2TX (Engineering) and Mark Hammond N8MH (Education) who tell us about the new Fox-1 Satellite.

They explain why AMSAT must transition from a bunch of hams who put up satellites for us to use, to a provider of the platform and communications for space science experiments for education (that also happen to have repeaters and transponders we can use).

Fox-1 is scheduled to launch from Vandenburg in November 2014 on the NASA ELaNa XII mission into a 470 x 780 km at 64 degrees inclination orbit. It will employ passive magnetic stabilization and carry a 435.180 MHz to 145.980 MHz FM voice transponder and an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel.

Watch HamRadioNow Episode 85: AMSAT’s Fox-1 Satellite

IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Fox-1A Ham Radio CubeSat

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

IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Fox-1a Ham Radio CubeSat

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

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Status pages