New Satellites on the Horizon

Update: UBAKUSAT was not launched on the JAXA HTV-6 mission. Reports indicate that it is likely to launch on the next JAXA HTV mission.

Recent International Amateur Radio Union satellite coordination requests provide new details on several satellites expected to launch before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

The first satellite expected to launch is UBAKUSAT. UBAKUSAT, developed by Istanbul Technical University along with TAMSAT, GUMUSH, and ERTEK Ltd. is a 3U CubeSat with a Mode V/u inverting linear transponder, CW beacon, and a digital telemetry downlink. The transponder downlink frequencies will be 435.200 MHz – 435.250 MHz with an uplink of 145.940 MHz – 145.990 MHz. The CW beacon frequency will be 437.225 MHz and the digital telemetry downlink will be 437.325 MHz. UBAKUSAT will be delivered to the International Space Station aboard the JAXA HTV-6 resupply mission, scheduled for launch on December 9, 2016, for future deployment. The mission is expected to last 6-12 months.

On December 26, 2016, the China Center for Aerospace Science and Technology’s BY70-1 satellite is expected to launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 530 km sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite, a 3-axis stabilized 2U CubeSat with deployable solar panels, will carry a Mode V/u FM transponder with an uplink frequency of 145.920 MHz and a downlink frequency of 436.200 MHz.

On March 31, 2017, two satellites from the Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) are expected to launch from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center into a 524 km orbit with an inclination of 42 degrees. The two satellites, CAS-4A and CAS-4B, will be 50 kg mass with 3-axis stabilization carrying optical remote sensing missions. The amateur radio payloads will be similar to the XW-2 series of satellites with Mode U/v linear transponders with power output of 100 mW, 100 mW AX.25 4800 baud GMSK telemetry, and 50 mW CW beacons. Frequencies for these two satellites have not yet been coordinated.

In addition to these satellites, AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff, Fox-1D, and RadFxSat (Fox-1B) satellites carrying Mode U/v FM transponders are all expected to launch in the first half of 2017. Nayif-1, from the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) and American Univeristy of Sharjah (AUS) carrying a FUNcube Mode U/v linear transponder and telemetry downlink, as well as the U. S. Naval Academy Satellite Lab’s QIKcom-2, PSAT-2, and BRICSAT-2 satellites carrying two-way amateur radio payloads are all expected to launch in the first half of 2017. Es’Hail-2, a geostationary satellite carrying AMSAT-DL’s Phase 4A payload is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2017. AMSAT’s RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) satellite carrying a Mode V/u linear transponder may also launch in late 2017.

AMSAT Space Symposium at Sea a Success!

The 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium and General Meeting held aboard the Carnival Liberty in the Gulf of Mexico is now history! Approximately 70 AMSAT members as well as family and friends from the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, and the Azores enjoyed the presentations, activities, and camaraderie during the four day cruise, which departed from Galveston, Texas and included a port call at Progreso, Mexico. Look for more details about the Symposium presentations and activities in the next issue of The AMSAT Journal.

AMSAT members display their portable antennas from the aft deck of the Carnival Liberty during the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium

AMSAT members display their portable antennas from the aft deck of the Carnival Liberty during the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium

Due to a lack of internet bandwidth, live audio of the 2016 AMSAT General Meeting was not available via Echolink. Please see the following slides presented during the General Meeting by AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, for an update on the status of AMSAT:

2016 AMSAT Annual Meeting Slides

Continue reading

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Date is Now Scheduled for March 16, 2017

The RadFxSat (Fox-1B) launch date has been moved, and is now scheduled for March 16, 2017.

RadFxSat will ride as one of the ELaNa XIV secondary payloads aboard the NASA JPSS-1 launch on a ULA Delta II rocket.

The launch will be at Vandenberg AFB, California.  It is one of only two remaining Delta II planned to be launched.

The RadFxSat mission is a partnership with Vanderbilt Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) that will study space radiation effects on commercial off the shelf memory.  The experiments are carried aboard the AMSAT Fox-1B CubeSat and experiment data will be carried in the subaudible telemetry stream of the Fox-1B FM repeater along with the CubeSat telemetry data.  The telemetry can be decoded and displayed with the AMSAT FoxTelem software.

[ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, N0JY AMSAT Vice President, Engineering
for the above information]

The RadFxSat (Fox-1B) flight model undergoes testing in the Fox Labs.

The RadFxSat (Fox-1B) flight model undergoes testing in the Fox Labs.

AMSAT-NA Event Reminders

A few reminders regarding upcoming AMSAT-NA Events:

1. Ballots for the Board of Directors election are due at the AMSAT-NA office in one week (September 15, 2016). Please mail your ballots in today. Ballots that arrive after the close of business on September 15th will not be counted.

2. The 2016 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and General Meeting will be held aboard the Carnival Liberty November 10th – November 14th. If you have not yet booked your cruise and plan on attending, please do so as soon as possible. See here for further information:

http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=3667

3. If you have already booked your cruise, please remember to register for the Symposium. You can register via the AMSAT online store here:

http://store.amsat.org/catalog/index.php?cPath=39

4. If you plan to attend the Symposium and wish to bring radios to operate, please remember that the Carnival Liberty is registered in Panama. US licensed amateur operators wishing to operate at sea must obtain an IARP from the ARRL. Details are available at the following site:

http://www.arrl.org/iarp

Unfortunately, obtaining a license for operation in Mexico or within Mexican territorial waters is likely not possible at this time.

5. If you wish to contribute a paper to the Symposium Proceedings and/or present at the Symposium, please email Dan Schultz (n8fgv at amsat.org) with a proposed title as soon as possible, preferably by September 15th. Final papers must be submitted by October 15th for publication in the printed Proceedings.