Design The Next AMSAT Satellite!

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At the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton announced the plan for the next generation of AMSAT satellites. “The door is open for everyone, to submit their ideas. AMSAT Engineering has a long term strategy and this is the first step.”

The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals

  • Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications skills
  • Enhance international goodwill
  • Grow and sustain a skilled pool of amateur radio satellite engineers
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with educational institutions
  • Develop a means to use hardware common to all opportunities

With respect to the last goal Jerry said “Within the bounds of the type of satellite it takes to achieve any of the various orbit opportunities, let’s consider in those plans the possibility of developing a platform that can suit any and all orbits.  Perhaps a modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we did in Fox-1, which gives great flexibility in building and flying different sizes and configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware changes.”

Submissions should be thorough and contain the following information.  The purpose of the proposal is not just in suggesting an idea; being an all-volunteer team AMSAT needs your help in carrying out the idea.

  • Design
  • Implementation – CubeSat platform
  • Estimated timeline
  • Cost – volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units
  • Launch – how does it get to orbit
  • Strategy – how it fits into AMSAT’s Engineering long term strategy

As mentioned above the idea should be based on the CubeSat platform. This is the standard through which we will look for launches in the foreseeable future.

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New Challenge Coin Premium for AMSAT Fox Donations

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AMSAT is excited to announce that a new premium collectable is now available for qualifying donations to the Fox satellite program. AMSAT has commissioned a unique challenge coin for donors who have contributed at the $100 level or higher. This challenge coin is shaped as an isometric view of a Fox-1 CubeSat, complete with details such as the stowed UHF antenna, solar cells, and camera lens viewport. Struck in 3mm thick brass, plated with antique silver, and finished in bright enamel, the coin is scaled to be approximately 1:4 scale, or 1 inch along each of the six sides. The reverse has the AMSAT Fox logo.

10665294_827617400594275_1401063514767949235_nThe coins are scheduled for delivery just prior to the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium, and will be first distributed to donors attending the Symposium. Coins will also be made available to qualifying donors that have contributed since the Fox-1C announcement on July 18, 2014 upon request. Donations may be made via the AMSAT website, via the FundRazr crowdsourcing app at http://fnd.us/c/6pz92/sh/561Zd, or via the AMSAT office at (888) 322-6728.

The Fox program is designed to provide a platform for university experiments in space, as well as provide FM repeater capability for radio amateurs worldwide. Fox-1A and 1C are set to launch in 2015, and Fox-1B (also known as RadFXSat) is awaiting NASA ELANA launch assignment. Further information on the Fox project can be found at http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1113.

You may donate here via PayPal. Donations will be marked specifically for Fox-1C. Note that PayPal usually allows you to donate with a credit card, even if you do not have a PayPal account. However, PayPal requirements differ depending on your country. We have no control over this issue.

EVA Photos of Chasqui-1 Deployment

Roscosmos EVA photo Chasqui-1 deployment. Click for full size image.

Roscosmos EVA photo Chasqui-1 deployment. Click for full size image.

The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos announced that a nano satellite with the designation, NS-1 was hand-launched during a space walk that began at 14:00 UTC Monday, August 18, 2014.

The satellite is also referred to as the Peruvian Cubesat Chasqui-1 and weighs 1.5 kg. The satellite’s main mission is to serve as a platform for testing micro-electronics and optical devices used in cubesat applications.

Close-up of Chasqui-1 during deployment. Click for full-size image.

Close-up of Chasqui-1 during deployment. Click for full-size image.

Its secondary mission is to operate as an amateur radio satellite. It’s transmit downlink is 437.025 MHz. The craft will send information in CW mode. It also transmits images stored in memory, photos taken by two on board cameras and will send telemetry. Data transmissions will use either 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 or 9600 bps GMSK modes.

(Photo source: Sergey Samburov)

AMSAT-NA Announces New Fox Satellite Launch in 2015

fox antennas extended

Fox-1C

AMSAT is excited to announce a launch opportunity for the Fox-1C Cubesat. AMSAT has teamed with Spaceflight Inc. for integration and launch utilizing Spaceflight’s SHERPA system to a sun-synchronous orbit in the third quarter of 2015.

Fox-1C is the third of four Fox-1 series satellites under development, with Fox-1A and RadFXsat/Fox-1B launching through the NASA ELANA program. Fox-1C will carry an FM repeater system for amateur radio use by radio hams and listeners worldwide. Further details on the satellite and launch will be made available as soon as released.

AMSAT has an immediate need to raise funds to cover both the launch contract and additional materials for construction and testing for Fox-1C. We have set a fundraising goal of $125,000 to cover these expenses over the next 12 months, and allow us to continue to keep amateur radio in space.

Donations may be made through the AMSAT webpage at www.amsat.org, by calling (888) 322-6728 or by mail to the AMSAT office at 10605 Concord Street, Kensington, MD 20895, USA. Please consider a recurring, club, or corporate donation to maximize our chance of success with this mission. Also watch our website at www.amsat.org, follow us on Twitter at “AMSAT“, or on Facebook as “The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation” for continuing news and opportunities for support. AMSAT is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and donations may be tax-deductible.

You may donate here via PayPal.  Donations will be marked specifically for Fox-1C.  Note that PayPal usually allows you to donate with a credit card, even if you do not have a PayPal account.  However, PayPal requirements differ depending on your country.  We have no control over this issue.

You may also contribute through a special “crowd sourcing” fund.  (We regret the extended delay.  The 24 hours we were expecting turned out to be closer to 24 days due to several interlocking bureaucracies.  We do appreciate your patience!) The “crown sourcing” fund is now open for donations.!

SHERPA-Q3-2015

Spaceflight Inc.’s SHERPA system with integrated cubesat dispensers