AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase-3E Opportunity


AMSAT-DL depiction of the Phase 3-Express (P3E) satellite in 2005-2006. Changes in the antenna configuration are planned in 2015. The rocket motor and propellant tank will not be needed on the proposed launch opportunity.


The P3E spaceframe will have room for scientific and amateur radio payload. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, is shown with the spaceframe at AMSAT-DL in 2005.

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite.  During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on 4 JUL 15, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.

Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.

Stay tuned to the AMSAT-DL Journal, the AMSAT-NA Journal, and the AMSAT-NA News Service for further developments and details as they become known.

Fox-1 Development, Launch, and Frequency Coordination Status at Dayton

During the Dayton Hamvention, AMSAT Vice President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, and AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, provided more information about the Fox-1 satellites under development. Buxton, N0JY, says Fox-1A has passed all environmental testing and is integrated into the P-POD deployment canister. “The ‘remove before flight pin’ has been pulled, the doors closed on the P-POD, and everything is aboard the shipping container now en route to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for launch”, said Buxton.

Previously Buxton had announced plans to incorporate an L band receiver in Fox-1C and Fox-1D. The addition will allow ground commanded selection of the U/v (normal Fox-1 bands) or the new L/v 1.2 GHz (23 cm) mode. Both bands will operate as FM single channel. (See:

During the satellite operations segment of the AMSAT Forum Glasbrenner provided the details of the uplink and downlink frequencies for the Fox-1 FM cubesat fleet.

Fox-1 Frequencies

                                            Uplink FM (67 Hz tone)     Downlink FM

Fox-1A                                 435.180 MHz                     145.980 MHz

RadFxSat/Fox-1B*              435.250 MHz                     145.960 MHz

Fox-1C*                               435.300 MHz                     145.920 MHz

       1267.300 MHz **               145.920 MHz

Fox-1D*                                435.350 MHz                    145.880 MHz

        1267.350 MHz **              145.880 MHz

* Pending IARU Coordination, If needed, changes will be announced

** U/v and L/v operations switchable by command station,
not operational simultaneously

According to Buxton, the team is planning to have an affordable L band uplink ground station available to amateurs by the time Fox-1C is on orbit.

+ Fox-1A will launch on a NASA ELaNa flight scheduled during the third quarter, 2015 from Vandenberg AFB. Fox-1A is a passenger aboard this launch driven by the schedule of the primary payload. When updates are available with firm dates they will be announced via the ANS bulletins, on the AMSAT web, and in the AMSAT Journal.

+ Fox-1B will fly with the Vanderbilt University radiation experiments expected in 2016.

+ Fox-1C will launch on Spaceflight’s maiden mission of the SHERPA multi-cubesat deployer on a SpaceX Falcon 9 flight planned for late 2015.

+ Fox-1D is a flight spare for Fox-1C. If not needed as a spare it will fly with the University of Iowa HERCI radiation mapping experiment.

+ Fox-1E “Evolution” will carry a Mode J linear transponder. The transponder is planned to be 30 kHz wide and will also have a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon. Launch opportunities are being developed, to be announced at a later date.

Visit the Station and Operating Hints page ( for a copy of the Fox-1 Operating Guide which premiered at Dayton.

AMSAT has an immediate need to raise funds to cover both the launch contract and additional materials for construction and testing for Fox-1C. Please help us to continue to keep amateur radio in space. Donations may be made via the:

+ Paypal and credit card payment on the AMSAT website at

+ Donation link in the AMSAT store:

+ Call the AMSAT office at (888) 322-6728

AMSAT-NA Opportunity for Rideshare to Geosynchronous Orbit


(L-R) Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO; Jerry Buxton, N0JY; Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF; Tom Clark, K3IO; Michelle Thompson, W5NYV; and Phil Karn, KA9Q standing next to the Aquila M8 Bus flight article. (Click photo for larger image.)

AMSAT is excited to announce that we have accepted an opportunity to participate in a potential rideshare  as a hosted payload on a geosynchronous satellite planned for launch in 2017. An amateur radio payload, operating in the Amateur Satellite Service, will fly on a spacecraft which Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, CA is contracted to design, launch, and operate for the US government based on their Aquila M8 Series Satellite Structure.

A meeting to discuss this potential rideshare took place on April 13 at Millennium Space Systems that included Dr. Bob McGwier, N4HY; Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF, co-founder of Qualcomm; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT Vice President of Engineering and member of the board for AMSAT-NA; Dr. Tom Clark, K3IO, Director and President Emeritus of AMSAT-NA; Phil Karn, KA9Q; and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV.

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AMSAT and University of Iowa News

AMSAT and University of Iowa Partner on Scientific Payload for Fox-1D

AMSAT and the University of Iowa have agreed to include the University’s
HERCI (High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument) radiation mapping
experiment on Fox-1D. According to Don Kirchner, KDØL, Research Engineer at
the University of Iowa, “HERCI is intended to provide a mapping of radiation
in a low earth orbit. This is of scientific interest for planning CubeSat
test flights for low energy X-Ray detectors.”

“The instrument consists of a digital processing unit (DPU) derived from
processors currently in orbit around Saturn on Cassini and on the way to
Jupiter on the Juno spacecraft,” says Kirchner. “The DPU was shrunk to a CubeSat
form factor with funding from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.”

The University of Iowa’s history in spaceflight research dates back to the
earliest satellites. As Kirchner puts it, “HERCI can be considered a direct
descendent of the first University of Iowa spaceflight instrument flown on
Explorer I in 1958. The instrument is being constructed as a Senior Design
Project by four Electrical Engineering students from the UI College of
Engineering, under supervision of Space Physics engineering staff from the
Department of Physics and Astronomy.”

AMSAT’s VP of Engineering, Jerry Buxton, NØJY, noted the win-win benefits of
the agreement, stating, “This partnership with the University of Iowa
illustrates our strategy of leveraging the new CubeSat design to assist
universities that need a way to fly scientific payloads while providing a
viable ongoing platform for amateur radio.”



In a Space Physics laboratory in Van Allen Hall, University of Iowa senior Electrical Engineering students Patrick Maloney, KD9CPD; Tyler Dunkel, KE0CHR; Kevin Klosterman, KD9CPF; and Bryan Senchuk, KD9CPE inspect the HERCI development boards.


The HERCI Engineering Model boards prior to initial test. The boards will be tested before installation of the radiation detector and hybrid circuits. The digital processor board is the first use of the Y90 microprocessor firmware which was donated by Monte Dalrymple,KR6DC, of Systemyde Corporation.


Photos courtesy of William Robison, KC0JFQ.