RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Date Moved to August 29, 2017

The launch date for RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has been moved to August 29, 2017. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission. JPSS-1 will launch on a Delta II from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University ISDE and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off the shelf components. RadFxSat features the Fox-1 style FM U/v repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the “DUV” subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software.

RadFxSat construction and testing was completed in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the CubeSat is currently in clean storage at Fox Labs, waiting for delivery and integration which is now scheduled for June, 2017.

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

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

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RadFxSat Passes Post-Shock Tests

In a late night session Tuesday, the Short Functional Test was performed on RadFxSat and showed that the CubeSat is functioning well after the shock testing.

The test was streamed live on YouTube and the archive is available for viewing, at http://www.YouTube.com/c/n0jy/live.

2016-10-05

 

RadFxSat is the first of the four Fox-1 CubeSats built to date to be subjected to shock testing, which was necessary for qualification to fly on the Delta II ELaNa XIV Mission scheduled to launch March 16, 2017.  Being the first shock test experience we were cautious about what the result may be.  While Fox-1s have previously been subjected to and passed other tests such as vibration testing, each type of environmental test is significantly different.

The Short Functional Test, along with the previously reported Aliveness Test, is conducted before each environmental test is performed (shock, vibe, bakeout) and after the final environmental test is finished in order to determine that the Fox-1 CubeSat is functioning nominally prior to testing and is still functioning nominally after each test.

Short Functional Test (SFT) verifies the operation of the IHU, battery, transmitter, receiver, experiment, telemetry, and command systems through 51 steps of actions, measurements and observations.

With the successful completion of the SFT the Fox Team performed the Preflight Procedure.  This procedure places the IHU in the launch state so that it is configured as it will be during launch, for the next environmental test.

It looks like Hurricane Matthew will cooperate with our plans to travel to Boston on Sunday, October 9, so the next stop is NTS in Boxborough, MA for the final environmental testing which includes vibration and bakeout.  Live streaming of the environmental tests will not be possible due to ITAR and camera restrictions at the test facility, but streaming of the Short Functional and Aliveness tests and the preparation of RadFxSat for some of the testing may be available from the hotel room if the timing is such that they are performed outside the test facility.