A video showing the deployment of Fox-1A from the P-POD aboard the Centaur stage of the NROL-55 launch has been made available.
As each P-POD deployed, the deployment was recorded on video. The video is only about 3 seconds long, so it goes quickly. Jerry Buxton, N0JY, edited the video to add a 1/8 speed “slow motion” of the deployment which immediately follows the original in this YouTube video.
Fox-1A was in the bottom position of the P-POD, with BisonSat in the middle and then ARC1 at the top. You can catch a glimpse of the -Z and -Y faces of the Fox-1A satellite as it quickly disappears into the darkness with BisonSat and ARC1.
I wanted to announce the release of FoxTelem Version 1.01. If possible,
everyone should upgrade to this new version. In addition to some new functionality it fixes some bugs and issue that mean more data will be uploaded to the server.
This is a patch release. If you already have 1.00 installed then download
the file FoxTelem_1.01_patch.zip
Only two files have changed (plus the manual). Copy these files into your
You can also download the whole install file and install it in a new
directory. You can use the
settings menu to continue using your existing log files. Ask if you need
Lots has changed in this release and many bugs have been fixed. Please
report any issues
that you see.
* Allow the user to view and set the “track” attribute for each spacecraft
(and other parameters)
* Better doppler tracking in IQ mode and more stable estimate of the
* Better Find Signal algorithm with tuning paramaters for experts
* Read Time Zero from the server for each reset and use to plot graphs in
* Set the default fcd frequency to 145930 so that Fox-1A, Fox-1Cliff and
Fox-1D will be in the passband
* Allow the gain to be set on the FCD (rather than hard coded)
* Do not change the FCD LNA or Mixer Gain. Leave unchanged.
* Do not open the FCD unless the start button is pressed
* Fixed a bug where the last 2 bytes of the radiation telemetry were not
* Allow Vanderbilt radiation experiment to be graphed
* Allow user to select UDP or TCP for upload to the server (but use UDP
for now please)
* Shorten the period between passes so that graphs look continuous
* Ignore duplicate high speed radiation frames – needed for processing
data from the server
* Allow graphs to be hidden so that average or derivative is easier to see
* Notify the user when a new release is available
* Cleaned up the FFT trace with some averaging
* If showRawValues is checked then save CSV files as raw values
* Several updates to the manual
Chris E. Thompson
chrisethompson at gmail.com
g0kla at arrl.net
Word has been received, that, in celebration of the UN’s 70th
anniversary, 4U1UN will be activated as 4U70UN on Saturday 24 and Sunday
25 October. The operation by the UN ARC will be from the ground-level
garden area within the UNHQ complex in New York City and will be limited
to daylight hours. Satellite operation is included in the plans, but
time and equipment limitations will exist. Blockage from high rise
buildings toward the West is expected. Best passes will be to the East
of FN30as and North/South overhead. Possible satellites in view may be
AO-73, FO-29, AO-85, AO-7, SO-50, XW-2E and XW-2F. Note that 4U1UN is a
separate DXCC entity. See QRZ.COM for QSL info.
AMSAT’s Fox-1A is set to launch as part of the GRACE (Government Rideshare Advanced Concepts Experiment) auxillary payload on the NROL-55 mission October 8, 2015 from Vandenburg AFB on an Atlas V vehicle. The launch is scheduled for 5:49 AM PDT, with the NASA TV webcast starting at 5:29 AM PDT. NRO has released this factsheet about the mission: GRACE_CubeSat_FactSheet
There will be a briefing on October 7 to discuss the five NASA-sponsored CubeSats on this launch. This briefing will begin at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) and will be broadcast via NASA TV and the NASA Website. The participants will be:
Richard Welle, director, Microsatellite Systems department at The Aerospace Corporation
Tim Olson, principal investigator for BisonSat, Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana
Morgan Johnson, team lead for the ARC CubeSat, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Jerry Buxton, vice president, Engineering, for AMSAT Fox-1
Courtney Duncan, principal investigator for LMRST-Sat, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Keplerian Elements: We will provide the Keplerian elements (aka Keps or TLEs) to enable you to track Fox-1a as soon after launch as we get them (and are cleared to release them). The information will be placed on http://www.amsat.org/wordpress/amsat/ftp/keps/current/nasabare.txt . We have no control over when we can release the information, although we hope it will be within hours of the satellite deployment.
Initial Commissioning Period: Initially the transponder will not be on and will not respond to uplinks. Please do not attempt to uplink while we check out the satellite and commission it. We will publicize when we have opened the transponder to general use. You should expect the checkout phase to last for a minimum of several days and possibly for several weeks.
What To Listen For: During the initial checkout period and when the satellite is in range, every two minutes you will generally hear about 5 seconds of data followed by a few seconds of a voice ID (and possibly a second data packet). You may occasionally hear ‘data’ mode which Chris, G0KLA, has famously described as sounding like an old-fashioned telephone modem. If you should happen to hear what appear to be QSOs, please resist the temptation to join in before the commissioning period is over.
Please Send Telemetry Reports and Data: We would love to have you collect and upload as much data as you can, and to give any other kind of report on the amsat-bb mailing list (which some of the Fox team will monitor). You can also report hearing or not hearing it on http://www.amsat.org/wordpress/status/
You can upload data using the FoxTelem telemetry program that we recently released. (Check the “upload to server” box in the properties/preference page). More data will help us do the checkout faster! Remember if you hear the “telephone modem” sound, you must switch FoxTelem to high-speed mode manually. Similarly FoxTelem must be in low-speed mode at other times.
We are planning a special award to the person who submits the first data from the satellite (by which we mean the earliest downlinked mission elapsed time), so get your rigs ready!
As part of the preparations for the launch and activation of this new satellite, AMSAT is making our “Getting Started With The Amateur Satellites” book available for a limited time as a download with any paid new or renewal membership purchased via the AMSAT Store. This offer is only available with purchases completed online, and for only a limited time. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The 132 page book is presented in PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.
Please take advantage of this offer today by visiting the AMSAT store (click here) and selecting any membership option. While there, check out our other items, including the M2 LEOpack antenna system, AMSAT shirts, hats, and other swag. Thank you, and see you soon on Fox-1A!