Fox-1Cliff Launch Membership Drive: Free Digital Copy of “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” for New or Renewing Members

The next AMSAT Fox-1 satellite, Fox-1Cliff, is scheduled to launch on Spaceflight’s SSO-A mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Fox-1Cliff carries the Fox-1 U/v FM repeater as well as AMSAT’s L-Band Downshifter.

Uplink: 435.300 MHz FM voice (67.0 Hz CTCSS tone) / 1267.300 MHz FM voice (67.0 Hz CTCSS tone)
Downlink: 145.920 MHz FM voice; AFSK digital data up to 9600 bps
Transmit power: 600 mW nominal

As part of the preparations for the launch of Fox-1Cliff, AMSAT is making the “Getting Started With 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 186 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 at https://www.amsat.org/shop/ and selecting any membership option. While there, check out AMSAT’s other items, including the M2 LEOpack antenna system, Arrow antennas, AMSAT shirts, and other swag. Be sure to view your cart before going to checkout. If you add a membership and then go directly to checkout, you’ll never see an option to add your free gift.

Fox-1Cliff carries the flight spare of the AO-85 Vanderbilt University Low Energy Proton (LEP) radiation experiment, and the standard Fox-1 Penn State University–Erie gyroscope experiment. Virginia Tech provided a VGA camera which is the same as AO-92 but will provide images at a higher 640 x 480 resolution. These non-SSTV images will be decoded in the FoxTelem software.

Fox-1Cliff, unlike the other three Fox-1 FM spacecraft, does not have an active AFC (Automatic Frequency Control) on the uplinks.

Fox-1Cliff’s Data Under Voice (low-speed telemetry) will be the same as for AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92. It will be supported by the same FoxTelem software already released.

As with AO-92, a high-speed mode will be used to support the Virginia Tech VGA camera experiment. This mode will be active for 40 minutes by ground command before reverting to standard U/v repeater voice operation.

Fox-1Cliff is named in honor of long-time AMSAT member, contributor, and benefactor Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR (SK), who passed away in 2006. Cliff’s contributions to AMSAT and other amateur satellite programs, including serving as an adviser during the initial development of the CubeSat specification at California Polytechnic State University, earned him the Lifetime Achievement Award from Project OSCAR in 2006.

Countdown to Launch: RadFxSat (Fox-1B)

Only three weeks remain until the next AMSAT Fox-1 satellite launches!

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is scheduled for launch at 01:47 PST (09:47 UTC) on November 10, 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 Flight Model

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.

 

Uplink FM
(67 Hz CTCSS)
Downlink FM Comments
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) 435.250 MHz 145.960 MHz Launch 11/10/2017

Return of Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85

With the recent popularity of Slow Scan Television (SSTV) from the ISS, AMSAT Operations is bringing back Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85.

On a trial basis, we invite users to exchange pictures using Robot36 SSTV mode via the FM repeater on AO-85 during UTC Wednesdays. Please identify prior to beginning transmissions, and only send when the uplink is clear.

SSTV image received via AO-85 by N8HM during an AMSAT test

Stations are requested to only uplink if they have a reasonable expectation of maintaining a full-quieting signal for the duration of the image transmission. Smaller stations are encouraged to focus on receiving the images.

Please don’t send questionable or provocative images. If in doubt, pick another one. Expect all ages to be participating.

Feedback is encouraged, and comments may be directed via email to me at ko4ma@amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Drew KO4MA for the above information]

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Gets the Official OK for Flight

The RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Mission Readiness Review was held Saturday morning, April 29th, at the Cal Poly campus in front of a board representing Tyvak, Cal Poly, and NASA.
The purpose of the review is to verify that all requirements are met for a safe and successful launch and deployment. Vice President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, presented 81 PowerPoint slides covering all of the ICD (Interface Control Document) requirements, mission, operations, and deorbit.
At the conclusion of the presentation including questions answers, the panel unanimously approved RadFxSat as ready for flight. The next milestone will be integration into the P-POD with launch scheduled NET (No Earlier Than) September 23, 2017 aboard a Delta II at Vandenberg AFB.

RadFxSat/Fox-1B Flight Model