Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to AMSAT members and satellite enthusiasts everywhere!
In this season of giving, we’ve had a generous offer for matching funds up to $1,000 for those that contribute to the Fox-1Cliff and -1D crowdsourcing campaign at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6pz92/ab/561Zd between now and December 31st. Make your donation twice as valuable by taking advantage of this opportunity and contributing before the end of the year, and help AMSAT fund the launch of the next two satellites in the Fox-1 series.
Slated for launch in 2016 on the inaugural Spaceflight SHERPA mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, Fox-1Cliff and -1D carry university experiments from Pennsylvania State-Erie, Vanderbilt, University of Iowa, cameras provided by Virginia Tech, as well as amateur radio voice repeaters capable of U/V or L/V operation.
Donations of $100 or more are eligible for a special AMSAT Fox challenge coin, and $1,000 or more qualifies for a plaque with an actual solar panel cover from Fox-1Cliff or -1D. (We’ve nearly exhausted our coin supply and are waiting on resupply from the mint. Plaques will be distributed sometime after spacecraft integration. Please be patient for delivery of either premium.)
AMSAT is a 501-(c)-(3) not-for-profit educational and scientific organization of amateur radio operators whose purpose is to design, construct, launch, and operate satellites in space and to provide the support needed to encourage amateurs to utilize these resources. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to AMSAT to help underwrite the development and launch expenses of our Fox satellite program.
Donors wishing to provide additional matching funds please contact Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/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/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!
The 76kg LAPANSAT-A2 satellite is scheduled to launch as a secondary payload of the ISRO Astrosat space telescope mission on an Indian PSLV-XL rocket at 0430UTC on 28SEP15. The satellite is expected to be deployed in a low inclination orbit of 6 to 10 degrees, at ~650km altitude. This means stations North or South of approximately 32 degrees of latitude will not be able to access the satellite, but stations near the equator (such as Indonesia) will have up to 14 passes a day.
Along with Maritime AIS monitoring equipment, and optical capabilities, LAPANSAT-A2 carries a V/U voice repeater (435.88 with PL tone up, 145.88 down) and an APRS digipeater (145.825). The telemetry beacon is 437.425 MHz. The operational plan is not known at this time.