What’s Next for Fox-1A?

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The video linked below was provided to all of the GRACE mission CubeSat teams by Justin Foley of Cal Poly.

Justin says “A few years back we put together a video that outlines the process we go through to get CubeSats on the Atlas V. This video follows the payload we put on NROL-36, aka OUTSat, which launched from VAFB and carried 11 cubes. The process is very similar to what your satellites are going through now.”

You saw the photos of the P-POD integration in the Cal Poly clean room yesterday, which is where this video begins the story. The last two CubeSats were being integrated in their P-POD today (March 26). All of the P-PODs will then head up to the Naval Postgraduate School next week for integration in the NPSCuL and acceptance testing, and then be sent on to Vandenberg (cue video) –

(Thanks to Justin D. Foley for the YouTube video link.)

Fox-1 Goes to Cal Poly

Fox-1 is headed to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA for integration into the P-POD that will later be mounted in the NPSCuL* and on the launch vehicle.

While the NPSCuL may be coach class, Fox-1 gets to travel first class to San Luis Obispo with some express assistance from the friendly TSA at DFW Airport.  AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, worked with the TSA and a supervisory officer will meet him at the security checkpoint Tuesday morning in order to provide safe passage and handling of Fox-1 through the TSA security checkpoint and inspection process.  ESD protection and gloves are required as well as gentle handling, so everything is in the box with Fox.  Fox-1 needs to be guaranteed a safe arrival at Cal Poly for integration.

Photos below show Fox-1 in her final steps for shipping, with the last set of solar panel covers added (thanks to all who contributed to the solar panels!) and packed in her own Pelican case for the ride.  An small entourage of support equipment is still required including a way to safely return the solar panel covers to Texas to later be delivered to their donors, so the bigger “all in one” case still goes as checked baggage.

Stay tuned for more news as Fox-1 undergoes integration on Wednesday, March 25!

*Please see http://tinyurl.com/lcmfndc for a pdf describing the NPSCuL

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AMSAT and University of Iowa News

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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.”

 

HERCI_photo_1

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.

HERCI_photo_2

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.

AMSAT Antenna Deal

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AMSAT-NA and M2 Antenna Systems Announce Member-Only Special Pricing

M2 Antenna Systems, Inc. of Fresno, CA introduced the new satellite antenna
LEO-Pack using their 436CP16 and 2MCP8A yagis during the 2015 HamCation in
Orlando, FL.

The 436CP16 and 2MCP8A are light weight, circularly polarized antennas
optimized for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite communications or other applications
where a small circular polarized antenna is required. Optimum match and gain
designed for the satellite band.

Rear mounted for easy coaxial cable routing. A preamp (not included) can be
mounted close to the antenna for almost no coax loss before the preamp,
maximizing your receive performance.

Computer design techniques help keep spurious side lobes down for optimum
signal to noise rations. Both the 436CP16 and 2MCP8A feature the same CNC
machined, O-ring and silicone-gel sealed, driven element assemblies common to all M2Yagi Antennas. This insures years of trouble free performance regardless of weather.

M2 designed a custom LEO cross boom to pair these two antennas together for
a very manageable amateur satellite ground station.

AMSAT-NA and M2 Antenna Systems are pleased to announce that the LEO-Pack
system is being offered to members only at $499, shipping included (US only). Non-
members can join AMSAT-NA at time of purchase to participate in this special
purchase. The M2 list price is $545.99.

To place your order, visit the AMSAT store at:
http://store.amsat.org/catalog/

M2 Antenna System’s LEO-Pack page can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/nyhgmcr

M2 LEO-Pack Antenna

M2 LEO-Pack Antenna

M2 LEO-Pack Antenna

M2 LEO-Pack Antenna