RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Nearing Completion

RadFxSat flight unit has been assembled and is going through various stages of testing before it is put through environmental (shock, vibe, bakeout) testing in August  for completion in early September.  Launch is scheduled for January 20, 2017.

In a recent test stop in Fox Labs for a few days, most of the testing was streamed live on YouTube to give enthusiasts an opportunity to “look over the shoulder” of VPE Jerry Buxton, N0JY as he conducted tests on the flight unit along with other Fox Engineering Team members on GoToMeeting.

If you missed the live video, you can view the archives at

http://www.youtube.com/c/n0jy/live

RadFxSat is expected to be back in Fox Labs around August 11 for another round of tests and it is planned to have live streaming during those tests as well.

View of live streaming from YouTube

View of live streaming from YouTube

Fox-1Cliff, D Launch NET July 28

Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, announced at the Dayton Hamvention AMSAT Forum on Saturday that the launch for Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D is now NET (No Earlier Than) July 28, 2016.

Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D will be integrated onto the Spaceflight Sherpa platform for its maiden flight aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Fox-1CliffFox-1D

Facts about Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D

Did you know that Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D will be using different camera image resolutions?

While they both have the same model imager and camera system design, the Virginia Tech students decided that they wanted to try a smaller resolution with their camera because of the need to take two quick successive images in order to get the full 640×480 image. This can cause a “distortion” if the subject of the image is moving, as we saw in Fox-1Cliff EM testing.

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Murphy, meet Fox-1Cliff

Nothing is easy in getting to space and just in case you thought it was, an amateur radio cohort named Murphy will surely remind you that you are in fact working with an AMATEUR RADIO satellite.

Fox-1Cliff, just one day before being taken to Orlando, revealed a problem that would lead to five 16 hour days of hotel room work and a big decision on changes and the course of action needed in order to accomplish delivery and her mission.  With environmental testing already proceeding on Fox-1D, Fox-1Cliff had to have the problem diagnosed and investigated and a meeting was then held for a determination of the options for remedy and their risks.  The whole process had to be done in record time in order to get Fox-1Cliff into the environmental testing to catch up to Fox-1D for thermal vacuum bakeout to begin on Tuesday, February 9.

If you’ve been here, you know what it’s like.  If you haven’t, the picture below gives a little peek into the fun that went on with the three of us seeing very little outside the hotel room other than a few meal breaks.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Yes, we brought enough checked bags full of equipment to need a minivan for our rental car, but there was still a need for donated equipment from locals Lou McFadin W5DID and Ed Krome K9EK as well as a trip to Walmart!