AMSAT’s focus on STEM education and development of a cubesat platform capable of flying a science mission with a reliable communications link resulted in our previous selection of Fox-1 in the third round and RadFxSat (Fox-1B) in the recent fourth round of NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative. Actual launch vehicle selections are dependent on the availability of auxiliary payload space and on what orbits are required.
AMSAT VP Engineering Tony Monteiro reports that he has been in conversation with NASA about our orbital preferences/priorities and we’re awaiting a response from NASA as to a specific launch selection. In the meantime, the engineering team expects to complete Fox-1 in 2013 and have RadFxSat ready in the 2nd half of 2014 in order to take advantage of launch opportunities that may be offered by NASA.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (“Virginia Tech”) and Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (“AMSAT”) signed a Collaboration Agreement on February 4, 2013 that establishes a relationship for future projects in the development of space hardware, software, algorithms, documentation of same and an agreement to protect each other by protecting ITAR-covered materials and identifying same for the other. The agreement was signed by AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW and Virginia Tech Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration John Rudd. Continue reading
The Fox-1 development team is pleased to report that the first engineering model of the satellite’s Integrated Housekeeping Unit (IHU) has been built. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, performed the assembly work, and he was able to load and run the operating system on first power up on January 24, 2013.
Meanwhile, the software team is hard at work getting drivers and features ready to fully test the hardware. They have committed to a March delivery of software for IHU testing.