FoxTelem Release 1.04 Supports New Graphs, Better Performance, and the Upcoming Launches

From FoxTelem developer Chris Thompson, G0KLA / AC2CZ:

This is a quick note to say that FoxTelem Version 1.04 is being released. There is a lot in this version so I have written some blog posts to summarize new features.  See below.

You can download FoxTelem for your platform from one of these links:
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/windows/foxtelem_1.04f_windows.zip
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/linux/foxtelem_1.04f_linux.tar.gz
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/mac/FoxTelem_1.04f_mac.zip

Broadly speaking the changes fit into the following categories:

1. Full support for Fox-1Cliff, Fox-1D and RadFXSat including better High Speed decoding and a better find signal algorithm.

2. Additional analytical capabilities so you can plot one telemetry variable against another.  I hope this will inspire more people to analyze the telemetry from the spacecraft and post comments on what they see.  I have put some of my own thoughts online here:
http://www.g0kla.com/workbench/2016-05-07.php

3. Enhanced tools to analyze your ground station with SkyPlots for satellite measurements like Signal to Noise ratio and graphs for pass measurements. Skyplots in particular need a bit of explanation, so I have written more details here: http://www.g0kla.com/foxtelem/skyplot.php

You can read a full list of the changes here on github:
https://github.com/ac2cz/FoxTelem/issues?q=is%3Aissue+milestone%3A%22Release+1.04%22+is%3Aclosed

73
Chris
G0KLA / AC2CZ

FoxTelem Version 1.03 Released

FoxTelem Version 1.03 has been released

This version of FoxTelem uses a new datafile format. While we store our
data on the server in an SQL database, we use a flat file database for FoxTelem. A
flat file format is nearly optimal for a program that mostly adds new data to
the end of a growing list. With that said, we need to be able to load sections of
the data into memory for efficient analysis.  The new data file format allows
that. If you have been downloading data from the server for analysis, you will
see that this format is much faster.

Continue reading

New Release of FoxTelem

From the AMSAT Bulletin Board Mailing List:

I wanted to announce the release of FoxTelem Version 1.01. If possible,
everyone should upgrade to this new version. In addition to some new functionality it fixes some bugs and issue that mean more data will be uploaded to the server.

This is a patch release. If you already have 1.00 installed then download
the file FoxTelem_1.01_patch.zip

You can download it from:
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/windows
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/mac
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/linux

Only two files have changed (plus the manual). Copy these files into your
install directory
– FoxTelem.jar
– spacecraft/FOX1A_radtelemetry2.csv

You can also download the whole install file and install it in a new
directory. You can use the
settings menu to continue using your existing log files. Ask if you need
assistance.

Lots has changed in this release and many bugs have been fixed. Please
report any issues
that you see.

Release notes:
* Allow the user to view and set the “track” attribute for each spacecraft
(and other parameters)
* Better doppler tracking in IQ mode and more stable estimate of the
received frequency
* Better Find Signal algorithm with tuning paramaters for experts
* Read Time Zero from the server for each reset and use to plot graphs in
UTC
* Set the default fcd frequency to 145930 so that Fox-1A, Fox-1Cliff and
Fox-1D will be in the passband
* Allow the gain to be set on the FCD (rather than hard coded)
* Do not change the FCD LNA or Mixer Gain. Leave unchanged.
* Do not open the FCD unless the start button is pressed
* Fixed a bug where the last 2 bytes of the radiation telemetry were not
decoded correctly
* Allow Vanderbilt radiation experiment to be graphed
* Allow user to select UDP or TCP for upload to the server (but use UDP
for now please)
* Shorten the period between passes so that graphs look continuous
* Ignore duplicate high speed radiation frames – needed for processing
data from the server
* Allow graphs to be hidden so that average or derivative is easier to see
* Notify the user when a new release is available
* Cleaned up the FFT trace with some averaging
* If showRawValues is checked then save CSV files as raw values
* Several updates to the manual


Chris E. Thompson
chrisethompson at gmail.com
g0kla at arrl.net

Fox-1A launch 5:49 AM PDT on October 8, 2015

Launch and Deployment was Successful!

PE0SAT, ON4HF, and R2ANF heard signals on the first pass!

Video of liftoff

Download your free copy of the AMSAT Journal Fox-1A Launch special issue
(~2MB PDF)

Fox-1A is now AMSAT-OSCAR 85 (AO-85)

Keplerian elements:

AO-85
1 99992U          15281.53437500  .00015007  00000-0  15580-2 0 00009
2 99992 064.7657 291.6734 0216442 282.3705 182.7702 14.73904028000019

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

General information on Fox-1A is available in the downloadable  AMSAT Fox Operating Guide.

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

FoxTelem software for decoding and submitting telemetry has been made available for download at http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=4532 .

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!

getting startedAs 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!