Fox-1D Satellite Set to Launch this Week, China to Launch Five New CubeSats


Space Bulletin 001 ARLS001
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT January 9, 2018
To all radio amateurs

The launch of AMSAT-NA’s Fox-1D CubeSat will take place from India on January 12 (UTC). The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) flight had to be rescheduled from December 30. AMSAT Vice-President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, delivered Fox-1D to Spaceflight Inc in Seattle last November for integration.


In addition to a Fox-1 U/V FM transponder, Fox-1D will carry several university experiments, including a MEMS gyro from Pennsylvania State University-Erie, a camera from Virginia Tech, and the University of Iowa’s High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument (HERCI) radiation mapping experiment. Fox-1D also carries the AMSAT “L-Band Downshifter,” which gives the option of utilizing a 1.2 GHz
uplink for the FM transponder. The Fox-1D downlink will be on 145.880 MHz, and uplinks will be on 435.350 and 1,267.350 MHz (67 Hz CTCSS), switchable.

In addition to the Fox-1D Amateur Radio payload, the PSLV will carry the French PicSat, which carries a V/U FM transponder. PicSat will perform space observations. The transponder uplink is 145.910 MHz, the downlink is 435.525 MHz. Some 30 smaller secondary payloads from India, the US, and other international entities will also be on the launch, AMSAT News Service has reported.

AMSAT said it will release Fox-1D’s Keplerian elements on its website as soon as they are known, and it’s seeking telemetry data on the CubeSat to assist with commissioning.

“Participation in telemetry collection by as many stations in as many parts of the world as possible is essential as AMSAT Engineering looks for successful startup and indications of the general health and function of the satellite as it begins to acclimate to space,” AMSAT said over the weekend. AMSAT advised those capturing telemetry using the FoxTelem software to check the “Upload to Server” option and to complete the “Ground Station Params” section. If AMSAT Engineering sees nominal values from the telemetry gathered, Fox-1D will be commanded from Beacon Mode to Safe Mode on the first good pass over the US. AMSAT said the on-orbit checkout procedure could be completed in a few days. AMSAT asks the Amateur Satellite community to refrain from using the transponder uplink while on-orbit testing is under way.

Meanwhile, AMSAT-UK reports that China will launch Hunan Amateur Radio Society’s constellation of five similar 6U CubeSat spacecraft on January 17 from its Jiuquan Space Center. Identified as TY-2 through TY-6, the satellites will carry out ionospheric transmission-detection experiments, in addition to Amateur Radio HF/VHF/UHF re-transmitting experiments in any narrow-band mode.

The constellation will also carry out inter-satellite communication experiments that include Amateur Radio loads, Li-Fi high-speed LED digital downlink, and CW lamp signal communication experiments.
Downlinks are on 70 centimeters using 9.6 kbps GMSK and on 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz using 5 Mbps OFDM.

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