Category Archives: AMSAT

AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff Amateur Radio CubeSat Launched Successfully

[UPDATED: 2018-12-04 @ 1320 UTC] SpaceX has announced that the SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission carrying AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff CubeSat has been deployed into orbit. A SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle carried Fox-1Cliff and several other satellites into space on December 3 at approximately 1334 UTC from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, following a 1-day launch delay. (See the launch on YouTube.) According to AMSAT, at approximately 0030 UTC on December 4, several stations in Brazil — including PS8MT, PT9BM, and PT2AP — reported hearing the voice beacon “Fox-1Cliff Safe Mode,” confirming that the satellite was alive.

“Just before 0040 UTC, AMSAT Fox-1 Team Member Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, was the first to submit and upload telemetry to the AMSAT servers,” AMSAT reportedon its website. “Initial telemetry values show the satellite to be in good health. Thanks to the 29 stations that contributed telemetry during Fox-1Cliff’s initial orbits.”

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SpaceX launch from KSC to achieve ‘dream’ of ham radio enthusiasts

“November-Alpha-One-Sierra-Sierra, this is Kilo-Six-Whiskey-Alpha-Oscar.”

That call could be the start of a conversation between a licensed amateur radio operator on the ground and an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

But the contact would only be possible for up to 10 minutes of the station’s orbit as it whizzed 250 miles overhead at 17,500 mph.

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ARRL Urges Regulatory Regime to Keep Non-Amateur Satellites off Amateur Spectrum

ARRL wants the FCC to facilitate bona fide Amateur Satellite experimentation by educational institutions under Part 97 Amateur Service rules, while precluding the exploitation of amateur spectrum by commercial, small-satellite users authorized under Part 5 Experimental rules. In comments filed on July 9 in an FCC proceeding to streamline licensing procedures for small satellites, ARRL suggested that the FCC adopt a “a bright line test” to define and distinguish satellites that should be permitted to operate under Amateur-Satellite rules, as opposed to non-amateur satellites that could be authorized under Part 5 Experimental rules.

“Specifically, it is possible to clarify which types of satellite operations are properly considered amateur experiments conducted pursuant to a Part 97 Amateur Radio license, and [those] which should be considered experimental, non-amateur facilities, properly authorized by a Part 5 authorization.”

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Lunar-Orbiting Microsats with Ham Radio Payloads Will Make Use of WSJT JT4G Sub-Mode

China’s twin-launch Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon will place a pair of microsatellites in lunar orbit “to test low-frequency radio astronomy and space-based interferometry.” The two satellites, DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2 (DSLWP = Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder) are expected to launch in June. They will carry Amateur Radio and educational payloads, but not a transponder.

Equipped with low-frequency antennas and receivers, the astronomy objectives of the two spacecraft will be to observe the sky at the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum — 1 MHz to 30 MHz — with the aim of learning about energetic phenomena from celestial sources. They will use the moon to shield them from radio emissions from Earth.

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PicSat Requests Ham Radio Assistance to Capture/Upload Telemetry

Artist's impression of PicSat in space
Artist’s impression of PicSat in space

The CubeSat PicSat carrying an amateur radio FM transponder was launched on the same PSLV-C40 flight from India that delivered AO-92 to orbit.

PicSat is a nano-satellite aimed at observing the transit of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b in front of its bright and equally young star Beta Pictoris, and at demonstrating an innovative technological concept to use optical fibres for astronomical observations from Space.

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Amateur Radio-Carrying D-Star One CubeSat among Spacecraft Apparently Lost

The first Amateur Radio satellite to employ the D-Star digital voice and data format — D-Star One — was among about 20 secondary payloads lost on November 28 after an otherwise nominal launch of a three-stage Soyuz 2.1 booster from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far reaches of eastern Russia. The mission carried the Russian Meteor M2-1 satellite — the primary payload — as well as a Canadian Telestar experimental satellite, and 17 other secondary payloads, including D-Star One. According to reports, a fault occurred in the sophisticated and autonomous Fregat upper stage, which, after separating from the launch vehicle, inserts multiple spacecraft into their respective orbits. A so-called “space tug,” Fregat has been in service for nearly 2 decades and has suffered three previous failures. Russian space agency Roscosmos is investigating the Fregat failure.

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RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launched, Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) signal received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) signal received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

The Delta II rocket carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) launched at 09:47:36 UTC on November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat

Following a picture-perfect launch, RadFxSat was deployed at 11:09 UTC. Then the wait began. At 12:12 UTC, the AMSAT Engineering team, watching ZR6AIC’s WebSDR waterfall, saw the characteristic “Fox Tail” of the Fox-1 series FM transmitter, confirming that the satellite was alive and transmitting over South Africa. Shortly after 12:34 UTC, the first telemetry was received and uploaded to AMSAT servers by Maurizio Balducci, IV3RYQ, in Cervignano del Friuli, Italy. Initial telemetry confirmed that the satellite was healthy.

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Jordan’s first satellite – JY1-SAT

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II with JY1-SAT CubeSat, October 23, 2017
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II with JY1-SAT CubeSat, October 23, 2017

During the final satellite integration training for Jordan’s first satellite, JY1-SAT, the team was supported for the final stages of integration by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II.

The spacecraft has been given to students of the Masar Initiative at the Jordan University of Science and Technology as part of the JY1-SAT mission support and training program under the Crown Prince Foundation given by ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space and AMSAT-UK and AMSAT Netherlands.

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Cosmonauts Manually Deploy Three Nanosatellites with Amateur Radio Payloads

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy manually deployed five nanosatellites during a spacewalk on August 17. Three of the satellites carry Amateur Radio payloads. Tanyusha-SWSU 1 and 2 (also known as also known as Radioskaf 6 and 7 — RS6S and RS7S) will transmit either 9.6 kB FSK or FM voice announcements on 437.050 MHz, while Tomsk-TPU-120 (RS4S) will transmit FM voice announcements on 437.025. The satellites were deployed from the Pirsairlock module of the ISS. Both have been reported active.

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