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AMSAT-NA Board Approves Seed Money for Technology Development

02/02/2015

As a part of its “Design The Next AMSAT Satellite” challenge, the AMSAT Board of Directors has approved $5000 as seed money for future satellite development. The Board will also seek additional fund-raising possibilities.

“We’re prepared to return to space in 2015 with a fleet of satellites that will equal, if not exceed, the performance, and availability to the average ham, of our previously popular AMSAT OSCAR 51,” AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said. “Meanwhile, we are preparing for the future looking to potentially leverage new technologies, to provide the best opportunities for enhancing amateur radio’s presence in space.” The AMSAT Board met in December.

AMSAT hopes its Fox-1A CubeSat will be one of its 2015 successes. In January, the CubeSat successfully completed required pre-launch testing, including so-called “shake and bake” vibration and thermal testing. Fox-1A is scheduled to launch in late August.

AMSAT has expressed interest in supporting technology ideas that enhance the utility of the CubeSat form factor to support more robust Amateur Satellite capabilities. These could include microwave technology suitable for use in amateur spacecraft and complementary, low-cost ground systems. Another potential enhancement would be attitude determination and control systems that would point a spacecraft’s antennas toward the user, while maximizing solar panel production.

AMSAT has invited anyone interested in learning more about this initiative to contact AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY. Buxton told the Board that construction and testing of five Fox CubeSats continues on schedule. Fox-1A will launch on a NASA ELaNa flight later this year. — Thanks to AMST News Service

 

 



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