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Fox-1A is Now AO-85, Transponder Temporarily Active!


In what might have been record speed, AMSAT’s new Fox-1A satellite received its OSCAR designation on the day of its launch, and its FM transponder has been activated temporarily until 0000 UTC on October 10. AMSAT OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, early today announced that Fox-1A is now AO-85, and the CubeSat has been dedicated to the individual who was at the helm of AMSAT’s CubeSat projects until his death last year. The satellite launched on October 8 at 1249 UTC. Fox-1A was briefly in transponder mode early on October 9 (UTC).

“I have been informed of the successful launch today, October 8, 2015, of the AMSAT-NA-built Fox-1A CubeSat. I am also informed that the satellite has been heard by several amateurs in various countries,” Tynan said in a news release. “This successful launch comes after years of diligent and dedicated work on the part of AMSAT-NA volunteers including Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, who became a Silent Key in March 2014. It was Tony who spearheaded and guided the work on all AMSAT-NA CubeSats until his untimely passing. Thus, it is only fitting that this spacecraft be dedicated to his memory.”

As Tynan noted, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, took over Monteiro’s post of AMSAT-NA Vice President for Engineering and successfully completed the project through its preparation for launch.

“All of those who had a part in designing, constructing and testing Fox-1A and its various subsystems are to be congratulated for jobs well done,” Tynan said. “Since Fox-1A was properly coordinated through IARU as an Amateur Radio satellite, has been successfully launched and its signals have been received; I, under the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, do hereby issue to Fox-1A the designation AMSAT-OSCAR-85, or AO-85.”

“A Great Day”

Telemetry and a distinctive voice ID from the new CubeSat have been heard around the world. Fox-1A/AO-85 telemetry reports — raw and decoded — now are available on the AMSAT website. The FoxTelem software is available via the AMSAT website. Those attempting to copy AO-85 telemetry are advised to use a “data out” source rather than “speaker” audio, since the low-rate telemetry is subaudible.

This was a great day for AMSAT, and for satellite operators around the world,” Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK/VA7EWK, posted to the AMSAT-BB. Almost 6 years to the day the AMSAT Fox project was unveiled at the 2009 AMSAT Space Symposium in Baltimore, we now have the first of a series of Fox-1 satellites in orbit. Some have even been able to talk through the satellite, with many more hearing the voice announcements and copying telemetry. Congratulations to all who have had a hand in building and launching Fox-1A today, and thanks to everyone who has supported the Fox project over the past 6 years!

AMSAT has produced a free, commemorative issue of the AMSAT Journal that highlights the Fox-1A launch success. AMSAT also has posted a news report on the launch.





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