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Fox-1D Amateur Radio CubeSat Launches Successfully, Now Designated as AO-92

01/15/2018

Right on schedule at 0359 UTC on January 12, the solid-fueled first stage and ground-lit strap-on boosters of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) ignited and hurtled AMSAT-NA’s Fox-1D CubeSat along with 30 other satellites onboard the PSLV-C40 mission toward a sun-synchronous orbit. Less than 18 minutes later, the primary payload, a Cartosat-2 series imaging satellite for the Indian government, separated from the launcher’s fourth stage, followed by other satellites on the mission. By 27 minutes into the flight, confirmation came that all nanosatellites had been deployed. Fox-1D was in orbit! 

Just before 0500 UTC, Fox-1D passed over western North America, but the onboard timer that ensures the satellite does not deploy antennas and begin transmitting until it’s clear of the launch vehicle and other satellites had not yet expired."

“At about 0517 UTC, the satellite came to life and its antennas deployed over the North Pole,” AMSAT reported. “The AMSAT Engineering team and Amateur Radio operators worldwide were watching various WebSDRs for signs of life. Around 0525 UTC, the characteristic “Fox tail” of the Fox-1 FM transmitter was seen on multiple WebSDRs. Fox-1D was alive!” At 0528 UTC, the first frame appeared on the AMSAT telemetry server, uploaded by Anatoly Alexsandrov, UA9UIZ, and initial telemetry values confirmed that the satellite was healthy. 

AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, has designated Fox-1D as AMSAT OSCAR 92 or AO-92. Fox-1D, a 1U CubeSat, is the third of AMSAT’s five Fox-1 CubeSats to reach orbit. It was preceded by AO-85 (Fox-1A) and AO-91 (RadFxSat / Fox-1B). 

AMSAT Engineering reminds stations that the satellite will not be available for general use until the on-orbit checkouts are complete. AMSAT invites continued telemetry reports to assist the engineering team to complete commissioning.

“During commissioning, the transponder may be active at times, but please do not transmit as you may interfere with important tests that must be completed before the satellite is commissioned,” AMSAT said. “The commissioning process is expected to take up to 2 weeks.”

See the AMSAT-NA website for an update on AO-92 commissioning and payload testing. Additional updates may be posted this week. 

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. 

The PSLV launcher also carried the French PicSat, which includes a V/U FM transponder. PicSat will perform space observations. The transponder uplink is 145.910 MHz, the downlink is 435.525 MHz. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service and Paul Stoetzer, N8HM 



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