NASA Selects AMSAT Fox Satellite to Join Program
Project ELaNa, NASA's "Educational Launch of NanoSat" managed by the Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center, announced on February 10 that the AMSAT Fox-1 CubeSat has been selected to join the program.
NASA will work with AMSAT in a collaborative agreement where NASA will cover the integration and launch costs of satellites deemed to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals.
AMSAT teamed with the ARRL to write and deliver the 159 page educational proposal to NASA. Letters documenting the importance of AMSAT's satellites in the education programs at the ARRL and also at the Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield schools in Brookline, MA, were important parts of the proposal.
AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW said, "The ELaNA Launch opportunity marks AMSAT's return to space after the conclusion of the successful ARISSat-1/KEDR flight. We need to get the flight Fox-1, along with an operational flight backup satellite, built, integrated, tested, and delivered. Our ability to provide a spacecraft and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of our donors who wish to see Fox-1 fly."
AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX noted this will provide a launch opportunity for AMSAT's next generation of FM repeater satellites with features and operation beyond the experience of AO-51. AMSAT's Fox-1 Engineering Team is making progress developing the advanced satellite that will provide these features:
+ Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51 and ARISSat-1 operations.
+ In case of IHU failure Fox-1 will continue to operate its FM repeater in a basic, 'zombie sat' mode, so that the repeater remains on-the-air.
+ Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its UHF/VHF transponder will make it even easier to work with modest equipment.
+ From the ground user's perspective, the same FM amateur radio equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.
+ Extending the design, Fox-2 will benefit from the development work of Fox-1 by adding more sophisticated power management and Software Defined Transponder (SDX) communications systems.
--AMSAT News Service