Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS012 (2017)

ARLS012 RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience
During Commissioning

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 012  ARLS012
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  November 8, 2017
To all radio amateurs

ARLS012 RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience
During Commissioning

The launch of the Delta II vehicle carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) and
other payloads has been delayed, due to a faulty battery on the
booster, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced on November 6. The
launch now is scheduled for no earlier than Tuesday, November 14.
RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV
mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar
Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission, which will launch from Vandenberg
Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University's Institute for
Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and hosts four payloads for the
study of radiation effects on commercial off-the-shelf components.
It will carry a Fox-1 style FM U/V repeater with an uplink on
435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite
and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible
telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelem software
available from, .

AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said
RadFxSat/Fox-1B will automatically come up in beacon mode,
transmitting a beacon and voice ID ("RadFxSat Safe Mode") every 2
minutes, starting about 50 minutes after deployment. He said AMSAT
command stations will want to see voltage and current data to
determine that the spacecraft is healthy and to conduct various
tests before opening it up for general use.

Telemetry should begin about 55 minutes after deployment. "[F]or the
next 72-96 hours at least, as we look for successful startup, watch
the general health and function as the satellite begins to acclimate
to space, and perform the on orbit checkout," Buxton said. Ground
stations are invited to continue uploading received telemetry for
the life of the satellite.

Those using FoxTelem to capture telemetry are asked to check "Upload
to Server" in the software's settings and make sure that ground
station parameters are provided. "You can help AMSAT and everyone
waiting to get on the air with RadFxSat tremendously, by capturing
RadFxSat telemetry," Buxton said.

In the initial beacon mode, the transmitter is limited to 10 seconds
"on" time, followed by a 2-minute "off" cycle. "If we are seeing
good data from user telemetry data, it is likely when it comes over
the US for the first good pass, we will command it from beacon mode
to normal safe mode, which then puts RadFxSat in full, but still
safe mode, operation and transmits a full two frames of telemetry,"
Buxton said.

Buxton called on the satellite community to be "polite and patient"
as RadFxSat is commissioned.

"The on-orbit check-out procedure is similar to Fox-1A/AO-85 and
could be completed in as little as a few days, if we have the
cooperation of the users," he said. "It is very important - not to
mention just plain good amateur operating practice - to refrain from
using the transponder uplink, so we can do the on-orbit tests,
including when we turn on transponder mode for testing. I can't
stress enough, the importance of this cooperation, not just for us
but for all users, simply having a little patience so we can conduct
the tests as quickly and accurately as possible."

Buxton said AMSAT would "make it broadly known" when the transponder
is available for general use. "If you hear someone on the
transponder, please don't assume that it is open for general use,"
he said. "Check the AMSAT website, Facebook, Twitter, to be sure
you're not accidentally jumping in and unwittingly interfering with
the commissioning process."


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn