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Fox-1C and 1D Satellites to Include L-Band Uplink; Fox-1E to Have Linear Transponder


AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, has announced plans to incorporate an L-band receiver in the Fox-1C and Fox-1D satellites. This will allow ground controllers to select the normal U/V configuration or the new L/V 1.2 GHz (23 cm) mode. Both bands will operate as FM single channel.

“Rather than adding a complete new receiver, the L band ‘Project Downshifter’ will convert the received L-band signal down to the Fox-1 uplink frequency and feed it to the UHF receiver on the Fox-1 satellite,” Buxton explained. “The design will not require an additional antenna on the satellite, because the existing UHF antenna will work for L band receive as well.”

A new group of volunteers is working on a companion uplink station to convert UHF to the L-band uplink frequencies. Team members include Bruce Herrick, WW1M; Dan Hubert, VE9DAN; Elizabeth Schenk, KC1AXX; Dave Smith, W6TE, and Alfred Watts, AF5VH.

The team plans to have an affordable L-band uplink ground station available to amateurs by the time Fox-1C is on orbit.

Buxton also has announced plans to construct a Fox-1E “Evolution” variation of the Fox-1 series, which will carry a Mode J linear transponder. The transponder is planned to be 30 kHz wide and will also include a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon. The purpose of the project is to test a  design for a linear transponder that could be made available to CubeSat builders as a secondary, or even primary, Amateur Radio payload.

AMSAT reports that it has been approached regarding a Fox 1E launch opportunity in 2016 but said it cannot share details at this time.

Buxton said the Fox-1 Team continues to seek new volunteers with solid RF building and testing experience to work on both the downshifter and the transponder prototyping and construction. Contact Buxton using the AMSAT Engineering online volunteer form. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service





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