The twice-delayed launch of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket that will transport the AMSAT RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat carrying an Amateur Radio payload and other payloads into orbit now is set for Saturday, November 18, at 0947 UTC. The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, had to be postponed on November 14, “due to a range safety hold and high upper-level winds,” ULA said in a tweet. The launch had to be put off on November 6 due to a faulty battery on the booster. AMSAT will blog on the launch in real time on launch day, and NASA-TV will cover the event.
RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up this NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the JPSS-1 mission.
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.
AMSAT will have more information on the launch and its early operations, and it will post the first telemetry reception. More launch updates are available from ULA via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, hashtags #DeltaII and #JPSS1.
More Foxes to Come!
Meanwhile, progress continues on getting future Fox payloads into space. On November 6, AMSAT Vice-President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, delivered Fox-1D to Spaceflight, Inc in Seattle, where it was integrated into its Innovative Solutions in Space QuadPack for delivery to India. Fox-1D will launch on the next ISRO Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) flight, scheduled to take place by the end of December.
In addition to the 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 NASA ELaNa XX mission that will carry RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) into orbit will take place no earlier than the end of next March, AMSAT reported recently. The ELaNa XX mission will carry 12 CubeSats constructed by NASA and by several universities around the US. That mission will be launched by Virgin Galactic on its LauncherOne air launch to orbit system from Mojave, California. Like RadFxSat (Fox-1B), RadFxSat-2 is a partnership opportunity between Vanderbilt University’s ISED and AMSAT and will carry a similar radiation effects experiment, studying new FinFET technology.
RadFxSat-2 will be the fifth Fox-1 satellite built by AMSAT. Fox-1A, now AMSAT-OSCAR 85 (AO-85), was launched on October 8, 2015 and is fully operational, providing science data from its onboard experiments and FM transponder service for the Amateur Radio community. Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D are scheduled to launch soon.
The RadFxSat-2 spacecraft bus will be built on the Fox-1 series but will feature a linear transponder upgrade to replace the standard FM transponder used in Fox-1A through Fox-1D. In addition, the uplink and down- link bands will be reversed from the previous Fox satellites in a Mode V/U (J). The downlink will feature a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry channel to carry the Vanderbilt science data in addition to a 30-kHz wide transponder for Amateur Radio use. — Thanks to Paul Stoetzer, N8HM; ULA; AMSAT News Service
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