The latest CubeSat in the Fox series — RadFxSat (Fox-1B) — launched today (November 18) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Delta II vehicle lifted off at 0948 UTC.
“Following a picture-perfect launch, RadFxSat was deployed at 1109 UTC,” AMSAT reported. “Then the wait began. At 1212 UTC, the AMSAT Engineering team, watching ZR6AIC’s WebSDR waterfall, saw the characteristic ‘Fox Tail’ of the Fox-1 series FM transmitter, confirming that the satellite was alive and transmitting over South Africa. Shortly after 1234 UTC, the first telemetry was received and uploaded to AMSAT servers by Maurizio Balducci, IV3RYQ, in Italy. Initial telemetry confirmed that the satellite was healthy.”
In the wake of the successful launch, deployment, and reception, OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, designated the new satellite as AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91).
AMSAT Engineering reminds stations that the satellite will not be available for general use until the on-orbit checkouts are complete. AMSAT asks listeners to submit telemetry from RadFxSat (Fox-1B) to assist the Engineering team in completing the commissioning process. Experiment telemetry is downlinked via the DUV sub-audible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelemsoftware.
A 1U CubeSat, RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is a joint mission of AMSAT and the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) at Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt package is intended to measure the effects of radiation on electronic components, including the demonstration of an on-orbit platform for space qualification of components as well as to validate and improve computer models for predicting radiation tolerance of semiconductors.
AMSAT constructed the rest of the satellite, including the spaceframe, on-board computer, and power system. The Amateur Radio package is similar to that currently on orbit on AO-85, with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz.
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was a secondary payload on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket carrying the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) mission into space. RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is one of four CubeSats making up this NA SA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the JPSS-1 mission.
In keeping with long-held ULA tradition, the Delta II launcher paid tribute to deceased employees. Emblazoned on the side of the booster were the names of the late Eric G. Lemmon, WB6FLY, and George Dean. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, Bill Tynan, W3XO, and Chuck Kimball, N0NHJ
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