AMSAT-NA Fox Project


   

AMSAT-NA Fox Project
http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=1113
JE9PEL was permitted to forward it.


                                   What is the Fox Project, and why are we building
                                   it as a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) CubeSat?

CubeSats were once just a cheap way for university students to build and launch a satellite. But they have become the hottest new
technology in the space industry. NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office (gspy satellites,h) Aerospace Corporation and even Boeing
have all launched and operated CubeSats. And now, the NASA Educational Launch of Nano satellite (ELaNa) program, which offers free
launches to education and encourage science missions, is open to US non-profit corporations like AMSAT. Project Fox is AMSATfs answer
to this new, emerging technology. AMSAT is developing a family of CubeSats with amateur radio transponders that can support advanced
science experiments. We are working with universities on science and education missions that qualify for the NASA ELaNa program. This
provides us with a way to put ham radio transponders into orbit and provides our university partners with a reliable platform for
spacebased research projects.

Our Phase 1 Fox satellites are 1-Unit CubeSats. They each include an analog FM repeater that will allow simple ground stations using an
HT and an garrowh type antenna to make contacts using the satellite. This was the mode made so popular by AO-51. The Phase 1
CubeSats also have the capability of operating in a high-speed digital mode for data communications. Two of our phase 1 Fox satellite
projects have already been accepted into the NASA ELaNa program for free launches.

Phase 2 Fox satellites will include software-defined-transponders (SDX) like the one tested on ARISSat-1. These will be able to operate
in a wide variety of analog and digital communications modes including linear transponders. Since this requires more power for reliable
operation, these will probably all be 3-Unit CubeSats.


                                               Why "only" a LEO orbit?

Cost, launch opportunities, and user needs.  High Earth Orbit (HEO) satellites are simply not affordable today.  An excellent replacement
for AO-13 is in storage in Germany.  So far, the cheapest available launch is $10 million.  While efforts continue to find an affordable
launch, this underlines why the type of satellites we are used to are no longer affordable.  By comparison, launch costs into LEO for
CubeSats is in the $100k range, and is often free if paired with a suitable education-oriented mission.  However, the technology
developed and tested is planned to be usable, or upgradable, to HEO missions when they arise.  CubeSat technology
can essentially be
"snapped together" to form larger, more capable spacecraft.  Likewise, the engineering management procedures developed will provide
us with the needed experience and contacts for other missions.


                                                  What is a CubeSat?

- Small satellites.  A one unit (1U) satellite is 10 cm (4) on a side.  They can be longer, with a 3U being 30 cm (12) in length.
- Each unit has a maximum mass of 1.33 kg, approximately 2.9 lbs.
- Each satellite must be completely self contained for launch.  This standardization actually makes more launches available.


                                           Fox Status and Specifications

- Development Phase:  Approved by the Board of Directors. Design in progress.  Prototype hardware delivered
- Projected Launch:  Fox-1:  2013.  Fox-2: 2015.
- Space Frame Structure:  Standard 1U (One Unit) CubeSat.
- Space Frame Size:  10 cm X 10 cm X 10 cm.
- Mass:  Approximately 1.33 kg, ~ 3 lbs.
- Orbit:  Nominal 600- 800 km, circular, depending on launcher.
- RF:  500 mW EIRP, U/V (Mode B). Deployable antennas. FM only.
- Fox-1 Electronics:Simple IHU.  Battery failure will still allow daylight operation.
- Fox-2 Electronics:Software Defined Transponder (SDX).  Multiple modes supported.
- Power source:  Fox-1:  Fixed Solar Arrays.  Fox-2:  Deployable Solar Arrays.
- Batteries:  NiCad or Lithium-Ion


                                     Fox Project Status, Updates, and Milestones*

- Fox-1 project defined - July 2011
- Concept of Operations (ConOps) - Sept 2011
- System Requirements Spec (SRS) - Oct 2011
- Experiment Payload Specification - Nov 2011
- NASA ELaNa Proposal Submitted - Nov 2011
- Preliminary milestones for 2012 and 2013:
- Baseline Project Plan - Jan 2012 - Completed
- Preliminary Design Review (PDR) - March 2012 - Completed April 24, 25, and 26th.
- Engineering prototype - July 2012
- Critical Design Review (CDR) - August 2012
- Prototype IHU delivered and successfully initialized - Jan 2013
- Fox-1 IHU demonstrated at Dayton - May 2013
- IARU Frequency Coordination Received - June 2013
- NASA Launch Scheduled - November 2014

*Due to ITAR requirements, and available space, details are necessarily limited.  Those interested in more details may wish to see
the papers in the yearly Proceedings of the AMSAT-NA Space Symposium, available from the AMSAT Store.  Some of the relevant
presentations by members of the AMSAT Engineering Team may be downloaded here:

2012 Symposium Fox Overview
2012 Symposium Fox Mechanical Design
2012 Symposium Fox Thermal Design
2012 Symposium Fox Radiation Mitigation
2013 Symposium Fox Satellite Program Overview
2014 Dayton Hamvention Engineering Presentation
2014 Symposium Engineering Review (Fox excerpt)


                                             Telemetry and Other Experiments

Each Fox satellite will have a basic communications facility, plus other features and experiments.  The ARISSat-1 project serves as a
good conceptual model.  For those interested in the performance and other experiments, multi-OS software will be available to display
the data in real time, and to forward it to a server for later study and analysis.  The display will resemble this prototype console.


                                          


                                         How can I help get AMSAT back into space?

First and foremost, join AMSAT!  Without your active financial and technical support we cannot develop new spacecraft.
Contribute.  Small or large, it all adds up to enable AMSAT-NA to return to space.

Spread the word at hamfests and your local radio club.
These handouts are a good introduction to Fox:

AMSAT-Fox Hamfest Handout (English)
AMSAT-Fox Hamfest Handout (Spanish)
Fox-1 Public Summary
Fox-1 Handout (article from July/August 2014 AMSAT Journal)


We need volunteers with expertise in these fields:

- Project planning
- RF systems design
- Thermal design
- IHU software development
- PC board layout and construction
- Test planning and system testing
- Test equipment development
- Satellite construction
- Ground station software development

We are always looking for technically qualified people for this and other projects who are in compliance with the existing ITAR rules.
(Essentially this means being either a US Citizen or a permanent resident.)  ITAR Qualifications  If you are interested, please contact
the AMSAT-NA VP for Engineering at: Fox Engineering


AMSAT Fox-1 Ham Radio CubeSat Announcement, 19 May 2013
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/05/19/fox-1-ham-radio-cubesat/
JE9PEL was permitted to forward into Japanese.


NASA announced on May 13, 2013 that AMSAT's Fox-1 amateur radio spacecraft has been assigned for launch in November 2014 on
the ELaNa XII mission. The expected orbit is 470 x 780 km at 64 degrees inclination. This orbit has a lifetime of about 11 years.

AMSAT Vice President Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, reported that the software development team successfully brought up the
Fox-1 system software on the Internal Housekeeping Unit (IHU). The IHU is the brains of the Fox-1 satellite and it has a 32-bit,
STM32L microprocessor. The operating IHU card was shown in the AMSAT Engineering booth at the Dayton Hamvention.

The Fox-1 Engineering Team will deliver the satellite for integration with the launch vehicle during May, 2014 with the launch
scheduled for November, 2014. Tony commented, "While this is later than we had hoped, it is well within the normal
variance of ELaNa launch dates and the extra time will be most welcome for additional satellite testing.
This is very exciting news and really puts the focus on finishing the satellite and ground station software development."

President Barry Baines says, "AMSAT's focus on STEM education and development of a CubeSat platform capable of flying a science
mission with a reliable communications link resulted in the selection of Fox-1 in the third round and RadFxSat (Fox-1B) in the
fourth round of NASA's Cubesat Launch Initiative."

All Fox CubeSats are designed to host advanced science payloads to support future science missions that help us to continue qualify
for NASA ELaNa (free) launches. The Phase 1 Fox satellites are 1-Unit CubeSats. They each include an analog FM repeater that will
allow simple ground stations using an HT and an "arrow" type antenna to make contacts using the satellite.

This was the mode made so popular by AO-51. The Phase 1 CubeSats also have the capability of operating in a high-speed digital mode
for data communications. Phase 2 Fox satellites will include software-defined-transponders (SDX) like the one tested on ARISSat-1.
These will be able to operate in a wide variety of analog and digital communications modes including linear transponders.
Since this requires more power for reliable operation, these will probably all be 3-Unit CubeSats.

Source: AMSAT News Service (ANS)
http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=443



(C)AMSAT-NA

Fox-1A is planned to launch in 2015 with ARC-1, BisonSat, LightSail-1
from Vandenburg air force base in relation to NASA Elana XII mission.


[Supplement]

Fox-1A IARU Frequency Coordination Received - Jun 2013
Uplink 435.180 MHz FM, Downlink 145.980 MHz FM

Fox-1B IARU Frequency Coordination Received - Nov 2013
Uplink 435.160 MHz FM, Downlink 145.960 MHz FM

FOX-1
1 99999U 13001A   13115.03159480  .00000000  00000 0  00000 0 1    14
2 99999  64.0000 106.4735 0200000 270.0000 180.0000 14.81480000    10


http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=309
http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=1118
http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=261
http://www.amsat.org/?p=4000
FoxTLM Demodulator by KA2UPW/5


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