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11 March 2018 click here
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RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launched, Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)
The Delta II rocket carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) launched at 09:47:36 UTC on November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Following a picture-perfect launch, RadFxSat was deployed at 11:09 UTC. Then the wait began. At 12:12 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 12:34 UTC, the first telemetry was received and uploaded to AMSAT servers by Maurizio Balducci, IV3RYQ, in Cervignano del Friuli, Italy. Initial telemetry confirmed that the satellite was healthy.
After confirmation of signal reception, OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, sent an email to the AMSAT Board of Directors designating the satellite AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91). Bill's email stated:
"RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was launched successfully at 09:47 UTC today November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has been received by several amateur stations.
RadFxSat (Fox-1B), a 1U CubeSat, is a joint mission of AMSAT and the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University.
The Vanderbilt package is intended to measure the effects of radiation on electronic components, including 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 remainder 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.
Experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using the FoxTelem software.
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was sent aloft as a secondary payload on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket that will transport the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission. RadFxSat (Fox-1B) 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.
Since RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has met all of the qualifications necessary to receive an OSCAR number, I, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT President, do hereby confer on this satellite the designation AMSAT-OSCAR 91 or AO-91. I join amateur radio operators in the U.S. and around the world in wishing AO-91 a long and successful life in both its amateur and scientific missions.
I, along with the rest of the amateur community, congratulate all of the volunteers who worked so diligently to construct, test and prepare for launch the newest amateur radio satellite.
William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
AMSAT Engineering reminds stations that the satellite will not be available for general use until the on-orbit checkouts are complete.
Please continue to submit telemetry to assist the Engineering team in completing the commissioning process.
145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the "DUV" subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software: https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/ .
RADIO PROGRAMMING CHART
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Doppler Shift Correction
Memory 1 (AOS) -
TX 435.240 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.960 MHz Memory 2 (Rise) - TX
435.245 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.960 MHz Memory 3 (TCA) - TX
435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.960 MHz Memory 4 (Descend) - TX
435.255 MHz (67.0 Hz Tone), RX 145.960 MHz Memory 5 (LOS) - TX
Thanks AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, NØJY, for the above information.
SECOND CT SDR WORKSHOP WELL ATTENDED
Following on the first SDR Conference hosted by CPUT in Belville, a second Workshop was arranged by AMSAT SA in conjunction with the SARL. This took place on Saturday the 4th of November this year, at the conference venue of the Oakdale Club in Bellville.
The general principles of SDR, spelled out at the first conference, was put into practice at this Workshop. Here participants were introduced to the set-up of the now very popular RTL-SDR dongle as a receiving module in conjunction with a PC. The required software packages for the manipulation of the received RF signals were supplied ready for use on a memory stick, and a step by step process were followed by Johan, ZS1RX and George, ZS1GFL, in explaining all that was necessary for the setup of the system. It did not take long before spectrum and waterfall displays appeared on the laptop screens.
As with our previous conference, radio amateurs active in the well-established small satellite space industry in the Western Cape, were also in attendance. This further strengthened our ties with the broader space community where communication by means of software systems are becoming the norm.
BACAR 5 Launched and recovered successfully
At the second launch attempt the balloon surged up and soon disappeared from view. Some payload failed to operate while others seem to have developed problems. Kletskous' transponder operated fine while on the ground but failed to respond after take-off. The payload have all been recovered. The data will be analysed and determine the problem area. The Kletskous transponder was still operation. It is suspected that something went wrong with one of the antenna.
Some of the members of the Kletskous team
of rough ride down click
here The video
was recorded by the camera installed on the Jeugland Amateur Radio
Club BACAR payload.
BECOME A DONOR
Kletskous is crowd funded. Please make a contribution to the Kletskous fund. The account number is ABSA 40 8982 6281 Branch code 632 005. Please send payment advice to firstname.lastname@example.org,za with your details so that your name can be added to the donor list on the web.
For more details about Kletskous listen to Hannes Coetzee here
Kletskous transponder V3 demonstrated
Leon Lessing, ZS6LMG successfully demonstrated the version 3 of the Kletskous transponder at the AMSATSA/SARL SDR workshop held on 19 August 2017
Watch it here
AMSAT SA CUBESAT KLETSKOUS, MAKES GOOD PROGRESS
Speaking at the AMSAT SA Space Symposium held on 27 May at the Innovation Hub Hannes Coetzee said that good progress has been made on KLETSKOUS.
The University of Stellenbosch has come on-board and the optimization of the space frame was addressed by a mechanical engineering student, Francois Oberholzer. Francois is now busy with post graduate studies and manufactured a prototype of this optimised design.
Hannes Coetzee admiring the new Space frame developed by Francois Oberholzer (left), based on the Deon Coetzee ZS1DE original design, with Fritz Sutherland jr ZS6FSJ
Deon Coetzee is developing the mounting and deployment mechanisms for the antennas as well as for the multiple solar panels on KLETSKOUS.
A Command Link will be required for housekeeping purposes and also maybe for in-flight reprogramming of the onboard controller, although this is risky business as the satellite may be killed if the reprogramming is unsuccessful. The best option would be to launch the satellite with flawless software already loaded, if at all possible.
A Scheduler will switch the transponder on and off at pre-determined times. These times will correlate to certain areas being over flown by the satellite. It will be possible to set the onboard clock of the Controller to ensure that the Scheduler performs correctly.
A Telemetry Downlink will be required. Some of the parameters that must be monitored on the ground include battery voltage and temperatures, orientation of the satellite via the radiation sensors in the centres of the five solar panels and the output voltages of the solar panels. It is planned that the Command and Telemetry functions be based on those implemented on the High Altitude Balloon Experiment, HABEX. All the above functionality is under the control of the OBC.
The third prototype On Board Controller (OBC) has been completed and the house keeping software is currently being developed and tested by Brian McKenzie.
Electric Power System (EPS)
In the photograph: Fritz Sutherland explains the PSU to Francois Oberholzer with Frik Wolff ZS6FZ looking on.
For the full document presented at the space symposium download here.
Getting ready for Amateur Radio’s first geostationary satellite
Find out more at the AMSATSA Space Symposium how easy it is to get up and running
Download brochure here
If all goes according to plan the Qatar Satellite Company’s second satellite, Es’hailSat-2, will be placed in a geostationary orbit by a Space-X Falcon-9 rocket in the third quarter 2017. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) managed to secure the privilege to have an Amateur Radio payload as part of Es’hailSat-2. Discussions regarding the payload were held with experts from AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-OH and AMSAT-UK.
In a paper presented at the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium, Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP explained that the gain of an antenna on a geostationary satellite is limited by the area that needs to be covered (the satellite’s footprint). With too much gain the beam width becomes very narrow leading to areas not being illuminated by the antenna on the satellite. This is the case for spot beams. In order to cover all the visible Earth from geostationary orbit the beam width may not be less than 17.4° leading to a maximum gain of ~20 dB.
Read the full article here and learn about an inexpensive way to set up a ground station.
AMSAT Kletskous transponder
Download the presentation (PDF) here
Watch the video presentation by Jacques Roux here
AMSATSA DISPLAY AT F'SATI (CPUT)
Photo by ZR1DE
MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN KLETSKOUS EPS
The electric power system (EPS) is the sub-system that provides the satellite with power. The sub-system started out as a set of specifications and requirements which evolved to a basic block diagram. From there a few simple conceptual experiments eventually led to the first prototype. The first prototype was based on 10 V (open-circuit) solar panels, a 2-cell lithium polymer battery and 2 switch mode step-down converters for 3.3 V and 5 V power conditioning. Taking the risk of fire or explosion was somewhat justified by the good energy to weight and power to weight ratio it offered. However, in the meantime a new battery technology has emerged from the laboratory stage to being (fairly) commonly available on the market. This new technology is the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Also based on lithium it still offers a fairly high energy to weight but it is inherently much safer and has electrical characteristics that are very similar to the lithium polymer and lithium ion type batteries. Another advantage is the longer expected lifetime of the LiFePO4 battery.
GET INTO SATELLITES WITH FOX 1A
An easy to operate satellite recently launched by AMSAT NA
Get all the details here
CPUT planning a successor to Africa’s first nanosatellite
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is planning a successor to its first CubeSat and has set it vision on ship-tracking. In a paper presented at the recent SAAMSAT space Symposium in Pretoria Daniel de Villiers, Development Engineer at French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) at CUPT, said that ZACube-2 will be the second satellite in F’SATI’s ZACube-I nanosatellite mission series. These missions are developed at the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) and the Africa Space Innovation Centre (ASIC) at CPUT with funding principally from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). Development of some subsystems has been ongoing for a number of years and has yielded a suite of commercial CubeSat parts that is ready for use in the satellite.
Download the paper here
More Kletskous Progress
A flight-ready solar panel for Kletskous.
The solar cells are glued to the PC board using conductive silver epoxy. This is done under vacuum to prevent bubbles being formed in the epoxy. Bubbles may burst in the vacuum of space, fracturing the paper thin glass solar cell and destroying it in the process.
BOOKED FOR SDR Worksop 5 May 2018
Become a partner in space
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AMSAT SA, ABSA Menlyn, Branch code 632 005
African Radio Amateurs will soon have access to a geostationary satellite
In the next few years radio amateurs will have access to two geostationary platforms, one that will service the Americas and another one, particular attractive to South Africans, that will be positioned at 26° East giving 24 hour access to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. These two geostationary projects will be included in commercial platforms similar to Amateur Radio Satellite (AMSAT) South Africa seeking to have an amateur radio transponder included in South Africa’s next satellite currently designated as EOS-1 (Earth Observation Satellite). Read the full story here
RS, the component supplier in South Africa has become
a component sponsor for the KLETSkous project.
TRAX SPONSOR PCBs for KLETSkous More about TRAX
Avnet : a broad line supplier of semiconductors, passives, magnetics, enclosures, optoelectronic, GPS / GSM, interconnect, electromechanical, embedded products and components
*Denotes that the person has made several donations over time. Thank you