Fox-1Cliff Ready for Launch

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by N8HM, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. N8HM

    N8HM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    On Monday, September 24th, Jerry Buxton, NØJY, AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, delivered and performed the integration of AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff CubeSat in preparation for launch.

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    Fox-1Cliff in the clean room, ready for prep
    Unlike AO-85 and AO-91, AMSAT purchased a commercial launch for Fox-1Cliff. Please consider a donation to help replenish the coffers for GOLF andother future AMSAT projects!
    https://www.amsat.org/product-category/amsat-general-donations/
    https://www.amsat.org/product-category/amsat-membership/
    https://www.amsat.org/product-category/amsat-presidents-club-donations/

    Uplink: 435.300 MHz FM voice (67.0 Hz CTCSS tone) / 1267.300 MHz FM voice (67.0 Hz CTCSS tone)
    Downlink: 145.920 MHz FM voice; AFSK digital data up to 9600 bps
    Transmit power: 600 mW nominal

    [​IMG]
    Fox-1Cliff after insertion in the PSL-P deployer
    Because only one uplink frequency can be active at a time, the use of the Mode-L uplink will be limited to experimental periods announced in advance.

    Fox-1Cliff carries the flight spare of the AO-85 Vanderbilt University Low Energy Proton (LEP) radiation experiment, and the standard Fox-1 Penn State University–Erie gyroscope experiment. Virginia Tech provided a VGA camera which is the same as AO-92 but will provide images at a higher 640 x 480 resolution. These non-SSTV images will be decoded in the FoxTelemsoftware.

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    Spaceflight Mission Managers and the two CubeSat teams performing integration
    Fox-1Cliff, unlike the other three Fox-1 FM spacecraft, does not have an active AFC on the uplinks.

    Fox-1Cliff’s Subaudible Telemetry (low-speed telemetry) will be the same as for AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92. It will be supported by the same FoxTelem software already released.

    As with AO-92, a high-speed mode will be used to support the Virginia Tech VGA camera experiment.

    [​IMG]
    The Fox-1Cliff Remove Before Flight Pin after its final removal for the mission.
    This mode will be active for 40 minutes by ground command before reverting to standard U/v transponder voice operation.

    Fox-1Cliff is named in honor of long-time AMSAT member, contributor, and benefactor Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR (SK), who passed away in 2016. Cliff’s contributions to AMSAT and other amateur satellite programs, including serving as an adviser during the initial development of the CubeSat specification at California Polytechnic State University, earned him the Lifetime Achievement Award from Project OSCAR in 2006.

    [ANS thanks Jerry Buxton, NØJY, AMSAT Vice-President Engineering for the above information]

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    Spaceflight team along with some team members of the other CubeSats that were integrated Monday

    https://www.amsat.org/fox-1cliff-ready-for-launch/
     
    AI6DO, K3XR, W5SAT and 6 others like this.
  2. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is awesome!
     
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Gosh, I thought it was named for me. But I'm actually Cliff the 3rd. Oh well.

    Great news, can't wait to hear it on the air!
     
  4. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wondering if that is going to make being skilled at uplink doppler an advantage...
     
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  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    It should.

    Those who have gotten used to AFC on AO-91 and AO-92 will need to practice tuning the uplink, or tuning across (up to) 20 kHz from AOS to LOS, when working Fox-1Cliff. Not impossible to do, but some may get a little frustrated seeing their operating techniques for AO-91 and AO-92 aren't working with Fox-1Cliff. For those that tune the uplink from AOS to LOS on AO-91 and AO-92, working Fox-1Cliff should work the same.

    73!
     
    W5PFG, W5SAT and K4BAD like this.
  6. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    It shouldn't really be much different than tuning on SO-50, right?
     
  7. K4BAD

    K4BAD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Howdy Jeff:Well,there is one major difference.On SO-50 you're leaving the uplink frequency fixed and tuning the downlink frequency for the Doppler shift. This is in accordance with the "One True Rule" discussed in AMSAT satellite book.In any case,taking into account the always present differences in the sats there will be a learning curve associated with the new Fox sat. Don't expect any great problems picking up the new "requirements".
     
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  8. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it will be quite different. On SO-50, you tune the downlink... and provided the bird is active, that's easy! You just turn the knob and listen for it to come in clear. But this will be tuning the uplink... you can't tell if you have hit 'the sweet spot' to get into the bird until you hear your own signal coming back down. But, what if you DON'T hear yourself... is it because you are not tuned correctly? Or because someone else with a stronger signal is knocking you out? o_O

    There was a bit of a learning curve for users of SO-50 when AO-85 was first active... fortunately it has an AFC and it 'tunes to you' if you are not far off the center of the passband. However, it is still a case where someone with a stronger signal may capture it and tune it 'off' of you... AND the fact that it has the antenna problems and doesn't hear as well likely means you need to be 'closer to the mark' to capture it than say with AO-91 or AO-92. That said, I used to hear guys all the time with rather loud, yet 'scratchy' off frequency signals that were tuned SO far off the center frequency that the AFC could not completely tune them in. My supposition is, they won't make it into this new bird if they are that far off. But it raises another question... will a loud off center signal block out a weak on frequency signal. :confused:

    The point to my original question is, will folks who have lots of practice tuning their uplinks on linear birds (linear birds are shared with other users, so no 'capture effect'; you have a chance to hear yourself more and learn the tuning scheme) have an easier time learning the rate necessary to constantly adjust their uplink to match the bird... (as opposed to mostly ignoring it due to the AFC 'doing most of the work for you') - If it is an issue, I predict there may be a lot of half completed QSOs... (or one QSO at a time syndrome) A guy will finally 'get in' and make a call, but then the bird shifts and if he doesn't keep tuning, he'll quickly fall out of the passband... And the doppler will shift faster when right overhead... less so, when near the horizon. Again, all part of the manual doppler technique that is a learned skill.

    And this a genuine 'question' I'm asking/wondering about... I don't know if there was a previous U/v FM bird that did not have AFC, as SO-50 was my first FM bird, so not sure if this is a 'new thing' or not. (My only experience before SO-50 was RS-12/13, a linear bird on HF that was not even tuned in a conventional manner.)

    Basically, I was expecting one of two responses... either something like, 'naw, would be no different than AX-99 satellite' OR 'huh, yeah, that'll be interesting to find out...' :)
     
  9. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    SO-35, also known as SunSat, was a U/V FM satellite launched in 1999 that did not have AFC. I made a couple of QSOs on it in 2000, and remember having to adjust my uplink frequency to get through. It had a very good uplink receiver, like AO-91 and AO-92 have, as I was able to work it using two HTs (Icom IC-T81A for 70cm, Alinco DJ-190T for 2m) that each had long duckie antennas on them.

    The 2000 FO0AAA Clipperton DXpedition announced they might try working SO-35. I had worked them on HF, but I thought a satellite QSO with that island would be nice to have in the log. FO0AAA never showed up on SO-35, but XE1MEX and XE2YVW (we know him now as XE2AT) were on there one evening, and I worked them both. I sent QSL cards to both of them, received their cards a few months later (the Mexican post is not known for its efficiency), and I also have an LOTW QSL for my QSO with XE1MEX.


    SO35.jpg

    73!
     
    N4UFO likes this.
  10. WA4SCA

    WA4SCA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, the "One T
    Actually, the OTR is that you tune both uplink and downlink rather than just the higher frequency. This applies more to SSB than FM, but is still helpful for marginal links.
     

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