AMSAT Fox-1 Cubesat Selected for NASA ELaNa Launch

Amsat-NA Fox LogoProject ELaNa, NASA’s “Educational Launch of NanoSat” managed by the Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center, announced on February 10 that the AMSAT Fox-1 cubesat has been selected to join the program. AMSAT will work with NASA in a collaborative agreement where NASA will cover the integration and launch costs of satellites deemed to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals.

AMSAT teamed with the ARRL to write and deliver the 159 page educational proposal to NASA. Letters documenting the importance of AMSAT’s satellites in the education programs at the ARRL and also at the Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield schools in Brookline, MA, were important parts of our proposal.

AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW said, “The ELaNA Launch opportunities during 2013-2014 marks AMSAT’s return to space after the conclusion of the successful ARISSat-1/KEDR flight. We need to get the flight Fox-1, along with an operational flight backup satellite, built, integrated, tested, and delivered. Our ability to provide a spacecraft and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of our donors who wish to see Fox-1 fly.”

[PE0SAT thanks for the above information]

ESA Vega Launch Includes 8 Amateur Band Satellites

Vega Artist ImpressionVega is scheduled to launch on February 13, at 1000 UTC with eight student built amateur radio satellites. Internet video streaming of the launch will be available.

The launcher will first deploy the main payload, the LARES the Laser relativity Spacecraft and will then make an additional firing of the final OVUM stage before deploying the secondary cubesat payloads. The planned timing for these deployments, in order of ejection, are as follows:

  • T0+ 4245.30secs 1st PPOD, with XatCobeo, e-st@r, and Goliat.
  • T0+ 4255.30secs 2nd PPOD, with Robusta, MaSat-1 and PW-Sat.
  • T0+ 4265.30secs 3rd PPOD, with UniCubeSat.
  • T0+ 4275.30secs AlmaSat-1.

The Cubesats will not deploy their antennas until 1800 seconds after they leave their PODS. It is not known how soon AlmaSat-1 will start transmitting after deployment.

Vega Launch Cubesat Amateur Band Frequencies

AlmaSat-1 437.465 MHz 1200 bps FSK, 2407.850 MHz
E-St@r 437.445 MHz 1200 bps AFSK
Goliat 437.485 MHz 1200 bps AFSK
MaSat-1 437.345 MHz GFSK 625/1250 bps (demodulator/decoder software), CW
PW-Sat 435.020 MHz FM uplink, 145.990 MHz DSB downlink
Robusta 437.325 MHz 1200 bps FM telemetry (data every 1 min, 20 sec. burst)
UniCubeSat 437.305 MHz 9600 bps FSK
XaTcobeo 437.365 MHz FFSK with AX.25

The university cubesat teams welcome reception reports. All observers are invited to submit reports via amsat-bb and to also join the CubeSat Internet Relay Chat channel to pass on their news and comments in realtime. You will need an IRC client such as the ChatZilla addon for FireFox or mIRC to join the cubesat chat. Connect to the server. Once connected to the server the /join #cubesat command will bring you into the channel. Many users set their chat nickname to “name_callsign”.

[PE0SAT thanks for the above information]

PCSat-1 recovery

PCSat-1 NO-44NAV OSCAR 44 – PCSat (Recovery)

Starting Monday Morning (Dec 26, 2011), I will be trying to recover PCSAT. We need everyone to not use it until we give up. Just one single packet from a user during a pass will easily kill that pass’s chance of recovery. We only get one single packet chance per pass for recovery. Only when the call PCSAT-1 is readable in the beacon, the digipeater is active. So everyone, turn off those automatic beacons via PCSAT until further notice.


FASTRAC Digipeating Announcement

Fastrac ConstructionThe FASTRAC satellites have been in operation for more than a year and the team has been able to get a lot of data from them, in great part due to the amazing support from the amateur radio community. Over the last month the team noticed that one of FASTRAC-1’s on board microcontrollers which controls one of the experiments has not been booting up correctly. The team has done everything possible to correct this issue apart from turning it off which can only happen if the batteries fall below an specific charge level. Since the satellites have been power positive throughout this whole year the only way this can happen is if the satellites transmit more often. Given that one of FASTRAC goals has always been to eventually provide a platform for amateur radio enthusiasts to use after the primary mission was over, the team has decided to open up FASTRAC-1 to the amateur radio community with the hope as more people use it to digipeat through the satellite, the battery levels will diminish and cause a hard reset of the microcontrollers on board. The satellite will be configured so that amateur radio operators can use it beginning on Friday Dec 2 at 10:00 AM CST. Starting on this date people will be able to digipeat through the satellites. The call sign and frequencies of the satellite are summarized below and an example of digipeating through the satellite is also shown in below. To increase the chances of causing a hard reset, it is requested that as many amateur radio enthusiasts try to digipeat through the satellite on the weekend of Dec 10. If you are successful at digipeating through the satellites or have any problems doing so please let us know at, through our Facebook page ( or through the forums on our website(

Frequency Information for FASTRAC-1

FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Downlink Frequency: 437.345 MHz
FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Uplink Frequency (1200 or 9600 baud): 145.825 MHz
FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Satellite Call Sign: FAST1

Example of Digipeating through FAST1

cmd: c CALLSIGN via fast1

Here the example shows KE5DTW (UT Austin Ground Station) digipeating through FAST1 to connect to CALLSIGN. CALLSIGN represents an arbitrary callsign and should be replaced with the callsign of the station with whom a connection is being attempted. The above example is based on a Kantronics KPC9612+ TNC.

For a PDF version of the announcement please go to the following link:

Thanks a lot,


TLE Data Fastrac:

1 90025U 0        11335.45306295 +.00001032 +00000-0 +15451-3 0 00393
2 90025 071.9715 030.4150 0018019 325.1311 034.8724 14.76812202006755
1 90026U 0        11335.42573440 +.00001017 +00000-0 +15318-3 0 00428
2 90026 071.9748 030.7858 0018597 322.4343 037.5518 14.76570860006646

AO-51 not responding to commands

AO-51 Echo LaunchNovember 29, 2011 – AO-51 not responding to commands

It is with a heavy heart I report that AO-51 has ceased transmission and is not responding to commands. The last telemetry data indicated that the third of six batteries was approaching failure to short, and observations indicate the voltage from three cells is insufficient to power the UHF transmitters. The IHU may continue to be operative. Initial tests with the S band transmitter were also not positive, although more attempts are in order. We have tried leaving the satellite in an expected state where if voltages climb high enough, the 435.150 transmitter may possibly be heard.

AO-51 AssembledThe command team will regularly attempt communications with the satellite over the coming months (and years). There is always the possibility that a cell will open and we could once again talk to our friend while illuminated. Thanks to all who helped fund, design, build, launch, command, and operate AO-51. It’s 7 year mission has been extraordinary. Please support AMSAT’s Fox-1 project, and other AMSAT projects worldwide with your time and money.

For the AO-51 Command Team,

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations