Proposal to NASA for Fox-1 Launch

NASA LogoAMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA for their CubeSat Launch Initiative, also known as the ‘Educational Launch of NanoSat’ (ELaNa) program. NASA selects projects that they deem to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals. Projects that are selected will be able to enter into a collaboration agreement where NASA will cover the integration and launch costs of the satellite.

AMSAT, working with ARRL, highlighted the educational merit of the project including the incorporation of Fox-1 into the ARRL Teacher Institute seminars. ARRL also provided a letter of support for the project that was a key component of our proposal.

The Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield schools in Brookline MA, also provided a letter of support that was an important part of our proposal. The Clay Center noted that they use AMSAT satellites such as ARISSat-1 in their educational activities for K-12 students and that they look forward to making use of Fox-1. The completed proposal, at 159 total pages, required a significant effort that was all done by volunteers. NASA will select from all of the submissions and announce the winning projects by January 30, 2012.

Tony Monteiro, AA2TX
AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering

What is Ham Radio

Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams,” use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training.

Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.

The term “amateur” reflects the principle that Amateur Radio and its skilled operators are committed to helping communities without financial compensation.

Here an email message from Radio Amateur regarding Amateur Radio and how they participate in the field of science.

Dear all,

Very often I find it difficult to explain to ‘outsiders’ what HAM radio is all about. Therefore I have released a short video on YouTube about the recent ANDE-2 experiments and how radio amateurs world-wide contributed to this mission. When I was young I watched the first Space Shuttle flight on TV. A far away, fantastic scientific event. Many years later we as radio amateurs are given opportunities to engage directly in space-experiments. It’s a thrill ! Featured in the video are the launch and deploy from STS-127, as well as reception and decoding of the satellite’s radio signals received from space.

Best regards, Henk, PA3GUO

An example how amateur radio operators participate in space experiments

Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio and Satellite communication

OSCAR 1OSCAR is an acronym for Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. OSCAR series satellites use amateur radio frequencies to facilitate communication between amateur radio stations. These satellites can be used for free by licensed amateur radio operators for voice (FM, SSB) and data communications (AX.25, packet radio, APRS). Currently over 20 fully operational satellites in orbit act as repeaters, linear transponders or store and forward digital relays.

The first amateur satellite simply named OSCAR-1, was launched on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of world’s first satellite, Sputnik I. OSCAR-1 was the very first satellite to be ejected as a secondary payload and subsequently enter a separate orbit. Despite being in orbit for only 22 days OSCAR-1 was an immediate success with over 570 amateur radio operators in 28 countries forwarding observations to Project OSCAR. Throughout the years OSCAR satellites have helped make significant breakthroughs in the science of satellite communications. A few advancements include the launch of the very first satellite voice transponders and the development of highly advanced digital “store-and-forward” messaging transponder techniques. To-date over 70 OSCAR’s have been launched with more to be launched in the near future.