“Given the sad news on AO-51,” AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said, “we highlighted at the recent 2011 Symposium that AMSAT is actively developing Fox-1, a new spacecraft that is designed to replace AO-51. Fox-1 development now takes on a great sense of urgency.”
AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX says, “Fox-1 will advance single-channel FM repeater satellite operation beyond the experience of AO-51. It will advance AMSAT to the next generation of AO-51 class satellites.”
Fox-1 is designed for longer operational life with these features:
- Fox-1 is designed to operate in sunlight without batteries once the battery system fails. This applies lessons learned from AO-51 and ARISSat-1 operations.
- In case of IHU failure Fox-1 will continue to operate its FM repeater in a basic, ‘zombie sat’ mode, so that the repeater remains on-the-air.
- Fox-1 is designed as the immediate replacement for AO-51. Its U/V (Mode B) transponder will make it even easier to work with modest equipment.
- From the ground user’s perspective, the same FM amateur radio equipment used for AO-51 may be used for Fox-1.
- Extending the design, Fox-2 will benefit from the development work of Fox-1 by adding more sophisticated power management and Software Defined Transponder (SDX) communications systems.
Barry concluded, “AMSAT’s ability to provide a replacement spacecraft and get it launched is dependent upon the active support of donors who wish to see Fox-1 fly.”
Several opportunities to make your donation include: