Article Image
IPFS News Link • Inventions

Fox-1: The New Era of Amateur Radio Satellites

•, David Jordan

Lately, the world of ham satellites has been turned on its head. The price of satellite launches has risen astronomically, so when it comes to building satellites on a shoe- string budget, big is out and small is in... and these days, small means CubeSat.

A CubeSat looks just like you would imagine — a small, cube-shaped satellite. The CubeSat concept was co-conceived several years ago by Professor Jordi Puig- Suari of California Polytechnic State Uni- versity along with Professor Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD. Soon universities started build- ing CubeSats as teaching tools, making colleges the new launch customers on the block.

Introducing the AMSAT-NA Fox CubeSat Program

In 2008, the Radio Amateur Satellite Cor- poration of North America, better known as AMSAT-NA, was seeking a new direction after cancelling the Eagle satellite project due in part to the rising cost of launches. In October of the same year, newly ap- pointed AMSAT-NA Vice President of Engineering Tony Monteiro, AA2TX (SK), assembled a team with the goal of finding the best options for AMSAT-NA's return to space. They soon agreed that AMSAT-NA could (and should) create a CubeSat, mainly because such a satellite would only cost around $65,000 to launch. The team's findings were presented at the 2009 AMSAT-NA Board of Directors meeting. All agreed to build and (hopefully) launch a number of CubeSats under what is now known as the Fox Program

Purse.IO Save on All Amazon Purchases