In order to fulfill the now empty shoes of the popular AO-51 after its recent battery failure, the AMSAT organization has given the green light to the Fox Project which will introduce two satellites for use by amateur radio operators.
The Fox Project will deploy Fox-1 and Fox-2. Fox-1 will be, much like AO-51, a U/V FM only 500mW voice repeater. Fox-2 will have a Software Defined Transponder (SDX) which will support multiple modes. AMSAT Engineering VP, Tony Monteiro (AA2TX), will be presenting the project in detail at the Dayton Hamfest in the AMSAT Forum, Room 5, Saturday 11:15 AM to 1:30 PM.
I will take the time to point out that on the AMSAT Satellite Status page there’s currently only one operational APRS access point. I would greatly encourage anyone who is able to attend the conference to ask about the use of AFSK packets and if it’s something they are considering for this project. It would be nice to see more amateur satellites geared for AX.25/APRS. More APRS usable satellite systems would allow for more access to APRS services (messaging, email, SMS, etc.) when in remote locations. As it stands, sky-bound APRS traffic is extremely limited and it is important to this project that we be able to see more sky-time available. It will be one of the goals of the AGNP to create and deploy (with the AMSAT organization) microsatellites engineered primarily for digital communications in the amateur bands. It’s an exciting time and I look forward to being a part of the new frontier of amateur space exploration.
Abram Morphew -K2NXF