AMSAT Vice President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, has announced plans to incorporate an L band receiver in Fox-1C and Fox-1D
The addition will allow ground commanded selection of the U/v (normal Fox-1 bands) or the new L/v 1.2 GHz (23 cm) mode. Both bands will operate as FM single channel.
Rather than adding a complete new receiver, the L band “Project Downshifter” will convert the received L band signal down to the Fox-1 uplink frequency and feed it to the regular UHF receiver on the Fox-1satellite. The design will not require an additional antenna on the satellite because the existing UHF antenna will work for L band receive as well.
In concert with the development of the satellite segment, a new group of volunteers is working on a companion uplink station to convert UHF to the L band uplink frequencies. The team is planning to have an affordable L band uplink ground station available to amateurs by the time Fox-1C is on orbit.
Buxton has also announced the plan to construct a Fox-1E “Evolution” variation of the Fox-1 series which will carry a Mode J linear transponder. The transponder is planned to be 30 kHz wide and will also have a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon.
The purpose of the project is to test a design for a linear transponder that could be made available to CubeSat builders as a secondary, or even primary radio payload thus bringing more opportunities for amateur radio in space as well as offering AMSAT’s proven communications skills as a telemetry option.
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