Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Twenty-Seven Candles for OSCAR-11 … and Enter the Fox

Drawing of the UO-11 satellite.
(Courtesy AMSAT)
The OSCAR-11 satellite turned 27 years old on March 1. According to the AMSAT News Service, the satellite was designed, built and launched - using only commercially available off-the-shelf components - in just six months. The satellite was one of the first amateur satellites built at the University of Surrey in England, under the mentorship of Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO. 

From one of the oldest amateur satellites still functioning to one that's just on the drawing board, we switch to news of AMSAT's Project Fox. This is the next project for the satellite group, now that ARISSAT-1 is safely aboard the International Space Station and waiting for launch. AMSAT Fox will be a tiny (1U) cubesat packed with features. The AMSAT News Service says plans call for it to carry a UHF/VHF FM transponder - a first for such a small satellite - that can be worked with a handheld radio and small antenna. One goal is to be able to include the technology in university-built research satellites to permit them to function as amateur satellites once their primary missions are concluded. For more information, see <>.