AMSAT reports that it’s continuing to assess the status of the RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E amateur radio CubeSat after a ham in Nevada reported hearing his CW signal weakly via the spacecraft’s transponder on January 27. AMSAT Engineering and Operations was able to confirm the reports from Brad Schumacher, W5SAT, and determined that RadFxSat-2 is partially functioning, although signals are extremely weak.
“We also appreciate those who joined in determining whether they could detect their own or other signals in recent passes today,” AMSAT said in a January 28 bulletin. “Please do not attempt to transmit through the transponder until further notice. This is very important to the next steps we are taking now.”
The next crucial step in evaluating the condition of RadFxSat-2 is to determine whether or not the 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon is operating and, if possible, to copy telemetry from the beacon. AMSAT continues to ask that those with 70-centimeter receive capability listen on the beacon frequency of 435.750 MHz, ± Doppler, upper sideband (USB). Use FoxTelem to capture any telemetry, and set FoxTelem to ‘Upload to Server” so that AMSAT will receive the telemetry data. Recordings are welcome, with a detailed description.
AMSAT stressed that keeping the RadFxSat-2 / Fox-1E transponder clear “is essential to putting all power and attention to the beacon telemetry.” Available data suggest that RadFxSat-2 is OBJECT M from the Virgin Orbit LauncherOne launch, NORAD ID 47320, international designation 21-002M.
“We thank the amateur satellite community for their perseverance and assistance while the AMSAT Engineering and Operations teams work to understand and resolve the situation with RadFxSat-2,” AMSAT said.