[amsat-bb] huskysat-1

Jerry Buxton n0jy at amsat.org
Sat Jul 11 20:48:08 UTC 2020

On 7/10/2020 09:47, Scott via AMSAT-BB wrote:
> I have tried the linear transponder numerous times & as recently as a day
> or two ago with nothing heard.
> On Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 9:13 AM Rosa & Robert Fitzpatrick via AMSAT-BB <
> amsat-bb at amsat.org> wrote:
>> what is the latest status on huskysat-1.thank you bob/kb5sqgGranbury tx
While it is disappointing that the transponder did not see a longer
period of use following the science missions, the overall
HuskySat-1/HO-107 project and mission were quite beneficial for our
partner and for AMSAT.  The HuskySat-1 team were able to command their
satellite and experiments and receive the telemetry they sought, and
AMSAT was able to work through the extensive process of making a new
design for a "black box" radio module that can be integrated into a
non-AMSAT spacecraft and fly in the space environment. 

The LTM (Linear Transponder Module) on HO-107 worked for over three
months after HuskySat-1 came alive following its deployment.
The failure of the LTM came during or just after a period of full sun
where LTM temperatures reached over 80 degrees Celsius.

While licensed and operated as an amateur radio satellite by AMSAT
during the transponder use, there are some facts that set HO-107 apart
from our Fox-1 CubeSats and other AMSAT satellites.

1. It's not our satellite.  We have no control and may not have any
insight into how a partner actually uses the LTM.  While we see the LTM
temperatures and many of the other typical data fields that we downlink
to FoxTelem regarding LTM health, data such as temperature of the host
environment as well as other specific information like power and the
state of the other systems in a host satellite may or may not be
available to us.  Whether LTM is operated within design limits is
entirely up to the host. 

The University of Washington HuskySat Labs team was very cooperative
with us on this mission, however there are things regarding their
mission that we do not know because they are processing and studying
their data for use in their thesis and classes and preparing it for
release in a specific way typical of such an institution today.  AMSAT
is generally more forthcoming with information about our missions but
what we can and have said about this mission is determined by UW.
That is really no different to certain aspects of our own missions. 
Most members are likely familiar with the vague wording I provide for
some of our launch timelines and that is the result of the same thing,
in the owner of the launch vehicle or LSP/APIC determining what we can
say to the public and when.

2.  HO-107 was the first ever use of a new product, the AMSAT LTM.  The
LTM idea was first put forth at the AMSAT leadership strategic planning
meeting in 2017 and is now coming into availability for other non-AMSAT
CubeSats to fly amateur radio on their mission.

HO-107 is the pilot production of LTM and was developed in partnership
with UW HuskySat-1.  It was the first CubeSat radio module designed and
built by AMSAT for use in other host CubeSats, and UW was key in working
with us through the design and processes needed to provide such a
module.  They did not buy it as, nor did we give it to them as an "off
the shelf" product as we plan to for future LTM production.  LTM was
developed from the Fox-1E linear transponder design, and provided in a
partnership with UW that started in November 2014 when we made an
agreement with University of Washington to fly an amateur radio on their
CubeSat mission.  Overall, the HuskySat-1 team were quite happy with the
telemetry and command performance even with the LTM anomalies showing up
toward the end of their experiments.  In the process of getting
HuskySat-1 to orbit several students became interested in amateur radio,
and we have already had preliminary discussions of future joint mission

The ability to provide more LTM to new and future partners will increase
the number of orbiting satellites carrying amateur radio, at a low cost
to AMSAT and the partner, keeping amateur radio in space even as we
develop newer and more capable satellites.  There is no doubt that
HO-107 was a success in many ways beyond the operational life of the

As usual, the AMSAT Engineering team of volunteers deserve the praise
for putting yet another amateur radio in space be it in our own
satellite, or in a partner satellite!

Jerry Buxton, NØJY

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