2 February 2021
Testing and characterization of RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E continues. After user reports and additional verification that the linear transponder is at least partially functioning with a low level downlink signal, the Engineering and Operations teams worked to identify which satellite, or Object, orbited from the Virgin Orbit Launch Demo 2 is actually RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E. Several objects have been suspected (D, C, and M), with Object C being suggested recently by Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA. Recently, these satellites have sufficiently spread apart to allow testing to determine which object is RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E.
During the 2 Feb 2021 0240 UTC passes, command station Mark Hammond, N8MH, compared Objects D, C, and M for the “best fit” for received signals with Doppler correction on both the uplink and downlink frequencies for each of the candidate objects. Objects D and M were quickly eliminated from further consideration, due to poor frequency predictions of Doppler correction compared to observed signals. The clear best fit is Object C, which is known OBJECT C, INTELDES 2021-002C, and NORAD CAT ID 47311. Therefore, AMSAT is happy to identify Object C/2021-002C/47311U as RadFxSat-2/Fox-1E. Thank to Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, for support during the identification.
It should be noted that 18 SPS has not yet approved the identification for cataloguing. Final determination of the object assignment comes from the squadron.
The Engineering and Operations teams appreciate the community’s cooperation thus far and affirm the request that users do not attempt to use the transponder until further notice. The proper identification will allow further characterization of the satellite’s condition through additional testing.
On behalf of the Engineering and Operations Team,
-- Mark L. Hammond [N8MH] AMSAT Director and Command Station