Essex ISS contact on Echolink and IRLP

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

The POSTPONEMENT of this contact was announced on September 21 at 19:55

ARISS Contact Tuesday POSTPONED

Due to the one day delay of the Space X launch, berthing day now falls on Tuesday and has resulted in the cancellation of the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, United Kingdom

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio

Please join us in listening to the International Space Station (ISS) contact with participants at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island, Essex, United Kingdom and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, September 23. The students will be talking to astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the ISS who will be using the callsign NA1SS. Acquisition Of Signal (AOS) is anticipated at 1137 BST (1037 UT).

The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK7KHZ in Australia. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Audio from this contact will be fed into the:

EchoLink *AMSAT*  Node 101377 and IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector

Streaming Audio on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/arissaudio/

Audio on Echolink and web stream is generally transmitted around 20 minutes prior to the contact taking place so that you can hear some of the preparation that occurs. IRLP will begin just prior to the ground station call to the ISS.

Please note that on Echolink due to server issues the usual automatic breaks will be done manually. Computer based listeners should after opening Echolink click on tools – setup – timing set receive time limit and inactivity timeout to 0, this should keep you from disconnecting. Echolink introduction guide

* Contact times are approximate. If the ISS executes a reboost or other manoeuvre, the AOS (Acquisition Of Signal) time may alter by a few minutes

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio Distribution

Echolink Introduction available on the web
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/april2007/echolink_intro.htm

Echolink Status http://www.echolink.org/

MB7IDA Chelmsford, Essex, Echolink Node 265297
Frequency 145.3375 MHz, Channel V27
Access CTCSS Tone-H 110.9Hz
http://www.essexrepeatergroup.org.uk/mb7ida.htm

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

Essex school contact with International Space Station

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Dave G4UVJ reports that on September 23 there will be an ARISS contact between students at Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey, Essex and astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the International Space Station (ISS).

Just confirming that our ARISS contact has been scheduled with Alexander Gerst KF5ONO, the ESA Astronaut on board the ISS for Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1037 UT which is 1137 BST.

For information, the ISS will actually be over Australia at the time and we will be making use of one of the amateur radio Australian Telebridge Ground Stations to actually make the link to the Space Station.

As you all know we have been in progress of organizing another Contact with the International Space Station as we did in 2005, this time its Winter Gardens Primary School , Canvey Island the day now been confirmed it will be the September 23, 2014 contact time is 11:37 BST. We will start 1 hour before contact time and finish 30mins after , changes may still occur if there are any emergencies on the station.

73 Dave G4UVJ

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

ISS SSTV received on SUWS WebSDR

ISS SSTV image received by Paulo PV8DX

ISS SSTV image received by Paulo PV8DX

On Saturday, September 6, at 1000 GMT Paulo PV8DX emailed the news that the International Space Station (ISS) Slow Scan Television (SSTV) on 145.800 MHz FM had been active again.

At the end of the passage (ISS) in northern Brazil where I live. I heard the sound of early SSTV. So I went to the WEBSDR in your area [the SUWS WebSDR near London, UK] and I got two images.

The ISS has been transmitting photographs devoted to the life and work of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. They were sent in the PD180 SSTV mode with additional voice commentary.

On August 27, 2014 a test of the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment MAI-75 using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver and a new cable took place. Although a carrier was successfully transmitted on 145.800 MHz no SSTV audio tones were heard. It appears that the earlier problem has now been rectified. http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/23/iss-sstv-august-27/

ISS SSTV received by Jan van Gils PE0SAT Sept 26. 2014 at 14:02 GMT

ISS SSTV received by Jan van Gils PE0SAT Sept 26. 2014 at 1402 GMT

The Kenwood TM-D710 was delivered to the ISS in the summer of 2012. The original TM-D700 in the Russian ISS Service Module had been experiencing problems with the PA after giving many years service in space, see ARISS minutes for March 2013. It is thought the Kenwood TM-D710 is set to run at just 5 watts output because convection cooling doesn’t work in zero gravity. http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/archives/03-2013

David Barber G8OQW received some good images in Chelmsford, Essex which can be seen on the AMSAT-UK Facebook page.

Listen to the ISS and amateur radio satellites online using the SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

ISS Fan Club provides status and tracking information http://issfanclub.com/

How to hear the ISS http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-hear-the-iss/

Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”

Tony Falla VK3KKP commented “I received a good picture from ISS on my iPad mid-Saturday evening [AEDT] on 145.800 MHz just using the microphone next to the rig.”

The APRS digipeater in the European Space Agency ISS Columbus module continued to be in operation on 145.825 MHz during the SSTV transmissions.

Watch a video of ISS SSTV reception by Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

ISS SSTV received by Fabiano Moser CT7ABD on Sept 6, 2014 at 0910 GMT

ISS SSTV received by Fabiano Moser CT7ABD on Sept 6, 2014 at 0910 GMT

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Sarah Brightman to start space flight training in January

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Sarah Brightman hopes to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 10 day mission in September 2015. If the launch were to take place as expected she would become the UK’s second astronaut, the first was Helen Sharman GB1MIR on May 18, 1991. Tim Peake KG5BVI is expected to launch in November 2015.

TASS reports the soprano singer Sarah Brightman would begin pre-flight training for her journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as a private spacefarer early next year, instead of this autumn, Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, said on Wednesday. “She will begin training in the Star City in January of 2015 and therefore we are all waiting for her,” Lonchakov said adding that he believed “her training will be a success.”

She is paying $52 million for the flight considerably more than the $20 million that Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari paid for her mission to the ISS in 2006, highlighting the dramatic escalation in launch charges in recent years.

Sarah Brightman - DreamchaserSarah started her singing career in the 1970’s and had hits such as “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” and “Love in a UFO”. She is now a classical crossover artist.

In 2012 in conjunction with Virgin Galactic, The Brightman STEM Scholarship program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was launched to help young women in the US pursue STEM education across their four year college careers.

Her album, “Dreamchaser” was released on January 22, 2013. She said “I don’t think of myself as a dreamer. Rather, I am a dream chaser, I hope that I can encourage others to take inspiration from my journey both to chase down their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on Earth and from space. I am determined that this journey can reach out to be a force for good, a catalyst for some of the dreams and aims of others that resonate with me.” She intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.

It is not yet known if she will make any amateur radio contacts while on the ISS. In 1991 the first UK astronaut Helen Sharman was issued with a special callsign GB1MIR by the Radiocommunications Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She was then able to contact radio amateurs on Earth during her stay on the MIR space station.

Read the TASS story at http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/747859

You can sign up to receive updates on Sarah’s mission at  http://www.sarahbrightman.com/

Wiki – Sarah Brightman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Brightman

Space Adventures http://www.spaceadventures.com/

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

ISS Slow Scan TV on August 27

RS0ISS SSTV 20131029-1121Z received by Dmitry Pashkov UB4UAD

RS0ISS SSTV 20131029-1121Z received by Dmitry Pashkov then UB4UAD

A test of the Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment MAI-75, callsign RS0ISS, took place on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, August 27 between 1100-1300 GMT on 145.800 MHz FM. Although a strong carrier was heard there were no reports of SSTV tones being received.

The ARISS SSTV Blog Aug 27 says: The SSTV transmissions occurred on schedule and even occurred well after the planned termination time of 13:00 UTC (after 17:00 UTC). The new cable appears to have solved the constant carrier issue but now the audio from the program is not being transmitted. The end result for the day was no images but several well timed carriers that lasted for 180 seconds.

The ARISS SSTV Blog Aug 25 says: After a long hiatus due to hardware issues, the Russian team will try sending SSTV images on Aug 27 from 11:00-13:00 UTC using the Kenwood D710 and a new cable. The transmissions will be on 145.80 MHz and the intended mode is PD180. The interval between transmissions should be about 3 minutes. The images are being planned to be sent for one full orbit during this time period. Regions along the ground track include Europe, Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Australia and New Zealand, Central South America and then Europe again.

Paul G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says: If the ISS really does use PD180 mode as reported, don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at it’s real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode. Hopefully the image capture on the ISS is at high resolution.

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

A Google English translation of the ISS work plan says: “On Gagarin from Space”. Open gear with ISS RS by amateur radio link to ground receiving stations amateurs around the world images of photographs devoted to the life and work of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

The Kenwood TM-D710 was delivered to the ISS in the summer of 2012. ARISS minutes for March 2013 note that: Sergey and the team did some tests including swapping antennas between the D-700 and the D-710, and with both configurations, there was a weak signal with the D-700. The power amplifier appears to be the problem. It seems only the exciter is working. Also, the D-710 has no mike since it was to be used with non-voice modes, and the mike for the D-700 has been modified and can’t be used with the D-710. We will work with our Russian colleagues to solve these issues.

The very strong carrier that was transmitted during the test on Wednesday, August 27 confirmed that the D-710 was radiating power successfully. Overheating issues (convection cooling doesn’t work in zero gravity) meant that the old D-700 transceiver was always run on the lowest power setting – 5 watts. It is presumed that a similar power level was used for the SSTV test.

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures from the space station is to connected the audio output of a scanner or amateur rig via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters so select the wider deviation. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

Orbit for ISS SSTV on August 27, 2014 1100-1300 GMT

Orbit for ISS SSTV on August 27, 2014 1100-1300 GMT

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

Listen for the ISS SSTV transmissions online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Free MMSSTV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

For real-time tracking and the latest status of amateur radio activity on the space station see the ISS Fan Club http://www.issfanclub.com/

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB http://r4uab.ru/?p=7237

ISS Work Plan http://www.mcc.rsa.ru/plan.htm

Chasqui-1 deployment from ISS

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

On August 18, 2014 at 14:00 UT the Russia Cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS), Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, opened the hatches of the Pirs docking module and to start Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

One of their tasks was the deployment of the Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1, a research satellite designed to standard CubeSat dimension by the Peruvian National University of Engineering (Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI)) in collaboration with the Southwestern State University (SWSU) in Kursk.

Chasqui-1’s batteries were charged by the Russian Cosmonuats inside the ISS during August 14/15.The satellite was successfully deployed by Oleg Artemyev near the start of the EVA at 14:23 UT.

Chasqui-1 was developed with the intention of improving their satellite technology through the design and testing of a small satellite. Its facilities include two cameras, one in visible and the other in infra-red. Other facilities include communication in the amateur radio band and control systems for its power, thermal and embedded management of its components.

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Chasqui-1 will provide a number of functions that include taking pictures of the Earth. From an academic perspective it will facilitate collaborations among various faculties and research centres of the university to train students and teachers with real world experience in satellites. It will also generate opportunities to work with other universities in the world which in turn will lead to technological advances in the aerospace industry of Peru.

The 437.025 MHz beacon (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) can transmit either 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 or 9600 bps GMSK. As of August 23 no signal from the beacon had been heard.

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning - Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning – Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

On August 19-20 there may be a relay of the Chasqui-1 signal transmitted from the ISS on 145.800 MHz FM using the callsign RS02S. This relay should provide a strong signal with reduced Doppler receivable even on handheld radios.

Listen for Chasqui-1 and the ISS online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Find out when you can hear the ISS and Chasqui-1 which is currently in close proximity at http://issfanclub.com/

Chasqui-1 http://www.chasqui.uni.edu.pe/eng.html

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chasqui-1/253013641985

Twitter @chasqui1

R4UAB Chasqui-1 http://r4uab.ru/?p=7178

Watch Hand deployment from ISS of Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1

Online WebSDR for VHF Satellites

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

You can use the free online SUWS Web Software Defined Radio (WebSDR) from your PC or Laptop to receive the International Space Station (ISS) and the many amateur radio satellites transmitting in the 145.800 – 146.000 MHz band.

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ has equipped the SUWS WebSDR with omni-direction helix antennas for both 144 and 432 MHz which have proved effective for both high altitude balloon and satellite reception.

The SUWS WebSDR is located at Farnham not far from London, listen to it at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Martin says this about the special satellite antennas “I had been experimenting with single turn ‘twisted halo’ design, and decided to try stacking them to see if I could achieve more gain. Modelling suggested that a stretched 3 turn helix with a helix circumference of approx 1/2 wave length and an overall length of 1/2 wave at 70cm, and fed with a gamma match at the centre would offer reasonable gain, an omni-directional pattern and mixed polarisation.”

Full details of the antennas are available at
http://g8jnj.webs.com/currentprojects.htm

WebSDR for 144, 432, 1296 and 10368 MHz
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

ARISS contact planned with ESA Space Camp, Fleetwood, UK

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

ARISS educational radio contact is planned with ESA Space Camp, Rossall School, Fleetwood, UK. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 14:01:13 UT . It will be a telebridge contact operated by W6SRJ in California.

A video from the event will be webcast at http://www.batc.tv/streams/arissuk/

International_Space_StationThe contact will be broadcast on EchoLink AMSAT (node 101 377) and JK1ZRW (node 277 208) Conference servers, as well as on IRLP Discovery Reflector 9010.

This annual camp is organized by the ESA Space Camp Committee takes place in a different European country each summer for 2 weeks. This year the camp takes place between 27 July and 10 August where 185 young space explorers aged 8 to 17 will meet each other in the UK at Rossall School. The children come from the following ESA establishments (UK, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany).

This will be the 20th Space Camp organised by ESA. This year the children will also be involved in celebrating this milestone with marking 50 years of ESA. Children, their parents and educators from the area will join the ESA campers on this special celebration day.
Rossall is a boarding school situated on a beautiful 160-acre site, there is plenty of room for extensive sports and cultural facilities, including a swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, as well as a fitness room and a climbing wall.

International Space Station ISS with shuttle Endeavour 2011-05-23The ESC 2014 programme will feature a balanced mix of sports such as flag rugby, lifeguarding, kayaking and martial arts. The theme for camp will be ‘Reach for the Stars!’ Well-equipped IT labs, classrooms and an on-site planetarium will be instrumental in setting up a space education programme that will keep the children motivated with new and exciting hands-on activities and educational tasks involving space-related themes, as well as learning about the culture of the host country.

As with all ESA Space Camps, there will be specific emphasis placed on socialisation and respect among the participants. We hope to make the camp a really unique experience for juniors and teenagers who are in the process of becoming citizens of a multicultural society.
This ARISS contact will mark a highlight in the space education programme as children will be learning about many aspects related to man’s endeavours to reach for the stars!

Students will ask as many of following questions as time allows:
1. Zachary (12): What has been your biggest challenge since being in space?
2. Noemi (11): On Earth bubbles in sparkling water (or cola) float upwards, but in the ISS, there is no up and down. Which direction do the bubbles go in sparkling water (or cola) on the ISS?
3. Kai (9): If you could change one thing on the ISS, what would it be?
4. Caroline (8): How do you sleep and for how long?
5. Lisann (10): Do you need sunscreen in space?
6. Nassim (8): Why do we have plenty of oxygen on earth, but not enough in space?
7. Auriane (10): Do you see time passing by in space? Do you have the same feeling of time duration (days & nights)?
8. William Baker (12): Can you give us an example of some added safety procedures or precautions you must take in doing everyday tasks while on the ISS?
9. Eduardo García (8): Why is there no oxygen outside the ISS?
10. Sonia ERNST: How long does it take to go around our planet?
11. Damien (9): What were your last thoughts when leaving earth?
12. Tristan (8): How do you keep your clothes clean on the Space Station with so little water?
13. Marie (8): Are there any seasons on the ISS?
14. Emil (8): What do you do for fun on the ISS?
15. Charles (13): I have been fascinated by the film “Gravity”. How realistic is the film? Is space crowded by debris and therefore so dangerous?
16. Roxane (10): How many switches are there inside the spacecraft, and do you know what all of them do?
17. Andrew (13): Is it highly stressful to be in space?
18. Ella (9): How do you have a bath when the water goes everywhere?
19. Benjamin (11): How do you dispose of the waste?
20. Luca (13): How are medical surgeries done in space if a specialized doctor is not available?
21. Lena (11): How is it in the ISS, when you arrive the first time? Was the journey comfortable?
22. Giulio (10): What would you like to achieve that you haven’t yet?
23. Eveline (9): I’ve been practicing various types of sports the last years, and now I still do judo. What sports can you practice in the International Space Station, a weightless environment?

ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from participating countries.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters’ interest in science, technology and learning.

73,

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Chair ARISS Europe
http://www.ariss-eu.org/

ARISS http://www.ariss.org/

ISS Active for National Field Day

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT - Image credit NASA

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT – Image credit NASA

Patrick ‏Stoddard WD9EWK has released a video showing the participation of the International Space Station (ISS) in the ARRL Field Day (June 28-29).

His description reads:

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman KF5LKT, operating as NA1SS from the International Space Station during the 2014 ARRL Field Day on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 1815-1822 UT.

After announcements of possible participation of the ISS amateur radio station in the 2014 ARRL Field Day, it was nice to hear Reid on the radio. Among the stations making contact with NA1SS on this pass, I was able to make a brief contact as the ISS was about to go over Arizona.

The WD9EWK station used for this contact, and to record the NA1SS audio, was an Icom IC-2820H 2m/70cm FM mobile transceiver, transmitting at 5W into an Elk Antennas handheld 2m/70cm log periodic antenna. The radio was powered by a 12V/26Ah jumpstart battery.

Watch NA1SS in ARRL Field Day – 28 June 2014, 1815-1822 UT

ISS Fan Club http://issfanclub.com/

Since arriving on the International Space Station on May 29, 2014 astronaut Reid Wiseman KF5LKT has been active on Twitter as well as amateur radio. The Washington Post newspaper reports on the stunning images he has been tweeting from space, read the story at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/07/01/39-reminders-why-this-astronaut-won-twitter-in-june/

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT on Twitter @astro_reid

In-Person Meeting for ARISS International

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The ARRL report representatives of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International partners met in person last month for the first time in 2-1/2 years to reassess the program’s direction and to consider new objectives.

The European Space Agency (ESA) hosted the April 3-5 gathering at its European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands. ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, represented the ARRL at the sessions. ARISS International Chair and AMSAT-NA Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, presided.

Former ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele, DG1KIL, welcomed the representatives. Thiele, who heads ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Operations Strategic Planning and Outreach office, told the gathering that ESA recognizes the benefit to students of being able to communicate with the ISS crew directly via Amateur Radio, and that students learn a lot as a result of these ARISS contacts.

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

In a wide-ranging presentation, ARISS International Project Selection & Use Committee representative Lou McFadin, W5DID, addressed long-term equipment possibilities. Among other requirements, McFadin said, ARISS should have the ability to control its equipment from Earth, and he said that developing software-defined equipment would permit this. He also spoke of the need for an “override power switch,” as the astronauts need to shut down ARISS equipment during safety-critical events such as spacecraft dockings or spacewalks. Given the paucity of space aboard the ISS, ARISS also must minimize the amount of real estate its equipment occupies, McFadin said. He also noted that there is “little or no” ISS crew time to address ISS ham gear issues.

McFadin further discussed the advantages of installing a mobile VHF/UHF transceiver in the Columbus module that has higher power capabilities, similar to the Kenwood D-700 located in the Service Module. In recent months crew members have been using a 5 W Ericsson hand-held transceiver for school contacts, and signal levels have been lower than the team would prefer. McFadin suggested that a portable mobile system with a power output of 15 W or greater might improve this situation.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/ariss-international-partners-regroup-at-first-in-person-meeting-since-2011

ARISS ESTEC meeting minutes and committee reports http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes.html