Raspberry Pi could generate ISS HamTV video

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The ARISS meeting minutes for August 16, 2016 cover the discussion about using a Raspberry Pi computer board to generate video to feed the ISS Digital ATV transmitter.

An idea was proposed by Jean-Pierre Courjaud F6DZP for using Raspberry Pi at the transmitting ground stations for generating a H264 video stream that modulates a DVB-S or DVB-52 carrier. His report was distributed to the ARISS team on August 12, 2016.

Discussion:  Jean-Pierre Courjaud had brought this idea to a Ham TV Technical (HTT) meeting for using Raspberry Pi to generate a H264 video stream. Raspberry Pi is used in the United Kingdom for DATV on 2 meters.

Gaston Bertels ON4WF termed this a cost effective solution, probably easy to work on, many people and schools would be able to receive video from the ISS, and he inquired if this idea was proposed for the Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA flight next year. Jean-Pierre Courjaud related that Paolo Nespoli had asked about it, and the team hopes he could use it if the idea is presented for review to the ARISS-International Technical Evaluation & Support Committee and approved by ARISS Delegates.

Jean-Pierre Courjaud explained that Raspberry Pi could be a solution for two things—first, the webcam could be used instead of the onboard ISS camera, and second, signals received by schools could be transmitted back to the crew.  Frank Bauer KA3HDO felt the astronauts would like this.  Dave Taylor W8AAS asked about the type of receiver schools would need and how signals would be uplinked.  Jean-Pierre Courjaud clarified that schools would have a narrowband ATV receiver that uses a USB dongle; this would bring the signal to the Surface Pro computer that Paolo Nespoli plans to fly on ISS, and modified mini-tutioune software would decode the uplink signal received from the L-band antenna.

Dave Taylor inquired what new hardware would have to be tested and certified for flight.  Jean-Pierre Courjaud said that Nespoli plans to take the Surface Pro, and to be tested and launched would be the USB interface that would work with the L-band antenna and serve as an L-band receiver with the Surface Pro. During Nespoli’s mission the mini-tutioune software could be uploaded to his Surface Pro.  Oliver Amend DG6BCE planned to share the meeting discussion with Emanuele D’Andria I0ELE and ask him and the committee, because the project originated with AMSAT-Italia, to give the plan, including what must be tested and launched, to Mark Steiner K3MS, chair of the ARISS-International Technical Evaluation & Support Committee.

Read the full ARISS Meeting Minutes August 16, 2016 at

ARISS Meeting Minutes http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/