International Space Station – Image Credit NASA
The ARISS team took a giant step closer to flying the new ARISS Interoperable Radio System to the International Space Station, having met a major milestone.
Lou McFadin, W5DID, and Kerry Banke, N6IZW, travelled to the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, in mid-February for preliminary testing of Banke’s breadboard version of the ARISS Multi-voltage Power Supply. The two worked alongside JSC engineers and JSC EMC lab personnel, putting the specially built power supply through its paces, checking against US and Russian space specifications for Power Quality and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) preliminary tests.
The result: Outstanding news-the ARISS Team can move on to the next step, fabrication of prototype and flight units. The JSC engineers disclosed that the ARISS breadboard power supply was the first hardware to have passed all of the space agencies’ tests! They said the very professional ARISS Team certainly knew hardware development and design.
ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer thanked Banke and McFadin for the multiple days spent putting the unit through the serious battery of NASA and Russian preliminary electrical tests. Banke expressed pleasure with the results: “I was looking to come away with what we needed to move forward. We achieved that.” He was impressed with the support he and McFadin received from the testing group, and said key players on those teams who are also ham radio operators, commented that they find equipment brought in that is supported by ham radio operators, to earn particularly good marks. McFadin asserted that the Multi-voltage Power Supply’s fine test results are due to ARISS’s team working very well together and being very experienced.
The completed testing of the breadboard unit means McFadin can now purchase expensive space-certified parts so the final prototype/flight power supplies can be fabricated. He and Banke now know that when the final, even more rigorous tests are done, the units will pass with flying colors.
Watch for more news stories on the hardware and the fundraising campaign to help support the costs associated with designing, building, and testing the new ARISS radio system-the Kenwood D710GA and Multi-voltage Power Supply. Those wishing to contribute toward the final fabrication and flight tests are highly appreciated and asked to go to the AMSAT website, www.amsat.org to click on the “ARISS Donate” button. Or visit the donation page on the ARISS website, http://www.ariss.org/donate.html
Contributions are tax deductible. Those who contribute $100 or more will receive the handsome ARISS Challenge Coin. If you or your ham club or place of employment wish to make a highly substantial contribution, contact Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source ARISS News Release 17-04
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO was on the Ham Talk Live podcast discussing ARISS and
the gear aboard the ISS. The link to the podcast is: