ISS 437.800 MHz cross band FM repeater activated

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

At 01:02 GMT on September 2 a cross band FM amateur radio repeater with a downlink on 437.800 MHz was activated on the International Space Statio.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) announcement reads:

The ARISS team is pleased to announce that set up and installation of the first element of our next generation radio system was completed and amateur radio operations with it are now underway. This first element, dubbed the InterOperable Radio System (IORS), was installed in the International Space Station Columbus module. The IORS replaces the Ericsson radio system and packet module that were originally certified for spaceflight on July 26, 2000.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) logoInitial operation of the new radio system is in FM cross band repeater mode using an uplink frequency of 145.990 MHz with an access tone [CTCSS] of 67 Hz and a downlink frequency of 437.800 MHz. System activation was first observed at 01:02 UTC on September 2. Special operations will continue to be announced.

The IORS was launched from Kennedy Space Center on March 6, 2020 on board the SpaceX CRS-20 resupply mission. It consists of a special, space-modified JVC Kenwood D710GA transceiver, an ARISS developed multi-voltage power supply and interconnecting cables. The design, development, fabrication, testing, and launch of the first IORS was an incredible five-year engineering achievement accomplished by the ARISS hardware volunteer team. It will enable new, exciting capabilities for ham radio operators, students, and the general public. Capabilities include a higher power radio, voice repeater, digital packet radio (APRS) capabilities and a Kenwood VC-H1 slow scan television (SSTV) system.

A second IORS undergoes flight certification and will be launched later for installation in the Russian Service module. This second system enables dual, simultaneous operations, (e.g. voice repeater and APRS packet), providing diverse opportunities for radio amateurs. It also provides on-orbit redundancy to ensure continuous operations in the event of an IORS component failure.

Next-gen development efforts continue. For the IORS, parts are being procured and a total of ten systems are being fabricated to support flight, additional flight spares, ground testing and astronaut training. Follow-on next generation radio system elements include an L-band repeater uplink capability, currently in development, and a flight Raspberry-Pi, dubbed “ARISS-Pi,” that is just beginning the design phase. The ARISS-Pi promises operations autonomy and enhanced SSTV operations.

ARISS is run almost entirely by volunteers, and with the help of generous contributions from ARISS sponsors and individuals. Donations to the ARISS program for next generation hardware developments, operations, education, and administration are welcome — please go to https://www.ariss.org/donate.html to contribute to these efforts.

ARISS–Celebrating 20 years of continuous amateur radio operations on the ISS!

Jeanette Epps KF5QNU joins Starliner mission to ISS

Astronaut Jeanette Epps KF5QNU

Astronaut Jeanette Epps KF5QNU

Astronaut and radio amateur Jeanette Epps KF5QNU has joined the Boeing CST-100 Starliner-1 crew for a mission to the International Space Station.

ISS astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB answers questions from a student using amateur radio

ISS astronaut Sunita Williams KD5PLB answers questions from a student using amateur radio

She joins fellow crew members Sunita Williams KD5PLB and Josh Cassada KI5CRH on the first operational crewed flight of Starliner. The six-month expedition is planned to launch to the ISS in 2021 following NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts.

While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years, co-authoring several patents, before the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited her. She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before her selection as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.

NASA assigned Williams and Cassada to the Starliner-1 mission in August 2018. The spaceflight will be the first for Cassada and third for Williams, who spent long-duration stays aboard the space station on Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33.

NASA press release
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-astronaut-jeanette-epps-joins-first-operational-boeing-crew-mission-to-space

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free online amateur radio training course https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

ISS MAI-75 SSTV activity planned for Aug 4-5

It is planned Russian cosmonauts will transmit amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images from the International Space Station (ISS) during August 4-5 on 145.800 MHz FM (likely using PD-120). It should be receivable across the British Isles and Europe.

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

An announcement made July 27 on the ARISS SSTV Blog says:

The final crew schedule for the week of Aug 3-9 was released recently and it showed a MAI-75 activity scheduled for Aug 4 and 5. This is soon after the Space X Demo-2 undock so changes to that event could impact the schedule.

The current dates and times of the planned activity are as follows:
Aug 4 (12:25-18:10 UTC) is setup and day 1 operations.
Aug 5 (08:15-18:25 UTC) is day 2 operations and close out.

This is the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment that is active for orbital passes over Moscow, Russia.

Mode is likely to be PD-120

Source ARISS STV Blog http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/

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. Many FM mobile and base station rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the filter for wider deviation FM (25 kHz channel spacing). Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

The space agency ESA has released a video ‘How to get pictures from the International Space Station via Amateur Radio’ along with a collection of Tutorial videos explaining how to receive ISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) pictures for different computers and mobile devices
https://amsat-uk.org/2020/07/08/esa-promote-amateur-radio-iss-sstv/

Read the Raspberry Pi article Pictures from space via ham radio
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/pictures-from-space-via-ham-radio/

ISS SSTV info and links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio online training course https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

ESA promote amateur radio in ISS SSTV video

The space agency ESA has released a video ‘How to get pictures from the International Space Station via Amateur Radio’ along with a collection of Tutorial videos explaining how to receive ISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) pictures for different computers and mobile devices.

Did you know that astronauts on the International Space Station send pictures from space to ground over amateur radio that you yourself can get at home using your computer? ESA show you how to get them, step by step.

The video features radio amateur David Honess 2E0XDO (ex-M6DNT).

Watch How to get pictures from the International Space Station via amateur radio

See these Tutorials on how to receive SSTV pictures from the ISS for specific operating systems such as Windows 10, Apple iOS & Mac OSX, Android, Raspberry Pi, etc
https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Sets/Radio_ISS/(result_type)/videos

YouTube Tutorials Playlist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtC-BPcMruA&list=PLbyvawxScNbt5Mjfty4Ik-Tt6du-6N5jD

Read the Raspberry Pi article Pictures from space via ham radio
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/pictures-from-space-via-ham-radio/

ISS SSTV info and links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio online training course https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

15 Canadian CubeSats to launch from 2021

Canadian CubeSat Teams - credit Canadian Space Agency

Canadian CubeSat Teams – credit Canadian Space Agency

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) report 15 CubeSat satellites are being built by students in Canada, all are expected to carry amateur radio payloads.

The RAC post says:

The Canadian Space Agency has been providing support and guidance to 15 teams of university and college students across Canada who are building satellites. These satellites are in the “CubeSat” format, based on a standardized architecture of 10 centimetre cubes. All 15 proposed satellites will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), possibly starting in 2021.

RAC is involved in explaining how, and under what conditions, Amateur Radio can be used for communications with these spacecraft, and a requirement of the frequency coordination process with the International Amateur Radio Union is an endorsement from RAC.

We were aware that the suspension of university classes due to the global pandemic could affect the teams’ progress, but I am pleased to report that all of the teams have chosen to use Amateur Radio communications and we continue to receive requests from them, although at a slower rate than in the past. About half of the teams have now received endorsements for their projects from RAC and have sent their proposals to the IARU for frequency coordination.

Designing and constructing CubeSats is a complicated, multi-year process. These projects will develop the students’ skills in many facets of engineering, science, technology, business and project management. Once in orbit, the satellites will also assist pure and applied scientific research and some may offer facilities that Amateurs across Canada and around the world can use.

Source RAC https://www.rac.ca/the-rac-report-june-2020/

Canadian CubeSat Project Teams https://asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellites/cubesat/selected-teams-map.asp

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI in Queen’s Birthday honours list

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI

Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released June 8, 2020.

The citation reads:

“For significant service to amateur radio, particularly to satellite and space communication.”

For full details see https://honours.pmc.gov.au/honours/awards/2006845

Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List, June 8, 2020
https://www.gg.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-06/QB2020%20Gazette%20-%20O%20of%20A.PDF