Radio amateurs help students reach for the sky

View from Balloon - Image Credit Caen School

View from Balloon – Image Credit Caen School

The Appledore Amateur Radio Club helped students at Caen School in Braunton, Devon with their balloon, callsign CAEN_CP1, which transmitted pictures using Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) on 434.250 MHz.

The balloon was launched on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at the school sports day by members of the Pi, Code and Chips after school club. It reached an altitude of 32,540 metres before the payload descended back to Earth by parachute.

The North Devon Gazette say the club – for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects – has been working on the balloon project for weeks under the guidance of trainee teacher Bill Harvey. The payload for the flight included a Raspberry Pi mini computer, plus cameras and sensors.

The North Devon Journal reports:

Bill Harvey, an ex-services trainee teacher, is passionate about getting pupils enthused with science and this project was one of many that he hopes to use to inspire children.

“We enlisted the help of the Appledore Amateur Radio Club for ground to air communications as well as the Commando Logistics Regiment RMB Chivenor who provided personnel and equipment.”

Read the full North Devon Journal story at
http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/braunton-primary-school-successfully-launches-high-altitude-balloon-into-space/story-29448234-detail/story.html

Read the North Devon Gazette story at
http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/braunton_balloon_launch_sees_pupils_reach_the_skies_1_4593411

SSDV images http://ssdv.habhub.org/
Useful balloon tracking links and information https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Appledore Amateur Radio Club http://www.adarc.co.uk/

GB1SS: schools speaking to Tim Peake

Sandringham students talk to Tim Peake GB1SS using amateur radio

Sandringham students talk to Tim Peake GB1SS using amateur radio – BBC TV screenshot

The ten school contacts with Tim Peake on the ISS during his Principia mission have inspired thousands of young people and introduced them to amateur radio in a new and exciting way. A new RSGB video celebrates these historic events and the range of linked activities the schools have enjoyed.

Students at Derby High School Bury use amateur radio to link up with Tim Peake

Students at Derby High School Bury used amateur radio to link up with Tim Peake

Beginning with the exhilaration of the launch, it follows the competition for schools to host the ARISS contacts, and showcases the variety of science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) and arts activities that helped pupils to understand more about space and amateur radio.

The contacts themselves, often led by newly-licensed pupils, were the successful culmination of many months of work and anticipation. We congratulate everyone involved and hope you enjoy our celebration.

Watch GB1SS: schools speaking to Tim Peake

ARISS UK videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQS-yDk7PdE9cRv4MNu8pCw/videos

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station http://ariss.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/ARISS_status

ARISS Principia site https://principia.ariss.org/

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

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/

AMSAT-UK https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

Beccy Bowen 2W0YLL led the contact between Powys school students and Tim Peake GB1SS

Beccy Bowen 2W0YLL (right) led the contact between Powys school students and Tim Peake GB1SS

Robertsville Middle School CubeSat Project

Robertsville Middle School students give a CubeSat presentation to NASA Engineers

Robertsville Middle School students give a CubeSat presentation to NASA Engineers

On May 19, 2016, students from Robertsville Middle School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee visited Marshall Space Flight Center and presented their CubeSat project results to NASA engineers.

NASA Explores says: They had been tasked to design a 1U ‪CubeSat‬ with a deployable door using a 3D printer and some mechatronics soft/hardware. The students presented to a panel of NASA engineers and management, including two ‪NEA Scout‬ team members, Adam Burt and Alex Few, who took a few minutes to talk about NEA Scout. The students know what ‪Solar Sails‬ are and how they work!

Oak Ridge Today reported: This is the incredible experience Robertsville Middle School Ram Time participants were given in Todd Livesay’s enrichment course. Todd Livesay began conversations with a fellow Oak Ridge High School graduate, Patrick Hull, who now works for Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Hull explained to Livesay the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative, or CSLI, which provides opportunities for small satellite cubes to fly as auxiliary payloads on previously planned missions.

The CubeSat Launch Initiative provides access to a low-cost pathway for conducting research, deploying these small payloads in a ride-share format. Since its inception in 2010, the initiative has selected and launched more than 46 student-created CubeSats. These miniature satellites were chosen from responses to public announcements on NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.

NASA will announce another call for proposals in mid-August 2016, possibly allowing Oak Ridge students an extension of the learning they had with their initial project this year, the press release said.

Susan Currie, education specialist from the Marshall Space Flight Center, wrote to Hull in response to the RMS visit saying: “Wow! If that group doesn’t inspire you, nothing will! I was blown away with the level of expertise and professionalism shown by the Oak Ridge students.”

Watch Group 1 Presentation

Watch Group 2 Presentation

Robertsville students have ultimate review panel for year-long project: NASA engineers
http://oakridgetoday.com/tag/cubesat-launch-initiative/

NASA Explores https://www.facebook.com/NASAExplores/

News reports of Powys schools amateur radio contact with Tim Peake

Beccy Bowen 2W0YLL led the contact between Powys school students and Tim Peake GB1SS

Beccy Bowen 2W0YLL (right) led the contact between Powys school students and Tim Peake GB1SS

On Saturday, March 5, 2016 students from Powys Secondary Schools, call sign GB4PCS, had an amateur radio contact with UK astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS.

The contact, led by radio amateur Beccy Bowen 2W0YLL, took place at Builth Wells High School and students from the school along with Gwernyfed High School pupils were able to ask Tim Peake questions for 8 minutes as the ISS passed by traveling at 27,600 km/hour.

As part of the preparations for the contact Powys students took part in an Amateur Radio Buildathon - Credit RSGB

As part of the preparations for the contact Powys students took part in an Amateur Radio Buildathon – Credit RSGB

Wales Online carried an interview with Adam Tofarides MW0XDD, Chair of the Brecon and Radnor Amateur Radio Society. Adam gained his Foundation licence in April 2014, and progressed to Intermediate and Advanced in October and December of the same year. He said the contact was an “amazing experience”. He added: “The hall was completely packed out. There must have been around 170 people.”

“No-one could quite believe it was going to happen and we were quite stunned when we got hold of Tim on the first attempt.”

“It’s the first and last time it’s going to happen in Wales that we’ll be able to speak a British astronaut while they are at the ISS.”

“It’s an achievement to inspire these pupils and encourage them to carry on with this in the future.”

BBC Wales video report of the contact http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-35735473

BBC Wales Today show at 18:00 on March 5 had a report start at 3:40 into
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b071y4cm/bbc-wales-today-05032016

Wales Online
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/pupils-welsh-high-school-spoke-10995463

County Times http://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/159450/builth-wells-high-school-makes-contact-with-tim-peake-on-international-space-station.aspx

ITV News http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2016-03-05/welsh-pupils-to-quiz-astronaut-tim-peake-via-live-link/

ARISS contact planned for Mid Wales schools
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/03/01/ariss-contact-planned-for-school-in-mid-wales-uk/

ARISS Principia site https://principia.ariss.org/

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

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/

Builth Wells High School Head Girl Gwen Davies talking to Tim Peake

Builth Wells High School Head Girl Gwen Davies talking to Tim Peake

UK students to have direct contact with astronaut Tim Peake during Principia mission

Blue Peter Principia Mission Patch

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey, Principia mission patch competition winner Troy and UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI

Working with the UK Space Agency, ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) is giving a number of UK schools the opportunity to speak directly to Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, during his mission on board the International Space Station (ISS). This will enable live interaction between pupils and Tim and is anticipated to be one of the highlights of the Principia STEM outreach programme.

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS amateur radio station equipment

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS amateur radio station equipment

During his 6 month mission to the ISS, starting in December 2015, Tim will be undertaking a wide range of science experiments, some of which have been designed by students from around the UK. Additionally he has committed to take part in a large range of educational outreach activities with schools and colleges around the country.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:

“Both Tim’s space mission and amateur radio have the power to inspire young people and encourage them into STEM subjects. By bringing them together we can boost their reach and give young people around the UK the chance to be involved in a space mission and a hands-on project that will teach them new skills.”

The pre-arranged schools contacts will take place between January and April 2016 and students will be able to put a number of questions directly to Tim using amateur radio VHF and UHF radio equipment specially installed at the school for the occasion.

HamTV dish antenna at Goonhilly - Credit Frank Heritage M0AEU

HamTV dish antenna at Goonhilly – Credit Frank Heritage M0AEU

The 3.8 metre dish owned by Satellite Applications Catapult is being loaned to the project to track the ISS and will ensure real time video will be available during the schools’ contacts scheduled for early next year. The dish is almost in the shadow of the 29 metre dish “Arthur” built in 1962 to receive the first transatlantic television signals from the Telstar-1 spacecraft.

For Tim Peake’s mission, the ARISS team of licensed UK Radio Amateurs is planning a world first by also receiving live video from the ISS during the contact. Using the HamTV transmitter, which has recently been commissioned on board the ISS, Tim will be the first astronaut to use this equipment during a two way schools contact.

As well as building a vehicle based receive system, which will be installed at the school on the day of the contact, the team recently visited Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to commission a dish to receive the 2.4 GHz HamTV transmissions from the ISS.

During the contact at the schools the ARISS team will be providing information displays on the ISS position and have webcams showing both the local and Goonhilly dishes as they track the ISS.

The hosting schools will be organising presentations and displays before and after the contact and the ARISS team will be providing a live web cast of all the day’s events including the actual contact with Tim Peake.

The live event webcast will be hosted by the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) on their web streaming service at https://principia.ariss.org/live/

The ARISS programme is designed to maximise the impact of the Principia Mission outreach activities. It will directly engage students with media and communication technologies with the goal of inspiring them to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

UK Space Agency Principia site https://principia.org.uk/

School Shortlist for Tim Peake Space Station Contact
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/07/14/school-shortlist-tim-peake-iss/

NASA TV to cover launch of Tim Peake KG5BVI
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/12/08/nasa-tv-to-cover-launch-of-tim-peake-kg5bvi/

AMSAT-UK https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
Join AMSAT-UK https://amsat-uk.org/new-members/join-now/

ISS Display 2015-12-11

 

School Shortlist for Tim Peake Space Station Contact

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

On Tuesday, July 14 at the UK Space Conference in Liverpool the names were announced of the UK schools which have won the opportunity to contact UK astronaut Tim Peake via amateur radio during his mission to the International Space Station. Tim holds the call sign KG5BVI and is expected to use the special call GB1SS from the amateur radio station in the Columbus module of the ISS.

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim will launch to the ISS in December of this year and will spend 6 months working and living in space. The Amateur Radio competition is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Selected schools will host a direct link-up with the ISS during a two-day, space related STEM workshop which will be the culmination of a large range of learning activities using space as a context for teaching throughout the curriculum.

ARISS UK (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) will provide and set up all necessary radio equipment such as low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios, to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the ISS from the schools’ very own premises. In a ten-minute window when the ISS will be over the UK, an amateur radio contact will be established with Tim, and students will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.

Owing to the nature of scheduling the links, which is dependent on geography, the exact orbit of the ISS and the crew schedules, the exact dates and times for possible links will not be known until 2 weeks before the link up is scheduled. The shortlisted schools will all be prepared for such scheduling challenges and, by having a number of schools, we can ensure that all links are used.

Soyuz TMA-19M Mission Patch

Soyuz TMA-19M Patch

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:

We’re delighted with the amount of interest in this exciting project and look forward to working with the selected schools as they make a call into space.

Both Tim’s space mission and amateur radio have the power to inspire young people and encourage them into STEM subjects.

By bringing them together we can boost their reach and give young people around the UK the chance to be involved in a space mission and a hands-on project that will teach them new skills.

The following schools have been shortlisted for a possible ARISS call with Tim whilst he is in orbit on the ISS:

Principia Mission Patch

  • Ashfield Primary School, Otley, West Yorkshire
  • The Derby High School, Derby
  • The Kings School, Ottery St Mary
  • Norwich School, Norwich
  • Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol
  • Powys Secondary Schools Joint, Powys
  • Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth
  • Sandringham School, St Albans
  • St Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea
  • Wellesley House School, Broadstairs

John Gould, G3WKL, President of the RSGB, said:

The Radio Society of Great Britain will be delighted to support shortlisted schools by teaching their pupils about amateur radio and helping them through their licence exams where appropriate. Members of our Youth Committee are based across the UK and will be keen to visit the chosen schools in their area and chat to the pupils.

The ARISS UK Operations team will now work with the shortlisted schools to prepare them for this exceptional opportunity during the mission of the first British ESA Astronaut.

ARISS Europe http://www.ariss-eu.org/