Hello Frank and all.
From Miles Mann WF1F
Project Ideas: I would like to tank Frank Bauer for reminding me to publish this part of the memo. I have several project ides for ISS Amateur Radio projects posted on my web page. The ARISS team has shown little or no interested in these suggestions. Please review the projects and if you think your club or university has the energy to produce one of these projects thane you have my permission to down load the project idea, delete my name and put your name on the project and then submit the project.
Who should you submit them too?
Good question. Start with the ARISS representative for your country. Or you can try to locate the Educational department for your Space Agency.
All projects require time to build and get approvals. It’s not like it was in the Mir days. During the Mir Space Station projects, Dave Larsen and I designed and few 4 projects to the Mir space station. The longest it required from Theory to Switch-on from Mir for any project was 15 months.
With ISS it does take longer. The average time is (ouch) 4-7 years. The ISS laptop project required 9 years. The SpaceCam1 project, from Beta software demo to switch on was 7 years.
Some parts of ARISS work great.
I want to separate the work done by the ARISS volunteers that have been working so hard to make the School schedule such a success. I know how hard it is to manage the school schedules. The MarexMG team scheduled more than 50 school schedules around the world for the Russian space Station Mir. I personally installed my Amateur Radio hardware at 10+ schools in the New England Area for School to Mir radio links.
The ARISS volunteers have also done excellent work in preparing, Training, licensing the ISS crews and ISS Flight Participants. Every missing to ISS has 1 or more licensed Amateur Radio operators to meet International Rule, etc.
The ARISS volunteers around the world that have been working on these areas have been doing an excellent Job. And I want to make your job easier by giving the ISS crew more reliable hardware in the last 5-6 years remaining of the International Space station.
My complaint is with the way the whole Project Selection Use, Hardware Development, Testing and In-flight maintenance team has performed over the past 13 years. The ARISS Hardware team does not just need to be tweaked, it needs to be overhauled.
My goal here is to encourage NASA, ESA and Russian Space Agency to completely review the current ARISS hardware Selection, Testing and in-flight maintenance program and recommend changes.
We need to choose project that will reach large audiences and are easy to maintain. The projects need to be user friendly for the ISS crews (little or no training). Remote control the projects when feasible. Have a back log of projects ready to fly when payload space becomes available. We need to take advantage of the Existing, Installed antennas on ISS that are available for Amateur Radio access.
Were you aware that we have approximately 14 Antennas mounted on the exterior hull of the International space Station?
There are 7 existing coax hull feed-thoughts on ISS. Each of these cables is attached to 1 or more antennas that can be used for educational Amateur Radio projects.
Only 1 of these cables is currently being used for an Amateur Radio project (Kenwood TM-D700). The other 6 cables are waiting for you to think of and deliver a new Amateur Radio project that would provide some educational benefit to the world. Put you thinking caps on, Schools and University are welcome to provide ideas.
After 13 years of Development and 10 years of ISS flight, we do not have much to show for our effort (except for your success in scheduling almost 50 schools per year, good job).
If you had asked me 13 years ago during the creation of ARISS (Houston August 1996) that today we would only have 1 Lame Packet Radio station on ISS, I would have said “that’s crazy. We will have half dozen systems up and running”.
We have 5-6 years left of ISS. We need to make the best of what little time we have left. Everyone needs to work harder, better and faster. I would hate to see those remaining 11 unused antennas go to waste when ISS burns up.
“Let’s Light this candle” Alan B. Shepard
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