ISS Amateur Radio Status: September 16, 2008 By Miles Mann WF1F,
Marex in Moscow
MAREX-MG News www.marexmg.org Manned Amateur Radio Experiment
Another year another ARISS international meeting in some country. This year’s meeting was held in Moscow (Russia). I have been looking forward to going back to Moscow; this was my third Amateur Radio space trip to Moscow.
Part of the goal of these meetings is to manager the amateur radio equipment on ISS and to plan for the future. This years meeting was not as productive as I had hoped. We were very limited in available meeting time to just two 8 hour days and a few short side meetings. The rest of the time was taken up by museum and school visits and site seeing tours. I did enjoy the tourist activities very much and wish I had more time to spend in Russia.
Moscow pictures http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/arissmoscow2008.html
I am not gong to go over all of the topic we discussed. If you need more information, please review the ARISS meeting notes and presentations. http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ariss/Meetings/2008_Moscow/Presentations/
Replacement TM-D700: This was one of the pleasant surprises we received. There are tentative plans to fly the backup spare Kenwood TM-700 from Russia to the International Space Station on this months September 9th Progress-30 cargo rocket. The current Kenwood D700 on ISS has been in space since August 2003 and in Powered-On service since December 2003.
In anticipation of Garriott’s upcoming mission in October 2008, the Russian team decided to fly the spare D700 along with a complete set of cables and computer interface VOX box into space. In addition to the D700, there are also plans to fly the Kenwood VC-H1 SSTV image communicator.
Marex Project Proposals: As usual I went over to propose new projects for ISS to bring the amateur radio station into the new century.
Out of the 5 projects I proposed there was only interest in the Icom ID-800 D-Star project. We received tentative approval for this project. The Project Selection and use committee is still reviewing the project.
My presentation did not go as planned, Murphy’s Law struck in many ways.
Two weeks before the Meeting the time slot allocated for New project proposals was canceled to be rescheduled at a different time, which would be difficult since each of the 4 days was fully booked with meetings and activities.
I arrived at the hotel Volga in Moscow at 11:00 am local time on Wednesday, after traveling for approximately 21 hours (Boston up a 6:00 am for taxi and security check in, Plane #1, to NY, Plane #2 Moscow). I managed to get 1 or 2 hours sleep on the 10+ year old 767, it looked like the same plane I was on to Moscow in 1998.
Wednesday was planed as the travel day to unpack rest and get ready for the meetings on Thursday. During dinner that evening with the ARISS team I was asked if I was read to present my projects after Dinner at 7pm. A little more advanced notice would have been helpful. My presentation began around 8:30 pm and finished around 9:30 pm. I am not sure what I said, since I was sleep talking. I had been going for 30+ hours on 2 hours of sleep.
Projects are normally presented in front of the ARISS Delegates and members of the project selection committee. On this night only 1 delegate and 1 PSC member were present. On Friday there was a recap of the PSC decisions with the ARISS team present and I had to opportunity to give a short talk after the decisions has been made.
So what is the next phase of a project selection process you may ask?
And here is the response I received:
“I have a group of D-Star experts reviewing the proposal their report should be coming out soon. When I get it it will be forwarded to the Project Selection and Utilization committee for their review.”
I will keep you all informed of our progress with ISS and new projects.
In the short term, its time to get ready for the possibility of FM Slow Scan TV (SSTV) during Richard Garrett’s mission in October 2008
Memo Related Links:
Kenwood VC-H1 communicator http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/vch1.html
Pictures of the Existing Kenwood TM-D700 on ISS http://www.marexmg.org/hardware/kenwood.html
Pictures of the Amateur Radio station on the International Space Station. http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/radiohardware.html
Slow Scan TV: The Marex Slow Scan TV project, SpaceCam1 was activated for a few weeks in August 2006. We hope to see some new images in October 2008
Disclaimer, Hardware and Projects:
As with all payloads and projects going into ISS, the priority of a project and payload determines its status. If another project comes along with a higher priority, it is possible that the Amateur radio hardware can be removed from the flight manifest at any time before launch. We will not know for sure until a few weeks after launch if the Amateur Radio hardware was actually shipped to ISS on Progress-30.
This also applies to projects currently on board ISS. Projects can be activated with little or no notice, such as the SpaceCam1 SSTV project in August 2006. Projects can also be packed up and placed in storage on ISS such as the Erickson HT system. We have to be ready when we hear from Moscow that a project may be deployed, otherwise we may miss a unique opportunity.
Marexmg Web page http://www.marexmg.org
73 Miles WF1F MAREX-MG
Let’s keep Space Fun