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ARISSat-1 Team Announces Morse Code Contest

10/12/2011

ARISSat-1 -- the latest Amateur Radio satellite -- began its education-based mission after deployment from the International Space Station in August 2011. The ARISSat-1 mission is to provide a variety of information through its many broadcast modes promoting STEM-based education initiatives in the classroom. In an effort to help realize this mission, the ARRISSat-1 Team is sponsoring a CW contest.

To participate, listeners need to copy and submit any six of the more than 200 call signs transmitted during ARISSat-1’s multiple satellite passes. Once you have at least six call signs, submit them via e-mail to receive a special certificate. Along with your six call signs, please include your name, your call sign (if you have one), the time (in UTC) and date of reception of each call sign and your city, state and ZIP Code.

A number of radio amateurs have made significant strides in developing space communications via ham radio. To celebrate their accomplishments, the call signs of more than 200 of these hams have been digitally stored on board ARISSat-1 and are being transmitted in rotation using Morse code at 145.92 MHz. The call signs can be heard between the RS01S CW identification and the CW telemetry in the repeated code transmission sequence.

According to the ARRISSat-1 Team, one of the major goals of this contest is to promote interest in learning CW, especially by students: “Morse code continues to play an important role in emergency communications, and it is a fun way of sending messages using ham radio. In that spirit, we ask that participants copy the code by hand and refrain from using artificial means, such as electronic decoders, to decode the call signs. Due to the possibility of interference or excessive ambient noise that might be present during the pass, recording the code for playback and deciphering after the pass is permissible.” For more detailed information on how to receive and decipher the CW transmissions, visit the “Receiving ARISSat-1” web page.

The ARISSat-1 Team asks that all ARISSat-1 listeners should refrain from publicly disclosing any call signs they copy. Posting the contest call signs on the Internet, amsat-bb, other bulletin boards or any areas for public viewing will result in the listener or group being disqualified from the contest, along with the disclosed call signs.

Please refer any questions about this contest to Rod Walin, KC0ZHF, via e-mail. Complete rules can be found here.



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