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ISS Packet Radio System is Back in Operation with New Equipment


The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) packet system is back on the air with new equipment. The replacement gear arrived last November and had been awaiting unpacking and installation. ARISS hardware team members on the ground were able to locate a functional duplicate of the old ISS packet TNC module that had been in operation for 17 years and had become intermittent. Crew members installed the new module on February 2; the RF gear remains the same.

The ISS packet system, located in the ISS Columbus module, went down in July 2017, but it unexpectedly came back to life the following summer. The packet system operates on 145.825 MHz. ARISS is an official back-up system for astronauts to talk with Mission Control in the unlikely failure of the station’s primary communication systems.

In 2017, hams relayed nearly 89,000 packet messages via the ISS; response to its recent return has been enthusiastic, ARISS said.

Contribute to the all-new radio system set to launch this year via the ARISS website. For more information, contact ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, or ARISS ARRL Delegate Rosalie White, K1STO. — Thanks to ARISS



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