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ISS Packet System is Back on VHF

04/14/2017

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) packet digipeater system is again operating on VHF — 145.825 MHz. The failure of an Ericsson handheld VHF transceiver on board the ISS last fall had caused ARISS to shift packet operation to 70 centimeters. A cargo resupply mission in February delivered a new Ericsson 2 meter handheld, to replace the one that had failed, which had been used in the Columbus module for school group contacts and for Amateur Radio packet.

While the VHF transceiver was offline, ARISS shifted school contacts from NA1SS to the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver in the Russian Service Module. NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, said the VHF capability now back in Columbus can be used in conjunction with passes involving the HamTV digital amateur television (DATV) system, which operates on 2.4 GHz.

ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said recently that ARISS continues to make progress on the development of the new interoperable radio system on the ISS “that we hope to use to replace our aging radio infrastructure in the Columbus module and the Service module.”

Packets digipeated in a valid APRS format via the ISS system and picked up by an Internet gateway station are documented on the “Amateur Radio Stations heard via ISS” page. — Thanks to Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, ISS Ham Project Coordinator



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