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ARISS-International Delegates Meet in Montreal

07/02/2019

Nine nations were represented as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) held its 2019 “face-to-face” meeting of international delegates at the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal, June 26 – 28. ARISS-Canada was the host for the gathering. A high point of the conference came when Kenwood software manager Shin Aota, JL1IBD, presented two Kenwood TM-D710GA transceivers to ARISS-Russia delegate Sergey Samburov, RV3DR. One of the TM-D710GA radios will replace aging Amateur Radio equipment currently in use on the International Space Station, while the other will remain on Earth as a spare for training cosmonauts. For more than a year, these radios have undergone detailed NASA qualification testing followed by final software configuration and verification.

“With today’s transfer of the radios to ARISS-Russia, we are one step closer to an enhanced Amateur Radio system on board the ISS, supporting various operations such as SSTV, voice communication, APRS, and a variety of experiments,” ARISS-International said in announcing the presentation. The ARISS Hardware Team met on June 25.

Those on hand for the event included Radio Amateurs of Canada President (RAC) and ARISS-Canada Delegate for RAC Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA; AMSAT-NA President Joe Spier, K6WAO, and AMSAT-Italia President Emanuele D’Andria, I0ELE. ARRL Southeastern Division Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, attended in his role as chair of the ARRL Board’s new ARISS Committee. Rosalie White, K1STO, represented ARRL as an ARISS-US delegate and handled the duties of ARISS-International Secretary. The other ARISS-US delegate was Dave Taylor, W8AAS.

The French government’s proposal to consider 144 – 146 MHz for possible allocation to the Aeronautical Mobile Service drew some discussion. Other topics included ARISS’ future participation in NASA’s Deep Space Gateway (DSG) program. ARISS is the only noncommercial entity whose ideas are under study by the program. The ARISS plan focuses on Amateur Radio communication, including optical communication channels, as well as equipment development, team cooperation, education, and public outreach.

Canadian Space Agency Program Manager of the Lunar Gateway Program Ken Podwalski noted that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will go to the moon. CSA provided the “Canadarm” robotic arm for the space shuttle and contributed the Mobile Servicing System, a sophisticated robotics suite that plays a critical role in ISS operations.

White and Taylor presented the ARISS-US Region Report, highlighting many of the accomplishments of the US team since the last ARISS face-to-face meeting.

Dave Honess of the European Space Agency presented some ideas for enhanced ARISS educational outreach. A future SSTV session to honor Owen Garriott, W5LFL (SK), also came in for some discussion. Garriott was the first space traveler to use Amateur Radio from space. — Thanks to Dave Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations, and Rosalie White, K1STO



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