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QCWA Donation to Support ARISS Space Station Hardware Upgrade


Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has announced a “notable contribution” from the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) to help support the development and certification of new radio hardware for the International Space Station. ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thanked the QCWA for its contribution and said that it arrived at a most critical time.

“Our radio system design is nearly complete, and we’re about to start fabrication and the very expensive hardware certification effort,” he said. “It is fantastic to see Amateur Radio groups like QCWA donating to ARISS, as it demonstrates to our larger benefactors and potential sponsors that the Amateur Radio community has ‘skin in the game’ and is willing to sacrifice to further the ARISS cause.”

QCWA President Ken Oelke, VE6AFO, expressed the hope that the donation might inspire other groups and individuals to follow suit. ARISS reports its hardware team has made good progress over the past year in developing the new radio system. But the October failure of the 17-year-old Ericsson VHF handheld in the ISS Columbus module made completion of the project far more urgent. The failure shut down 2-meter APRS operation, and ARISS operations must now be carried out using an Ericsson UHF handheld in the Russian Service Module. This requires astronauts to make a round trip from one end of the ISS to the other in order to carry out 10-minute school contacts.

ARISS-International Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, said, “QCWA members now understand it’s important to hams to have the ARISS radio for APRS and other modes, and it’s caused a number of hams and their local clubs to donate toward helping to get the radio system upgraded.”

ARISS welcomes donations toward the hardware upgrade project via the AMSAT website. Click on the “ARISS Donate” button, or visit the donation page on the ARISS website. Contributions may be tax deductible. Those contributing $100 or more will receive an ARISS Challenge Coin. Contact Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, if you or your organization wishes to make a more substantial contribution.