ARRL

ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS009 (2008)

SB SPACE @ ARL $ARLS009
ARLS009 ARISS Finalizes Plans for Silver Anniversary of Amateur
Radio from Space

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Space Bulletin 009  ARLS009
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  December 18, 2008
To all radio amateurs

SB SPACE ARL ARLS009
ARLS009 ARISS Finalizes Plans for Silver Anniversary of Amateur
Radio from Space
 
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team is
currently celebrating the silver anniversary -- 25 years -- of
Amateur Radio operations from space. According to ARISS
International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, the crew on the
International Space Station (ISS) has configured the radio to
support cross-band repeater operations. They have also supported
some SSTV downlinks and participated in a special test of 9600 baud
packet radio operations on the simplex frequency of 145.825 MHz.
After December 19, Bauer said he expects the ISS ham radio system to
be on the 145.825 MHz frequency supporting 1200 baud packet. If
PCSAT is configured during the week, he said double hop APRS is
possible.

"During the week of December 21-26, we plan to support the
cross-band repeater mode with a twist," Bauer said. "Our intent is
to configure the radio for 145.99 MHz uplink -- including CTCSS tone
of 67.0 and 437.80 MHz down. This will be performed in low power
mode. We should also note that an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is
planned for that week -- Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke,
KE5AIT, and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, RA3DT, plan to perform a
spacewalk on December 22. As per standard procedure, the ISS ham
radio system will be turned off for the EVA."

Bauer said that from December 28-January 3, the cross-band repeater
will be reconfigured for what he called "a special experiment. This
will be a test of our L-Band uplink capability, which, to date, has
not been proven out. Plan for an uplink of 1269.65 MHz and a
downlink on the standard frequency of 145.80 MHz, using low power,"
he said. "Given the substantial cable losses of the L-band system,
we hope some 'big guns' are able to penetrate through, keep up with
Doppler and make the connection."

A special certificate is being developed for those who communicate
with the ISS from November 30, 2008 to January 15, 2009. This
certificate will be awarded to those who have had two-way
communications with the ISS on voice, packet (APRS) or through the
voice repeater. Those who hear the ISS from space in any of the
ARISS operations modes -- voice, SSTV, school contact, voice
repeater or digital - will also be eligible to receive a
certificate.

To receive the certificate, Bauer said to note the ARISS mode of
operation (such as SSTV, voice or school) on your QSL and whether
the contact was one-way (receive only) or two-way. "You should send
your self-addressed, stamped envelope to the normal ARISS QSL
volunteer distributor in your area of the world," he explained. "On
the outside of the QSL envelope, please include the words '25th
Anniversary Certificate.' Make sure your envelope is big enough to
accept an 8.5 x 11 inch certificate and includes the proper
postage."

If you do not know where to send your QSL, check the ARISS Web site
to find the one that serves your part of the world.

"We will be sending your certificate to the volunteer distributors
in bulk after the event is over," Bauer said. "This saves workload
and money. So do not expect to see it until 1-2 months after the
event closes on January 15." Bauer reminded hams that due to ISS
flight requirements related to spacewalks and vehicle activity, the
radio onboard the ISS may be off for some portion of this schedule.
School contacts and general QSO opportunities by the crew will also
preempt this schedule for short periods of time. "But remember that
if you hear these," he said, "you still qualify for a commemorative
certificate. Enjoy the ARISS ops on ISS!"
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/EX