Tag Archives: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

Radio Waves: Radio Garden, BBC Budget, Legacy of Ronan O’Rahilly, and ARISS to Begin Experimental Demonstrations

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dennis Dura, Mike Terry and the International Radio Report for the following tips:


A trip around the world through local radio stations (The Guardian)

Streaming means we can tune into breakfast shows, travel bulletins and local gossip on every continent – and revel in radio’s ability to create a sense of community

I’d missed the joke about the three-legged chicken. It was causing a stir.

“That one about the chicken with three legs you told yesterday,” said a presenter on Ireland’s Midwest Radio’s afternoon show, “apparently Ronald Reagan told it first.”

“Did he, now?” the co-host replied.

“Yes. You stole a joke from Ronald Reagan.”

Jeez, I’m going as red as a tomato here.”

The conjunction of tripedal fowl, the 40th president of the United States and two men in a studio in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, will never make a list of great radio moments but it was enough to coax me from between my four walls, even if it was via the imagination.

Radio has never been more popular: it’s seen off challenges, from television to the internet, to become stronger than ever. In 2017, according to industry ratings body Rajar, nine out of 10 people in the UK listened to the radio every week. Perhaps it succeeds because we have to conjure up our own pictures of events and places beyond our immediate surroundings. As a bored, lonely boy growing up in an anonymous south-east London suburb, I’d spend most evenings in my bedroom jamming a coathanger into the back of an old radio and scanning the airwaves, awestruck by the range of languages and music bursting out of the night through skirling static; each voice sending tantalising reassurance of a world beyond the dispiriting confines of my own.[]

Coronavirus: BBC ‘needs to make £125m savings this year’ (BBC News)

The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.

Delays to a new licence fee regime for people over 75 and problems collecting fees are among the challenges cited.

Staff have been told the BBC will have to find £125m savings this year.

Senior leaders will take a pay freeze until August 2021 and all non-essential recruitment will be put on hold as part of the cost-cutting measures.

Staff will also be invited to work part time or take unpaid leave if they find it “helpful” during the lockdown.

In a briefing on Wednesday, director general Tony Hall said other reasons behind the cash shortfall were a delay to a plan to cut 450 jobs, and uncertainty around commercial revenues.

Other broadcasters have been badly hit during the crisis, with ITV last month cutting its programme budget by £100m and Channel 4 cutting £150m from its programming.

On Wednesday, Channel 4’s director of programmes Ian Katz said the broadcaster would have to cut back on drama and produce “lower tariff” shows.[]

The Irish Legacy of Ronan O’Rahilly and Radio Caroline (The Irish Broadcasting Hall of Fame)

With the passing of Ronan O’Rahilly in April 2020, a colossus of radio broadcasting has left a legacy that will stand the test of time and has made a massive impression on radio broadcasting in Ireland. While his beloved Radio Caroline was a familiar sight off the South East of England, its influence on both radio and music in 1960’s Britain cannot be underestimated. It forced the British Government to enact new legislation outlawing the almost a dozen pirate radio ships that blasted pop music into Britain and it forced the BBC to reorganise and compete with the opening of a dedicated pop channel in 1967, BBC Radio One. In the month when Ronan passed onto the afterlife, both BBC Radio One and Radio Caroline still broadcast today. But while Caroline’s history focusses mainly on its influence on Britain, Ireland has played a key role in that colourful history and this is that story.

At the helm of Radio Caroline was Ronan O’Rahilly. He was born in Clondalkin, Dublin in 1940, his father Aodogan was a well-known and wealthy businessman, regarded as an influential ally of Eamon DeValera, while his grandfather Michael O’Rahilly was better known as The O’Rahilly, sacrificed his life during the 1916 Easter Rising having been shot dead while leading a charge on a British position at the end of Moore Street.[]

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, ARISS to Begin Experimental Demonstrations of School Contacts using a Multipoint Telebridge Amateur Radio Approach (ARISS)

ARISS News Release                                                                             No. 20-03          
April 28, 2020 —Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the first use of a concept called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, allowing school contacts for Stay-At-Home students and simultaneous reception by families, school faculty and the public.

During the last several weeks, efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in massive school closures worldwide. In addition, the Stay-At-Home policies invoked by authorities, initially shut down opportunities for ARISS school contacts for the near future.

To circumvent these challenges and keep students and the public safe, ARISS is introducing the Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio concept. First operation of this experimental system will occur during a contact scheduled with a group of Northern Virginia Students located in Woodbridge, VA on Thursday, April 30 at 13:35 UTC (9:35 EDT). During this event, an ARISS telebridge radio ground station will link to the astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) ham radio station and each Stay-At-Home student and their teacher will be individually linked to the telebridge station. Under the teacher’s direction, each student, from their home, takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.

Quoting ARISS Chair Frank Bauer, “This approach is a huge pivot for ARISS, but we feel it is a great strategic move for ARISS. In these times of isolation due to the virus, these ARISS connections provide a fantastic psychological boost to students, families, educators and the public. And they continue our long-standing efforts to inspire, engage and educate student in STEAM subjects and encourage them to pursue STEAM careers.”

ARISS is inviting the public to view a live stream of the upcoming contact at its new ARISS YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/Cu8I9ose4Vo.

During the contact, participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. What does the sun look like from outer space?
2. How comfortable is it to sleep in space?
3. What is one thing you want to eat when you get back to earth?
4. I’ve heard that stars are red, yellow and blue. Can you see those colors in space when you look at the stars?
5. Besides your family, what do you miss most while being in space?
6. What are your thoughts on our Covid-19 situation right now? Does the Earth look differently over the last 3 months now that many people are inside and not creating pollution?
7. How often do you get to go out of the ISS? Have you been on any space walks?
8. Who makes the rocket that takes you to the ISS?
9. What does it feel like to float all the time?
10. Do you use flashlights on space walks?
11. How do you exercise in space?
12. How do you get out for space walks safely without the air from the ISS coming out into space? How does it feel to walk in space?
13. What do you wear in the space station?
14. How did it feel when you first got to space?
15. How is space different from Earth?
16. What do you study in school to become an astronaut?
17. What do you like the most about being in space?
18. Were you nervous when you launched into space?
19. How do you communicate with loved ones while you are in space?


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Radio Fun: Monitoring ISS Astronaut David Saint-Jacques as he answers student questions

My daughter hold the Kenwood TH-F6 HT while we listen to the ISS contact.

Many thanks to my good buddy Eric (WD8RIF) for reminding me about a scheduled ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) contact between Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, FL, USA.

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques (Source: Canadian Space Agency)

Living in the mountains, I miss a lot of low angle ISS passes due to ridge lines blocking my line of sight. This time, though, the pass was high and mostly to my open south which meant it was one of the longest ARISS contacts I’m monitored.

My daughters drop everything to monitor radio or visual ISS passes–this February 14th pass was no exception.

In fact, I’m sure a lot of their enthusiasm about studying for their ham radio licenses stems from these ARISS events.

Of course, it doesn’t take an amateur radio license to monitor an ISS VHF transmission. I’ve used everything from handheld scanners to handheld ham radio transceivers. Click here to read a post with a short tutorial on monitoring ARISS contacts.

My daughters helped me make short videos of David Saint-Jacques’ replies (of course, we can’t hear the FL school’s transmissions). Below, I’ve matched the school’s questions with his answers:

Question regarding superstitions, traditions and rituals:

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Can you see any constellations while on the ISS and do you have a favorite one?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Have you ever experienced a major malfunction on the ISS?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Does everything in your body work the same in a microgravity environment, for instance, does your heart work harder to pump blood through the body?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Do your ears pop like they would when you fly in a plane?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Are you recognized as an astronaut on the streets?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Are you allowed to request certain things to be delivered by the cargo missions?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“Describe the escape system on the ISS in case of an emergency.”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“How do you shave or cut your hair on the ISS without the hair floating away?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“What experiment are you currently working on and is it going well?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

“What did you feel the first time you saw Earth from the ISS?”

Click here to view on YouTube.

Have you ever monitored an ARISS contact or grabbed one of the SSTV transmissions from the ISS?  Please comment!


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International Space Station SSTV Event Feb 15-17

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Space Station Slow Scan TV Event Feb 15-17

ARISS is planning another of their popular Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment events from the International Space Station on February 15-17

Transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM are scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 15 at 08:45 UT and run through Sunday, Feb. 17 at 17:25 UT.

SSTV operations is a process by which images are sent from the International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio and received by ham operators, shortwave listeners and other radio enthusiasts on Earth, similar to pictures shared on cell phones using Twitter or Instagram.

When this event becomes active, SSTV images will be transmitted from the ISS at the frequency of 145.800 MHz using the SSTV mode of PD120 and can be received using ham radio equipment as simple as a 2 meter handheld radio or a common shortwave or scanner receiver the covers the 2 meter ham band. After connecting the audio output of the radio receiver to the audio input of a computer running free software such as MMSSTV, the SSTV images can be displayed.

Transmissions will consist of eight NASA On The Air (NOTA) images (see https://nasaontheair.
wordpress.com/
). In additional, four ARISS commemorative images will also be included.

Once received, Images can be posted and viewed by the public at
http://www.spaceflight
software.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php

In addition, you can receive a special SSTV ARISS Award for posting your image. Once the event begins, see details at https://ariss.pzk.org.pl/sstv/

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time. Please check for news and the most current information on the ARISS Twitter feed @ARISS_status or the AMSAT Bulletin Board

The SSTV images will be transmitted in PD-120 on 145.800 MHz FM using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver located in the Russian ISS Service module.

Note the ISS transmissions use the 5 kHz deviation FM standard rather than the narrow 2.5 kHz used in Europe. If your transceiver has selectable FM filters try using the wider filter. Handheld transceivers generally have a single wide filter fitted as standard and you should get good results outdoors using just a 1/4 wave whip antenna.

ISS SSTV links for tracking and decoding Apps
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

You can receive the SSTV transmissions by using an Online Radio (WebSDR) and the MMSSTV software:
• Listen to the ISS when it is in range of London with the SUWS WebSDR http://farnham-sdr.com/
• Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR http://websdr.r4uab.ru/

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ARISS / NOTA Slow Scan TV Event, February 8-10

(Source: Southgate ARC)

ARISS is planning another of their popular Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment events. Transmissions are scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 8 at 18:25 UTC and run through Sunday, Feb. 10 at 18:30 UTC.

SSTV operations is a process by which images are sent from the International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio and received by ham operators, shortwave listeners and other radio enthusiasts on Earth, similar to pictures shared on cell phones using twitter or instagram.

When this event becomes active, SSTV images will be transmitted from the ISS at the frequency of 145.80 MHz using the SSTV mode of PD120 and can be received using ham radio equipment as simple as a 2 meter handheld radio or a common shortwave or scanner receiver the covers the 2 meter ham band. After connecting the audio output of the radio receiver to the audio input of a computer running free software such as MMSSTV, the SSTV images can be displayed.

Transmissions will consist of eight NASA On The Air (NOTA) images see 
https://nasaontheair
.wordpress.com/
 ,
In addition, four ARISS commemorative images will also be included.

Once received, Images can be posted and viewed by the public at http://www.spaceflightsoftware
.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php
 .
In addition, you can receive a special SSTV ARISS Award for posting your image. Once the event begins, see details at https://ariss.pzk.org.pl/sstv/ .

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time.

Please check for news and the most current information on the AMSAT.org and ARISS.org websites, the AMSAT-BB@amsat.org, the ARISS facebook at Amateur Radio On The International Space Station (ARISS) and ARISS twitter @ARISS_status.

About ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.

Also join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

ARISS PR
aa4kn@amsat.org

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SSTV Special Event from the International Space Station on Saturday, October 27

(Source: ARRL News)

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has scheduled a slow-scan television (SSTV) event to begin on Saturday, October 27, at about 1000 UTC. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Department will support the event. SCaN manages NASA’s three most important communications networks — The Space Network (SN), Near-Earth Network (NEN), and the Deep Space Network (DSN). Participants in the SSTV event can qualify for a special endorsement for NASA on the Air (NOTA), celebrating the space agency’s 60th anniversary.

As during past ARISS SSTV events, 12 images will be transmitted. Six will feature SCaN educational activities, while the other six images will commemorate  major NASA anniversaries, including the establishment of NASA and the moon landing. Transmissions are expected to take place on 145.800 MHz using PD-120 SSTV mode. Received images can be posted and viewed online. The event is dependent on other ISS activities, schedules, and crew responsibilities, and the schedule is subject to change at any time.

More information be posted to the AMSAT and ARISS websites as well as to the ARISS-BB, to the ARISS Facebook page, and via Twitter (@ARISS_status).

Click here to read the full article at the ARRL News.

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Listening to ARISS contacts last week

I get just as excited as my kids when I receive any communications from the International Space Station. This past week, we fit an ARISS contact fit into our hectic schedule during lunch break. I gave both of my kids a handheld radio and we all listened together as the ISS passed overhead.

Right on schedule, we heard NA1SS, but it sounded like they were struggling to make contact with KD2IFR at the Central Islip Union Free School District in Central Islip, NY.

I made a short video about one minute into the scheduled contact. I believe both parties were forced to move to their backup channel because we never heard an exchange–only NA1SS calling KD2IFR:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Still…we heard an astronaut live, so mission accomplished!

SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, had much better luck last week monitoring an ARISS contact with King’s High School in Warwick, UK. Check out his excellent video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks for posting that video, Mark. By the way, I love your FT-817ND setup!

In fact, the King’s High School ARISS contact snagged some excellent publicity via the BBC.  Here’s an article via the Southgate ARC:

King’s High School ARISS contact on BBC TV

On April 19 student Eleanor Griffin led the live question and answer session between King’s High School (GB4KHS) and astronaut Ricky Arnold KE5DAU on the International Space Station (OR4ISS)

King’s High School strongly encourage their girls to develop their interests both inside and outside the classroom. This culture of empowerment led one of their girls to apply to ARISS Europe (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) for a highly prestigious link-up to the International Space Station.

Nicola Beckford reporting on the contact for the BBC – credit KHS

When Eleanor Griffin was selected to hold a space conversation with an astronaut, she was inspired to set up the Warwick Mars Project, for students across the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, to further interest in Space Science. Eleanor says: “The moon landings belong to the generation of our grandparents, and the International Space Station to our parents. What will happen in our generation? Will Mankind travel to another planet?”

When asked what the incredible experience of the ISS contact had taught her Eleanor replied “Just do it! No one is going to stop you, if you just go and pursue your dreams, you really can do anything.”

Watch the BBC TV news item broadcast on Midlands Today @bbcmtd. Fast forward to 18:45 into the recording at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09z9tw6/midlands-today-evening-news-19042018

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
http://ariss.org/
https://twitter.com/ARISS_status

King’s High School Warwick
https://twitter.com/KHSWarwick

If you missed these ARISS contacts, no worries! Check out the ARISS “Upcoming Contacts” page where future ARISS QSOs are listed. ARISS contacts are a great opportunity to show kids of all ages what you can hear with even a modest radio!

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Listen to an upcoming ARISS contact with your scanner or HT

On April 18, consider setting your scanner or handheld VHF radio to 145.80 MHz around 15:57 UTC; you may be able to hear the downlink from the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact will be between between NA1SS (on the ISS) and KD2IFR at a school in Central Islip, NY.

As long as you’re within the ISS’ signal footprint (which is rather large) you should be able to easily hear NA1SS’ side of the conversation. I’ve listened to the downlink in the past using an Icom ID-51a and the super compact Yaesu VX-3R:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

The frequency of the downlink will be 145.80 MHz. As the ISS climbs above your horizon, because of doppler-shift, listen on 145.805, then move to 145.80 as the ISS approaches zenith and finally move to 145.795 MHz as the ISS drops toward the other horizon. As we’ve mentioned in past posts, you’ll know when to switch frequency when the audio gets bad.

ARISS contacts happen quite frequently–I’m posting this notice because I’ve noted it in my own calendar. Check out the ARISS “Upcoming Contacts” page where future ARISS QSOs are listed. This is a great opportunity to show kids of all ages what you can hear with a modest radio!

Check out a news article about this event via the Southgate ARC:

Upcoming ARISS contact with Central Islip Union Free School District, Central Islip, NY

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Central Islip Union Free School District, Central Islip, NY on 18 April.

The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 15:57 UTC. The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

The contact will be direct between NA1SS and KD2IFR. The contact should be audible over the state of New York and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Welcome to the Central Islip Union Free School District – Home of the Musketeers and a proud Suffolk County, New York school system, where approximately 8,000 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 receive their formal education. Our School District’s motto is Children Our Future ~ Diversity Our Strength. The Central Islip Union Free School District is comprised of eight schools: one district-wide early childhood center, four elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school.

The Hamlet of Central Islip is a vibrant, culturally-diverse community. A suburban community with urban demographics. We are a positive and progressive school district whose teachers are dedicated to helping students achieve their maximum potential and to develop academically and socially. Our district offers an array of afterschool activities including sports, music, theatre arts and much more.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. What are the challenges of spending so many months constantly around the same people?
2. What is the best way to describe the feeling of zero gravity?
3. Have you experienced anything unexpected while in space that could not be explained?
4. Have you experienced any significant changes, either physically or emotionally, since being in space?
5. What type of robots do you use on the ISS and how are they helpful?

6. What is your advice for young people who want to become involved in programs at NASA?
7. What is the biggest challenge about being on a long duration space mission?
8. How does digestion in microgravity compare to digestion on Earth?
9. Have you experienced anything in space that has made you change your perspective on life?
10. Are there any plants aboard the ISS and if so, what’s different about how they meet their daily requirements?

11. What are the long term effects of reduced leg muscle use in long duration space travel?
12. Is your circadian rhythm affected by multiple sunrises and sunsets each 24 hour period, perhaps making it difficult to sleep for long periods of time?
13. Can you describe the types of training that prepared you for this mission?
14. Can you catch a cold on the Space Station?

15. Do the properties of light appear to be different in space?
16. Are there differences in how your body responds to physical exertion while in microgravity?
17. Would it be possible to transmit a mechanical wave on a rope onboard the space station or outside the station?
18. What are the hardest tasks to perform in space that are routine on Earth?
19. Could you blow a bigger than normal gum bubble in space?
20. Are there precautions that you take BEFORE going into space that can help to prevent bone weakness when you return?

PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ARISS UPDATES:

Visit ARISS on Facebook. We can be found at Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).
To receive our Twitter updates, follow @ARISS_status

Next planned event(s):
1. King’s High School, Warwick, UK, direct via GB4KHS
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Ricky Arnold KE5DAU
Contact is a go for: Thu 2018-04-19 12:05 UTC

2. Russian school TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RS?ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Alexander Skvortsov
Contact is a go for Tue 2018-04-24 11:05 UTC

3. Russian school TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RS?ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Alexander Skvortsov
Contact is a go for 2018-04-25 08:35 UTC

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio.

For more information, see www.ariss.orgwww.amsat.org, and www.arrl.org.

Thank you & 73,

David – AA4KN

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