[amsat-dc] Contribute to boost ham radio in space

Pat Kilroy Patrick.L.Kilroy at nasa.gov
Mon May 14 08:55:18 PDT 2007

Would any of us like to donate?  FYI, donation example,
50 euros = $67.70 (USD) based on the current exchange
rate of about 1.36.  See below.  -Pat N8PK

The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 18
May 4, 2007


The ARRL Foundation has granted an additional $2000 toward the cost of
constructing and installing Amateur Radio antennas and equipment on the
International Space Station's Columbus module, set to launch later this
year.  The ARRL Foundation earlier contributed $5000 to the project.

Columbus will house an additional Amateur Radio station, including the first
digital Amateur Radio TV (DATV) station in space as well as a ham radio
transponder.  Funding to finish and install ham radio antennas on the
European Space Agency (ESA)-built laboratory module has been uncertain,

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Vice Chairman
Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, says donations from various sources covered a payment
of 9000 Euros -- approximately $12,000 -- in March.  A second payment is due
this fall.  Bertels says the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee also donated
2000 Euro to the project.

The antennas have been manufactured and will be tested for acceptance at the
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) before delivery to
Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, where a silicon dioxide coating
will be applied before the antennas are installed on the Columbus module,
Bertels explained.

"Their development and manufacturing cost is now nearly covered, but not yet
the cost of certification tests," Bertels told ARRL.

Other donations have come from AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK, among other
organizations, as well as from many individual donors.

The yet-to-be-built Columbus Amateur Radio gear will make it possible for
ARISS to establish wideband and video operations for the first time and
allow continuous transponder operation.

AMSAT-Belgium has set up a bank account to receive additional donations for
the Columbus project. Details are on the ARISS-EU Columbus Web page
<http://www.ariss-eu.org/columbus.htm>. Click the "Donate" button in the
left column.


Amateur Radio Station on Columbus

Currency Conversion


dated March 30, 2007


Thank for the email.  Antenna manufacturing goes well and we maintain high
quality of all manufacturing processes.

Answers to you questions:

 > 1) When will the antennas be at Goddard to be coated?  I 
understand that the
 > date might not yet be known given the fabrication issues, but an 
estimate is
 > fine at this point.

The ESA time plan is for shipment antennas on 7th May to Goddard.  We will
deliver them to ESA soon after Easter (what is only slightly late than in
timeplan: Easter).  As we have four antennas made, tests can be run in
parallel: ESTEC can run thermal-vacuum tests with three antennas and one
antenna can be used for other tests, e.g. vibration tests.

 > 2) Will you or someone else be hand-carrying the antennas here, or will you
 > be shipping them to the US?

We consider it, as it will speed up delivery and it is always helpful to
have antenna designer at hand during high-impact technological processes on
the final product.  The point is to keep excellent electrical contacts in the
cable assembly and to keep a proper operation of three sliding foot.

 > 3) How many units will need to be coated?

Three antennas.  I think, that three antennas which will pass thermal-vacuum
tests and vibration (lower levels) in ESTEC can be shipped immediately for
coating, whereas the fourth one will be avaialble some time during May,
depending on the completness of vibration tests.

With Kind Regards,


Associate Professor
Institute of Telecommunications, Teleinformatics and Acoustics
Wroclaw University of Technology
Wybrzeze Wyspianskiego 27
50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
tel: +48-71-320-31-91
fax: +48-71-320-25-30 or 31-89
Pawel.Kabacik at pwr.wroc.pl

Patrick L. Kilroy                                             WK
Integration & Test (I&T)            301-286-1984 Voice
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center    301-286-1673 Fax
Building 5, Mail Code 568           Patrick.L.Kilroy at nasa.gov
Greenbelt, Maryland  20771          http://lro.gsfc.nasa.gov/

     "Not everything that can be counted counts,
         and not everything that counts can be counted."
                         -Albert Einstein

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