[amsat-bb] Re: ISS and VHF data communications

Luc Leblanc lucleblanc6 at videotron.ca
Mon Sep 14 02:28:16 PDT 2009

On 14 Sep 2009 at 0:16, Rocky Jones wrote:

Date sent:      	Mon, 14 Sep 2009 00:16:20 -0500
From:           	Rocky Jones <orbitjet at hotmail.com>
Subject:        	[amsat-bb]  ISS and VHF data communications
To:             	Amsat BB <amsat-bb at amsat.org>

> http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Ship_Tracking_From_The_ISS_999.html
> Robert WB5MZO

This part is intriguing


"NORAIS is bound for Columbus, the European space laboratory on the International Space Station. 
This winter a specially constructed antennae will be brought to the ISS and fitted on the outside of Columbus.
>From then on, the testing of NORAIS will start."

As the VHF and UHF antenna where not installed on the columbus module even after asking for money  "ARISS-Europe renews the call for 
donations to the IARU and AMSAT societies as well as to their members individually.A financial account has been opened by AMSAT Belgium. 
Donators within the European Union will not have to pay any additional banking costs (beyond the costs of a national money transfer) if 
they use the following international banking number (IBAN) and mention the international identification code (BIC)"

See: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/03/21/100/?nc=1

I was under the impression that my contribution will give us another opportunity to have a new space transponder but what i was able to get 
is a bit frustrating There will not have any VHF/UHF capabilities but (Qoute-1) "the intention is to build a wideband transponder, L-band 
uplink, S-band downlink. Moreover, digital ATV is also thought of. Anyway, among many other aspects, equipment volume, weight, power 
consumption and heat budget are to be discussed with ESA and EADS". When i donate to help funding the project i was under the impression my 
money will at least give another easy available amateur transponder but it seems we will ended up with an nearly exclusive ARISS 
transponder as the actual cross band repeater and the supposed always activated SSTV system are never activated.

Sorry for the donators but you will not be able to use your U/V system on the columbus amateur radio station. What it is even more curious 
is we are literally flooded with ARISS contact news and pretty soon with ARISSAT as the ARISS actual goals seems to be directed towards the 
suit-sat II replacement. But what about this remaining columbus L/S transponder? did anyone got any news about the activation of the 
radio/transponder? what i was able to get is dated back in 2007. The funding never reach the intended target money wise nor project wise 
too. I just hope someone in ARISS or in the AMSAT'S will be able to come up with some fresh news? My greatest fear is this NORAIS will 
replace the amateur radio project and they will vever use the actual L/S amateur patch antenna! I just hope someone will tell me that i'm 
wrong here. BUT if you read below an excerpt from the ARISS June 2009 it's not helping me dissipating my fears (Quote-2)

"VHF-UHF antennas
Mark Severance N5XWF gave an AIS presentation on the co-usage by ESA and ARISS of VHF antennas for AIS (Automatic Identification System), 
the tracking system for ships.   STS-129 should be the shuttle mission associated with the space walk that will take place for the 
attachment of the antennas we will co-use.  NASA will be responsible for cost of the spacewalk. ESA will be responsible for the cost of the 
installation, for the cost of the clamp to install the antennas, and the cost for the integration of the clamp."

"Onboard equipment
At this annual meeting, we will discuss which radios to install in the Columbus module. The VHF Ericsson radio is on board in the Russian 
segment. The UHF one, that has never been used, is in the JEM. We have one of the Kenwood D-700s, also. 
We will get a great deal of help from NASA and ESA for the work on the safety certification and the cost of this, the cost for upmass, and 
the expense for an operating location in the Columbus module."

Just for the record STS-129 launch is planned for November 12 2009 and we are on the 14 of September!!!

What it is the most disturbing is this section of the May 19 ARISS tele conference meeting  (Quote-3) "Low upmass plans are more highly 
favored, so re-use of existing on-orbit hardware will be a more favored approach. Finally, there will be technical discussions on the AIS 
and ARISS antennas and their installation on the outside of the Columbus module. The results of these discussions would be briefed to the 
ARISS-I team during the joint ARWG/ARISS-I meeting on Wednesday morning. "

Not a single word on the L/S system or is the money donated will be use to fund a joint venture with a non amateur radio system?

On the July teleconference we can read (quote-4) "At the meeting the most important topic was how we work with the space agencies education 
office and installation of equipment on Columbus," All discussion where conducted behind close door?

I just hope someone in the ARISS organization will be able to get my questioning and that he can give a long overdue update on the Columbus 
amateur radio station project

On this 2008 presentation they are telling there is NOW a possibility to have a VHF/UHF whip? 

And digital ATV to improve the future ARISS session but where the equipment will be available to decoded amateur DATV signal when doppler 
correction will also be mandatory on this type of equipment? It is widely out of reach for an amateur stand point and we are heading 
towards a near commercial type of system more than an amateur one.

We are facing a lot of outdated informations and very few fresh updated ones. A suggestion could be adding some fresh project news to the 
regular ARISS contact news list will help us to sort out a bit the mess.


2-http://www.rac.ca/ariss/ARISS-I 2009 Annual Mtg final edit minutes.doc



Luc Leblanc VE2DWE
Skype VE2DWE


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