Home Technology Unique Ham Radio Onboard The ISS Is On The Air

Unique Ham Radio Onboard The ISS Is On The Air

The Beginner Radio on the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint (ARISS) team has launched the modern ham radio FM repeater is now full of life aboard the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint (ISS) as of September 2, 2020 at 1: 02 GMT.

Ham radio and the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint

Ham Radio operators delight in loved making contact with the ISS for a couple of years. The holy grail has continuously been speaking to ISS astronauts on FM simplex (145.800) — however those would perchance even be rare likelihood encounters. Ham radio operators delight in also loved gradual-scan tv (SSTV) broadcasts and APRS packet radio by technique of the ISS digipeater. Now we catch to work the world’s most costly FM repeater attributable to the modern InterOperable Radio System (IORS) put in on the ISS.

The InterOperable Radio System (IORS) replaces an ancient Ericsson radio machine and packet module that had been licensed for spaceflight over twenty years within the past. The 5 watt HT that used to be aboard the ISS used to be getting aged out after decades of spend. The Ericsson radio looks love one thing from a 1990s episode of Police officers.

5-watt Ericcson radio aboard the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint that has now been replaced by the modern InterOperable Radio System (IORS) radio machine.

The modern IORS used to be launched from Kennedy Blueprint Center on March 6, 2020 onboard the SpaceX CRS-20 resupply mission. It contains a personalised rental-modified Kenwood D710GA transceiver and an ARISS-developed multi-voltage vitality provide. The gear used to be put in by NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (KF5KDR).

Unique Kenwood D710G ‘Blueprint Flight Edition’

The radio now being ancient is a Kenwood D710G and used to be engineered particularly for rental flight. JVCKENWOOD USA and the ARISS worked closely to switch the D710G. The upgrades had been performed by JVCKENWOOD and include: 

  • Output vitality is hardware restricted to 25 watts for the protection of the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint
  • Customized firmware and menus tailor-made for operation onboard the ISS.
  • Elevated output/excessive-reliability fan to enable continuous repeater operation.

Continuous fan operation is a primary characteristic in rental for the reliability of the radio. There isn’t any convection in microgravity, so all warmth-producing parts must be cooled by transferring air or conduction. If the radio burns up, there isn’t a Ham Radio Outlet down the avenue to clutch parts.

Ham radio antennas on the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint

The ISS aspects four various vertical antennas on the spacecraft. The clarification for four antennas is redundancy in case of an antenna failure. They are made of versatile metal tape which might perchance perchance be coated in Kapton, a polyimide film that might perchance perchance withstand coarse temperatures. The antennas are designed to withstand kick deal of 125 lbs.

Three of the four antennas are a similar and measure 0.5-meter (1.5 foot) in size and each and each can red meat up both transmit and salvage operations on 2 meters, 70 cm, L-band, and S-band. The fourth antenna has a 2.5-meter (8 foot) long vertical whip that would perchance even be ancient to red meat up Excessive Frequency (HF) operations, in particular on 10 meters. Then all yet again, no HF radio is at the present aboard the rental space. 

Antenna mounts for the VHF/UHF antennas on the ISS.
Three antennas on the  Russian Zvezda Service Module.
Three antennas on the  Russian Zvezda Service Module.
ARISS patch antennas on the European Space Agency Columbus module
ARISS patch antennas on the European Blueprint Agency Columbus module

Challenges of ham radio in rental

One in all the predominant challenges with installing ham radio gear on the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint is vitality. The Muliti-Voltage Energy Provide (MVPS) that powers the radio has to operate from both 120VDC or 28VDC and meet both NASA and Russian requirements, that are various. NASA also has stringent and detailed safety and engineering requirements.

ISS Multi-Volt Power Supply
Multi-Volt Energy Provide that will vitality the Kenwood D710 aboard the ISS

The ARISS had to meet strict vitality quality and Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility specifications and boundaries. Even things love fan sound degree, temperature upward thrust, exclaim LED colors, particular connectors, and non-flammable wiring. Even air filtering used to be a enormous consideration as mud and lint are an genuine direct onboard the ISS. 

ARISS and getting ham radio aboard the ISS

At the same time as you’ve made contact with the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint in anyway by technique of ham radio you are going to need the Beginner Radio on the Worldwide Blueprint Blueprint (ARISS) to thank. The group used to be created and is managed by a world working group, including several countries in Europe as successfully as Japan, Russia, Canada, and the US of The US.

The organization is flee by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the worldwide AMSAT (Radio Beginner Satellite tv for pc Company) organizations from each and each country. Since ARISS is worldwide in scope, the team coordinates within the neighborhood with their respective rental company  and as a world team by ARISS working group meetings, teleconferences and webinars.

As you are going to imagine, the coordination between countries, rental businesses, ham radio manufacturers and the ham group at-great is a time-intensive course of — and it’s all volunteer. I race you to salvage into consideration donating to the ARISS.

Making an attempt the modern ISS FM repeater

I couldn’t wait to try the modern FM repeater myself. All the map by a novel race I attempted to compose contact with my buddy Dan, KB0TDW, in Council Bluffs, IA.

ISS FM repeater details

Downlink: 437.800 +/- doppler

Uplink: 145.990 (67hz PL Tone)

Learn More

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