I think you all can agree that this has been a stellar and an historic week for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station!
Speaking on behalf of the ARISS international team of volunteers and the AMSAT community, we really appreciate the overwhelming flood of positive comments that we have received from the ham radio community and the general public regarding the ham radio operations on ISS this past week. Collectively, we have all made history….starting with Richard, W5KWQ and his father Owen, W5LFL and continuing with all of you that participated and/or volunteered in his ISS journey. And along the way, we have sparked the imaginations of thousands of students. Got more interest in satellite operations. And, I understand, excited some youths to the point where they are now licensed.
Richard Garriott, W5KWQ has been extremely prolific on the ARISS ham radio system, making hundreds of voice contacts, operating the packet system during the crew sleep times and transmitting hundreds of SSTV images throughout the day. He put the newest ARISS hardware, the Kenwood VC-H1 to good use, performing the vast majority of contacts with this hardware system coupled with the Kenwood D700 Transceiver. The remaining SSTV downlinks were performed with the software-based SSTV system---using either the SpaceCam software or MMSSTV software that are on-board ISS. Given the limited availability of ISS computer systems, the ARISS team will continue to utilize the VC-H1 well after Richard's flight. So don't be surprised if you see some VC-H1 SSTV operations from Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, during his stay as the commander of Expedition 18.
The team apologizes for the temporary shut-down of the ARISS SSTV server. We have been a victim of our own success in that the site has been overwhelmed by the popularity of Richard's SSTV images. We hope to get the system operational very soon. This may take a URL change, so please check the listservs and the ARISS SSTV blog http://www.ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/ for updated information. http://www.ariss.org will also carry updates.
ARISS Development and Operations
As a reminder to all, the ARISS team is an international volunteer working group that is sponsored by three major entities in each ISS region---the National Amateur Radio Society, the International AMSAT organization and the National Space Agency. The 5 regions that comprise the ISS development are Canada, Europe Japan, Russia, and the USA. In the USA, the two ham radio sponsors are the ARRL and AMSAT-NA. NASA is the USA space agency sponsor.
Over 12 years ago, the formulation of the ARISS working group was a specific request from NASA. They wanted the amateur radio community to internationally consolidate into one team all the development and operations of the ISS Ham radio system. This specific request from NASA, and ultimately the other space agencies, was to provide a single focus of ham radio on ISS within the amateur radio community and within the space agencies. As a result, the 5 international delegations that make up ARISS tightly coordinate the day-to-day mission operations as well as the strategic hardware development planning and implementation. The success of this past week would not have been realized without this tight coordination, particularly between our Russian colleagues, led by Sergey Samburov, RV3DR and our international operations team, led by Will Marchant, KC6ROL.
Individuals are always welcome to volunteer their support to ARISS through their regional delegation. Please see the ARISS web site http://www.ariss.org for more information on your regional delegates.
We have received some reports of individuals providing advice to the ISS on-orbit crew or making specifc requests to the ISS crew to change or modify the ARISS hardware, on-board software or ham radio operations. The ARISS team would like to remind the amateur community that we all have a duty to the international space agencies to coordinate ISS ham radio operations through ARISS. Our advice to you is that if you have a specific request or idea, that you forward it to one of the ARISS international delegates or ARISS team leaders. These individuals are identified on the ARISS web site http://www.ariss.org. Also, please remember that there are a *lot* of hams that would like to get their QSO with the ISS (including me!) So please use courtesy and keep your contact short. And once you have made a contact, please do not go for a repeat…despite the intense temptation to do so. I think you all know that this is an "open" hobby. So all are listening in, observing and remembering your operating habits.
On behalf of the ARISS team, I thank you all for your interest in Ham Radio on ISS. Enjoy the contacts! And remember the ARISS teams and organizations that have made the ham radio system on ISS such a tremendous success. This includes the national amateur radio societies and international AMSAT organizations. As well as the international space agencies and the ISS on-board crew members.
73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
ARISS International Chairman