Interpreter Olga Porter
Maurice André Vigneault
Francesco De Paolis
ARISS I Agenda:
Roll Call was completed by Rosalie White, K1STO.
Moment of Silence -- Ken Pulfer, VE3PU, Silent Key
ARISS team members who have been with ARISS from the beginning and up until recent years, knew Ken Pulfer, VE3PU. He was one of the first two ARISS Canadian Delegates and served in this capacity for years, assisted with a number of items for ARISS including regulatory issues in regard to the communication services, talked up ARISS with crew members who were Canadian, networked with CSA, and just in the past year, advised Frank and Rosalie on ARISS matters dealing with IARU and ITU. The team will miss Ken.
1. Operations/Hardware Status Update—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
There is no news to report since our last meeting. The team continues to use the Ericsson in the Columbus module. With its lower power output, this radio has its good points and its challenging points with the occasional drop in signal, plus we have a noise issue. These things are being studied. ARISS teams need to be more vigilant in ensuring ground station capabilities are up to ARISS specifications.
We have no update on the radio in the Service Module. The scheduled telecon this past week with Sergey was not held due to unknown problems in the phone connection for him.
2. Draft Response to ITU Member States; update—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Little has happened since last month’s telecon meeting. Emmanuele is still recovering from hjs illness but hopes to finalize the notification in the near future.
3. Update on Ham TV—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Gaston reported that it has been confirmed that the Ham Video box and transmitter will be manifested on HTV-4, launching in early August 2013. It is hoped the commissioning can be done a few weeks later. Crew member Michael Hopkins will receive training on how to install the equipment. A parabola dish will be used at ESA and at a ground station to receive the signals. ESTEC in the Netherlands will test the streaming video with a ground station. Two university professors are working on the necessary software and hardware that the S-band dedicated ground stations will need. When testing of the ground stations commences in the future, it is hoped that the team can use the BATS (British Amateur TV System) server.
Lou is drafting the CW S-band beacon specifications. The beacon should be helpful to ground stations in tracking the S-band ARISS signals. It is hoped the beacon will have a transponder that is on L-band (up) and S-band (down). The team is studying the L-band frequencies for what would not interfere with other European and US communications services. A dish of a size that is at least 1-meter or 2-meters in diameter should be sufficient for 4 minutes of solid S-band copy.
4. ARISS Project Selection & Use Committee: S-Band beacon project—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank and Gaston and Lou have reminded the team that all new projects, including the new S-Band beacon project, must be considered for feasibility by ARISS; this is based on steps the ARISS Delegates approved years ago. The first step is that a proposal about the project must be submitted to the ARISS Project Selection & Use Committee (PS&U). The committee then studies the proposal based on a checklist that was developed. The committee shares its findings — plus either recommending or not recommending that we move forward with the proposal —with all ARISS Delegates for final delegate action. The checklist includes many things such as equipment capabilities, specifications, cost, who will pay for the costs, frequency coordination plans, educational benefits, and so on.
For the S-Band beacon project, the proposal must include what group(s) other than NASA (because of NASA budget tightening) will cover the cost of upmass, crew training, certification, and other cost items. Gaston will work with ESA on this.
The PS&U Committee has one committee member from each ARISS Region. The committee has had no proposals to study in a few years. Mark Steiner will coordinate the S-Band beacon activities planned for the PS&U, and he wants to set up a meeting soon for this committee. ACTION ITEM-- Delegates from each ARISS Region should contact Frank and Mark in regard to who will represent each region on the PS&U committee at this time: Delegates, please send this information to them by April 30, 2013!
5. Status Update--ARISS web site upgrade—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Debra Johnson at ARRL is teaming with an ARRL staff member who has begun work on updating our web site hosted by the Canadian IARU society, RAC. During our March ARISS-International telecon, delegates from each ARISS Region were asked to name a person who would review the initial web design, review proposed web content to ensure the particular ARISS Region’s interests are met, and to review currently posted material to state whether it is to be transferred to the new web pages. As of April 16, Frank had received no responses from ARISS Delegates. ACTION ITEM-- Delegates from each ARISS Region should contact Frank in regard to who will represent their region as the web site representative: Delegates, please send this information to him by April 30, 2013!
6. Update on issues regarding travel for 2013—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The USA is still under a federal sequester, which puts a cap on budgets and spending for 2013 for all federal agencies, including NASA. The NASA Education Office saw a big reduction in its overall budget. NASA’s administrator prepared a memo about this, stating that there would be a significant reduction in travel money. Because of this the ARISS team has postponed discussions about face-to-face meeting. The first possibility for a meeting to take place would be the end of September 2013, when NASA’s fiscal year 2013 ends. But our team needs at least 5 months to plan a meeting. A major topic to discuss at meetings is improving all of our charters – and this discussion requires NASA travel by Trinesha Dixon and/or other NASA people. So the ARISS Team will begin some of these discussions via phone, ahead of when it may be possible to meet in person.
7. New Business
Trinesha announced that a NASA intern is working on upgrading the system we use to predict orbital passes. The new method uses both Windows XP and 7 operating systems. For many years, Gil Carman has done our pass predictions using custom software programs, but he is the only person who knows how to do this, and the ARISS team is trying to have no single-point-of-failure issues – thus the new method for predictions.
Frank reported that there has been another NASA memo about having to eliminate expenditures on certain educational outreach activities. The memo was from the Administrator of NASA Education who cited some programs of significant benefit to education that would be allowed to continue to function, even with the federal sequester. ARISS was one of those programs listed! That is very good news and is a testament to the ARISS team’s outstanding work to promote in-depth educational outcomes through Amateur Radio on ISS.
1. New Business
Our next meeting will be 21 May 2013.
Rosalie White, K1STO