2015 October 20, 1100 UTC (Note: next month--time changes to 1200 UTC)
Interpreter: Olga Moncuquet
Unable to attend:
Francesco De Paolis
Rosalie White called the roll to begin the meeting.
The team welcomed Jean-Pierre Courjaud, F6DZP. Frank Bauer said we are pleased to have him participating with the team even more than previously. We appreciate his leadership as part of the ARISS-I team.
1. Update, Kaiser-Italia Proposal—Emanuele D’Andria, I0ELE
Emanuele D’Andria announced that there will be a teleconference meeting on October 28th to discuss in depth the proposal that Kaiser-Italia wrote. The proposal has two parts.
Part one is for a slide show module to be used when the Canon camera is not available, and this part of the proposal is based on the AMSAT-NA slide show developed by Lou McFadin and Art Towslee. See Figure 1 in the Kaiser-Italia proposal that was sent to everyone.
Part two of the proposal is the S-Band beacon, which would provide a pilot signal to allow amateur radio operators to more closely point their Ham-TV antenna systems. See Figure 2 in the proposal. The beacon can become a full L-S band transponder if an L-band receiver is added.
Everyone who is interested in this proposal should take part in the teleconference meeting. Please read the proposal that was sent to all prior to the teleconference.
2. Initial Ideas on Strategic Planning and the ARISS-I Sustainability & Funding Committee–Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Many activities related to sustainability and funding have taken place since the big discussion about this at our meeting in Japan. First, the US team networked with the YASME Foundation, which has selected ARISS for a $5,000 donation to support the new interoperable radio proposal that is being studied.
We have now heard about Kaiser-Italia and ESA possibly supporting a proposal that is being studied.
Interest is high in the ARISS Challenge Coin. Frank reported that after publicizing the coin and up until early October, the US team received $2,000 in coin donations. At the recent AMSAT Symposium, many more $100 donations were obtained plus a $300 donation specifically designated for hardware purchases.
The US team is working with CASIS on funding for the high expenses needed for ARISS operations.
Frank said the first ARISS-I Sustainability & Funding Committee meeting will be held in the next month or so. At the moment, Frank is focused on grant proposals that have due dates around November 1.
Emanuele D’Andria asked, how can we move forward with projects such as the Kaiser-Italia proposal when we have not raised all of the money?
Frank said we take the first few steps, such as build prototypes or basic parts, plan the follow-on, do documentation, and set up meetings to talk to organizations, corporations, or individuals who might support us.
For all systems developed for ARISS, we must receive donations or in-kind pledges to provide at least seven sets of hardware, which encompasses the flight systems (and backups), the training hardware and the engineering test hardware. We have to get money or in-kind support for the purchase or procurement of the seven mission sets, for the development costs, for the expensive human spaceflight certification, for documentation production, for commissioning of the flight unit onboard, and so on. ARISS must raise that money or find in-kind support. Mark Steiner said this means we need to look at every part of a project proposal to find if there is something that will not be helpful to ARISS, and delete that part of the plan so there is no cost for something we do not need.
The project lifecycle starts with concept design and progresses through detailed design, hardware development, testing, safety certification completion, launch, and operations. For each of these phases of the project lifecycle, the project is studied by the ARISS-I Technical Evaluation & Support Committee, including whether we are likely to get funding. The committee recommends (or doesn’t recommend) the project to Delegates, who must approve it before the project moves forward to the next phase of the project lifecycle. Mark reiterated that part of the work of the ARISS-I Technical Evaluation & Support Committee and the Delegates is to determine if it is reasonable to expect that all needed funding and in-kind support can be found.
We will have to work as an international team since some parts may be purchased by one organization, other parts may be donated by another group, and some work such as testing might come from a particular space agency, and so on.
Graham Shirville asked if we are paying some amount each year to have ARISS onboard the ISS. We are not paying an annual amount to have ARISS in operation or to have our equipment there, although NASA keeps a watch on crew time. However, the US team networked with NASA to get funding to pay for Kenneth Ransom’s work time. We will need to garner funding for Kenneth’s task in the future.
Frank had to step away from the meeting for a while, and Oliver Amend took the chair.
3. New Name, ARISS-International Technical Evaluation & Support Committee—Mark Steiner, K3MS
The ARISS-International Project Selection & Use Committee has existed for a number of years and its job was to evaluate proposals for going forward. But the committee was also needed to provide ongoing support to our projects. We had an ARISS-I Technical Committee that provided advice, too, but it was not clear when one committee picked up and the other dropped off. At our Tokyo meeting, we dissolved both committees and voted to have just one committee since the people on the two former committees were the same. Mark explained that since the committee evaluates proposals, looks at project budgets, and provides continuing support, it was decided to name the new committee the ARISS-International Technical Evaluation & Support (TES) Committee.
4. TOR, ARISS-I Technical Evaluation & Support Committee—Mark Steiner, K3MS
Emanuele D’Andria, Oliver Amend, Lou McFadin, and Mark Steiner worked on Terms of Reference (TOR) for the new ARISS-International Technical Evaluation and Support (ARISS-I TES) Committee, per our August meeting. Two documents were emailed on October 6 to Delegates, the current draft (Revision 4) of the TOR, and proposal guidelines that are referenced in the TOR.
Last week Stefan Wagener suggested some changes to both documents, such as a list of things helpful to proposal writers when citing the expected costs of a project. Mark wasn’t able to review Stefan’s comments due to personal obligations and Lou did not get Stefan’s comments. Lou said we have to be cautious not to require a great deal of in-depth details in a proposal, because that can discourage people from submitting proposals. Mark said we could add some wording to the submission guidelines that explains steps that clarify the life cycle of a project.
Mark and the committee will review Stefan’s suggestions and then give Delegates a new TOR to review. Before our next meeting, we may be able to have Delegates vote on the TOR by email.
5. ARISS Awards Committee–Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The team in Poland has been very successful in providing awards for SSTV events, but the work has been done on an ad hoc basis. Frank asked Delegates to consider whether we should have an official ARISS awards committee to work on this regularly and in an organizational manner. Frank recognizes that this will be more work for our team, but feels the rewards for ARISS would be worth it.
6. Update, Tim Peake Mission—Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD
Ciaran Morgan reported that the company, QinetiQ, is willing to help get AstroPi certified for ARISS use as a slide show module. He has submitted to ARISS a report on questions the ARISS team collected in Tokyo on whether to move forward with the AstroPi project. Ciaran’s report follows.
Since the meeting in Japan, Ciaran has managed to secure the assistance of the chief engineer (Matthew Cosby) for QinetiQ Space Communications. He is interfacing with ESA at an engineering/managerial level on all aspects of making the AstroPi available. All the AstroPi documentation now resides with ESA and a complete reference to the documents is being compiled. There is verbal understanding that the information can be shared with NASA/ARISS but documentation will ensure this.
The biggest stumbling block is the manufacture of the cable for connecting AstroPi to HAMVideo. At present this cable uses connectors that are not flight qualified. Matt Cosby is working with people at ESA to accelerate a plan to get the connectors certified. Ciaran has been advised that he can request a mission extension from the UK Space Agency. If they agree, QinetiQ will carry out the necessary development and testing of the cable so as not to interfere with the UKSA mission objectives. QinetiQ and Ciaran will meet the UKSA team in the coming fortnight to formally propose this extension, which will be a key enabler for an early on-orbit validation of the slide show prototype software.
The necessary power connections needed for the AstroPi unit have already been identified by the AstroPi team with ESA. Power for the AstroPi will be provided via a standard USB adaptor to the AC inverter. The wiring/cable routing for this has been identified by ESA.
The system block diagram is in development.
Kenneth has helpfully identified a potential route and a number of potential solutions by which a formal request to uplink/downlink files can be satisfied. This is through the POIWG; the Raspberry Pi Foundation is fully supportive and Ciaran continues to keep them informed.
In Japan, Ciaran spoke with Sergey who offered to try to help if Ciaran sent an email with a clear statement of requirements for upmassing the necessary cable and micro SD card. Ciaran has sent the email but has not heard back. This will also form part of the discussion with the UKSA in the coming weeks.
QinetiQ has offered to take care of developing and agreeing on the safety case. They were responsible for the safety case of the AstroPi unit itself. Ciaran accepted their offer.
A number of issues the ARISS team encountered when developing the slide show capability have been discussed at weekly HTT teleconferences. With the expectation of the microSD card corruption, most, if not all, of the issues have been or can be worked around. The corruption issue is not so simple. AstroPi people have accepted the risk of microSD card corruption and will fly ten cards to cater to this eventuality. The most suitable answer appears to rely on a mixture of SD cards and USB memory devices with the operating system/data/pictures, etc. held on different partitions of the AstroPi file system.
Many topics have been discussed with the Raspberry Pi Foundation about network certification and connection of Raspberry Pi on-orbit. Due to launch deadlines, it was agreed to defer the detailed discussions until after launch but Ciaran will continue to explore routes with ESA and NASA where possible.
ESA has notified QinetiQ that if the AstroPi mission extension is approved, access will be required to the HAMVideo unit on orbit, which is under the guardianship of ARISS. QinetiQ has offered to help draft any necessary flight operations procedures for approval by the appropriate parties.
7. Status, Interoperable Radio System—Mark Steiner, K3MS
Mark said the team continues to work on the design for the following parts of the system:
D710G- work continues on details of configuration and needed modifications to the hardware. A Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) will be held December 15 - 16, 2015 in Houston, Texas. At this point ARISS participants are Mark Steiner, Kenneth Ransom, Frank Bauer, Lou McFadin, Dave Taylor, and Bob Bruninga. Participants representing JVC Kenwood are Shin Aota and Phil Parton.
LVPS- work continues.
Concept for potential audio interface that would allow for experimentation- work continues.
8. Status, Art Towslee Slide Show—Mark Steiner, K3MS
The Art Towslee Slide Show proposal is part of a larger design effort that includes Ciaran’s efforts to provide AstroPI hardware, plus the potential Kaiser-Italia proposal. Lou reported that the hardware for the slide show module is operating in a prototype mode. Further development of it will depend on the outcome of the review of the Kaiser-Italia proposal.
Software development is ongoing. The entire system on the ISS must be evaluated as an integrated system onboard.
9. Earlier Years’ Meeting Minutes—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Minutes from older years’ ARISS meetings can be found on the AMSAT web site, or they can be accessed by going to the ARISS.org web site and clicking on a link for the AMSAT site. This is not an ideal way to get access, so in the near future the minutes will be directly available on the ARISS site.
10. ARISS and JOTA–Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO
Kenneth communicated our message asking Kjell Lindgren about whether he could be on the air for JOTA operations over the past weekend (October 16 - 18). Kenneth didn’t hear back and there was no activity from the ISS.
The US Team is drafting a short list of major events and their dates in 2016 that we would give to NASA as our wish list for astronaut support. JOTA would be one of those events, and would be on the list that will be drafted each year.
Bertus Husken reported the success of the Scouters’ attempts for Earth-Moom-Earth contacts at JOTA.
Our next meeting will be on November 17, 2015 at 1200 UTC. Important: note the time change!
Rosalie White, K1STO
October 23, 2015