Tuesday, 17 December 2013 -- 12:15 UTC
Francesco De Paolis
Not able to attend:
Maurice André Vigneault
ARISS I Agenda:
Roll Call — Rosalie White, K1STO
1. Operations/Hardware Status Update—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
An ARISS radio contact scheduled with an Italian school was postponed recently because of crew members being occupied with work on the ISS cooling system (nitrogen pump). Kenneth reported that EVAs will be scheduled for work to be done on the ISS cooling system. These EVAs may affect our upcoming contacts scheduled for schools in Japan and the Netherlands. Frank said we can expect to hear in the next 24 hours about decisions on dates and times for the EVAs.
Our radio hardware in the Columbus module is working, and Sergey has run a test of the radio station in the Service Module during an orbit over the western US. West Coast stations in the US worked with Sergey, and it was found that the equipment is operational, but the PM modes may not be programmed correctly. We await more data from Sergey’s tests.
2. Update on CW-Beacon—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Gaston asked Lou to talk about recent developments with the beacon project. Lou stated that the L-band receiver component prototype has been built by the US and the UK; there is no report yet on how well it works.
Lou said we are waiting to meet with Kaiser-Italia in order to develop a proposal about the beacon that would be submitted to ESA for approval. The proposal will include the S-band transmitter, L-band receiver, and a power supply that would function with D-700-series radios, and such a system can allow the ARISS team to offer good educational capabilities beyond having only a beacon. Gaston stated that the system would be a major component on the Columbus module.
3. Update for Ham TV—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF Kenneth Ransom
Work continues on setting up flight rules for ham radio operations frequencies due to our request for making transmissions without the camera being turned on, for purposes of testing by ground stations. Our team’s comments went to ESA first, then to NASA, then back to ESA. Flight rules must be incorporated into ESA’s planning calendar. We hope to receive a test date in January.
The team hopes that commissioning can be in January or February. Weekly telecons are held with B.USOC (ESA). Gil proposes workable passes for Matera, Italy, after taking into account many technical parameters. Gaston gives the list to the team and to the people at Matera, the list is submitted to B.USOC (ESA), and then the potential dates go to ESA planners to review.
For the commissioning of Ham Video, Gaston said the last session of the series of downlink tests may include a test of combined Ham Video and VHF operations. Francesco noted that the one station set up for Ham Video in south Italy is also interested in being an additional telebridge station for voice contacts.
4. Updates on 2014 ARISS-International Meeting—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank said we are considering two time periods in April for holding our meeting at ESA ESTEC in the Netherlands. The two options have been submitted to ESA ESTEC.
If we meet on a Saturday, there are logistical problems with gaining access to buildings not open on the weekend. So it is likely that we will switch from past years when our meeting days were Friday and Saturday, and choose to meet on Thursday and Friday.
We hope to have meeting dates solidified in very early 2014. Gaston said he will contact ESTEC again to try to learn their decision on dates to be selected.
Rosalie reminded everyone to submit any strategic topics that should be discussed. This needs to be done now. We need it immediately so that we can determine who would be the best person to write a paper on the strategies to be discussed at the meeting. Thank you to all who have already submitted topics.
Keigo asked if we need to discuss technical topics at our meeting at ESTEC in April. Frank replied that we will be concentrating the most on strategic issues, but we should think about whether there are technical topics that need to be discussed.
5. Telebridge Station Strategy—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The topic of telebridge stations is one that needs to be introduced at this time. Requests from amateur radio operators around the world typically come to the US team, asking for information about becoming an ARISS telebridge station. The requests come to the US team because AMSAT-NA has always coordinated the telebridge stations, even during SAREX days.
If someone on our team feels it is a good idea to encourage one of these amateur radio operators to set up a telebridge station, we want the whole team to know about the station. We want the team to have a dialogue about it in case someone knows a reason not to approve having that station as part of our team.
Stefan Waggener in Canada has been leading a group that is setting up a good telebridge station. This station would include capabilities for UHF, VHF, and Ham TV. His group has gotten grants and donations for a very fine station, and in a few months they may be ready to test the station.
Also, there will be some minor changes in our Santa Rosa Community College, California, telebridge station. It is likely to be moved to a new site a few miles away, and the station would be off the air for a while.
Recently, Frank and Rosalie received requests from amateur radio operators in Malaysia and one forwarded by team mate Tadeu Fernandes in Brazil. There has been an inquiry from an amateur radio operator in Ecuador, and Kenneth said interest was expressed some time back from an operator in Newfoundland, Canada.
There are pros and cons of adding more stations. Our team needs to think about these, and discuss them in depth. Here are a few discussion points to begin considering.
In order for some of these stations to be used, the country has to have the appropriate third party rules. Some countries have third-party treaties in place with many countries around the globe. Other countries do not, and a telebridge station in those countries would be of little help to ARISS. Malaysia has no third party treaty that allows the license for the NA1SS call sign to be used, but Gaston said the license for our OR4ISS call sign is fine for use with a Malaysian station when students are talking for educational purposes. Keigo and Masanobu may need to talk with the Malaysia amateur radio operator to determine what other third party rules can be used for working with ARISS.
For Brazil, the US has third party with Brazil, so NA1SS could be legally used.
One negative aspect of having a lot of telebridge stations is that if a station isn’t needed very often, the station doesn’t get tested often, and also the participants lose interest in helping.
Soon, we will ask each amateur radio operator who has expressed interest in being an ARISS telebridge station to list their station equipment and capabilities. Then the delegates will receive a list of these. Delegates will be asked to comment on whether they think each station should be encouraged to move forward. We do not want to have amateur radio operators spend money on developing stations if we have no need for such a telebridge station.
Also, delegates will be asked to discuss a process to be set up that will be a global strategy for considering requests that are received about becoming a new telebridge station.
6. ARISS Web Site Update---Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The new ARISS web page should be ready for viewing and final approval by ARISS-I delegates in the next week or so. The goal is to go live by January 1, 2014. Note: the issue with the ARISS Ops website is completely unrelated to the testing of the new web site.
7. New Business
For his employment, Frank has been a part of NASA meetings that discussed EVAs, and in the most recent meeting, the deployment of things overboard. Part of these discussions that NASA brought up included our experiences with safety certification and EVA ground rules regarding deploying Suitsat and ARISSat!
Rosalie said that the team welcomes Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD. Graham Shirville gave a short introduction for Ciaran, the new team member from RSGB who will assist ARISS. Ciaran’s past experiences will be helpful to us, including his participation in ARISS contacts.
1. New Business
Our next meeting will be on 21 January 2014.
******* IMPORTANT NOTE: The new password as of January 1, 2014, for the ARISS-International teleconferences will be "ARISS 2014" – please do not forget!
Frank gave his holiday greetings to all team members. Delegates shared their own similar greetings, as well.
Rosalie White, K1STO
December 31, 2014