Francesco De Paolis
Maurice André Vigneault
ARISS I Agenda:
1. NASA Operations Support Status Kenneth Ransom (Prime) and Steve Ponder (Backup)—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
In November we learned that NASA’s budget figures included large cuts for Fiscal Year 2013 for ARISS and all other NASA Education programs. ARISS lost funding for Carol Jackson’s support, so ARISS began making changes to roles and responsibilities of our volunteers and Kenneth. Soon, Frank will compose a short summary of how ARISS roles have changed. Please don’t forget that emails you send to Carol will get no reply, so instead, please send emails to your ARISS international staff.
Another loss was the support of Steve Ponder on January 31. We no longer have someone to cover Kenneth’s former duties as back-up person for ARISS operations. Also, we are waiting to hear about a new contract in regard to Kenneth’s duties. When the contract was first being written, we lost Kenneth’s support for two weeks. He was re-assigned on a temporary half-time basis through February 28. We are hoping NASA can work out the contractual details and return Kenneth to full time in early March. With Kenneth being allowed to support ARISS only 20 hours a week, Trinesha and a number of ARISS volunteers have taken on additional tasks, in addition to Carol Jackson’s former tasks. For now, please do not send too many emails to Kenneth unless absolutely required; this will allow him to focus on the most important tasks of operational support for schools.
2. Operations/Hardware Status—School Contact Status, Columbus Module Ericsson Checkout, Service Module D700 Status—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO Leads Discussion
This month, starting with the Israeli school contact, we experienced problems with the D-700 radio. Later that week we had the same problem with a contact for a school in Canada. Two good telebridge stations were used for the two contacts, but neither could establish contact with the ISS until it was very close to the ground stations. Even then, the signal level was extremely weak. A few of the Israeli children and Canadian children were able to ask a question of the crew. With Kenneth not available, the team quickly worked on a plan to use the Columbus module Ericcson radio even though we had not had time to check out the system. Since then, we have been using the Ericcson, it is working well, and we’ll continue using it. Having multiple radios gives us redundancy in case of problems. It helps ARISS to be resilient and thriving.
The crew asked to do a check pass of the Ericcson radio. We were able to schedule this pass the following weekend with the crew and one ground station in Italy and two in Australia. The crew had identified a problem with the headset, and was not using it. The check pass confirmed there was an intermittent in the cable on the headset. The crew tightened a connector and that solved the problem for now. The crew was asked to find the other headset on board the ISS in case a problem develops with the one they are using.
We will use the Columbus Ericcson radio and work with Sergey in whatever way we can to assist with debugging the Service Module’s D-700 radio.
Lou and Frank thanked the whole international team in working out the problems, in particular, as we could not use Kenneth’s time to assist. Graham asked how the signal sounded on the ground. Lou reported that the Ericcson’s signal is what we expected -- similar to the D-700’s signal -- even though the power level of the Ericcson is a little lower than the D-700. We received good signal reports while using the Ericcson. Frank said it is mostly solid copy from horizon to horizon, and asked everyone to monitor contacts and note signal strengths and any problems.
3. Status on Draft Response to ITU Member States– Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Regarding the Draft Response to ITU Member States, Gaston reminded the group of the discussions during our January teleconference meeting, and he noted that the proposed letters of response to the Italian telecommunications agency and other countries' similar agencies have been reviewed.
Comments were received from delegates in Canada, Japan, Russia, and the US. Maurice Andre approved the drafted letter with no comments. Keigo noted that care must be taken to not interfere with the new QZSS system, and he provided some technical details for the draft letter. Larry Agabekov had no objections. The US response noted that while the US will not block the proposed frequencies that are outside the amateur radio bands, the US cannot support these frequencies since they are outside the agreed-to frequency bands. All of these responses will be finalized and submitted to the appropriate administrations.
Gaston noted that only frequencies above 2400 MHz are being submitted in the document.
(At this point, Sergey had to leave the teleconference meeting.)
4. Offer from American Radio Relay League ARRL) to work with ARISS web site – Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) offered staff time and resources to ARISS to work on an update of our web site. Rosalie sent a short outline for all of us to read when she sent the notice for this teleconference. The outline is from ARRL on how we might proceed on this work; please review the outline.
5. New Business
Please note that the US goes into Daylight Standard Time on March 10 so the UTC time of our teleconference meetings will change.
1. New Business
Lou McFadin inquired about an update on the next face-to-face international meeting. Frank said that this is an item that needs to be discussed but that recent events with the equipment issues have precluded any planning.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Again, please remember that with the US going to Daylight Savings Time on March 10, the meeting time will be 11:15 UTC.