Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 11:15 UTC (6:15 am CT)
Francesco De Paolis
Maurice André Vigneault
ARISS I Agenda:
Roll Call — Rosalie White, K1STO
A few days before our meeting, Frank revised the agenda from what had been sent to everyone. The agenda topics were changed to: 1) the new Kaiser-Italia (KI) proposal we received late last week, and 2) the improvements the ARRL has begun to make to the ARISS web site.
As an introduction to the discussions, Frank reviewed how ARISS business was handled in the past. When our international team formed in 1996 at the request of NASA, we developed a Terms of Reference for achieving a great educational program that could be sustained for years. Our strength comes from an international team working together whether with operations or with designing and developing equipment. When working with everyone as a team, we accomplish much more, and especially for the most important part -- educational outreach and educational outcomes. Please recall that when hardware is developed, the project must be reviewed by the Project Selection and Use Committee with the ARISS Technical Team, and then committee members must recommend or not recommend the project to ARISS delegates, who review it and approve or not approve it.
One or two times, this essential process has not being followed, and we missed getting the rich input of our international team, which would have developed an even better project. When we have ideas about hardware, we need input from everyone, so propose your ideas prior to working on the design and development.
1. New Information on the Kaiser-Italia (KI) Project—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
In the past few days, Gaston received a proposal from the Ham Video manufacturer, Kaiser-Italia (KI) that had been prepared for ESA. Gaston is working to ensure there is dialogue and discussion by the PS&U Committee and the ARISS Technical Team. Kaiser-Italia sent the proposal for additional S-band equipment for the Columbus module. The proposal was comprised of a CW S-band beacon, and KI felt their proposal corresponded to ARISS’s wish to have additional equipment on Columbus such as was discussed at the November 2012 ESTEC meeting. A ham radio group is also working on such a project except it also includes an additional transponder function. KI’s proposed beacon would facilitate antenna tracking for Ham Video activity, and it also offers the possibility of using the Ham Video transmitter in automatic mode with recorded video. Gaston informed ESA management of the existence of the project that is already being worked on, and he explained ARISS’s review processes of proposed projects by the PS&U Committee and ARISS delegates of our member societies. This particular ESA group had not known our review procedures.
KI now knows its proposal is subject to the condition that KI would need to accept full collaboration with ARISS. Also, our ARISS Terms of Reference require proposals to list proof of feasibility and who is funding every aspect of the project. Gaston informed ESA management that ARISS has no money, and hopes they will fund the beacon and transponder project. He informed KI that this project is supported by ESA and funded by ESA, and cannot add any financial burden on other worldwide space agencies. An ARISS Technical Team telecon will be convened with KI this week.
Sergey commented that initially, ARISS was a full international team working together, but the KI project did not allow for our input on preferences, and we could not hold face-to-face meetings. Sergey asked why the KI equipment would be only in Columbus since there are also Italian antennas on the Service Module where there is equipment being used by all crew members. Also, the KI proposal has not included the preparing of a document on how to operate the equipment or how crew members will be trained, or which crew members will use it. Coordination of the radio stations can be a problem, too, resulting in missed contacts and maybe equipment damage. Sergey agreed that we, as one team, need to work together on all aspects of ARISS.
It was recalled that there has been one time when there were simultaneous radio contacts in the Service Module and Columbus Module, resulting in interference. We all agree that coordination must remain an important ARISS concern and responsibility.
Frank asked the Project Selection and Use Committee to begin work with the KI proposal as soon as possible. Sergey confirmed for us that he is the ARISS Russian representative on the PS&U Committee. Frank has two concerns with the KI proposal:
- We must be careful about how much hardware we have onboard because space agencies must sometimes discard items when the mass or volume of equipment on the ISS becomes too great.
- The equipment must not be too difficult to operate or require significant set up time if we want crew members to use it as often as we prefer.
From past experience, we know that it is not easy to get equipment certified for use in both the Russian Service Module and the Columbus Module.
Frank discussed the concern regarding plans for power. We need a long term strategy for plug-in power capabilities for current and future equipment. Gaston has been working to get a dedicated KUPS power supply for ARISS equipment. Gaston asked that the official ESA announcement for HAM TV be sent with the meeting minutes. Frank emphasized that the ARISS team wants to form a partnership with the KI team, and we are not opposed to the effort.
Mark asked Gaston to send a roster of people involved with Ham TV from three groups: the HamTV Technical Team (HTT), Kaiser Italia, and the ESA team working on this project. The June 19th telecon is between the HTT and the KI team.
2) ARISS Website—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
At some point the delegates and to the advisory committee (the appointed representative from each ARISS Region) will get a link to a draft ARISS website concept developed by Debra Johnson and ARRL staff. At that time, the link will not be given to the public. Frank said that delegates would give their comments to their representative so that notes from each Region would be compiled one document for each Region. It will be determined who will receive the comments.
3) New Business
The next meeting will be 16 July, 2013.
Frank closed the meeting by expressing thanks and optimism for the continued international cooperation on ARISS international activities.