Francesco De Paolis
Maurice André Vigneault
ARISS I Agenda:
Roll Call was completed by Rosalie.
1. Operations/Hardware Status Update—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
School contacts this past week went well. We are re-learning the Ericcson’s capabilities since its signal strength is a little lower than the Kenwood. We have asked the mentors to be especially exacting with the school ground station setu0ps when using the Ericcson. Small deviations from the station recommendations can have strong, negative impacts on contact success.
ARISS needs the security of having radio redundancy, and the team has been discussing the problem that continues with the radio in the Service Module. Sergey and the team did some tests including swapping antennas between the D-700 and the D-710, and with both configurations, there was a weak signal with the D-700.. The power amplifier appears to be the problem. It seems only the exciter is working. Also, the D-710 has no mike since it was to be used with non-voice modes, and the mike for the D-700 has been modified and can’t be used with the D-710. We will work with our Russian colleagues to solve these issues.
ESA is steadily progressing with Ham TV (the system where signals are uplinked on VHF and downlinked on video) and Ham Video (the S-band digital TV transmitter). The downlink box has been built and is being tested. The team continues to meet by teleconference each week – both with ESA, and with the ham team by itself. There is a possibility that the equipment could be launched with the HTV-4. Crew member Luca Parmitano would be the person installing and commissioning the system. Commissioning plans are being written for the several phases of testing to be done. The ham team is discussing how to have streaming video for schools worldwide. ESA is studying plans for a CW beacon that we requested, and the team is looking at a downlink of 2400.15 and an uplink of 1260.10 for the beacon. The unit may have an L-S band repeater function, as well.
2. Updated ops plan for 2 meter frequency downlinks—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
For nearly 13 years, the ARISS team has had successful multi-mode operations (Voice, Packet, SSTV, Experimentation) on ISS. As we continue to evolve our operations, and have operations in several locations (Service Module, FGB, and Columbus Module), there is greater possibility for operations conflicts. Recently, we experienced our first conflict -- between the Russian MAI 75 SSTV experiment and the Greek school group contact. (The Greek contact was successful after the Italian team and one of their ground stations stepped up to help.)
Team members have been discussing potential ARISS radio-to-radio interference on the 2-meter downlinks, and have a proposed solution -- to slightly modify our downlink plan to support the SSTV and Experimental operations on the 145.990 downlink frequency. We would continue using 145.80 frequency for only voice operations (schools and general contacts). We would continue not to advocate simultaneous operations, as happened by accident this time during the Greek school contact. We want to develop a better coordination plan for operations, as well.
Our proposed downlink frequency plan would be:
Downlink Mode Downlink Frequency
Voice 145.80 MHz
Packet 145.825 MHz
SSTV/Experimental 145.990 MHz
Frank sent this proposed change to the ARISS-I team before our telecon meeting, and some team members have already sent comments about the plan. The ARISS International team will implement the plan on March 22 unless discussions show we will have major problems if we do so. Please continue to send emails with your thoughts and concerns.
3. Updated school contact rate (based on ARISS team workload)—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
As we all know, austerity measures are in effect throughout the world. For example, the U.S. federal budget is under Sequester. Prior to that, the NASA 2013 budget has undergone a massive cut to education, which resulted in ARISS losing two critical team members, Carol Jackson and Steve Ponder. Their roles are being absorbed by others in the team, including work by our volunteers, our NASA Ops liaison, Kenneth Ransom, and some from NASA’s Teaching from Space program. The bulk of the scheduling of ARISS school group operations is performed by Kenneth and implemented by our ARISS ops volunteers. With the larger workload for this team, we are proposing a small scale back in the number of our school group contacts to no more than 100 school contacts per year or more importantly, about 8 schools per month. Our intent is to have a “hard stop” on the total contact number. This would allow the operations team to focus more heavily on the educational activities at each school. This would also help with the times when the crew is assigned a very heavy ISS workload, or the rare occasion when a crew member is not as interested in ARISS as is the norm. A hard stop would also eliminate any misinterpreted perception of school contact “contests” (from year to year, or crew member to crew member, or ISS expedition to ISS expedition) if someone took only a hurried look at our school contact metrics. Occasional variations in the contact number is expected, but what is important is to have the overall limit is met. Francesco expressed concern about the limit affecting multi-school contacts and unplanned extended contacts on successive orbits. Frank clarified that the primary goal is to control the scheduling workload. The limit is to be applied on contacts, not on number of schools. Multi-pass contacts need additional consideration if they are going to be scheduled, but ad-hoc extensions of a contact by a crew member are not counted toward the limit.
4. Draft Response to ITU Member States; update—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Gaston reported that the submission has been delayed by Emanuele's health, but work is proceeding on this.
5. Decision: ARRL offer to update ARISS web site—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank reminded everyone of the proposal from ARRL that was shared prior to this telecon, and asked if anyone had questions or comments about the offer to update the ARISS web site. Dave Jordan asked if the design process would be supervised by ARISS; Frank said definitely, and that each ARISS region (Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the US) should appoint a representative to review the design and to support the web site development so as to ensure your region’s interests are included. Darin Cowan from Canada has some website experience and volunteered to assist. Frank queried each region and no one had any objections to allowing ARRL to proceed. This will be reported to ARRL.
6. New Business
1. New Business
Our next meeting will be 16 April 2013.
Rosalie White, K1STO