Tuesday, 18 March 2014, 1115 UTC
Francesco De Paolis
Interpreter: Anna Royer
Not able to attend:
Maurice André Vigneault
ARISS I Agenda:
Roll Call — Rosalie White, K1STO
We welcomed Stefan Wagener joining our team as the ARISS Canada Delegate. We thanked Maurice Andre Vigneault for his support in the past years.
We wanted to thank the Ham TV Team. Commissioning went exceedingly well and continues with blank transmission activity. There has been a 6.5-minute transmission received, and amateurs around the world are experimenting with it.
We look forward to seeing one another during the upcoming ARISS-International meeting at ESTEC.
1. Operations/Hardware Status Update—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Voice operations using the Ericcson are working. We have had some low audio issues and some low RF signals but we have changed how the operations are done. The crew is using the microphone on the handheld radio instead of the microphone on the headset. Audio signals have now improved. If we learn that the major issue is the microphone, we can begin procedures to send another headset up for the crew. The HamTV system has been on for a week of commissioning, and Gaston will report on this at the ESTEC meeting.
The Kenwood D-700 is operational but no frequencies are programmed in it, so Russian school contacts are being handled on simplex. The D-710 also has no frequencies programmed in it.A new microphone for it has been sent to the ISS, but has not been tested yet. The next crew to arrive at the ISS in late March has been trained to program both the D-700 and the D-710.
Sergey described a new experiment for students all over the world called “About Space From Space”. The idea for these voice messages was discussed long ago and was recently further developed. The system was launched in the beginning of 2014, and the radio already on board will be used.
The Russian team sent up a new cable to test the Russian slow scan TV system.
2. Update on CW-Beacon—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Gaston and Lou had no news on the beacon. We will be discussing this and the benefits of a beacon at the meeting in ESTEC. We hope a decision will be made to move on with it.
3. Update for Ham TV—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Steps 1 and 2 of the commissioning were successfully completed on March 5 and 6. The next testing step was sending blank transmissions (a black picture), and those were done on 2422 Mhz. for one week with moderate success with a little interference from WiFi signals.
Since March 16, the transmitter has been continuously transmitting on 2395 MHz, and signals were received with no interference from WiFi, but this frequency is outside the standard satellite band for amateurs. Successful signal reports are being received from around the world, including Ohio in the USA and JA1OOZ in Japan. F6DZP received signals for 6 minutes and 18 seconds during one pass, much longer than expected. Initial link margins that were calculated prior to operations had shown that video could be received for 3 - 4 minutes. So the system is operating much better than that. Maximum range from the station with received signals was 1700 km. Initial calculations had shown that 800 - 1000 km would be the maximum, so the patch antennas are working much better than anticipated.
Upcoming operations will be on the remaining two frequencies over the next few weeks. The signals are much more easily received when transmitted outside the WiFi bands below 2400 MHz, since the WiFi signals often swamp and block the reception of the Ham TV signals.
There is no CW beacon in operation at this time, which makes tracking the station more difficult in this open-loop configuration.
The final commissioning steps may be completed around April 25. Initial commissioning was done with the large 20-meter dish in Matera, Italy, but the final commissioning steps will be performed with more typical ham stations that have 1.2-meter dishes. Three or four ground stations in Europe will take part in this last commissioning step, which will test the system in a way that is more like how our operations will work. The test will include chaining the stations together, providing video for over 10 minutes.
After the commissioning, blank signal transmissions will end. Plans are being worked for transitioning to an operational system and planning how to transfer the on-orbit hardware to the final “owner.”
Gaston noted that the L/S patch antennas on the nadir of Columbus are working very well, which is very satisfying after the extensive (and expensive) effort to develop and install them.
Frank thanked Gaston for all his hard work to make the antennas happen. The whole Ham TV development team was congratulated on a phenomenal job and on the delivery of a system that is operating much better than was hoped. The entire international ARISS team was thanked for working together in a cooperative manner to make this so successful.
An additional step to make the Ham Video operations even more successful would be the improvement of the VHF voice system for initial and final stages of Ham Video contacts.
Sergey thanked everyone who worked on the project, as he personally understands how difficult it is to develop, build, certify, launch, and operate new hardware on the ISS, with all the bureaucracy, red tape, and paperwork.
4. Update on Russian school/youth contacts—Sergey Samburov, RV3DR
Sergey has had more than 10 school contacts scheduled although two were not successful. St. Petersburg and Kursk were the two unsuccessful contacts and what prevented these from being successful may have been a problem onboard with frequency selection.
5. Updates on 2014 ARISS-International Meeting—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
A draft of the agenda for our meeting at ESTEC was emailed to all. The agenda is fairly solid, although individual times may be adjusted as plans are finalized. For example, the team is working to have a presentation from ESA Education as to their plans for, and relationship with, ARISS. Keigo will give a verbal report on the school selection process in Japan.
Everyone must closely read the agenda and the reports that are being submitted prior to the meeting. Once you review all the reports in advance, at the meeting we will only address specific questions and items. After you read the reports, please share any questions and comments with Frank, Rosalie, and Gaston. Please finish soon any report you were asked to write that you have not yet submitted.
Please arrive at ESA ESTEC security at 8 AM on Thursday, April3, when everyone will be given a badge that must be worn. We will start the meeting at the Erasmus Center promptly at 10 AM.
Gaston is working hard to ensure all logistics are finalized in advance, including teleconference and presentation-sharing capabilities (WebEx) for remote participants.
Frank is looking forward to seeing everyone. It has been a long time (2008 in Moscow) since he was able to attend an ARISS-I face to face meeting, He looks forward to strengthening the international team that, together, makes ARISS so successful.
6. New Business
There was no new business.
1. New Business
Our next meeting would be scheduled on 15 April 2014, and we will discuss whether we will actually hold an April meeting so soon after our ESTEC meeting.
Frank expressed his appreciation for everyone's participation and cooperation in today's meeting. In particular, he was happy to have all five regions represented, and happy with the open exchange of ideas and questions.
March 31 2014