Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 1115 UTC
Unable to attend:
Francesco De Paolis
Roll Call—Rosalie White, K1STO
Frank welcomed and thanked everyone for participating in today’s meeting.
Rosalie recounted that since May, she has sent several emails about motions from our meeting at ESTEC that require a vote. She’s also emailed Action Items that Delegates and team members asked at ESTEC to have considered. For monthly telecons, she has put a few Action Items on each agenda. These things were done because we got good momentum going and teamwork kindled at ESTEC, and we want those to continue for months to come.
1. Delegate Response on Reps for New Team led by Gianpietro Ferrario, IZ2GOJ—Rosalie White, K1STO
At our August telecon, Gianpietro Ferrario, IZ2GOJ, gave his ESTEC presentation on common systems (hardware and software) for ARISS contact webcasting, and Delegates were asked to find representatives to work with him. The August minutes contained a summary of his presentation, and Delegates were reminded to find reps for Gianpietro’s team. Delegates responded as follows. Stefan Wagener, VE4NSA, reported that two Canadian educators are working with Gianpietro. Gaston is doing tests of the system using the Raspberry Pi card. Keigo Komuro, JA1KAB, consulted with the Japanese team, and Satoshi Yasuda, 7M3TJZ, will work with Gianpietro's team. If you have something to report and have not yet sent it, please do.
2. Ham TV & CW Beacon—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, explained that HamTV works fine but we are not able to schedule its operations as ESA has not yet signed an agreement giving ARISS custodianship for the equipment.
Oliver Amend, DG6BCE, said that mission-management staff and increment management staff are aware that HamTV was tested, and it is a management agreement that we need, showing responsibility has to be transferred from ESA to ARISS. No major paperwork is needed, just a management activity.
Gaston recalled that ESA agreed to train the crew member who did the commissioning of the system a few months ago. Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, has been trained by ESA in order to train future crew members and he expects to receive the training mockup from ESA to use. Gaston said upcoming Expedition 42 crew member Samantha Cristoforetti has not been trained to use the HamTV equipment; she is the next astronaut who could use the system if we get an agreement in place. Training can be done with crew members while they are onboard the ISS.
Each week the HamTV Technical Team holds telecon and progress reports are given. Art Towslee is working on a prototype of a slide show system for the beacon module. The multi-functional beacon proposal, supported by Kaiser Italia, is included in ESA’s plans, but again, we are waiting on the custodianship agreement. It is helpful that we have a precedent to point to (for the HamTV system worked well).
3. Create a Study Team on Short-term Solutions to WiFi Interference to HamTV, i.e., design/test filters—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Studying short-term solutions to WiFi interference to HamTV was an Action Item brought up at ESTEC. Frank asked if we want to continue to pursue potential avenues for short-term solutions to WiFi interference now, or do we want to wait to work on the problem at a later time? Lou McFadin, W5DID, said filters are one possible solution, and in some locales, are needed for all four HamTV frequencies. He and Kerry Banke, N6IZW, use a filter system to eliminate nearby signals since the system really needs a narrower bandwidth to filter out these signals. Some signals that interfere are as high as 50 db. Kerry said in his home/environment, only the two frequencies below 2.4 GHz are usable, and these require filters. The two frequencies above 2.4 are not usable at all in his locale.
Frank asked Lou if he wanted a team that will search for solutions. Lou said he would like to research off-the-shelf filters for that band, which could be adjusted to work for HamTV. Kerry knows how to adjust filters. If other team members have an interest in being on the team to consider various solutions for WiFi interference, please tell Lou.
Rosalie said she would send an email to Delegates with the telecon meeting notes on this topic, and ask Delegates if there is anyone from their region who would want to work with Lou on a study team. Finding a team member is not a requirement, however. Stefan suggested we set a two-week deadline for Delegates to respond. He said researching filters is a good idea, but with no actual signal to do testing with right now, we might need to do further testing once the agreement on custodianship of the ham system is in place to test, and the signal is available.
4. Delegate Response on Reps to PS&U—Mark Steiner, K3MS
At ESTEC, Delegates recommended an Action Item to think about strategic planning for the future, including such things as HamVideo, a higher power radio as soon as possible in Columbus, installing equipment with repeater capability on racks outside the ISS, and thinking ahead for the future on requirements such as more automation and uplinking capability for our equipment, consistency in connectors used and power requirements, and so on.
Mark Steiner, K3MS, had asked Delegates to re-confirm that members on the Project Selection and Use Committee (PS&U) still wish to be on the committee. Delegates responded, and the team will be: Darin Cowan, VE3OIJ, for Canada, Christophe Mercier for Europe, Satoshi for Japan, Lou for the US, and Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, will be included in all discussions. These team members will be asked to talk to everyone on their teams to gather ideas and think about strategic planning for future hardware.
Rosalie asked if it would be feasible to get a report at our monthly telecons on what the PS&U is discussing. Mark agreed that he can tell us each month what is being discussed, and maybe every two or three months, he can give a longer report on progress.
5. Create a Study Team to Develop Specifications on Future HamTV Operations—Gaston Bertels, ON4WF & Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Gaston gave a presentation at ESTEC about things we should be working on so that we can be ready for HamTV operations. Topics included the need for a list of school requirements, minimum specifications required for ground stations, system support, resources for teachers, scheduling, a standard introduction, a slide show for teachers about new possibilities they can consider regarding use of HamTV in their classes, and so on.
Gaston and Frank suggested that as soon as we are able to use HamVideo, we can experiment with some of these things, and of course, we can begin with students asking the crew questions about ISS research. Then we could talk to schools about additional ideas. Gaston said, for instance, that schools could send up video of students doing off-the-shelf experiments with gravity or any other STEM-related lesson.
It was decided that we will wait to set up a study team until after a few HamTV contacts have been done. Then we will have an understanding of how the video works, we can learn from the first few contacts, and then set up a study team who can review those school contacts and talk to educators and students about their suggestions.
6. Update on Funding for ARISS-US—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
The ARISS-US team continues to make good progress in reacting to the loss on August 31, of ARISS support (funding and personnel) from JSC’s Education Office/Teaching from Space. Partial funding is coming from NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation--SCaN organization for Kenneth’s task, so there should be no disruption in his support across the fiscal year (September 30 to Oct 1). Additional funding for Kenneth’s task is needed beyond March 31, 2015. Frank will meet with CASIS on September 16, regarding the proposal that the ARISS US team submitted to this organization. CASIS is the group responsible for managing the ISS National Lab, including its educational programs. Frank is cautiously optimistic that progress will continue, and that ARISS will be on firm ground for the future. The ISS Program Office and SCaN are particularly interested in, and excited about, supporting ARISS because our goals align with their organizations’ goals.
7. Late-breaking topics
Our Next Meeting is 21 October 2014.
A question was asked about where to send ARISS activity reports. For now, please have them sent to Mark Steiner at email@example.com
Gaston has been making changes to the ARISS Terms of Reference (ToR) for items he knew needed updating, and he made changes suggested by other team members. Then he circulated the ToR. He asked that the latest version be sent with the minutes of this meeting to all Delegates, and Delegates will then vote on final approval.
ACTION ITEM: Delegates, please confirm within two weeks of receiving the TOR, that you have no further changes to the document. Bertus asked for a date when the ToR can be officially released; that will be after the delegates approve the ToR.
Gaston reported that the ARISS event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ESA was a fine success although the audio was somewhat low. The event was held at ITU, at the radio station there. Astronaut Andre Kuipers was present and was interviewed about the event and about ARISS. Frank asked Gaston for a list of dignitaries in attendance, so that the list can be included with the telecon meeting minutes.
The AMSAT-NA Symposium will be held in Baltimore, Maryland on October 10-12, 2014. Frank will host a meeting of the ARISS Ops team on October 12. Some of the US team will attend, and all international ops team members are invited.
Frank thanked the delegates for continuing to work on ARISS topics via email, in between our monthly telecon meetings. This keeps momentum moving.
Rosalie White, K1STO
October 17, 2014