April 21, 2020 - 1100 UTC
Interpreter: Olga Moncuquet
Unable to attend:
Francesco De Paolis
Roll Call—Rosalie White, K1STO
Welcome—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank Bauer welcomed everyone to the meeting and commented that many people in the world are leading an isolated life, somewhat like our astronauts on the space station. He thanked all team members who are working on ARISS activities that will provide STEM opportunities to students.
1. Call for Acceptance of Minutes—Rosalie White, K1STO
Summary: The minutes from the ARISS-International Monthly Meeting on March 17, 2020 were finalized by Rosalie White on March 18, 2020. A review of the minutes was completed on March 21 and the file was distributed on March 31 to ARISS Delegates.
Discussion: Rosalie White reported that she received no comments regarding the file distributed March 31, 2020. Stefan Dombrowski made a motion to adopt these minutes. Tony Hutchison seconded the motion. There were no further comments; the team accepted the minutes. Carol Jackson will post them on the ARISS web site.
2. Changes to ARISS due to COVID-19: Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO & John Kludt, K4SQC
Summary: A discussion will take place on options for continuing to support ARISS school radio contacts. These will be modified ARISS telebridge radio contacts—a Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio—with students individually joining in the contact from home using virtual means.
Discussion: Frank Bauer said the ARISS-US team discussed many options for modifying ARISS contacts to include youth being part of the contact virtually from their own homes. The team concluded that the Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio was the best option. Frank Bauer had emailed a chart pack to ARISS-I that explained aspects of a Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio. The chart pack is also on the ARISS web site under “Submit a Proposal.” Chart 10 shows the system arrangement.
The ARISS-US team had shared the chart pack with teachers whose ARISS contacts were postponed so they could understand how a Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio would work. John Kludt said a platform and methodology a school has in place to reach students at home will be utilized along with Verizon. ARISS has used Verizon for years. Fewer students will be engaged in ARISS contacts, but they will be safe at their homes asking the questions.
John Kludt commented that an ARISS contact is always an experiment and this is particularly true, now. The ARISS-US team has a practice session for testing the equipment set-up and a practice session with the first school group, which is in northern Virginia. The most difficult part of a Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, according to John Kludt, is not having an ARISS volunteer near the students to ensure their questions are asked in the correct order and ensuring that happens can take extra time during the pass. Students not asking the question must mute their line while listening to the program.
Many ARISS telebridge stations are at facilities that are closed right now. So two new telebridge stations are being added: AB1OC in New Hampshire and ZS6JON in South Africa.
The team is setting up an ARISS YouTube channel and John Kludt reported that it has an archive of ARISS contacts. The channel can be used for livestreaming contacts for the ARISS audience. The link:
Gianpietro Ferrario shared his experience from an event he was involved in, not related to ARISS, with student participants. Several students had been chosen to ask all of the students’ questions while others watched the YouTube livestream.
Frank Bauer thanked John Kludt and the team for their work. From lessons learned from this first Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, necessary changes will be made. He said the team has made improvements to telebridge methods for ARISS through 30 years of operation. If people have additional ideas, please share them via ARISS Ops or John Kludt. From one school to another, there will be differences on what works best. The important thing is that ARISS is moving forward with a focus on keeping students and the public safe, and the world team will work together, as always.
The www.ariss.org web page has a new tab titled “Educational Resources” and Frank Bauer said it is under construction. It will become a good resource for teachers and students to use while staying at home. If team members have education resources that people around the world can use, please email him. One of the first few items posted on this web page is about ARISS teacher Joanne Michael, KM6BWB who is sponsoring a mid-altitude balloon race. A news release will be distributed soon, but a few details follow. A balloon will be launched from Los Angeles and one will launch from San Francisco; the first reaching the East Coast US time zone will win the race. Balloons use APRS to downlink the telemetry, which will be available to students. Joanne Michael developed materials that enable students to track the balloon and to learn about working with telemetry.
3. Update, InterOperable Radio System (IORS)--Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Lou McFadin, W5DID & Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO
Summary: A discussion will take place on plans for moving toward operations of the InterOperable Radio System (IORS) in the Columbus module and plans for the second system to go to the Russian segment.
Discussion: Lou McFadin said all of the answers that the ARISS team provided to questions NASA had asked about the IORS were okayed by NASA and all items are cleared to begin integration on the ISS. A team at Marshall Space Flight Center is reviewing step-by-step procedures for the crew to remove the old Ericsson system and install the new IORS. The next sets of power supplies and cables are being built, starting with the other three flight systems: one for installation in the Russian Service Module and two backup systems. After these are fabricated, power supplies will be produced to train the astronauts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX and the cosmonauts in Star City, Russia. Lou McFadin said the team is also working on a new voice repeater capability that will transmit uplinks on the 1.2 gigahertz amateur radio band.
Kenneth Ransom estimates that installation of the IORS by the crew may take place at the end of May or sometime in June. Crew time is limited while there are only three crew members on board the ISS.
Frank Bauer thanked the entire time on the 5-year effort to make the IORS happen.
4. New Update on the Face-to-face Meeting--Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Oliver Amend, DG6BCE & Rosalie White, K1STO
Summary: Oliver Amend suggested to the ARISS-International Officers that we hold a virtual version in June of the 2020 ARISS-International Face-to-face Meeting that was originally to be in Germany. Frank Bauer and Rosalie White agreed; Frank suggested breaking up the topics in order to hold parts of the meeting on different days and in short sessions. Rosalie White said such a plan may allow more team members to join meetings than with a typical face-to-face meeting. She said a call for agenda items should be made again. The officers will share more on this plan.
Discussion: Oliver Amend said the intention is to switch from a face-to-face meeting to ear-to-ear meetings. The same week of June will be scheduled for teleconference meetings on Monday through Thursday with 2 to 3 hours maximum per day, always starting at 11:00 UTC. Each day will be dedicated to a specific topic. Day #1 will begin with a group welcome and an opening session. A review will be done of the very successful past years of ARISS and ideas will be shared for the next 10 years of operation. The team should email input to Frank Bauer, Oliver Amend, and Rosalie White on what individuals would like to see for ARISS in 5 to 10 years. Day #2 will be dedicated to ARISS activities during the COVID-19 era, with time reserved for ARISS Mentors to share school experiences during the stay-home days. Day #3 will be for discussing new educational opportunities, such as ARISS Pi, different SSTV activities; team members should provide ideas for other new opportunities. Day #4 will be dedicated to the Lunar Gateway activities—the planning aspects and team members’ ideas. Oliver Amend will distribute a simple schedule on major topics to be discussed each day.
Shizuo Endo asked about meeting times that will be reasonable for the whole world team. Oliver Amend said this will be discussed with Japan and Australia teammates in mind, but it could be something similar to the monthly meeting start time. Region and committee reports will be requested in advance. During meetings, presenters will have 30 minutes to discuss very important points rather than a lot of detail, and listeners can ask questions.
Frank Bauer stated that the start time for meetings will be the same time every day and GoToMeeting will be used.
Rosalie White said that some people could not travel to past face-to-face meetings, and this year’s plan should allow many more individuals to take part.
Glenn MacDonell asked that presentations be made available ahead of time. Frank Bauer said that is the plan and expectation. Time will be reserved the next day after a presentation so that listeners have a chance to absorb what was presented the previous day and to develop any questions.
Bertus Husken asked if he could invite a friend who is interested in ARISS. Frank Bauer reported that past face-to-face meetings have welcomed interested people and that will be true this year, as well. Regions should talk to their Delegates about ensuring the visitor will receive credentials to join the meeting.
ARISS SSTV – Gianpietro Ferrario asked if there may be any ARISS SSTV sessions during the COVID-19 era. Frank Bauer commented that the team discussed this but with space agencies closed, it is difficult to do the required work. Sergey Samburov said realistically the first session that may be possible would be July, and he welcomes ideas for the SSTV sessions. He has agreed to have the Kenwood VC-H1 moved to the Columbus module as part of the IORS and Kenneth Ransom is working to make this happen. SSTV sessions from there would not be as robust as what Sergey Samburov has had done in the Russian Service Module. But ISS astronauts could take photographs and allow autonomous downlink of the photos. As Kenneth Ransom had mentioned, use of the IORS in the Columbus module may be in June, and then the first tests of SSTV could be done.
Frank Bauer thanked Olga Moncuquet for her excellent interpreting and he asked the team to continue with all the good work always being done for ARISS.
The next meeting will be May 19, 2020 at 1100 UTC.
Rosalie White, K1STO
April 24, 2020