Go To Meeting/Teleconference
November 16, 2021 – 1200 UTC
Interpreter: Maria Pagodina
Unable to attend:
Francesco De Paolis
Welcome—Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
Frank welcomed everyone to the meeting and congratulated everyone on the two anniversaries being celebrated this year: the 20th anniversary of continuous operations of ARISS contacts and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the ARISS team.
Frank showed a photo of a sign outside of a Holiday Inn that read “Working Today for Tomorrow – ARISS.” That Holiday Inn was in Houston, just across the street from the Johnson Space Center, where the founding members of ARISS met on November 4 and 5 in 1996. Delegates from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia, and the USA met to meet the requirement that Pam Montjoy of NASA established for those who wanted to establish an Amateur Radio program on the ISS: speak with one voice. As a result of that meeting, ARISS was born.
Rosalie, Lou, Frank, Masanobu, Joerg (Hahn) and Sergey were present at that first meeting and are still with the program today.
Frank congratulated all involved for their sustained support of ARISS and getting students interested in Amateur Radio and space. "Thanks to all,” he said.
Roll Call—Martha took attendance by using the names shown on the GoTo Meeting screen. Frank identified the one telephone attendee.
1. Call for Acceptance of Minutes—Frank Bauer and Martha Muir
For the ARISS-International Monthly Meeting on October 19, 2021, Martha Muir recorded the minutes and distributed the file to ARISS Delegates prior to this ARISS-I meeting. Darin made a motion to accept the Minutes. Rosalie seconded that motion. The minutes were adopted without dissent.
2. STEREO Project – Frank Bauer
Frank opened this discussion by telling everyone present about the grant for the STEREO Project that was accepted recently for funding. STEREO stands for Student Teacher Education via Radio Experimentation and Operations. The ARDC (Amateur Radio Digital Communications) non-profit organization is funding this nearly 1.3 million dollar grant. The grant covers 5 years of projects.
The STEREO Project is designed with 3 components to improve the educational outcome of the ARISS program. Those components are
- Sparki, the Space Pioneers Amateur Radio Kit Initiative which will provide investigative radio kits to teachers for youth investigations
- Teaching the Teachers, which will involve workshops for teachers to learn how to use Sparki, learn how to write ARISS contact proposals and acquire an understanding of various lesson plans that can be used in their education setting, and
- Steady, augmented, operations funding to assure that ARISS contacts with astronauts will continue.
The Sparki kits will include regular and extra long Slinkys that can be used to teach about radio waves in space. It will also include a SnapCircuits kit which can be used to teach basic electronics. It will include a CW kit to attach to the SnapCircuits kit. Also included in Sparki will be an SDR radio attached to a Raspberry Pi. It can receive signals from both terrestrial radio stations and the ARISS station on ISS.
Sparki is a turn-key kit. It will include extensive lesson plans, many developed by ARISS-USA Educational Ambassador Melissa Pore. Sparki will have a soft rollout during its first year with plenty of feedback and evaluations by teachers and students.
Frank said that this grant is a ‘game changer’ for the ARISS program. Though it was developed by ARISS-USA, it will impact the international ARISS program, too. Frank thanked Kathy Lamont and Marty Schulman for helping to develop the grant proposal.
Rosalie asked how educators will be selected for this program. Frank responded by saying that it will start with teachers who plan to have an ARISS contact.
Emanuelle asked if this program will be available to international programs. Frank responded “yes.” The challenge will be to get the components across international borders, something that needs to be worked out.
Gaston asked about the age range for which this project is designed. Frank responded by saying that the target is for Middle and High School students, those who are about 13-18 years old.
Bertus said that this project sounds nice to him. He asked if it would be possible to get the books designed for this project without being one of the schools involved in it. Frank responded that the books will be a walk through for the activities so they may not be useful without the equipment.
Gaston asked if there will be a webpage for this project. Frank responded that it will probably added to the ARISS webpage.
Frank concluded his talk about STEREO by saying that this is part of the ARISS 2.0 initiative.
3. Status of Waiver Process – Frank Bauer, Oliver Amend, Martha Muir
Oliver spoke for the ARISS-I officers and said that the pandemic has impacted the ARISS program. At first, it appeared that the pandemic would shut down the opportunities for students to talk with an astronaut via the ARISS program. The Multi-point Telebridge contact became the default contact option that would ensure that the contacts could safely continue during the pandemic while minimizing the contact being cancelled at the last minute. The waiver request process was developed for schools or other entities that thought the pandemic conditions in their area would allow them to have a traditional telebridge or direct contact.
The ARISS-I officers meet every Monday to discuss waiver applications. Results of those meetings are sent to the Ops members. Stefan is the manager of the spreadsheet that tracks the waiver requests and keeps up with due dates.
Due to the continuation of the pandemic, the requirement for waiver requests is being extended to June 30, 2022. We want to keep the number of contact cancellations to a minimum, Oliver said.
He continued by saying that the officers “notice an increase in the quality of the waiver requests” coming in recently.
Frank said “we are able to keep this program running because of this waiver process.” He reminded attendees that waiver requests should be sent in no later than 8 weeks prior to the contact week and Covid number updates are due 6 weeks, 3 weeks, and one week prior to the contact week.
Frank extended his thanks to the operators at telebridge ground stations and mentors involved in this process.
4. ARISS-Russia Region of the Month Report – Sergey Samburov
Sergey said that he was having issues with his computer and asked if he could delay this report until next month’s meeting.Frank said yes and that he looked forward to this report.
Meanwhile, images of lunar events, past, present, and future, are still being collected for the upcoming SSTV event.Regions are asked to send those images to Frank and Sergey.
There were no issues presented for Ad Hoc discussions.
The next meeting will begin at 1200 UTC on December 21, 2021.
Martha Muir, ARISS-I Secretary