Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS-US Announces Substantial Gift Toward the Cost of the InterOperable Radio System
September 16, 2019 — The US team leaders of ARISS, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, are extremely happy to officially announce that the philanthropic arm of Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has bestowed a substantial grant to help fund the InterOperable Radio System (IORS) and associated infrastructure. The IORS will replace the aging amateur radio stations on the International Space Station.
ARDC wrote, “These projects help to engage students with amateur radio (and STEM in general) by providing exciting capabilities that don’t exist in the mobile phone and internet sites that today’s young folk take for granted.”
ARDC went on the say, “We believe this is a very worthwhile project and that it would be in accord with our mission to offer financial assistance to ARISS.”
Some ARDC board members have an interest in ARISS’s future plans involving the Lunar Gateway initiative, as well.
ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, asserted that he was gratified, and wished to thank ARDC on behalf of the entire ARISS International team. He told ARISS-US team members, “This was fantastic news! ARISS certainly still needs donations to fully fund the IORS, but this gift will significantly help the endeavor.”
The ARISS International team has already begun planning Lunar Gateway options, and the ARISS hardware team is now developing augmentations to extend operation capabilities for hams and youth. These would be for ARISS SSTV and HamTV-2.
The next step for the InterOperable Radio System, now that it passed July’s week-long testing at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for EMI/EMC, power quality, and acoustics, is final end-to-end testing at JSC in November of the units that will go to space. The lengthy flight- safety certification documentation is also in process. ARISS’s plan is for the IORS to be ready for launch by the end of the year.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or public forms. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.