New HAM radio equipment is in space at the station

New equipment for radio communications in amateur radio service, commonly known as HAM radio was delivered (Mon 9 March 2020) to the International Space Station (ISS) during the SpaceX-20 mission. This is a breakthrough moment. After four years of hard work by people from Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (acronym ARISS), a special set for radiocommunication was created (Interoperable Radio System abr. IORS) and put in the space.

The set contain specially dedicated JVCKenwood radio (with unique firmware) integrated with a high-voltage power supply (Multi-Voltage Power Supply – produced from the beginning by ARISS), which allows the use of this equipment in both ISS segments, each with different voltage. In addition, the equipment has all certificates and approvals for the possibility of using it at a space station in both segments, which differ in supply voltage. This equipment can be used by astronauts and cosmonauts for two-way radio communication with HAMs over the World on Earth. At the moment, this equipment is waiting for installation on the ISS.

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Apart from the voice communications, the module can be connected to special equipment that allows working in the packet radio mode or for radio transmission of images, which can be received not only by HAMs but all interested parties.

For the reception, a simple antenna made by yourself and a cheap DVB-T USB receiver with appropriate software can suffice. The reception of the image ARISS provides commemorative personal diplomas – certificates:

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In addition, the above equipment can be used for organized and planned radio communications of students from an educational facility or schools with an astronaut in space on the ISS (ARISS school contact). More about the reception of images, how to prepare a cheap receiver and antenna, and documents about the school’s connection to the space station under ARISS are available in the Polish language at Direct link.  There is also another possibility for receiving signals from the ISS, with not very good results for SSTV using websdr stations located over the World . In addition, your knowledge (regardless of your level – even for beginners) can always be supplemented at ARISS conferences organized once a year in Poland.

ARISS cooperates with many space organizations. There is the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS, the American space agency NASA, the European space agency ESA, the Japanese space agency JAXA and the Canadian space agency CSA. ARISS activities allow manufacture and test HAM radio equipment on the Earth, and then put them in space on the orbit on the ISS. ARISS also prepares documentation and makes the training of agencies’ staff how to use HAM radio equipment.

Among the many opportunities inherent in the amateur radio equipment on the ISS, ARISS in collaboration with space agencies permits reach the educational outreach goal. There are educational conversations during which students can ask astronaut questions onboard the ISS and receive immediate back answers directly from space. For more details go to the ARISS Europe page or for ARISS Internmational page There were above 1300 ARISS school cont7acts over the World.


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