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Amateur Radio Aboard the International
Illustration of the types of "waves" talked about in Ham Radio Circles
Courtesy of Windows to the Universe, http://www.windows.ucar.edu
Ham Radio Operators are licensed by the F.C.C. to use all of the above types of "waves". Some of the differences between Amateur (Ham) Radio Operators and Citizen Band Operators included the ham's ability to use all of the "waves" mentioned above, we as hams can use many different types of signals including but not limited to A.M., F.M., C.W., a multitude of digital modes of operation, T.V. and Microwave communications.
Those Hams that hold an upper level license, can transmit to space and from space. The Amateur Satellite System is very sophisticated. Hams can LEGALLY use much higher power that Citizen Band Operators and can transmit signals any distance that they want. C.B. operators are limited by law to very short distance transmissions.
Every once in a while the F.C.C. cracks down on C.B. operators for rules infractions. Those infractions can cost the illegal operator (C.B. or Ham) $7,500 or more per transmission. Hams get some type of diabolical amusement from this when the F.C.C. makes this happen to "Big Bertha - the C.B. Queen". You might hear: " 4KW into a 4-element beam". That is not acceptable for hams or C.B. radio operators. Hams that are "busted" deserve it and we are glad to see them go.
One of the most important differences between Amateur Radio Operators and C.B. Operators is that Hams can build and calibrate their own equipment. The ham is encouraged by the governments of the world to experiment with hundreds of different types of communications.
The main purpose of this web site is to provide Ham Radio Operators and Commercial Radio Operators with the types of information they need to effectively communicate under all types of conditions. In emergency situations, the specialized ham can provide much more reliable communications (especially early on) than any commercial service.
No commercial service is equipped or licensed to operate any mode of communication on almost an infinite number of frequencies. Many of us can roll out in less than a minute with a wide range of equipment for short distance or world-wide communications. We carry our own power supply and antennas. We can start communicating within the few seconds it takes us to turn on our radios and make frequency adjustments.
Hams like to see C.B. operators study and become licensed Amateur Radio Operators. We always extend a helping hand - and there never is any charge for our services (except for the Federal License Fee).
The Amateur Radio Service is non-profit. We also take pride in pioneering most types of communications used today.
Initial Space Station Operations
"The initial space station operations will be mostly voice and packet, a text messaging device. The first initial radio station was flown onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-106. The crew transferred the ham radio gear into the space station for future use by the Expedition 1 crew."
"More than 40 missions over five years will be required to assemble the International Space Station in orbit. The astronauts and cosmonauts will work hard on these missions, but they plan to take some time off for educational outreach contacts with schools. NASA's Division of Education is a major supporter of the amateur radio activity."
"The sponsoring agencies have stated that they consider access to a ham radio system a requirement for psychological support of the crews, by providing family and general contacts for people who will be in space many weeks at a time."
"As the International Space Station takes its place in the heavens, the amateur radio community is prepared to do its part by helping to enrich the experience of those visiting and living on the station." NASA
Call Signs and Tentative Frequencies for the International Space Station
Communications are limited to 2 meter FM and 2 meter packet.
Call Signs issued for Space Station Operation :
"The Expedition One crew's activities are being scheduled around the UTC timeframe. It is expected that their working day will start around 0800 UTC and end near 1900 UTC. There may be a lunch break near 1200 UTC. Passes near the beginning, lunchtime, and end of the crew day might be good times to find a crewmember relaxing with amateur radio activities. The crew also has a "weekend" off from 1200 UTC on Saturday until the end of the day on Sunday. This might be another good time to listen for crewmembers using the amateur radio equipment. Please remember that the crew is using ham radio to relax from a very difficult job. They may, or may not, be interested in working a pile-up. They might be more interested in "rag chewing" with one or two hams on a given pass. Please respect each crewmembers different operating style."
"It is not known yet how much power on board the ISS will be available for leaving the packet rig powered during times when the crew cannot perform voice contacts. We continue to request that the packet rig be left on as much as possible. The crew has been trained in the use of the beaconing capabilities, and we hope that they will use that to share their experiences as the first permanent crew on the ISS. This is a "standard" AFSK AX.25 "terrestrial packet" rig, so it can be used for APRS and email can be sent to the crew. Please do not use the system to leave email for other hams on the ground. Use the mailbox to leave email for the crew."
"Please remember to practice good operating practices and remain courteous and patient with this crew while they establish their ham operations preferences. Listen before transmitting, to make sure you don't step upon another QSO. Wait for the crew to call for contacts before transmitting. Please let others have a chance with a rare contact, don't monopolize the crew or the packet rig. Please do not ask the crew to schedule school contacts or other schedules: this puts them in an awkward and uncomfortable position." NASA
Amateur Radio Frequencies for the International Space Station
Initial operations will only take place on the 2m band.
Summary of Frequencies. Correct as of 15 Jan 2002 (KC4COP)
"Region 1: Africa, Europe, Russia, Middle East (excluding Iran), and Mongolia"
"QSLs and SWLs will be accepted and can be processed through Radio Amateurs of Canada or the American Radio Relay League. The card design is being finalized, but should be ready for distribution early next year." NASA
Live shuttle audio is retransmitted on the amateur HF bands by WA3NAN, the Goddard Amateur Radio Club. Audio is retransmitted on the VHF bands in select areas in the U.S.
Frequencies used by WA3NAN :
Equipment needed :
Mir must be out there somewhere!
Go to Space Flight Page
Return to International Space Station main page
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Talk to the ( shooting ) stars
Credits: The Roswell monitoring sites are operated by amateur astronomer Stan Nelson. The Huntsville radar is maintained by Science@NASA and the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Special credit goes to Dr. Dr. Tony Phillips , editor of Spaceweather.COM
04 May 2003, 02:55 UTC: NASA and the Russian space organization Energia have signed agreements that spell out the place of amateur radio on the station. A technical team, called ISS Ham, has been officially established to serve as the interface to support hardware development, crew training and on-orbit operations.
Page last updated Tuesday, July 01, 2008 12:34 AM CST