Carlos Eavis G3VHF operating the ARISS station GB4YOTA at Gilwell Park, UK
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact is planned between astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA, using the call sign NA1SS and the Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) event, call sign GB4YOTA, taking place in Gilwell Park, UK.
Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA
The ARISS contact is scheduled Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at approximately 18:37 GMT (7:37 pm BST). This will be a direct radio contact, operated by GB4YOTA.
Downlink signals will be audible in the British Isles and parts of Europe on 145.800 MHz FM. The signal should be receivable on a handheld radio with 1/4 wave whip antenna, see
Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA will also be operating the HamVideo Digital Television transmitter on 2395 MHz.
The Goonhilly receiver will be activated sometime Friday, August 4, and will remain active over the weekend and continue to track the ISS until Wednesday morning, August 9. Goonhilly, will be one of several European HamTV reception ground stations contributing to the reception of the HamTV signal for the contact itself.
Two web streams will be available:
1. The normal ARISS/BATC website will be available at https://ariss.batc.tv/hamtv This shows only the HamTV video downlink as an output from the merger facility, with an indication of which registered HamTV stations are providing signal input to the merger.
2. The ARISS Operations UK Team will be web streaming from the YOTA event itself at https://ariss.batc.tv/ This web stream includes introductions and presentations from the RSGB and the YOTA participants before the actual contact itself according to the timetable of the event below.
The timetable of the event is as follows. ALL times are GMT times:
17:30 – All participants and guests to be present at the location. The event web stream (https://ariss.batc.tv/) will start at approximately this time to capture some of the build-up.
17:40 – Formal start of the RSGB/YOTA introductions and presentations.
18:20 – ARISS Operations in the UK take over the event, give the background to what is happening, how it is organised and how all the different elements of the contact are managed.
18:38 – Scheduled time for start of contact with Nespoli operating as NA1SS. The YOTA participants will be using the GB4YOTA callsign.
18:50 – Approximate end of contact with Nespoli. After closing the contact, the operator will invite RSGB/YOTA to formally close down the ARISS event.
The Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) event happens every summer and offers a week-long range of wireless technology activities to 80 young people under the age of 26. The youngsters are all representing their national amateur radio societies and come from 28 countries located in IARU Region 1 (Europe, northern Asia, Africa and the Middle East). This year there will also be a visiting team from Japan.
The 2017 event takes place in the UK at Gilwell Park, the home of the Scouting movement, and includes a special event station GB17YOTA, a transceiver kit building workshop, some antenna building, an Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) contest and a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation. The youngsters will be visiting Bletchley Park, the home of the Enigma code breakers, the National Radio Centre, and the Science Museum in London.
Because the event is taking place at the home of Scouting, there will be around 1000 Scouts on site and we hope to have some of them join us for the ISS contact.
Special callsign GB4YOTA will also be activated by ARISS for a special contact with one of the astronauts on board the International Space Station.
Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. Do any of you experiment with ham radio in your free time when you are not obligated to work up there?
2. Typically, how many ham-radio operators are there on the ISS?
3. For ARISS contacts, what frequency bands, and how much power is used to communicate with the ground stations?
4. What are some of the challenges with sending live HD video from space?
5. How important do you consider your interest in amateur radio to your set of technical skills?
6. What would you say to encourage YOTA attendees to continue with their interest in radio?
7. How important is the amateur radio/ham radio setup to ISS backup communications?
8. How do you maintain communications with the worldwide mission control centres?
9. How many different types of communication systems does the ISS have?
10. (ONLY IF HAMTV IS ACTIVE) Can you show us your favourite trick with a water droplet?
11. Do you experience any ionizing phenomena in space that affects the wave propagation in a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE way?
12. When using amateur radio/ham communication equipment in space, what kind of problems can cause difficulties How are these resolved?
13. We are talking via voice (and video?). Can you use other modes, such as straight CW-keys onboard the ISS?
14. What are the main differences between a contact with a ham ground station and a space agency ground station?
15. What are the differences between the HDEV (High Definition Earth Viewing) camera and HamTV?”
16. How many cargo supply ships are docked with the ISS at the moment and do they change the pattern of earth facing communications?”
17. How do you see the ham radio system developing in the next decade?
18. Does everything go according to plan or do parts break and need replacement. If so, do you have a repair facility on board?
19. In space, can you use social media and messaging with others in the same way we use it on Earth?
20. How does the oxygen and electricity production work on board of a spaceship?
21. In which direction do plants grow onboard the space station?
22. What do you do in case of a fire onboard the ISS?
ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering the volunteer support and leadership from AMSAT and IARU societies around the world with the ISS space agencies partners: NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA, JAXA, and CSA.
ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers on board the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS can energize youngsters’ interest in science, technology, and learning.
Source Gaston Bertels ON4WF ARISS Europe
Event webstream https://ariss.batc.tv/
Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) 2017 http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/yota-2017/
Press Release YOTA 2017 Gilwell Park – PDF download here
You can listen to the ISS using an Online Radio – Select Frequency of 145800.0 kHz and Mode FM:
• SUWS WebSDR when ISS in range of London http://websdr.suws.org.uk/
• R4UAB WebSDR when ISS is over Russia
Check the ISS Fan Club site to see when the ISS is in range http://issfanclub.com/
What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio
Find a short Amateur Radio Foundation training course at https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/