Following the earthquake in Japan, the International Space Station Amateur Radio Station Digipeater has been operational on 145.825 MHz to handle APRS traffic in the disaster area.
A power outage has affected the Pacific side of some of the northeast region (JA7) of Japan. This has meant APRS mobile activity in this area such as the Wakayama Red Cross JA3FRI-12 cannot be seen.
Following a request from Japan, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, posted this to the AMSAT Bulletin Board regarding the availablity of the International Space Station AX.25 Packet Digipeater for APRS use:
We have advised Toyo san that ARISS APRS digipeater can be used over Japan for this purpose. Any APRS operators in the affected area can switch to ISS digipeater by simply changing frequency to 145.825. ISS is coming over Japan about six times a day in the afternoon.
The terrestrial path VIA WIDE?-? should work fine. But is better to change path to VIA ARISS so that the packets will be marked as having been digipeated by RS0ISS-4 each time.
We hope the astronauts can be sure to keep APRS digipeater operating over Japan on 145.825. We hope that stations NOT in the disaster area monitor the ISS downlink for emergency traffic and can IGATE the downlink into the APRS Internet System.
(TNX, Southgate Amateur Radio Club website)