Friday, October 28, 2016

Equipment Failure Causes Shift in ARISS Operations

The apparent failure of the VHF amateur radio handheld used on board the International Space Station for more than 16 years has prompted the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program to switch to the Kenwood radio in the Russian Service Module. 

According to the ARRL and AMSAT, the HT commonly used for ARISS contacts from the Columbus Module began displaying an error message and so far has not been able to be reset. The ARISS technical team back on the ground is working on identifying and hopefully fixing the problem. Some operations on 70 centimeters are also being considered. The packet digipeater (for which the Kenwood rig is normally used) has been shut down in the interim.
India's Pratham satellite was one of two
cubesats recently launched with ham
radio transmitters aboard. (From
Prathan home page)

In other space news, two new satellites carrying amateur radio payloads were launched in late September. The cubesats are the Algerian AISat-1N and Indian Pratham. Both are downlink-only satellites, making FSK data and/or CW beacon transmissions.