Monday, May 1, 2017

ISS Packet Digipeater Back on 2 Meters

The arrival of a new 2-meter handheld transceiver at the International Space Station has allowed theresumption of packet radio digipeater operation on 145.825 MHz. The ARRL Letter reports that the packet station had moved to 70 centimeters after the very old Ericsson VHF handheld failed. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) voice contacts with schools were moved from the U.S. Columbus module to a Kenwood transceiver in the Russian Service Module. Installation of the new 2-meter HT has allowed digipeater operation to resume on VHF. It is unclear whether ARISS voice contacts have also moved back to the Columbus module.

On the subject of the ISS, current expedition Commander Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, recently set a new record for time in space by any American astronaut, breaking the 534-day cumulative record previously set by Astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. On a previous ISS mission, Whitson conducted numerous ham radio contacts with school groups under the ARISS program, but subsequently let her amateur license lapse.