Friday, July 6, 2018

Ham Station Upgrade Planned for Space Station

(NASA Photo)

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organization is working on getting updated ham gear launched to the orbiting outpost later this year. 
Dave Taylor, W8AAS, the ARISS U.S. operations manager, told Newsline that plans call for a customized Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver to be sent up, along with a ham-designed multi-voltage power supply that should provide power for the 710, the HamTV digital ATV transmitter and more. Taylor noted that most of the ham gear on the station is 18 years old and has been operating regularly in a less than ideal environment.

Speaking of HamTV, the space station's digital amateur television transmitter has been declared defective, after it stopped working in mid-April and attempts at remote repairs did not succeed. According to the ARRL, the current plan is to return the transmitter to Earth for repairs, then re-launch it to the space station. That all depends on available funds and approvals from various space agencies.