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Amateur Radio Status - Mir & ISS




Mir Amateur Radio Status: December 3, 1999

By Miles Mann WF1F, 
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division) 

Paper work vacation:
Hi everyone, I took some time off from writing the Mir status reports
for a while.  We have
been concentrating on the next series of projects.

Mir Status:
The Russian Space Station Mir is currently un-manned and is flying on
remote control.  The tentative plan, is to send a new crew to the Mir
Station in March 2000.  When the new crew moves into Mir, the Packet and
SSTV station will be re-activated.

MAREX-NA on ISS
The MAREX-NA Group is currently working on our next generation of Slow
Scan TV for the International Space station.  Work on the SSTV project
is well under way.  The MAREX team is actively testing the SpaceCam1
SSTV software on H.F.  We want to make sure the SpaceCam1 software is
compatible with all existing SSTV software system.  You may listen for
some of the MAREX-NA team experimenting on 20 meters around 14.230 and
14.233.

The initial MAREX-NA project will be a Slow Scan TV system similar to
what we
had installed on the Russian Space Station Mir. The MAREX-NA MIR SSTV
was a
hardware version, which was built around the TASCO SSTV system and a
Kenwood
TM-V7A
transceiver. The new MAREX-NA ISS SSTV system (SPACECAM1) will be a PC
(laptop)
software based system, with more features than the previous Mir SSTV
System.

The original Mir SSTV system was designed to be very simple for the Mir
crew to
use. However the simplicity came with a few limitations. After 9 months
of use
on board the Russian Space Station and over 20,000 images transmitted,
the Mir crews came up with several suggestions for the next generation
of SSTV for the International Space Station.

Mir Crew Suggestions:

  1.They wanted to be able to automatically save images received from
Earth on
    a PC disk for viewing at a later date.
  2.The ability to transfer images from a Digital Still Image camera
into the
    SSTV system (SLIDE SHOW mode Live Camera or pre save Disk images).
  3.The ability to automatically repeat the same image many times
(BEACON
    mode).

The new MAREX-NA SSTV SPACECAM1 system for ISS will have all of
these features and more.
The hardware configuration of the SSTV system will consist of a VHF/UHF 
transceiver, a Russian Lap-Top PC and an Audio isolation switch box. 
And will support
both USB cameras and composite RS-170 video input connections.

Tentative ISS Amateur Radio Installation Schedule:
A few stations have asked the question, When will the ISS go on line
with
Amateur Radio operations.

Well, it's hard to put the installation dates into exact month and
days,
however
here is an approximate run down, based on information from our weekly
discussions with the engineers at RSC Energia.
These dates are approximate dates, and are subject to change.

The February/March Shuttle STS-101 may carry the first parts of the
Amateur
radio projects. These part may include:
Transceivers, Antennas and TNC.
The Shuttle STS-101 will only visit the ISS for a few days and there are
not
expected to be any Amateur Radio activities from the Shuttle or ISS
until much
later in
the year.

The International Space Station will become manned full-time around
March/April
2000,
with the Russian launch of a flight which is being called 2R.

Launch Date: March/April 2000
Launch Vehicle: Russian Soyuz Rocket
Elements: Soyuz; Expedition 1 Crew
Crew : Commander Bill Shepherd; Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko; Flight
Engineer
Sergei Krikalev.

Part of the reason for the delay in installing the Amateur Radio
projects, is
because the antennas for the project must be installed by a Space Walk
(EVA).
There are 4 external antenna ports on the Russian Service module. One or
more of these ports are going to be shared with the Amateur Radio
experiments.
Sometime during the late summer or fall of 2000, the Amateur Radio
antennas
will be installed on the outside of the Russian Service Module.
So, some time during the summer or fall of 2000, the International Space
Station
is expected to be active on the Amateur Radio bands.

What projects will be active on ISS:
At the present time, there are plans for 1200 baud AX.25 Packet and the
MAREX-NA
SSTV SPACECAM1 system, both projects are similar to the projects used on
the
Russian Space Station Mir. These projects have proven to be very popular
and
affordable to
most people around the world.
Many more projects are in the planning stages.
And there are more antenna ports for more projects in the future.
The current ISS antenna installation calls for antennas to support most
amateur radio satellite bands from H.F. to SHF

We will be only limited by our imagination.


For more information on the assembly of the International Space Station,
check out the NASA web page, at WWW.NASA.GOV


Mir QSL Update:
QSL Manager Information:

Please provide the following information with your QSL  or SWL card.
Return Name and Address, country, ZIP
Date and time of your contact, In UTC format
Signal report (Best guess, optional)
Radio Station and Antenna (optional)

The Russian address supports all Mir contacts, including SWL, Two-way
voice or Packet connections (R0MIR), including the Sputnik Satellites

Envelopes should be well sealed and do not include cash.
Send a SAE (Self Addressed Envelope ) and one or two IRC coupons 
(which can be purchased at major US post offices).
Do not make any notes on the out side of the envelope with Amateur Radio
Call signs visible.

Note:  We are currently out of QSL cards for Mir.  The MAREX-NA team has
designed a new Mir QSL card and we have sent the card to MAREX-RU for
final approval.  We hope to send the final card to the printers in
December 1999.    I  would like to thank you all for being patient on
getting your QSL cards.  We hope to begin shipping the new cards in Q1
2000.

Send QSL card requests to:

Sergej Samburov
PO Box 73
Korolev-10 City
Moscow Area, 141070, Russia

************************************************

The California address is also out of QSL cards.  They will be restocked
when the new 
QSL card order is completed.
 
The CA address is only handling QSL cards for the call sign R0MIR and
R0MIR-1
No SSTV-SWL (Short Wave Listener) cards will be issued at this address.
No Sputnik-SWL cards

Dr. Dave Larsen - N6CO/K6MIR
PO Box 311
Pine Grove, California 
95665
USA

Please include a SASE (Business Size Envelope) and two IRC's  for
international. If you are sending an IRC, Please make sure it is dated
1999, as the post office won't accept IRC's dated over 1 year old.
Make sure the cancel stamp is in the right place on the IRC.
"Green Stamps" (USA ONLY) are appreciated for covering additional costs.


Tracking Mir:
For current tracking data, try the CelesTrak web page at
http://celestrak.com/

Copyright 1999 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
freely distributed via the following means - Email (including
listservers), Usenet, and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for
profit including, but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other
commercial outlets without prior written consent from the author.
Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space
Station Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed,
without prior permission.

DOSVIDANIYA,  Miles WF1F
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