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Re: ISS Call sign

Hi, Roger!!

At 06:02 PM 24-03-00 -0500, you wrote:
>Why does ISS need a call sign anyway?  All the other satellites don't use
>callsigns... and they surely arn't using any permanent terrestrial or
>extraterrestrial space...

Good question.

Actually ALL stations capable of causing harmful interference must have a 
call sign.  Remember, the purpose of the call sign, or other station 
identification, is to facilitate the process of identifying a source of 

Means of station identification other than call sign are common.  For 
example, most aircraft call signs are the same as their tail numbers.  Yet, 
commercial airlines identify by airline and flight number.

In the case of space stations, the call signs usually are not transmitted 
and identification of the station is done by operating frequencies and 
orbital parameters.

The case of a station in the amateur-satellite service operated by a person 
probably is a bit out of the way of what was anticipated in the Radio 
Regulations.  On one hand, while a call sign is required, none has to be 
used.  On the other hand, with so much flexibility on operating frequencies 
and custom (tradition!) coming from stations in the amateur service, 
stations in the amateur-satellite service operated by a person have ALWAYS 
used a call sign.  It couldn't hurt.

>Why can't it be just "ISS"?

Well, I suppose, they could identify that way if the authorizing 
administration okayed it.  (Although "ISS" as a call sign is in a block 
allocated to Italy!)  Which is the authorizing administration to be with so 
many countries involved?  Some seem to feel that the ISS is a sort of free 
for all for the amateurs where every individual ham on board operates under 
his own personal license.

Some of us have suggested that, for multinational projects in space, we 
ought to have a new approach which operates somewhat independently of 
terrestrial administrations.  Hence, the suggestion of a new call sign 
block for the purpose or, perhaps, something from the United Nations' 
block, 4U, if they would allow it.  (Consider this a precursor to the time 
when people travel beyond the Lunar orbit where Earthbound Radio 
Regulations no longer apply.)

The ARISS folks are working on the problem and should come up with a 
useable solution.

Hope this helps.

73, art.....

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