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Re: New Ham Radio Antenna Installed on ISS



At 15:11 01/16/2002 -0600, Bruce Bostwick wrote:
>Well, we don't *need* DC-to-daylight access to those antennas, just the 
>bands we're actually using, so it just makes sense to open up the other 
>bands to other services as required and tap off just the 
>bands/frequencies we're equipped for.  Ron's right, those ports are 
>*valuable*.  ;-)

The antenna system actually has 2 antennas and a diplexer. One antenna
is a dual band whip for 2m/70cm provided by AMSAT-NA. The other is a
multiband flat rectangular spiral over a cavity that operates at
1.3/1.5/2.0/2.4GHZ
and was provided by AMSAT-Italy. The two antennas are connected to a
diplexer (also provided by AMSAT-Italy) to allow use with a single feedline.
There are four of these assemblies that will be mounted at 90degree
intervals around the service module. (Actually 3 of the assemblies have
2m/70cm whips 
and one has a 10m whip for HF).

>Now, that must be *some* multiplexer they have on each port, if a number 
>of different transceivers are sharing the port -- keeping the ham 
>transmitters from desensing the other receivers must have taken some 
>engineering.  Quite impressive, if you think about it.

Actually there is no multiplexer. The four feedlines come into the crew
compartment and are connected manually to whichever equipment you want
to use. The various "customers" for the antennas (space suit video,
an experiment that needs an external GPS antenna, or ham equipment)
will be assigned a particular antenna based on their requirements.

Ron, wa4sir

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