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MIREX School Day Test



		 MIREX School Day Test 27 April 1998
		  Dr. Larsen N6CO - Presdent MIREX
			   doc@volcano.net
 
MISSION:  To permit maximum participation by schools and students
in a joint MIR communicatons experiment, the MIREX team has authorized
a special MIREX School Day test on April 27th 1998 between 1000 to
2300 UTC..  The purpose of the test is to improve the understanding of 
students about the Space Station and demonstrate the factors involved 
in space communications using amateur radio.  Of the many schools to 
participate, even schools for the deaf and disabled will be able to 
experience the event through their computer displays.
 
 
PARTICIPATION:  There is no limit to the number of stations that can 
participate, since any amateur radio station at any school in the 
world may monitor the downlink of the test.  All stations will be 
able to capture and log communications from both MIR itself and the 
other schools authorized to transmit.   Due to the limited capacity
on the uplink, however, the number of stations authorized to transmit 
will be limited to under 100 per footprint area.  In general, only
schools and other youth group demonstrations will be authorized to
transmit.  For planning purposes, schools intending to transmit should
send Email to wb4apr@amsat.org including the following brief information:
 
   1 Callsign and Point of contact
   2 School Name or affiliation
   3 Number of students that might participate
   4 Equipment used at the School (power and antenna type)
 
After the test, we would like to hear about any media coverage or any
interesting observations or special events at your site.
 
 
OBJECTIVES:  To allow the maximum probability of success on each orbit, 
schools will transmit via UI frames and the experiment will proceed in 
phases.  As each phase is successfully accomplished, then additional 
complexity may be added to the experiment.  This phased approach makes 
sure that everyone gets an equal chance of success without congestion 
while allowing for additional capacity if it exists.
 
    BULLETIN PHASE:  Receive the special MIREX bulletin.  The MIR packet 
system will downlink a brief BULLETIN once every 3 minutes.  Each school 
should expect to capture these bulletins on their Bulletin display at
some time during the pass.
 
    POSITION PHASE:  Concurent with the Bulletin Phase, the next 
objective is for each transmitting school to successfully relay a
position/status report via MIR and for all other schools to receive
them.  A position packet will look something like this:
 
    W3ADO>GGggGG,R0MIR*:]k[ US Naval Academy. 75 Students 35w. Hi MIR!
 
Here, the GGggGG is the stations grid square which is sufficient to locate
the school to within about 3 miles.  The ]k[ is the map ICON for a school. 
Stations may transmit these single packets at about a one-a-minute rate
until successful.  Once they see their position in the downlink,
then they should stop sending their position.
 
    MESSAGE PHASE:  After each school has captured one full page of 
position packets (16 stations) from other schools, indicating others are
being successful and their station is hearing the downlink, then the
authorized  schools may send a single message packet to any other station.
For each additional page of 16 positions that each school captures, it may
send additional packets up to a maximum of 5.
 
 
MONITORING SOFTWARE:  A special version of packet software called MIRMON
has been donated for unlimited use during this experiment.  MIRMON will
capture all position reports, bulletins and messages and give schools a
consistent display of the event.  The software may be downloaded and
further test details as well as a replay of the last such experiment are
available on the Naval Academy MIREX WEB page:
 
   http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/mirex.html
 
Schools with at least a 2m FM 25 watt radio and omni antenna and
conventional TNC should be successful.  Individual HAMS desiring to
participate are welcome to monitor the test in RECEIVE ONLY, or to visit a
school and set up a demonstration to qualify to transmit... This means
all stations should be manned and not operated unattended.
 
Even schools without current ham radio equipment can monitor the event via
the live WEB pages above and also at www.mirex.net.  We are trying to
find dedicated ground stations, at least one per continent, that can
link their receiver to our growing network.  Currenlty we have feeds in
the Eastern USA, Mexico, and Spain under construction.  To see the
combined feed from these staitons, BROWSE the web site above or TELNET to
www.mirex.net.

For school info contact Bob at wb4apr@amsat.org




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