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SpaceCam1 Project chosen for ISS








ISS Amateur Radio Status: October 6, 1999

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

The MAREX-NA Group is pleased to announce that the MAREX-NA SSTV system was
chosen to be one of the Amateur Radio experiments to be installed on board the
International Space Stations Service Module. The contracts for the project
arrived from
RSC Energia in Russia. The MAREX-NA team and RSC Energia will be working
out the fine details of the contracts. Work on the SSTV project is well under
way.

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, 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 Kenwood TM-V7A
transceiver, a Lap-Top PC and an Audio isolation switch box.

Tentative ISS Amateur Radio Installation Schedule.

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

We'll, 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

73, Miles WF1F MAREX-NA


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