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ARISS US Team Successfully Complete Kenwood D700 Checkout Pass

ARISS US Team Successfully Complete Kenwood D700 Checkout Pass
July 22, 2004, Silver Spring, Maryland

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) USA team 
successfully completed a comprehensive checkout pass today with Astronaut 
Mike Finke, KE5AIT.  Utilizing ground stations in Greenbelt, Maryland, 
Orlando, Florida and Houston, Texas and linking team members in Kansas, 
Colorado, Maryland, Florida and Texas, the ARISS USA team performed voice 
and packet radio uplink tests to fully validate the Kenwood D700 system for 
future school group operations.

"We were able to really ring out the D700 radio system in the Service 
Module today, clearing the way for future use of the radio system with 
schools," said ARISS International Chairman, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO.  During 
the East Coast pass, the ARISS team were able to perform signal strength 
measurements and voice quality checks on 2 meters and 70 centimeters using 
the Kenwood D700 radio and the ARISS-built WA1 antenna system.  "Mike Finke 
provided the on-board feedback to the team to help us understand how the 
radio sounds on-orbit", said ARISS team member, Mark Steiner, K3MS.  He 
continued, "Mike said that the signals from the 70 cm uplink were 
especially booming."

 From Orlando, Florida, ARISS Hardware Specialist, Lou McFadin, W5DID, 
uplinked a special APRS message to the ISS ham radio station.  Mike Finke 
enthusiastically read back the message to the ARISS team, confirming the 
message uplink capability.

All in all, the test pass was a tremendous success.  All stations 
(Greenbelt, Houston, Orlando and ISS) reported excellent signals on 2 
meters and tremendous, 40 over S9, signals on 70 centimeters.  The NN1SS 
station in Greenbelt noted that the team needed to be especially 
disciplined to track the fast moving doppler on 70 centimeters.

During the test pass, KA3HDO conveyed his thanks to Mike and ISS Commander 
Gennady Padalka, RN3DT for their outstanding support to the field day event 
and the general contacts that Mike has performed recently.  Using the NA1SS 
amateur radio station, Mike said he is really enjoying the contacts with 
the ham community and expects to be on more in the future.

The control operators at the three ground stations included Gil Carman, 
WA5NOM at the W5RRR station in Houston, Lou McFadin, W5DID at his station 
in Orlando, and Dave Taylor, W8AAS at the NN1SS station in Greenbelt.

ARISS is an international educational outreach program with US 
participation from NASA, AMSAT and the ARRL.  For more information on the 
ARISS program, please go to URL:  www.rac.ca/ariss
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