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informal proposal for ARISS

Greetings from Patrick N2OEQ

This is primarily to the attention of the principal ARISS members.

Many years have gone by with very little casual amateur radio activity from the various crews of the ISS.
The majority of activity has been formal school contacts.
Over the years, the primary function of ARISS operation has been unattended packet digipeating.
The time constraints on the crews have been noted.
Faced with the reality that the crews have far greater advanced means of communicating with others on the ground, I am not surprised the amateur radio has not appealed to them for casual use.

Considering the fact that the crew members are rarely active aside from school contacts, I propose that the ARISS group reconsider future plans of equipment used by the crew and instead consider ways of providing equipment whose operation would be independant of the crew. Projects similar to the columbus project. One example might be interfacing the new future equipment on HF etcetera for unattended cross-band operation or audio playback operation.
The older D700 could be used for packet bouncing and the other equipment could be used for Phone operation.
The power capability of the International Space Station is ideally suited for providing a simple to recieve and use, amateur radio station in space to attract new users. Both digital and Phone use could be provided simultaneously.

Please consider using the ISS capability with minimal crew intervention. 

If they call CQ in the future, thats fine, but there sure is a lot of time going by in between. I no longer monitor the ISS frequencies as much as I did. 

When astronauts travel to Mars in future years, instantaneous radio communications will be useless so perhaps now is a good time to start designing for automated communications. 

Thanks for considering this. Perhaps its time for robotic amateur radio on the ISS.

Any other ideas?

thank you, 73
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