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How to fix ISS

How to fix the ISS Amateur Radio Management problem.

There are currently 5 major players in the Amateur Radio ISS program.
They are:

Responsible for providing all 6 physical Amateur Radio antenna ports
and for building approximately 50% of the ISS

Engineers at Energia responsible for managing and testing all Mir and
Russian ISS amateur radio experiments

Responsible for building approximately 50% of the ISS.
Note:  There are No amateur Radio Antenna ports on the American side of

A group of clubs, mostly made up of AMSAT Division and AMSAT controlled

MAREX-North America
Responsible for making the Mir Amateur Radio Satellite project the most
popular Amateur
Radio Satellite in the world.  More popular and successful than all other
Amateur Radio satellites
ever flown.

One of the original goals for ARISS was to have one unified voice in
selecting and managing all of the Amateur Radio projects for ISS.  It is a
big and complicated task to get everyone to agree on most topics.  I am all
infavor on a unified plan.
However, even if MAREX-NA did not exist, the International Space Station
would still be split right
down the middle for Amateur Radio Projects.
Energia is retaining full jurisdiction on all aspects of the Russian ISS
modules, including full jurisdiction
on all 6 amateur radio ports located on the Russian modules.
The Energia MAREX-Russia division will specifically be the team responsible
for the final approval for all projects using the 6 antenna ports.
Part of the reason Energia is retaining jurisdiction and control of the
amateur radio projects on ISS is because
of the actions of ARISS over the past three years.

ARISS had the arrogance to declare they had jurisdiction over the Russian
Space Station Amateur Radio projects and actively lobbied Energia to cancel
any Non AMSAT-NA approved Amateur Radio projects.

During the second ARISS meeting in June 98, ARISS forgot to invite the
representative of Energia to participate
in the ARISS meetings.  Finally they realized their mistake at the last
minute and had a limited telecon with Energia during one meeting.  It is
because of these and other problems with ARISS, that Energia  and other
have deiced that ARISS is not suited to be the one group in control of ISS.

ARISS (SAREX) went out of their way to block independent clubs from
submitting project proposals for ISS.

Because of these actions, Energia reserves the right to still select
Amateur Radio experiment which have not been approved by ARISS.  Projects
can be submitted directly to Energia for consideration.

Splitting ISS will just lead to more problems.  We need to either fix ARISS
or find a better management
structure which will acceptable to both NASA and Energia, and at the same
time service the needs
of the world.

I have two suggestions:

1.  Change the existing management structure of ARISS to shift the voting
authority away from
the corporate environment over to the general public.  The majority of the
existing voting power is centered around one corporation.  This gives the
one company too much power, which based on past experience
has been used to squash any contributions by independant clubs.  Disturbing
the Management across many independent and impartial organization will
improve the world wide service.

2.  University base Management team for ISS.
A University based management structure, I believe will work much better
than the existing ARISS structure.
It will be the University

ís job to present a final project selection to
NASA and Energia for review.
Projects will be selected based on their world wide Education potential for
a project.
For now, lets temporary give a University managed ISS Amateur Radio program
a name, MAREX-International.

Goals for MAREX-International

Unified Management
     One team, interfacing with both NASA and Energia

Large selection of Educational Project for world wide access.
     All 16+ Nations which have contributed to ISS will be given
invitations to submit or assist
     in chosen projects.  Additional invitations will be issued to  the
many clubs and groups which
     have had previous success in Amateur Radio Satellite experiments.

Projects covering multiple skill levels (from beginners to advances users,
in simultaneous operations)
     2-meter 1200 baud mono band packet  (Still level 1, Beginner)
     70 cm Voice Repeaters               (Skill level 2)
     70 cm 9600 baud mono band packet         (Still level 3, intermediate)
     Compressed Digital Video (h.323)         (Still Level 5, Advanced)

Fair and Impartial project selection
     The project select will be as fair as possible.  No one company will
dominate ISS

Encourage project development among many clubs, schools and other
     Linking many projects to the WEB will allow Non licensed users to
participate in many projects.
     (SSTV and telemetry down links are samples of projects which do not
require a license)

I have already been in touch with Energia on this topic and have contacted
a few reputable Universities.
I believe that the public will accept this compromise.
I also believe that both NASA and Energia will also accept an independent
Amateur Radio ISS management
There will still be plenty of work for Amsat and its Divisions and other
clubs.  Everyone will win from and Independent management team.

I am interested in hearing your constructive views on this proposal.


Miles Mann WF1F