AMSAT-NA Elects Executive Vice President

AMSAT-NA Vice President, Educational Relations, Joe Spier, K6WAO of Reno, NV, has been elected by the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors as Executive Vice President during a Board Meeting via a conference call that took place on August 8, 2017. Joe’s new duties will include implementation of AMSAT-NA’s Strategic Planning. He will continue in his other duties as 2017 Space Symposium Chairman, AMSAT News Service Co-Editor, ARISS-NA Education, and Educational Relations until new personnel can be appointed or the task assigned is completed.

Joe Spier, K6WAO (left) conducting the ARISS contact during Pacificon 2012

Under the AMSAT ByLaws, the position of Executive Vice President is one of seven senior officer positions that are approved by the AMSAT Board of Directors.

Included in the ByLaw stated duties, “the Executive Vice President shall act in the place of the President in the President’s absence, and shall have such other duties as the Board may determine.” [Bylaws, Article II, Section 5B].

In addition, the Executive VP is assigned the responsibility of AMSAT External Relations team leader and as acting director of any team leader position that is not filled.

Joe is a Life Member of AMSAT-NA and has served in Educational Relations during the past six years. He also has Life Memberships in the ARRL, SARA (Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers) and the AFA (Air Force Association). He holds an Extra Class license as well Commercial licenses.

AMSAT-NA President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW said, “I extend my congratulations to Joe on his new position of leadership in AMSAT-NA. As EVP, he will be working closely with me on a variety of matters involving various AMSAT departments as we move forward on our strategic planning process as well as day-to-day management of the organization. Joe’s dedication to the strategic planning process will enhance the future of AMSAT-NA.”

[ANS thanks the AMSAT-NA BOD for the above information]

Return of Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85

With the recent popularity of Slow Scan Television (SSTV) from the ISS, AMSAT Operations is bringing back Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85.

On a trial basis, we invite users to exchange pictures using Robot36 SSTV mode via the FM repeater on AO-85 during UTC Wednesdays. Please identify prior to beginning transmissions, and only send when the uplink is clear.

SSTV image received via AO-85 by N8HM during an AMSAT test

Stations are requested to only uplink if they have a reasonable expectation of maintaining a full-quieting signal for the duration of the image transmission. Smaller stations are encouraged to focus on receiving the images.

Please don’t send questionable or provocative images. If in doubt, pick another one. Expect all ages to be participating.

Feedback is encouraged, and comments may be directed via email to me at ko4ma@amsat.org.

[ANS thanks Drew KO4MA for the above information]

Packet Module status on board ISS

ARISS NEWS RELEASE
no. 17-10

July 25, 2017

David Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS PR
aa4kn@amsat.org

Packet Module status on board ISS

ARISS has received several reports stating that the packet system on ISS is down. Here is what we know and our current forward plan.

The packet system in the Columbus module started to act up late last week, sending only a beacon. The ARISS team requested a power recycle by the crew, and with that power recycle, the packet system appears to have stop functioning completely. Note that this unit has been on-orbit for 17 years. It was launched on the STS-106 Space Shuttle Atlantis mission in September 2000 and was built, tested and certified for flight about 20 years ago.

Demo model of the ISS packet module

The ARISS team has had some extensive discussions on the way forward. We would first like to do some additional troubleshooting with the existing packet module. It will take some time (weeks) to develop troubleshooting procedures, get the procedures approved by NASA and then conduct the tests with the crew. This includes an additional power cycle. The turnaround time is much longer than usual because a new crew will soon be arriving on ISS. The current crew is focused on the new crew arrival and there will be about a one- to two-week transition after the new crew arrives. On the positive side, one aspect of our troubleshooting-a second power cycle-will occur automatically because ARISS is shut down during crew docking and turned on afterwards. However, there will be more to our troubleshooting than just the power cycle.

We have some additional plans with alternative solutions, but those are currently being discussed and prioritized within the ARISS team. All solutions will require international ARISS team coordination, additional procedures and crew interaction. People who have carefully followed ISS operations know that crew time continues to evolve with the more extensive research that is occurring on-board. Suffice it to say, it will take longer than what it has taken in the past to work through this issue.

The above information is to make sure that ARISS properly sets expectations on how long it will take to resolve this. At this point, expect a few months with no ARISS packet.

As you all can see, deploying the Interoperable Radio system that is currently under development by ARISS has become even more critically important. The ARISS team is laser focused on getting that system developed and deployed. We are conducting a final design review with NASA on this system next week. But we cannot get to the finish line without your help. If you can, please consider a donation to the ARISS radio fund by clicking on the ARISS donate button on the ARISS web page (www.ariss.org) or the AMSAT web page (www.amsat.org). All donations, large and small are appreciated.

On behalf of ARISS, we thank you for your sustained interest and support of our program.

Sincerely,

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair

About ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org, www.amsat.org, and www.arrl.org.

Join us on Facebook: Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS)
Follow us on Twitter: ARISS_status

New AMSAT Website, Online Store Available

AMSAT is pleased to announce that an updated website and online store are now available at www.amsat.org. In addition to cosmetic updates, this represents a significant upgrade of AMSAT’s online capabilities. The website and store are now fully integrated with the AMSAT membership database, allowing the eventual implementation of features such as members-only content and digital distribution of The AMSAT Journal. In addition, members may now change their mailing address for delivery of The AMSAT Journal and determine when their membership expires via their online accounts.

All current AMSAT members and former members whose membership expired within the past five years have accounts on the online website. These accounts are not linked to previous AMSAT store accounts, but are based on information in the AMSAT membership database. If you are a current member, or former member whose membership has expired within the past five years, please do not create a new account on the AMSAT website. Follow these steps to create a password:

1. Click the “My Account” button located on the upper right hand corner of any page on the website.
2. Click “Lost your password?” beneath the login button.
3. Enter your callsign and click reset password.
4. If your email address is correct in our database, you will receive an email with instructions to reset your password.

 
If your email address is not correct in our database, please email webmaster@amsat.org with your callsign and preferred email address. An administrator will update your email address in the database and you will then be able to use the above procedure to reset your password.

Please note that we are still in the early stages of transitioning to this new system and there is still work to be done to reconcile the new and old membership databases. We appreciate your patience as we work through any “kinks” that may pop up. For example, many of you received emails on Thursday afternoon indicating that your passwords had been reset. Please ignore this message. No further action is necessary. Report any future problems to an administrator at webmaster@amsat.org.

Thanks to AMSAT’s IT Team Leader Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, and Milltown Web Design of Boston, MA for their efforts in developing the new AMSAT web presence and thanks to Bruce Paige, KK5DO, for working to update items in the online store. AMSAT is always looking for volunteers to develop and update content on the website and maintain the online store. Members interested in helping, especially those with WordPress and Woocommerce experience, are encouraged to email webmaster@amsat.org.