[amsat-bb] Ham TV

Gaston BERTELS gaston.bertels at skynet.be
Wed Sep 11 03:52:49 PDT 2013

HamTV Bulletin 2 - September 10, 2013

Ham Video - EST and Simulations

Ham Video Commissioning preparation is 
progressing. An EST (Experiment Sequence Test) 
has been performed 28-29 August and Simulations 
tests were done 5-6 September 2013.

The EST consisted of a series of tests, mainly of 
the ground segment. For the Commissioning, the 
VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) station 
of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), located near 
Matera, southern Italy, will be used for 
receiving the DATV signals from the ISS. For the 
EST, the IK1SLD ground station, situated at 
Casale Monferrato, northern Italy was used. 
IK1SLD is one of the ARISS telebridge stations, 
fully equiped for VHF and UHF. It was recently 
upgraded for S-band with a 1.2m dish, feed, 
downconverter and precision tracking motors.

For the EST, a very low power transmitter, 
installed in the shack, generated signals on the 
Ham Video frequencies, transmitting a DATV 
recording at 1.3 and 2.0 MS/s and FEC ½. The DATV 
signal was received and decoded by the IK1SLD 
station and webstreamed to the BATC server. See 
British Amateur Television Club http://batc.tv/ Members Streams.

B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operations 
Center – ESA) conducted operations. B.USOC and 
EAC (European Astronaut Center – Cologne, 
Germany) specialists operated from Livorno at 
Kayser Itallia's laboratory, where a Ham Video 
unit, the so-called EBB (Elegant BreadBox), is 
operational. Parties involved were interconnected 
per teleconference. At Casale Monferrato, Claudio 
Ariotti IK1SLD and Piero Tognolatti I0KPT 
produced, received and webstreamed the signals in 
the different configurations as requested by 
B.USOC. ESA and ARISS observers participated to 
the EST teleconference. After debriefing, the EST was declared successful.

Simulations were done differently. B.USOC 
supervised from their offices in Brussels and 
ARISS responsibles Piero Tognolatti I0KPT and 
Jean Pierre Courjaud F6DZP operated from home. 
The simulations were done in the Columbus mockup 
at EAC, where a non operational Ham Video model 
is installed. This box is used for astronaut 
training on Ham Video. A KuPS power supply was 
also used, as well as a camera similar to the one 
onboard Columbus in space. Ham Video 
transmissions were simulated in the different 
configurations (frequencies and symbol rates). A 
view of operations in the Columbus mockup was 
webstreamed to the participants. ARISS operators 
simulated reception as if thery were at the 
Matera ground station, taking into account 
expected timing between AOS and LOS. They 
signaled AOS and requested “crew“ at EAC to 
transmit in different configurations, according a 
pre-determined scenario. At LOS, the test stopped and results were commented.

Four “passes” were simulated this way, using both 
ARISS antennas. An important goal of the 
simulations was to check the efficiency of 
communications between ground and “crew”. 
Commands were initiated by ARISS operators 
(supposedly from Matera), received at B.USOC, 
relayed to the Columbus Control Center at 
Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich and uplinked to 
“crew” by EUROCOM. The European ISS Control 
Center is called Col-CC and its spacecraft 
communicator's call sign is EUROCOM. The 
Simulations were conducted successfully and 
lessons were learned for gaining time on 
transmitting commands. This is important 
considering the limited 8 minutes contact time during real Commissioning.

ARISS proposed to use our VHF uplink capabilities 
to “crew” for the Commissioning. This was not 
acceptable with regard to ESA's commissioning protocol.

Presently, ISS pass predictions for Matera are 
computed for several weeks starting mid October, 
The Matera VLBI activities are to be taken into 
account for determining usable passes. Four 
passes will be needed to fullfil the Commissioning requirements.

Ham Video Commissioning activities will be 
decided by ESA and NASA ISS Operations. Hopefully 
the Commissioning will be planned during 
Expedition 37. We will keep you informed.

Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman

PS: Ham TV Bulletins are available at www.ariss-eu.org

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