Archive - Dec 12, 2008
An International Space Station Expedition 18 ARISS school contact has been planned with participants at King George Elementary School, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada on 15 December. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 1651 UTC.
The contact will be a direct between stations NA1SS and VE5ISS. The contact should be audible over most of N. America. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The participants are expected to conduct the conversation in English.
The School is over 100 years old having been fully renovated in the late 90s to accommodate the installation of modern educational tools including computer labs etc.. The School houses both elementary and secondary students and is located n the heart of Moose Jaw at 1150 5th Avenue.
Back in the days MIR cosmonauts used to read PMS messages and eventually reply using a simple 1200bd tnc with the PMS built in. Packet radio was a very useful asset up there that Cosmonauts used also for their private needs. Sometimes it was even used off band for non-amateur operations.
Nowdays, after more than a decade, times have changed but the ISS is still using the very same setup that is overwhelmed by the increasing number of ground stations. The result is that gradually the astronauts have lost their interest in the system, which is essentially dying.
ARISS seems to have no ideas for any upgrade and has no plans to prevent the decline that Packet Radio on ISS is facing.
PCSAT Recovery Status:
Still no joy on recovery.
Still too many unattended stations overloading the bird while we are trying to command it.
I get command on the first ascending pass each day (PCSAT over atlantic, out of view of most USA). But next passes are impossible. Today, I plotted packet-attempts-by-PCSAT (noise bursts by ear) and noticed an astonishing 3 times heavier load over the USA compared to over the atlantic. Of these dozens of packet attempts, only 2 decoded.
But now that I can tell by ear the huge difference in attempted packets by PCSAT when it is over the USA, I can see why we are having problems. And the sun angle gets worse every day for a chance at recovery.