Message from Frank Bauer, ARISS international chairman June 10, 2005

 

SUITSAT : A VERY SPECIAL ORBITAL SATELLITE CARRYING AMATEUR RADIO

 

I am proud to announce that today the ARISS-US team has delivered their portion of the Suitsat hardware to the NASA Johnson Space Center.  NASA is in the process of shipping this hardware to Energia in Russia where it is expected to be certified and integrated with the Russian team's Suitsat equipment for eventual launch on the 19P Progress launch vehicle in the August/September 2005 timeframe.

 

The Suitsat amateur radio system, coupled with a school artwork DVD project that will be delivered later this month, is planned to be installed in an outdated Russian Orlon spacesuit in late September.  It will then be deployed from the ISS during an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA, or spacewalk).  The Suitsat amateur radio system will beam down special messages and an SSTV image from within the Orlon space suit as it floats in space.  Suitsat radio system will allow hams and students to track the suit and decode special international messages, space suit telemetry, and a pre-programmed Slow Scan TV image through its specially-built digital voice messaging system and amateur radio transmitter.  As built, Suitsat will be a transmit-only capability that will run on the space suit's battery power.

 

The idea for Suitsat was first conceived by the ARISS-Russia team, led by Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, and was extensively discussed at the joint AMSAT Symposium/ARISS International Partner meeting in October 2004.  The project, also called Radioskaf or Radio Sputnik in Russia, is being led by project manager A. P. Alexandrov and Deputy Project Manager A. Poleshuk from RSC Energia, located in Korolev (Moscow area) Russia.   On the US side, the hardware project development was led by Lou McFadin, W5DID.

 

Since October the Suitsat design concept matured and evolved due to the challenging development time constraints.  A joint NASA letter, allowing the ARISS team to proceed forward with the Suitsat project was signed on May 10, 2005.  In the four short weeks since that letter was signed, the US project team, has designed, built and tested a simple, yet fully featured system that we hope will inspire hams and students around the world.

 

On behalf of the ARISS International team, I want to congratulate the Suitsat hardware development team for their "Can Do" spirit and ability to deliver the Suitsat hardware on such a very challenging schedule.

 

Congratulations!!!!!

 

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO

ARISS International Chairman

AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs