February 14, 2002

New ARISS antennas soon

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, announced that one of the four new ARISS antennas will be installed soon. "I'm very excited about this event," said KA3HDO, "how many times in our lifetime will AMSAT be involved in an EVA with the ISS Crew?"

It's anticipated that the VHF-UHF flexible tape antenna will be installed on one end of the ISS Service Module during a scheduled EVA beginning around 21:45 UTC on January 14th. The antenna system is tentatively scheduled for deployment around 02:00-02:30 UTC (on January 15th). KA3HDO notes that EVA schedules are very fluid, so those interested in viewing the deployment on NASA TV will need to stay attentive during the entire EVA activity.

Installation of the new antenna on the Service Module paves the way for two separate ham stations aboard ISS. Plans call for a 2-meter station to remain in the Functional Cargo Block and a second 70-cm station to be set up in the Service Module.

Franks reported to ANS that he would not be surprised if some video from the antenna installation was carried on NASA TV. There has been some great video downlinked of the antenna preparation over

the past few days - and there was an ISS Press Conference where the ham radio antennas were discussed.

A detailed breakdown of the antenna installation with some great pictures and diagrams (depicting the entire ISS ham system including antenna's) can be downloaded at:


The current ISS crewmembers may perform up to four spacewalks to continue station assembly during their time in orbit, while continuing to perform a host of scientific experiments.

The ARISS team is also working with the ISS Crew to get the packet system working on a continuous basis.