February 21, 2002



Normal packet activity should resume soon on the International Space Station. Within the next few days the Expedition Four crew will upgrade the old system with a new packet module that was sent up on the STS-105 Discovery mission on August 10, 2001. The ARISS International team expects that the new system should be operating by February 25. The old system, crippled with a dead backup battery for RAM, has been operating in digipeat mode using the NOCALL call sign and other ROM defaults.

he new module, using the callsign RS0ISS, will use a specially developed ROM with the standard ISS defaults, a new battery and an extended memory (up to 1 meg). Although the mailbox function will be activated, hams are discouraged from using it. Currently there is no computer hooked up to the packet module. In addition, the crew will be much too busy to respond to messages posted there.

Frequencies will remain the same: uplink on 145.99 MHz; downlink on 145.80 MHz.

The installation and checkout of the packet module has been a great team effort between the Russian team, led by Sergej Samburov, RV3DR and the U.S. team. Over the past month, the team have developed a set of crew procedures that have been reviewed and approved by many specialists at

Energia and NASA. The team's dedication and persistence on this effort will, hopefully, payoff with a more capable packet radio system on ISS.

For more information on the new hardware, see: http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/EVAs/amsat01.pdf