Today, Thursday, September 30 2004, an excellent ARISS School Contact has taken place with the primary school of Montaud.

MONTAUD is located 16 kilometers northwest of GRENOBLE city, in the French Alps. Montaud is a village in the mountains with 450 inhabitants distributed over a dozen hamlets. Houses are located from 700 to 900 meters above sea level. The main hamlet comprises the school, the city hall and the church. MONTAUD is a rural village with a few farms. Most inhabitants work in GRENOBLE. Many are researchers, teachers, engineers and technicians. Life is enjoyable in MONTAUD. One breathes pure air, surrounded by the scenery of nature.


The village is located in the north of the VERCORS wildland, the main place of the French Resistance during the second world war. This mountainous region culminates at 1600 meters. To the south of Montaud, the horizon is hidden by the hills and hampers radio contacts with satellites. Therefore, the groundstation for the ARISS radio contact has been that of ham operator Guy F5GJJ. Guy is active on ham satellites since many years. His station is located in a favourable area five kilometers from the village. For the ARISS contact, an ATV and radio link had been set up between his station and the school. 35 hams worked together efficiently to make this event a success.


The village school has 65 pupils, 3 to 12 years old, distributed in 3 classes. The primary class, 20 pupils 9 to 12 years old, led by schoolteacher Corinne, actively participated to the ARISS project since November 2002. The pupils are fond of science. Last year, Jacques, member of the local hamradio club, introduced them to the world of radio communications.


The ARISS contact was a success. When Mike Fincke had answered the questions, Guy explained the set up with the ATV link to the school. Mike was impressed and sent his congratulations to the ground team, adding a few words in French.

In the village, teachers, parents and media were delighted. A memorable day for the youngsters of Montaud and a splendid achievement for a dedicated amateur radio team.

On behalf of Montaud: Merci Mike !


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS Europe chairman