13 March 2007



ESA has accepted the installation of an amateur radio station onboard the Columbus module, the space laboratory which will be attached to the International Space Station at the end of the year.

L/S-band patch antennas will be fixed on Meteorite Debris Panels (MDP) which protect the hull of Columbus. Feedthroughs and coaxial cables have already been installed and holes drilled in MDPs on the nadir of the space lab where the antennas will be fixed. The installation cost is supported by ESA. It amounts to well over 100.000Ä.

The antennas are developed by the Institute of Telecommunications and Acoustics of Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland.

A year ago we have launched a funding campaign for the development and manufacturing of the antennas. The collected money has permitted to start the development of antennas by the University in close collaboration with EADS and Alenia Spazio, the contractors in charge of Columbus.

The construction of Columbus has reached its final stage. The ARISS antennas shall be installed in May 2007. A most important aspect has yet to be solved : funding.

The Wroclaw University of Technology has obtained a special funding for the ARISS antennas from the Polish Ministry of Research and Development. This helps cover the total cost and limits our effort to 65.000 euro.

47.000 euro has already been paid by ARISS. We still have to pay 18.000 euro to finish the work.

Our goal has been set to 80.000 euro. After the antennas are fixed on the module and Columbus is attached to the ISS, we will still need to build the onboard equipment.

Taking into account that time is getting really short, ARISS-Europe renews the call for donations to the IARU and AMSAT societies as well as to their members individually. Every contribution, small or important, is very welcome.

Donations are publishedon www.ariss-eu.org . You can use PayPal on the Columbus page of the website. If you prefer, your donation will be published as anonymous.

In the name of the amateur radio community, we thank the donators who contribute to the presence of amateur radio on manned territory in Space.

Please help now. We are very near to the goal. Donít let us miss the last step.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

ARISS-Europe chairman


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