Saturday, 21 March, 2011 at 10:18 UTC, i.e. 12:18 local time, three special Italian stations II1ECO, IIØCC, IYØIMD and two "Guglielmo Marconi” Science and Technology high schools established a contact with Italian astronaut PAOLO NESPOLI, IZ0JPA onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut NESPOLI operated with the special callsign IR0ISS he uses during his mission.


The “EcoOIimpia” took place in Monferrato on May 15-16, 2011 comprising races in four disciplines: canoeing, running, horse riding and mountain biking. The competitions in each discipline are not separated into distinct events, but bundled together to give life to a major sporting event, open to registered athletes, fans, and curious, merging the different disciplines in a unique sporting spirit. On this occasion the local ARI Club in Casale Monferrato operated with special call sign II1ECO.


International Marconi Day (IMD) is an annual amateur radio event, celebrating the birth of Guglielmo Marconi 25th April 1874. The IMD is an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites. The town of Civitavecchia is one of these. Here Marconi conducted experiments using his steam yacht in the harbour of Civitavecchia. In 1931 Marconi turned his attention to  microwaves. On this occasion the local ARI club Alto Lazio operated with special xall sign IY0IMD.


The COTA (Carabinieri On The Air), “Associazione Radioamatori Carabinieri” is a nonprofit association founded in 2004 and head-quartered in Castelfidardo (Ancona). The society comprises active and retired  Carabinieri and their families, with a common passion for radio. November 2008 the society was recognized by the Minister of Defense with approval of the General Command of the Carabinieri Force. Currently there are over 350 members. On the occasion of the 197th anniversary of the foundation of “Arma Caribinieri”, the COTA operated with special call sign IIØCC.


At 10:18 UTC, IR0ISS established contact with II1ECO via ARISS telebridge station IK1SLD installed at Casale Monferrato Airport, Piemonte, Italy. Astronaut Paolo NESPOLI exchanged signal report and greetings with II1ECO.


At 10:20 UTC, IR0ISS established contact with IIØCC via IKØWGF in Civitavecchia, Italy with assistance of ARISS Telebridge station IK1SLD. Paolo NESPOLI said he was honoured to talk to the “carabinieri” radio amateurs and that the “Arma” is near to his heart.


At 10:23 UTC, IR0ISS established contact with IYØIMD, via IKØWGF in Civitavecchia. Paolo NESPOLI exchanged signal report with IYØIMD, indicating that it's important to celebrate Guglielmo Marconi and his inventions.


Before LOS, Nespoli received from earth the greetings from two Italian Science and Technology high schools dedicated to "Guglielmo Marconi" and located in Civitavecchia and in Pescara, where the technical setup was done by Antonino Di Camillo, I6DQD. The ISS link was provided by IK1SLD and IKØWGF ground stations, connected to the schools by phone line and VoIP.


The signal from the ISS was loud and clear all the time.


Congratulations to “I6DQD”, “IK0WGF” and “IK1SLD” teams!




Francesco De Paolis, IK0WGF

ARISS mentor