Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is planning another popular slow-scan television (SSTV) event in the wake of an SSTV experiment last weekend, during which signals were reported to have been weak. Even so, more than 5,500 images were submitted. Transmissions are scheduled to begin on Friday, February 15, at 0845 UTC and run through Sunday, February 17, at 1725 UTC.
“The ARISS team wanted to give the community another opportunity to download the SSTV images we developed for you, given the weak-signal situation that occurred last weekend,” said ARISS-International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. He clarified that the same 12 images transmitted last weekend will be used for this weekend’s experiment.
Bauer said it’s not entirely clear what caused the low-signal issue last weekend. “We believe it may have been either a loose feed-line cable or an antenna switch that did not fully engage,” he said. “Once the crew reset the system and checked the cabling and switches, the radio system started to perform nominally.”
ARISS-Russia team member Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, worked with flight controllers to schedule ISS crew time to configure the JVC Kenwood radio to support SSTV operations, which take place from the Service Module. SSTV images will be transmitted on 145.80 MHz using SSTV-mode PD120. These can be received using equipment as simple as a 2-meter handheld radio, a scanner that covers that band, or even an online WebSDR receiver. Copying the images is as simple as connecting the receiver’s audio output to the audio input of a computer running free software such as MMSSTV.
Transmissions will consist of eight images from the NASA On The Air (NOTA) celebration and four ARISS commemorative images. Received images can be posted and viewed online. ARISS offers an ARISS SSTV Award for those who receive and decode at least one SSTV image in the session.
As always, this SSTV event is dependent on other activities, schedules, and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time. Check for updates on the ARISS or AMSAT websites, the AMSAT-BB reflector, the ARISS SSTV blog, and the ARISS Facebook page, as well as Twitter @ARISS_status.