ARISS Moves One Step Closer to Flying New Ham Radio Equipment to the ISS:
The ARRL Letter
October 5, 2017
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ARISS Moves One Step Closer to Flying New Amateur Radio Equipment to the ISS:
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS
http://www.ariss.org) International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO,
announced this week that the program has submitted its Interoperable
Radio System (IORS) flight-safety data package to NASA for review.
ARISS has been developing the IORS to replace most of the Amateur Radio
hardware now on the space station. It is called "interoperable" because
it's designed to operate anywhere on the ISS. A NASA flight-safety
review in about a month is the next step. Bauer said he was
highlighting the accomplishment, because all work on the safety data
submission was developed exclusively by ARISS volunteers, rather than
NASA or other contractors, as had been done in the past. It also meant
a substantial saving to ARISS, which has become more reliant on
donations in recent years.
"This is a very major IORS milestone," Bauer said. "We cannot get [the
new equipment] to orbit without successfully completing the safety
review process and getting our hardware certified for flight."
Bauer said having the work done by volunteers will shorten the timeline
involved in getting the new Amateur Radio hardware to the ISS.
A key development: The ARISS multi-voltage power supply.
He explained that the material turned in for NASA Human Spaceflight
Safety Certification covers the first three phases of a four-phase
process. The initial steps in the process are aimed at ensuring that
NASA understands the design, demonstrating that ARISS understands the
potential hazards that the new hardware systems could introduce, and
how it has mitigated or prevented them. The final phase will be
complete when ARISS has finished all testing and NASA deems the
hardware flight worthy. ARISS is hoping that will happen next spring.
"We will remove the 3 W Ericsson handheld radio system, initially
certified for flight in 1999, and the packet module -- both of which
have recently had issues," Bauer said, and install a brand-new,
specially modified 25 W JVC Kenwood TM-D710GA radio to enable a
multitude of new or improved capabilities on the ISS, including voice
repeater and better APRS operations."
A key development, Bauer explained, is the multi-voltage power supply
(MVPS), which interfaces with multiple electrical outlet connector
types on the station and provides a range of power-output capabilities
for current and future ARISS operations and Amateur Radio experiments.
ARISS invites contributions
http://www.ariss.org/donate.html to help
cover the expenses of its work. All donations go directly to ARISS.
The ARRL Letter
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