Among several small BATC Bursary Grants recently approved was this one for an ISS Communications system. The British Amateur Television Club would obviously like ham radio’s future in space to include televised transmissions between earth and the heavens. Apparently, this proof of concept was successfully demonstrated a few months ago:

Among many of the small BATC Bursary Grants recently approved was this one for an ISS Communications System:

Discussions are underway in the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Community on a multi-use digital communications system for the next generation of ARISS equipment. The opportunity arose at short notice to provide a proof-of-concept demonstration to an International ARISS meeting held in the Netherlands on 17/18 April 2023 to show that such a system could carry both data and HD video using techniques developed by BATC members over the last 5 years.

The equipment needed to be professional-looking and of the right form factor to convince the attendees that this was a viable project for the ARISS community, and that it could be put into service well before the ISS retirement. Time for the build was short, and hence this is a retrospective bursary application.

The equipment was built by G4XAT and M0DNY using a mixture of new-purchase and loaned items in early April and, using M0DNY’s software, was demonstrated with great success at the meeting by M0DNY and G3VZV. The bursary-funded items will be held by M0DNY for future demonstrations.

The demonstration would further inform the discussions on Amateur Radio equipment to be deployed on the Lunar Gateway.

Benefits to ATV community: The concept of an ISS Digital Communicator could provide a flexible means to transmit both data and Digital ATV pictures from the ISS for outreach and education. This proof-of-concept demonstration sets the scene for an up-to-date software-based approach to configuration of the downlink parameters, rather than the hardware-bound approach used by the current ARISS HamTV equipment.

This is a long-term investment aimed at giving the ATV community the chance to receive (and influence the transmission of) data and HD digital ATV pictures from the ISS in the future. It should also influence the amateur radio equipment being deployed on the Lunar Gateway.

Total amount of funding requested: £90.00

Details of costs / items:

  • Metal Box £18
  • Leads and Switches £27
  • Sensors for demonstration (humidity and gravity) £33
  • Postage (between team members) £12
  • Other sources of funding:

  • Sundry hardware contributed by G4XAT
  • Raspberry Pi 4 loaned by G8GKQ
  • LimeSDR Mini loaned by G8GKQ
  • Software written by M0DNY
  • Timescales / Milestones:

  • Project inception 28 Feb 23
  • Hardware freeze 12 Mar 23
  • Hardware delivery to M0DNY 28 Mar 23
  • Finished unit 16 Apr 23
  • Demonstration 18 Apr 23