Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States and other international space agencies and international Amateur Radio organizations around the world including Radio Amateurs of Canada.

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crew members onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, firsthand, how Amateur Radio and crew members on the International Space Station can energize youth and instill an interest in science, technology, and learning.

Further information on the ARISS program is available below and on their website.

ARISS Video by Denis Rule, VE3BF: To see what ARISS is all about please see the excellent YouTube video by Denis Rule, VE3BF, which is provided above. The video provides highlights of astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA, onboard the International Space Station, answering questions from students at Huntley Centennial Public School in Carp, Ontario on November 28, 2017 before the global pandemic made assemblies impossible. This contact was made possible by volunteer Amateur Radio operators.

https://wp.rac.ca/ariss-contact-with-huntley-centennial-public-school-in-carp-ontario/

ARISS Canada

The ARISS-Canada Region is represented by two Canadian Delegates:

  • Chet Latawiec, VE3CFK (AMSAT Canada)
  • Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA (President of Radio Amateurs of Canada)

The ARISS Canada Team consists of the following volunteers:

  • Wayne Harasimovitch, VE1WPH: East Coast Mentor
  • Brian Jackson, VE6JBJ: Western Canada Mentor
  • Steve McFarlane, VE3TBD: Central and Northern Canada Mentor
  • Lori McFarlane (Teacher – Ottawa-Carleton District School Board)
  • Claude Lacasse
  • Steve Regan, VA3MGY
  • Denis Rule, VE3BF (Professional videographer & photographer)

ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crew members onboard the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and communities see, firsthand, how Amateur Radio and crew members on the International Space Station can energize youth and instill an interest in science, technology, and learning.

Further information on the ARISS program is available on their website.

The primary purpose of ARISS is to organize scheduled contacts via Amateur Radio between crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and classrooms or informal education venues.

With the help of experienced volunteers from Amateur Radio clubs and coordination from the ARISS team, the ISS crew members speak directly with large group audiences in a variety of public forums such as school assemblies, science centres and museums, Scout camporees, jamborees and space camps, where students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and Amateur Radio.

YouTube video of ARISS contact with Airdrie Science Space Camp
YouTube video of ARISS contact with Airdrie Science Space Camp

Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio

Cover of July-August 2020 TCAThe primary purpose of ARISS is to organize scheduled contacts via Amateur Radio between crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and classrooms or informal education venues.

With the help of experienced volunteers from Amateur Radio clubs and coordination from the ARISS team, the ISS crew members speak directly with large group audiences in a variety of public forums such as school assemblies, science centres and museums, Scout camporees, jamborees and space camps, where students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and Amateur Radio.

On April 28, 2020 in response to the global pandemic, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) announced a new concept called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, allowing school contacts for Stay-At-Home students and simultaneous reception by families, school faculty and the public.

“During the last several weeks, efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in massive school closures worldwide. In addition, the Stay-At-Home policies invoked by authorities, initially shut down opportunities for ARISS school contacts for the near future.

To circumvent these challenges and keep students and the public safe, ARISS is introducing the Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio concept.

During this event, an ARISS telebridge radio ground station will link to the astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) Amateur Radio station and each Stay-At-Home student and their teacher will be individually linked to the telebridge station. Under the teacher’s direction, each student, from their home, takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.”

ARISS Chair Frank Bauer said:

“This approach is a huge pivot for ARISS, but we feel it is a great strategic move for ARISS. In these times of isolation due to the virus, these ARISS connections provide a fantastic psychological boost to students, families, educators and the public. And they continue our long-standing efforts to inspire, engage and educate student in STEAM subjects and encourage them to pursue STEAM careers.”

The Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio concept requires three things:

  • the ARISS telebridge radio ground station – a satellite Amateur Radio station with special equipment that an ARISS team member uses for teleconferencing
  • the astronaut on the International Space Station using the ARISS Amateur Radio station
  • students at their homes here on Earth

The telebridge radio operator links to the astronaut at the ARISS radio mic, and each youth then connects from home via their telephones. Their families can listen along with school faculty and the public from home.

Successful ARISS Multi-Point Contact: Friday, May 15, 2020

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program conducted a successful test of its distance-learning ARISS radio contacts with astronauts on the morning of Friday, May 15.

Youth members of the Airdrie Space Science Club (ASSC) in Airdrie, Alberta were able to engage in a Q&A session with US astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

You can view a video the successful contact on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/2mflSlShPHA

The event featured an overview of the ARISS program complete with two videos describing the efforts here on Earth and in space required to make the contacts. Thankfully, this was then followed by a very successful contact with the ISS and Q&A.

For more information please visit:

ARISS contact with the Airdrie Space Science Club in Alberta: Friday, May 15

Previous Contacts:

2020:

2019:

Canadian astronaut David Saint-JacquesMission “Perspective” and ARISS

On December 3, 2018, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut David Saint-Jacques, KG5FYI, who is originally from Quebec City, travelled to space on his first mission  “Perspective.”

He spent about six and a half months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where he conducted science experiments, operated Canadarm2 and tested new technologies.

Complete information about his mission is available online at the following link: Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ mission

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States and other international space agencies and international Amateur Radio organizations around the world.

ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through Amateur Radio. 

The Canadian ARISS Team will schedule all of the contacts between the Space Station and schoolchildren and we will provide updated information on these contacts on this webpage throughout 2019 and in the pages of The Canadian Amateur magazine.

http://www.ariss.org/

Images: © Canadian Space Agency and NASA