ARISS Program

Educational Outreach School Selection Committee

Promotional Package for Teachers and Schools

ARISS logo

First, a word about Amateur Radio

1. What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio is a unique, fascinating and friendly hobby that captivates the interest of millions of people around the world.

Amateur radio is all about the skill and fascination of communicating using radio. Radio amateurs have their own communication satellites, talk to the international space station and are at the very cutting edge of technology in many areas.

Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life. They are all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. Whether they prefer Morse code, voice communication on a hand-held radio, or computerized messages transmitted via satellite, they all have an interest in what’s happening in the world, and they use radio to reach out.

Fun for Everyone!

Some are attracted by the ability to communicate across the country, around the globe, or even with astronauts on space missions. Others may like to build and experiment with electronics. Some enjoy using Amateur Radio’s digital communications opportunities. Those with a competitive streak enjoy “DX contests,” where the object is to see how many stations in distant locations they can contact. Some like the convenience of a technology that gives them portable communication.

Mostly we use it to open the door to new friendships over the air!

Amateur Radio has its roots in the 19th Century, developed along with radio communications in the 20th Century and is now a vibrant and exciting hobby for the 21st Century.

What other hobby can link you with others around the world with a similar interest. You can even talk to the astronauts on the International Space Station!

Amateur Radio encompasses all methods of Radio Communication from working through satellites, bouncing signals off the moon, microwave links, television, to simple radio contacts. You can take part in radio contesting, radio orienteering, contact remote islands and countries around the world.

Amateur Radio has something for everyone who has an interest in radio communications, it could even provide the platform to an interesting and exciting career.

Amateur Radio the 21st Century hobby, to find out more and to discover a whole new world, see at www.rac.ca and start your journey of exploration – It could change your life!

2. What is ARISS?

ARISS logo

DO YOU KNOW THIS LOGO? It belongs to an international organization supported by NASA and the space agencies of Canada, Russia, Japan and Europe. It is also firmly backed by the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) as well as Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) and Amateur Radio organizations around the world.

Seen this way, we could think that this is an organization of great importance. In fact, its main objective is to excite youths about science, technology, engineering, and to steer them towards a career in that direction. How does it accomplish this?

First of all, this objective is also one of NASA’s objectives. What can be more interesting for youths today, and this already for a decade, than to follow the evolution of the International Space Station and the cosmic adventures of those living aboard? Especially when they are our compatriots.

In order to bring youths and astronauts closer together, we have asked NASA to install, on board the Space Station, Amateur Radio equipment that would allow astronauts and cosmonauts to communicate with students on the whole planet, without taxing official NASA communications channels. This opening to the world of Amateur Radio also serves as a recreation for crews aboard the ISS, and as a contingency channel of communications.

The ARISS International Working Group, that’s its name, develops mentors and operations teams in the participating countries in order to facilitate school/astronauts contacts with students around the world. ARISS is a logo for “Amateur Radio on the International Space Station”.

As representative for Canada, I sit on the ARISS Educational Outlook – School Selection Committee (EO/SSC). In concert with the Operations Committee, which does work on-site, and which is available to assist schools, we receive the requests for contacts, NASA schedules them, and the Operations teams handle the contacts on-site.

The ARISS Group also has an Administration Committee and Technical committees who discuss about necessary equipment and new projects for the Space Station.

Recently, NASA advised us that in the future, due to the added number of astronauts on board the ISS (they now number six) there will be more opportunities for “ARISS contacts”. Therefore, we must insure sufficient school inscriptions to the ARISS program in order to reach as many students as possible.

That is the purpose of this note. We have launched a promotional drive for the ARISS program in order to reach teachers and schools and inform them of this program, which is available for all. What you have to do is ask for it and prepare the students. This is all explained on the ARISS website where you can learn about conditions and download the application form for an ARISS contact. Visit: http://www.ariss.org/

A promotional tour brought us to visit the Amateur Fests in Quebec City, Ottawa, and on Oct 24, we were in Montreal. Our display booth drew lots of visitors, especially in Montreal where we had two giant posters, more than 2 metres high, showing astronauts Robert Thirsk and Julie Payette.

These visits have allowed us to meet with licensed radio amateurs who are in contact with schools, but we also count on parents to talk to schools where their children attend. We hope that this message will be heard so that we can introduce many students to the ARISS program.

We have developed an ARISS promotional package for teachers and schools. It contains information on the ARISS program, a presentation text and a short list of the main points. This list is also in a Power Point presentation and included in the package. This package is meant as a guide for the radio amateur or the teacher who would like to present the ARISS program to a school.

To receive the teachers/schools promotional package contact:

ve3vig@ncf.ca

Maurice-André Vigneault, VE3VIG

 

ARISS display, Montreal
Part of ARISS booth display at Montreal with mini satellite station

Here is an example of how we present Amateur Radio to the public in general and especially to teachers and schools in order to interest them in the ARISS program.

3. Good news for teachers and schools!

At our Amateur Radio demonstration station VE3JW located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, we have the opportunity to encounter many teachers, school staff, parents and youths. We’ve come to realize that a good number of these visitors are not aware of a very important program for students: the ARISS program.

Amateur Radio is friendly “High-Tech”. It leads students to a piqued interest in science and technology. The friendliness of Amateur Radio operators helps students be less intimidated about technology.

We generally introduce Amateur Radio as a service to the community and as a hobby. We demonstrate our fully operational Amateur Radio station capability, which allows us contacts all over the world, be it in several modes: Morse code, voice, or digital modes.

We acknowledge the existence of concurrent communications systems available on the market such as computers, cell phones, skype, etc. Nevertheless, we mention the valuable skills needed in certain modes for emergency communications, and the heightened level of accomplishment one feels by successfully making a distant contact in these different Amateur Radio modes on Amateur Radio equipment assembled by one self.

We explain that when propagation is not favourable on the bands, we revert to satellite communications through the many Amateur Radio satellites now orbiting the Earth. We notice interest picking up as we bring up a popular satellite-tracking program on the large screen in the middle of our display.

The satellites on the screen are all Amateur Radio satellites, built and controlled by Amateur Radio volunteers all over the world. You can project your voice over many thousands of kilometers through these satellites, making friends at a distant location.

There is one satellite in space that is more important than others, and that is the International Space Station. NASA has authorized Amateur Radio on board the ISS! We show pictures of astronauts on the ISS talking to students, and we point to the Kenwood TM-D700 they use. We have the same unit in our VHF/UHF display.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), although used at times for casual contacts and packet communications, is mainly an educational outreach program for students to incite them to branch towards science. They now can talk with the astronauts, and have been doing exactly that since year 2000.

For an example of this, we show one of our own contacts, displayed at our exhibit, the Sunita Williams/Ecole Le Prélude contact in 2007. That brings up even more interest. We mention that we have done several contacts from this Ottawa area and asked them which area are they from.

When they indicate their hometown, we often counter with: “There’s a great club in your area!” as we look up the Clubs list on the RAC web page. Local clubs or individual radio amateurs can help set up a contact if they so wish. The ARISS program is there for all students, all you have to do is asked for it and go through the preparation.

The program is normally for primary and secondary levels, but even college students have done a contact. It takes normally around 12 months to complete a contact. This allows time for students to prepare by doing research on space, the ISS, the astronauts. The result of their search will help them write their own questions for the astronauts.

We normally set up antennas on the roof of the school, with radios inside the gym. This way, the whole school can participate as well as parents and guests. The media, TV and Radio stations, newspapers, etc. are present.

Students just beam when they hear their name called by the astronaut. A very exciting and interesting experience for students of all ages. Even the faculties will benefit from the ARISS program. Students have a lot of fun participating in this educational outreach program as they learn about space, geography, satellites and Amateur Radio.

By that time, the interested visitors are provided with a folder explaining the program and including their ARISS delegate coordinates, as well as an Internet address to look up the application form for a contact.

When parents with youths show up at our exhibit, I ask the youths if they would like to talk with an astronaut, as I point to the picture of a class of students talking with Sunita Williams. Then I tell them that, through their school, there is a program available. It’s called the ARISS program. Parents are quick to pick up on the high interest shown by their children.

Sunita-Williams-aboard-ISS_294_200
Sunita Williams aboard ISS
ARISS-VE3JW-ops-students_267_200
VE3JW operators and students
ARISS-Le-Prelude-students_601_450
Le Prelude students at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

4. Here is a Point by Point of the above text

ARISS

Good news for teachers and schools

Amateur Radio

– Friendly “High-Tech”

– leads students to a piqued interest in science and technology

– the friendliness of Amateur Radio operators helps students be less intimidated about technology.

– Amateur Radio as a service to the community

– Amateur Radio as a hobby

– Several modes: voice, Morse code, digital

– Essential skills in emergency situation

– Sense of accomplishment after successful contact on air

Amateur Radio satellites

– Several satellites in different modes

– Distant contacts on the higher frequencies

– Making new friends at a distance

-When you’re licensed, satellites are yours (since you’re licensed to operate on the satellites frequencies)

ARISS

– One satellite is more important than others

– International Space Station

– Carries Amateur Radio for school contacts

– to incite students’ interest in science

– clubs in your area to help you set up a contact

– ARISS program for all students

– just ask and go through the preparation

Set-up

– around 12 months for a contact

– time for students to research on space, the ISS, the astronauts

– students write their own questions for the astronauts

– whole school participates and benefits (gym or auditorium)

– learn about space, geography, satellites and Amateur Radio.

See: www.ariss.org for program outline and application form

Ask a student “Would you like to talk with an astronaut on the ISS?”

Now, here is some more details on the ARISS program.

5. ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS is a volunteer program which inspires students, worldwide, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew. Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities.

ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and local residents) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys along with learning about technology and Amateur Radio.

ARISS is an international working group, consisting of delegations from 9 countries including several countries in Europe as well as Japan, Russia, Canada, and the USA. The organization is run by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country.

Since ARISS is international in scope, the team coordinates locally with their respective space agency (e.g. ESA, NASA, JAXA, CSA, and the Russian Space Agency) and as an international team through ARISS working group meetings, teleconferences and through electronic mail.

For an ARISS contact application form see: www.ariss.org

ARISS Contact Options

ARISS-space-stn

ARISS school contacts can be performed in one of two ways:

– a DIRECT radio link between an amateur radio station set up in your school and the amateur station onboard the ISS

– a TELEBRIDGE, where a dedicated ARISS amateur radio ground station, located somewhere in the world, establishes the radio link with the ISS. Voice communications between your students and the astronauts are then patched over regular telephone lines.

One of the goals of this program is to involve students with amateur radio. A direct contact will give your students an opportunity to speak via amateur radio and learn how the radio system works. If your school has an amateur radio station that you plan to use for a direct contact, then the station must meet certain technical requirements that are outlined in section I of the ARISS Contact Requirements form.

If you do not have a station, then you may be able to work with a local ham radio club to have them install and operate a portable station at your school. To learn more about amateur radio and to locate an amateur radio club near you, please contact your ARISS representative.

If you are unable to support a direct contact then a telebridge can also be a rewarding experience for students and faculty. The ARISS team will help the school set up the telebridge contact and give your students an opportunity to speak via amateur radio and learn how amateur radio works.

For either direct or telebridge contacts, please work with your local amateur radio operators who can mentor your school in technology lessons and many related skills.

ARISS-Sergei-Treschev-NA1SS
Cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, RZ3FU, checks out the ARISS ham station
located in the ISS Zarya Functional Cargo Block. The
US call sign is NA1SS; the Russian call sign is RS0ISS. [NASA Photo]
Here is an AMSAT and ARISS promo pamphlet for radio amateurs.

6. For Radio Amateurs

ARISS logo

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

ARISS is a volunteer program which inspires students, worldwide, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew. Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities.

ARISS is an international working group, consisting of delegations from 9 countries including several countries in Europe as well as Japan, Russia, Canada, and the USA. It is run by volunteers from the national amateur radio organizations and the international AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation) organizations from each country.

Since ARISS is international in scope, the team coordinates locally with their respective space agency e.g. ESA, NASA, JAXA, CSA, and the Russian Space Agency. NASA schedules all ARISS contacts, which requires at least 12 months for completion. This allows students time to research and write their own questions.

For a direct contact with the ISS, usually, antennas are mounted on the roof of the school and radios installed in the gym. This allows the whole school to participate, as well as parents and guests. A contact can also be done via telebridge with the help of a station located in the footprint of the ISS. Media are quite interested by this type of event.

Teachers and schools in your area should be made aware of the ARISS program. You will find more details and the application form for an ARISS contact, students/astronauts, at: www.ariss.org

 

AMSAT-logo

The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) plans, builds, and manages the launches and operations of our orbiting satellites.

The Corporation has several affiliates around the world. To name just a few: AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-UK, JAMSAT and, of course, AMSAT-NA. Many other countries have their own AMSAT unit and they all work together to see to the development and the advancement of our satellites.

2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Corporation, which was founded eight years after the launch of our first satellite, OSCAR-1, in 1961. We have covered quite a path, while remaining at the cutting edge of space communications. OSCAR-40 was the largest and most complex of our satellites. We are now heading towards even more efficient satellites operating with the help of Software Defined Radios and modular construction techniques.

NASA has put their trust in our ability in space by ordering a satellite to be placed in orbit around the planet Mars. World AMSAT organizations participate in this task and the satellite is being put together at the AMSAT-DL laboratories in Germany.

In order to continue this great thrust in space, and to insure our place in space communications, the Corporation needs your help. Join AMSAT and participate in the evolution of space communication in this new program which the U.S. has named “Moon, Mars and beyond”, and benefit from the privileges of your membership.

To find out more, visit: www.amsat.org.

More information about Canada’s space program can be found here.

Your AMSAT Canada Delegate, Stefan Wagener, wageners@gmail.com