Return of ARISS packet radio

If you have missed APRS and packet radio from ISS (as ARISS has), you'll be happy to hear that a replacement system is on its way. When the packet module aboard ISS died in late 2017, the ARISS hardware team was heavily involved in design and safety certification of the new Interoperable Radio System (IORS). After basic troubleshooting and a few attempts to revive the failed module, we decided to dedicate our time to IORS and get it - with its packet and other capabilities - aboard ISS as soon as possible.

Early this year, thermal testing of the first flight-identical IORS power supply showed that some changes to air flow were needed. This change looked likely to delay our expected IORS deployment from late 2018 to early 2019.

With some newly available time, the hardware team was able to dig up an original duplicate of the packet module, replace its battery, and test the module to verify that it still works. Fortunately, NASA has approved flight of this identical unit with minimal paperwork, so we are asking to be on the manifest for supply mission 71P (a Progress spacecraft). Launch currently is scheduled for 31 October, with docking on 2 November. Installation will depend on the crew’s busy schedule, but we expect packet will be operational again by the end of November 2018.

Dave, W8AAS

N5VHO – Thu, 2018 – 08 – 02 11:14

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