Amateur Radio on the ISS

Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club's ARISS Project rocketed into a school-wide endeavor, capitalizing on our students’ interests in the trades and STEM subjects, giving students an interdisciplinary opportunity to apply their various skill sets.



The goals of the ARISS Project included:


Inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and in STEM careers among young people.

-Provide an educational opportunity for students, teachers and the general public to learn about space exploration, space technologies, and satellite communications.

-Provide an educational opportunity for students, teachers and the general public to learn about wireless technology and radio science through Amateur Radio.

-Provide an opportunity for Amateur Radio experimentation and evaluation of new technologies.

-Provide a contingency communications system for NASA and the ISS crew.

-Provide crew with another means to directly interact with a larger community outside the ISS, including friends and family.


This ARISS Project has become a school-wide endeavor here at Pathfinder, capitalizing on our students’ interests in the trades and STEM subjects, giving them an interdisciplinary opportunity to apply their various skill sets. We have incorporated many of the technical areas to construct the radio station and prepare for the ARISS contact, and challenged our students to learn more about wireless technology and radio science. Many shops were directly involved, including Advanced Manufacturing, Auto Body, Business Technology, CAD, Electrical, Electronics, HVAC/R, Programming and Web, as well as many of the academic departments, including the History, Math, and Science. Students helped build the radio station, advertised the event, solicited and narrowed down questions for the astronauts, and documented the entire process on the internet. Academic teachers have also incorporated the ARISS project into their curriculum, creating an engaging educational opportunity for the school. All involved have had the chance to learn more about space exploration, technology, and communications. This project has also become an opportunity for engagement with the larger community through work with local businesses, media, and amateur radio clubs. All of this work by the various stakeholders has led to this once in a lifetime opportunity for our all involved.



NASA

NASA Logo


Amateur Radio on the ISS

ARISS Logo


Mt.Tom Amatuer Repeater Association

MTARA Logo


CCDX (Cheshire County Amateur Radio Club)

CCDX Logo


Antenna and Electormagnetics

Antenna and Electormagnetics Logo


Wealth Technology Group

Wealth Technology Group Logo


DX Engineering

DX engineering Logo


In preparation for the culminating activity of contact with an ISS astronaut, many of our school departments were directly involved with this project including Advanced Manufacturing, Collision Repair and Refinishing, Business Technology, Computer Aided Drafting, Electrical, Electronics, HVAC/R, Programming and Web, History, Mathematics, and Science. We challenged our students with topics on radio station construction design, wireless technology, and radio science while learning more about space exploration, technology, and communication. Not only did students help build the radio station, but they were also responsible for the advertisement of the event, soliciting for and selecting questions for the astronauts, and documenting the entire process on the internet.

This project has also become an opportunity for engagement with the larger community through work with local businesses, media, and amateur radio clubs. All of this work by the various stakeholders has led to this once in a lifetime opportunity for our all involved.



The ARISS Project would like to specifically mention the contributions of the following groups at Pathfinder:


Advanced Manufacturing --- Design and construction of the portable satellite antenna tracker, fabrication of the roof antenna system and horizontal rotor mast

Collision Repair --– Paint and lettering of roof antenna bracket system and portable tracker

Business Technologies --– Documentation of ARISS project, surveying and compiling of Astronaut questions, and advertising project

CAD –-- Blueprint designs of antenna bracket system, and event layout

Electrical –-- Installation of conduit for radio coax, radio coax, rotor control wires, and DC power wires to the mast mount preamp and grounding antenna system.

Electronics ---– constructing rotor control interface, azimuth and elevation rotor, and quick connect and disconnect for rotor control and DC power cables. Programming rotor control interface to computer, rotor, and radio

HVAC/R --– mount and design of antenna system.

Programming and Web --– Development, creation and host of web ARISS Project Website.

History Department --- Incorporation of political history of space program and satellites into the curriculum.

Mathematics Department --- Incorporation of mathematical satellite concepts into the curriculum.

Science Department --– Incorporation of space, radios and satellite science into the curriculum

Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club and Women in STEM --– Assembly of ARISS radio station.

Pathfinder Administration --- Continual support of ARISS project.

Pathfinder Staff and Faculty --- Interest and support of project in class

Gary Thomas, AA1UE --- The Wealth Technologies Group--- technical advice, equipment, and support for the Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club and for sponsoring t-shirts for the event

Ronald Osimo K1CRR --- Cheshire County DX Club--- equipment and support for the Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club and equipment support.

Susan Grimaldi WA1SJG, Al Grimaldi KB1AXG and the Mt. Tom Amateur Repeater Association --- support for the Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club, technical assistance, and equipment

Anatoliy and Elen Borrysenko ---- A&E Partnership, LLC --- Improvements on design of ARROW antenna for the portable satellite tracker.

DX Engineering --- Financial support for equipment purchases

Grainger --- Financial support for equipment purchases

This page was designed and built by Pathfinder Tech's Programming and Web Development Students.