Mir Amateur Radio Status April 3, 1998
by Miles Mann WF1F, Mirex Director of Educational Resources
MIREX School Day Test 27 April 1998
N6CO - President MIREX [email protected]
MISSION: To permit maximum participation by schools and students in a joint MIR communicatons experiment, the MIREX team has authorized a special MIREX School Day test on April 27th 1998 between 1000 to 2300 UTC. The purpose of the test is to improve the understanding of students about the Space Station and demonstrate the factors involved in space communications using amateur radio.
Of the many schools to participate, even schools for the deaf and disabled will be able to experience the event through their computer displays.
PARTICIPATION: There is no limit to the number of stations that can participate, since any amateur radio station at any school in the world may monitor the downlink of the test. All stations will be able to capture and log communications from both MIR itself and the other schools authorized to transmit.
Due to the limited capacity on the uplink, however, the number of stations authorized to transmit will be limited to under 100 per footprint area. In general, only schools and other youth group demonstrations will be authorized to transmit.
For planning purposes, schools intending to transmit should send Email to [email protected] including the following brief information:
1 Callsign and Point of contact
2 School Name or affiliation
3 Number of students that might participate
4 Equipment used at the School (power and antenna type)
After the test, we would like to hear about any media coverage or any interesting observations or special events at your site.
OBJECTIVES: To allow the maximum probability of success on each orbit, schools will transmit via UI frames and the experiment will proceed in phases. As each phase is successfully accomplished, then additional complexity may be added to the experiment. This phased approach makes sure that everyone gets an equal chance of success without congestion while allowing for additional capacity if it exists.
BULLETIN PHASE: Receive the special MIREX bulletin. The MIR packet system will downlink a brief BULLETIN once every 3 minutes. Each school should expect to capture these bulletins on their Bulletin display at some time during the pass.
PHASE: Concurent with the Bulletin Phase,
the next objective is for each transmitting school to
successfully relay a position/status report via MIR and
for all other schools to receive them. A position
packet will look something like this:
W3ADO>GGggGG,R0MIR*:]k[ US Naval Academy. 75 Students 35w. Hi MIR!
Here, the GGggGG is the stations grid square which is sufficient to locate the school to within about 3 miles. The ]k[ is the map ICON for a school. Stations may transmit these single packets at about a one-a-minute rate until successful. Once they see their position in the downlink, then they should stop sending their position.
PHASE: After each school has captured one
full page of position packets (16 stations) from other
schools, indicating others are being successful and their
station is hearing the downlink, then the
authorized schools may send a single message packet
to any other station.
For each additional page of 16 positions that each school captures, it may send additional packets up to a maximum of 5.
special version of packet software called MIRMON has been donated
for unlimited use during this experiment. MIRMON will
capture all position reports, bulletins and messages and give
schools a consistent display of the event. The software may
be downloaded and further test details as well as a replay of the
last such experiment are available on the Naval Academy MIREX WEB
Schools with at least a 2m FM 25 watt radio and omni antenna and conventional TNC should be successful. Individual HAMS desiring to participate are welcome to monitor the test in RECEIVE ONLY, or to visit a school and set up a demonstration to qualify to transmit... This means all stations should be manned and not operated unattended.
Even schools without current ham radio equipment can monitor the event via the live WEB pages above and also at www.mirex.net. We are trying to find dedicated ground stations, at least one per continent, that can link their receiver to our growing network. Currenlty we have feeds in the Eastern USA, Mexico, and Spain under construction. To see the combined feed from these staitons, BROWSE the web site above or TELNET to www.mirex.net.
For school info contact Bob at [email protected]