ARISS-Europe Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF has drafted an overview of a new “Ham Video” DATV downlink system on S-Band being developed for placement on the International Space Station later this year. The equipment is being developed by Kayser Italia under contract with the European Space Agency using a Canon XF-305 camera provided by NASA.
The equipment is currently slated for deployment to the ISS on Japan Space Agency’s HTV-4 in August 2013. HTV is Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle for resupplying the International Space Station. Gaston’s paper provides an overview of both the equipment that is being placed on the ISS as well as discusses ground station requirements. The ESA contract calls for Kayser Italia to provide five ground stations for placement in Europe that will be “chained” to provide overlapping video reception coverage, with the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) serving as a central server site for receiving video from these ground stations and making it freely available to others via the internet. It is hoped that amateurs will support other ground station “chains” in other countries as multiple stations are needed to provide up to 15 minutes of video in support of school contacts.