The November MARC Member Meeting was a presentation on the use of Amateur Radio Satellites by Scott (KD9QOG). Scott took us through both the simple way to make contacts with a handheld radio and antenna as well as the “industrial strength” version of making satellite contacts with a $6,000 set of dual Yagi Antennas and an automatic azimuth/elevation control linked to a program that uses the Keplerian coordinates of the intended satellite to “aim” the antennas.
Note the large Yaesu rotors that control the large array. They track the satellite as it makes its pass over the user's location. The antennas are always aimed at the satellite from the acquisition of signal (AOS) of the pass through the loss of signal (LOS).
Scott also had exciting news for MARC Members as the club has joined with the University of Notre Dame and the Robinson Learning Center to submit an application for an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) contact reservation.
If accepted, this will allow MARC Members to participate in the setup and initiation of the contact sometime in the New Year (probably late in the year). These reserved contacts take place on special frequencies and at appointed times to avoid interference. Some of you will remember the MARC ARISS contact that was arranged for Stanley Clark School; over 400 students were in attendance for what was a perfect QSO with the ISS! 12 students were able to speak with Astronaut Peggy Whitson.