On February 7th at 11:45 the Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club (BARC) located in Northern Utah, helped students from Ridgeline High School and Skyview High School to make a contact with Josh Cassada KI5CRH, who is an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
The club spent a year acquiring the required equipment and training to use it. During Field day of 2022, club members were able to speak to astronauts as they flew over the field day site on several passes.
A total of 16 students were able to ask questions during the 9 minute pass over Cache Valley. District and school leadership along with many students were able to watch the contact as it happened live.
The application for the contact was made by the school district in March of 22, and they received word in May of 22 that they were selected for a contact for the first half of 23.
The entire contact happened on the 2 meter band using equipment that would track the International Space Station as it flew over head.
ARISS has specific requirements which guides the proper set-up and selection of equipment. A back-up system on emergency power is also required.
The equipment used for this contact was:
Radio: ICOM 9700. 2 meter, 70 centimeter, and 1.2 GHz
Rotator: Yaesu G5500 AZ/EL rotator
Antenna system: M2 14 element VHF and UHF circular polarized antenna.
Microphone Audio: Heil GM Elite