Amateur station on board of ISS

The first amateur radio station was on board of the ISS since the very early days. Many astronauts are also licensed radioamateurs and can use the station in their leisure time. The station is also used for schedules school contact. Finally the station is always available as backup communication mean in case of major disruptions of the other communication channels.

Station description:

as of 3rd September 2020

Columbus Module radios:

  • Ericsson VHF– Removed and stowed.
  • Ericsson UHF- Stowed. 
  • MarconISSta — Temp. stowed.
  • IORS — Installed on Sept 1 and cross band repeater activated. System will be used for all future USOS school events.

Service Module radios:

  • Kenwood D700, station #1 (delivered in 2003) — Stowed.
  • Kenwood D700, station #2 (delivered in 2008) ‑Stowed.
  • Kenwood D710E (delivered in 2014 for MAI-SSTV) – Supporting Russian scheduled voice contacts. Should not be needed for future USOS school events.

Station history

The first amateur radio station was installed in the Zarya service module and is composed of an Kenwood D700 tranceiver for HF, 2m & 70cm. The antennas are mounted on the outside of the service module. 

Later a second station has been installed in the Columbus module. It is composed of 2 handheld Ericsson M‑PA transcievers, one tuned for 2m, the other one for 70cm.

The HAM-TV transmitter was also installed in Columbus with patch antennas on the outside. It is currently back on earth for repair.

ARISS school contacts:

ARISS school contacts allow students from all ages to ask questions to the astronauts. The radio link is established by a radioamateur means.
If a direct radio contact is not possible at the school, a network of amateur radio groundstations is available to establish a contact and connect to the school via Telebridge.
Check on ariss​-eu​.org or ariss​.org for more details.
Often you can monitor ongoing school contacts by listening to the ISS on 145.800 MHz (FM) .


Regularly ISS transmits SSTV images on 145.800 MHz.

Packet Radio:

Often the station is switched on as packet radio station.
It can be used as digipeater; it also disposes of a small BBS that can be used to exchange messages.


HAM-Video transmitter was installed in 2014 and operates on 2.4 GHz. HAM-TV was sometimes used in conjunction with 2m voice during ARISS contacts.
Jean Pierre Courjaud F6DZP developed the “Tutioune” software that decodes the non-standard DATV stream.
Unfortunately the HAM-TV transmitter ceased to operate in 2018 and is currently under repair. We hope that it can be reinstalled soon.

HAM-TV2 project is currently under study

Print This Page Updated on September 15, 2020

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