ISS touches base with Hyderabad

Should one be excited by this continuous stream of high-pitched beeps? One could dismiss them as meaningless background noise in sci-fi movies, but ask the radio amateurs. They would rather do a jig and go gaga over it.

By Author   |   VU3ONY   |   Published: 16th Apr 2018   9:10 pm Updated: 16th Apr 2018   8:27 pm
Hyderabad

The city ham community was abuzz with activity between April 11 and 14 as International Space Station passed over, beaming pictures

Should one be excited by this continuous stream of high-pitched beeps? One could dismiss them as meaningless background noise in sci-fi movies, but ask the radio amateurs. They would rather do a jig and go gaga over it.

For them, it is downloading of images through Slow Scan Television (SSTV) mode on their wireless transceivers. So, what’s so great, you might think. But, make no mistake about it. These are images beamed from the space and the challenge is to receive, decode and turn them into pictures.

These high-pitched beeps and the static originate from the International Space Station (ISS) that keeps oribiting earth every 90 minutes at a speed of 28,000 kmph at an altitude of roughly 400 km.

The ham community in Hyderabad was super excited with the four-day event in which the ARISS Russia module of the ISS-transmitted images related to Interkosmos project through SSTV mode in celebration of Cosmonauts Day between April 11 and 14.

Simply put, at a pre-defined time, the Hams would get ready with their antenna and wireless sets to receive the signals from the ISS, play them through another software on computers to turn them into pictures. The ham community was abuzz with activity for four days as the ISS passed over Hyderabad beaming pictures.

Just after the pass, the wireless sets would crackle and the WhatsApp group would get flooded with the pictures downloaded. For those senior Hams, it was an opportunity to teach the rookies and the latter would flood Facebook pages with the images… Some fun indeed!