Preschool STEM : the sky and local radio interview !

With the first grade kids of preschool a work on the sky has been set up !
After observing the sky with their family, the teacher asked them to name what they had seen, ranging from the color, to the stars stepping by the moon. Some lucky few kids even had the chance to see shooting stars !

To follow this observation, they decided to realize for each, their little starry sky.
Yes, space is also tackled by simple notions during the first year of preschool ! There is no age to start a passion !




Secondly, as Saint Dionisy pupils, our preschool kids were also interviewed by France Bleu Gard Lozere, they even sang the song of the rocket they learned in class with their teacher. You can fin the interview here. Then, they said they would love to be able to see the stars more closely like Thomas Pesquet do !


VHF antennas setup for ARISS contact with schools

We have setup and installed the antennas that we will use for the ARISS contact with the schools in Boissieres and Saint-Dionisy in the South of France.

XQuad antenna setup with the kids:

XQuad setup with the kids

Circular polarisation tests with a home made rotating dipole:

Polarisation tests
Polarisation tests

Gilbert F1FWX has made a remote polarisation switch (horizontal, vertical,lhcp, rhcp):

The VHF antennas with Yaesu G5500 rotor for the tests:

The next step will be to setup a Wimo WX220 antenna with 12.5dBd gain in order to handle the flip mode.

ISS HAMTV simulation with Raspberry PI

We have reached our first step in the preparation for the reception of HAMTV of the ISS: we can now demodulate and decode the video using the real ISS transport stream! We have setup two “MiniTiouner” kits (thanks to Gilbert F1FWX!) and set up an experimental DATV transmitter using a Raspberry PI3 and the excellent RPIDatv from Evariste F5OEO.
Please find below our system simulating transmission of the ISS transport stream that was transmitted during the 05/05/2016 Tim Peake ARISS contact and reception with our MiniTiouner kit:

Tests HAMTV ISS ARISS Proxima 30, minitiouner , rpidatv, ts Tim Peake 05/05/2016
Tests HAMTV ISS ARISS Proxima 30, minitiouner , rpidatv, ts Tim Peake 05/05/2016

Please find below a schematic of the setup that we will use to simulate, as well as possible, the ISS HAMTV using a Raspberry PI and RPIDatv , and also our setup for the ISS HAMTV reception:

Raspberry PI HAMTV ISS simulator
Raspberry PI HAMTV ISS simulator


ARISS HAMTV Proxima FR 30 setup
ARISS HAMTV Proxima FR 30 setup

The next step will be to use a dish and LNB for a real ISS pass.

One of our objectives is to be ready to act act as a “relay” HAMTV during the next ARISS contacts with Thomas Pesquet in order to retransmit the received video to the schools that taking part.

The pupils from Boissières & Saint-Dionisy are going to call the International Space Station!

The project of a radio link with space:

ariss-franceARISS is an amateur radio organisation with links to NASA and ESA: it coordinates exchanges between amateur radio operators and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. One of the main missions of ARISS is to organise amateur radio contacts between schools and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The objective is to promote the fields of aerospace and to awaken future vocations!

Fabrice FAURE (amateur radio operator F4HHV in Boissières), offered to the teachers of the primary schools of Boissières and Saint Dionisy to submit a shared application to carry out the following project: to establish an amateur radio link between the pupils and the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet when he’ll be in space!

A meticulous preparation of the educational and technical dossiers has been carried out hand-in-hand with the teachers. These dossiers were then submitted to ARISS France who then communicated them to ARISS Europe.

The schools of Boissières / Saint Dionisy were selected among 56 European candidates!

We have recently learnt that our candidacy has been accepted and we will be part of the 16 schools which have been selected among the 56 applicants having submitted a dossier across Europe! The pupils are going to have the chance to be able to speak to Thomas Pesquet during his time aboard the Space Station late 2016/early 2017!

Twenty or so questions, prepared by the pupils and teachers, may be asked by the pupils during the amateur radio contact which will last about 10 minutes.

Back to school – back to space !

Throughout the school year the pupils will be raising awareness about the theme of Space and will participate in activities based around science, space, astronomy and amateur radio.
You’ll be able to find the different activities carried out by the pupils on this site!

A Frenchman on the International Space Station:

Thomas Pesquet

The International Space Station (ISS) has been constantly occupied since 2000 by an international team. It is the largest object every to have been sent to space. It moves around the Earth at a average speed of 27,700 km/h, and orbits our planet 16 times a day at a maintained altitude of about 350–400 kilometres.

En December 2016, Thomas Pesquet will be joining the ISS for the Proxima mission : he will become the 10th French astronaut to fly in space.

The International Space Station holds on board an Amateur Radio station managed by ARISS. It allows the astronauts to carry out radio contacts with Amateur Radio operators all around the world and to act, if needs be, as a means of communication in case of emergency.

Rendezvous early 2017 for this event!

This outstanding event will take place early 2017, and requires thorough, detailed preparation from the local amateur radio team made up of Fabrice FAURE F4HHV (Boissières), Francis BECHERINI F1OKN, Yves JEANPERRIN F1SFJ (Saint-Dionisy) and Gilbert MORATA F1FWX as well as for the technical parts (video, …) with Jean-Baptiste NADAL, Alan MCCULLAGH and Brett MCCAUGHAN. This team will voluntarily bring its support to all the necessary stages so as to assure a perfect fulfilment on the D day.

Make it a date in 2017 for this unforgettable event!!!

Between now and then you can find all the steps in the preparation of the event on this site.