Here are the Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images I’ve received from the International Space Station (ISS) from February 15-17, 2019, using a Yaesu FT60 hand-held tranceiver and a smartphone with Robot 36 app as decoder. The audio output of the radio is tapped directly to the microphone input of the smartphone for improved signal decoding.
Transmission received from the International Space Station
As a satellite such as the International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth, the orientation of its transmitting antenna changes with respect to the Earth. It could have an orientation anywhere from horizontal to vertical. To get a good signal, the Earth-based receiving antenna must match the orientation of the ISS’s transmitting antenna, especially when using only a hand-held tranceiver with stock antenna. An antenna with a pair of elements placed at right angles with each other (such as a cross Yagi or a cross dipole) is best suited for satellite work, because elements at right angles can receive signals from both horizontally and vertically-oriented antennas. In this video, I have demonstrated this effect and shown how changes in antenna orientation affects the strength of the signal received.
To learn more about receiving SSTV images from the ISS, click here.
The International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to transmit Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images this weekend, as reported in the ARISS-SSTV webpage.
Start: February 15, 8:45 UTC (February 15, 4:45 pm, Philippine Standard Time)
End: February 17, 17:25 UTC (February 18, 1:25 am, Philippine Standard Time)
All ISS passes within this period present opportunities to receive the SSTV transmissions. You can use an app called ISS Detector (for smart phones) or visit the website Heavens-Above to view upcoming passes (do not forget to set the apps to show all passes, and not just the visible ones).
To receive and decode the transmissions, you need a radio receiver capable of tuning to 145.800 MHz and a decoder app such as Robot 36.
The International Space Station (ISS) has been transmitting images since October 28 and will continue to do so in the next few days. It transmits in SSTV format—the same format used to send images to Earth during the Apollo missions. The transmissions can be received with any radio tuned at 145.8 MHz, and a decoder app such as Robot 36 (try installing that app and decode this recording).
In the previous post, I have mentioned that I am currently engaged in amateur radio activities, particularly, satellite communications. At the moment, I am only receiving transmissions from the International Space Station (ISS). Shown below is the gear I use to send and receive SSTV images.
Equipment for Sending and Receiving SSTV Images
Transmitter (Motorola CP1660) + DIY connector (smart phone’s line out to transmitter’s microphone in) + encoder (smart phone with SSTV Encoder app)
Receiver (Motorola CP1660) + DIY connector (transmitter’s line out to smart phone’s microphone in) + decoder (smart phone with Robot 36 app)
For more info about amateur radio in the field of astronomy, click here.