Planned ISS SSTV Activity 01/12/2020 – 02/12/2020

Watch this space for Pass Predictions in the next 3 - 4 days

According to a post on the ARISS SSTV Blog it appears that there are plans for a limited duration SSTV experiment at the beginning of December 2020. This announcement is subject to crew duties and operational constraints on the station.

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2020 by ariss-sstv.blogspot.com.

MAI-75 1 December 2020 – 2 December 2020

The preliminary crew schedule shows a Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV activity planned for December 1 and 2. This is a limited time experiment primarily targeting the Moscow area. Others in range of ISS during the experiment should also have the opportunity to receive images. Historically, images are downlinked at 145.800MHz FM +/- 3kHz for Doppler shift and the expected SSTV mode of operation is PD 120.

Planned operating times are:

  • December 1 – Start about 12:30 UTC. Stop about 18:25 UTC
  • December 2 – Start about 11:50 UTC. Stop about 18:25 UTC

Dates and times subject to change.

There is an official European Space Agency (ESA) video about receiving SSTV from the ISS using the web SDR at Goonhilly for those who don’t have a capability to receive on 145.800MHz. You can see the video here: ESA ISS SSTV Video. For those interested in doing their own reception and decoding either live or after the event using recordings made during the passes for subsequent decoding the AMSAT website has a good primer that will serve as a good reference for those more experienced too.

We encourage you to have a try at receiving and decoding these images, you do not need specialist equipment, Kevin M7AWX was successful with just a handheld, set-top whip and Robot36 on a ‘phone within 2 weeks of passing his Foundation exam so don’t be put off; give it a try. Any images you receive can be included on the Club website if you send them to us, contact details at the bottom of this screen.

A table of approximate pass times, durations and directions will be provided in the table at the bottom of this post. The table is based on the Clubhouse as its location but it should be accurate enough for most people in and around Bristol. The further you are from the Clubhouse the greater the error and below the Clubhouse table are details of how to obtain your own pass predictions. If you are planning on using the Gooonhilly Web SDR as a receiver as described in the ESA video linked to earlier in this page then you are advised to run your own pass predictions as shown in the ESA video or outlined at the bottom of this page.

SSTV Programs are available for all platforms so no matter what you use there’s probably something to decode the image:

  • Linux including Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi – QSSTV can be found at users.telenet.be/on4qz/qsstv/index.html if you want the absolute latest version. However Debian based distros such as Ubuntu, Mint and others almost certainly will have QSSTV in their repositories as will other mainstream distros.
  • Windows – MMSSTV can be found at hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php.
  • Mac OSX – MultiScan can be found at www.qsl.net/kd6cji.
  • Android – Robot36 can be installed from the PlayStore and includes both PD180 and PD120. Not sure what minimum version of Android it wants but it runs without issue on Android 6 which is reasonably long in the tooth.
  • iOS – Black Cat Systems sstv-slow-scan-tv.

For those who like real time information the Android App AmSatDroid Free is one of a number of live satellite trackers available for Android. Similar apps are available for iOS, a simple example is ISS Spotter.

The AMSAT prediction website is only giving pass predictions upto November 30 at the moment as this is the limit of the next 50 passes. The Heavens Above website indicates that there is probably 3 viable passes on 1 December (14:48 29° elevation, 16:24 82° elevation and 18:01 88° elevation) but is not providing any predictions for 2 December yet since it is more than 10 days into the future, although a similar pattern would be expected.

Rather than try to cobble together pass predictions we will revisit the predictors in a few days and publish our usual pass-prediction tables with one data set from the AMSAT pass predictor.

Table of ISS Passes

Novers Park Community Association, Rear of 124 Novers Park Road, Bristol, BS4 1RN

Latitude (degrees N-S where North is +ve): 51.425400°
Longitude (degrees E-W where East is +ve): -2.593882°
IARU (Maidenhead) Locator: IO81qk
Elevation (metres above Ordnance Datum AOD): 64m

Notes:

In the table below:

  1. Table Entries with no background colour indicate passes where: 0° < Maximum Elevation ≤ 30°
  2. Table Entries with a yellow background indicate passes where: 30° < Maximum Elevation ≤ 45°
  3. Table Entries with a green background indicate passes where: 45° < Maximum Elevation ≤ 90°
  4. Azimuth or Bearings are measured in degrees clockwise from North
Pass No. Date (UTC) Acquisition of Signal “AoS” Maximum Elevation Loss of Signal “LoS” Pass Duration
(Hr:Min:Sec)
Time (UTC) Azimuth or Bearing Degrees Above the Horizon Azimuth or Bearing Time (UTC) Azimuth or Bearing
1 01/12/20 13:12:21 174 6 133 13:19:26 91 00:07:05
2 01/12/20 14:46:43 222 28 168 14:57:08 76 00:10:25
3 01/12/20 16:23:01 256 82 178 16:33:56 81 00:10:55
4 01/12/20 17:59:51 277 88 240 18:10:47 100 00:10:56
5 02/12/20 12:26:16 155 2 143 12:31:00 102 00:04:44
6 02/12/20 13:59:30 212 21 154 14:09:33 77 00:10:03
7 02/12/20 15:35:30 249 69 160 15:46:28 78 00:10:58
8 02/12/20 17:12:17 273 85 343 17:23:13 94 00:10:56

If you want to run your own location specific pass predictions try using:

The AMSAT site will require either:

  • Method 1
    • Your 6 character IARU (Maidenhead) locator square (e.g. IO81qk); and
    • Your elevation in metres (e.g. 64).
  • Method 2
    • The absolute (without +ve or -ve sign) value of your Latitude in decimal degrees and selecting North where the original value is positive (greater than 0) or selecting South where the original value is negative (less than 0) (e.g. 51.4254 North);
    • The absolute (without +ve or -ve sign) value of your Longitude in decimal degrees and selecting East where the original value is positive (greater than 0) or selecting West where the original value is negative (less than 0) (e.g. 2.593882 West);
    • Your elevation in metres (e.g. 64).

The Heavens Above site is more flexible and will accept any of:

  • Method 1
    • Your address including postcode (e.g. Novers Park Community Association, Rear of 124 Novers Park Road, Bristol, BS4 1RN); and
    • Your elevation in metres (e.g. 64).
  • Method 2
    • Your What.Three.Words location descriptor (e.g. ///weeks.exams.flight); and
    • Your elevation in metres (e.g. 64).
  • Method 3
    • Your Latitude in decimal degrees where +ve is north of the equator and -ve is south of the equator (e.g. 51.4254);
    • Your Longitude in decimal degrees where +ve is east of the Greenwich Meridian and -ve is west of the Greenwich Meridian (e.g. -2.593882); and
    • Your elevation in metres (e.g. 64).

When using Heavens Above don’t forget to check that you have the correct timezone (e.g. (GMT +0:00) United Kingdom/Ireland)

Heavens Above understands British Summer Time and corrects accordingly

About Andy (G7KNA) 154 Articles
BEng CEng MICE. Chartered Civil Engineer and Licensed Radio Ham (G7KNA). Member of South Bristol Amateur Radio Club since 2005 and Secretary since 2010. I am a registered RSGB Assessor for Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced Exams. Away from the club and work I play with computers and related gadgets exploring Open Source software and when necessary bodge the odd DIY project.