Planned ISS SSTV Activity 28/01/2021 – 29/01/2021

A very brief period of SSTV activity from the ISS for those who didn't take part in the Christmas ARISS 20th Anniversary event

According to a post on the ARISS SSTV Blog it appears that there are plans for another SSTV activity period coming up. This announcement is subject to crew duties and operational constraints on the station.

Posted on Tuesday 19 January 2021 by

MAI-SSTV experiment Jan 28 and 29

Moscow Aviation Institute will be operating SSTV for a few passes that overfly Moscow on Jan 28 and 29. It is anticipated this will be the recent used PD-120 mode and will be on the 145.800 MHz

Times for the experiment are currently scheduled as follows:

  • Jan 28 – Setup starts at 12:10 UTC and transmissions stop at 17:15 UTC
  • Jan 29 – Transmissions start at 13:10 and experiment concludes at 18:05 UTC

Dates and times are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments.

Historically, images are downlinked at 145.800MHz FM +/- 3kHz for Doppler shift and the expected SSTV mode of operation is PD 120.

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 probably after 22 January so please check back in a few days if you don’t want to prepare your own pass predictions. 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 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
  • Mac OSX – MultiScan can be found at
  • 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.

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


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
Time (UTC) Azimuth or Bearing Degrees Above the Horizon Azimuth or Bearing Time (UTC) Azimuth or Bearing
1 28/01/21 14:33:35 186 9 145 14:41:50 85 00:08:15
2 28/01/21 16:08:31 230 37 137 16:19:12 76 00:10:41
3 29/01/21 13:47:08 171 5 146 13:54:14 90 00:07:06
4 29/01/21 15:21:20 221 27 166 15:31:38 77 00:10:18
5 29/01/21 16:57:36 255 80 174 17:08:38 80 00:11:02

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) 137 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.