• Equipment test successful in intercepting communication among astronaut, students in NC

    By Brit Milazzo
    bmilazzo@basd.net
    Public relations, BASD

    BAMS in Space is another step closer to becoming a reality. On Feb. 5, a team working on the equipment plan was able to locate and accurately tract the International Space Station during its low orbit.

    Jon Guizar, local ham radio operator and school board member who helped spearhead the project, said they were able to intercept astronaut Scott Tingle as he spoke to students at a school in North Carolina.

    The mission of the “proof of performance” event was for equipment installed at Bellefonte Area Middle School to track the space station and intercept the radio, and record any audio that was intercepted. The data and recordings will be submitted to NASA and ARISS – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.

    Guizar said this proved the ability for BAMS to have its own successful event.

    “We will submit our recording, which will allow NASA to proceed with confidence in scheduling our actual event,” he said. “(The) event also afforded us an opportunity to fine-tune our equipment and make a few changes to enhance our contact.”

    During the testing phase, the ISS passed over the tip of Florida and up the coastline until going below the horizon to the northeast. The orbital pass was “relatively low” in the sky from the Bellefonte location, Guizar said.