Flying past Earth in Low Earth Orbit, LEO,  at a whopping 5 miles-per-second. That means the International Space Station, ISS, circles the entire planet once every 90 minutes. The ISS is 220 to 248 miles above Earth.


Amateur Radio Operators from around the world track and listen for the ISS as it flies over head, and with this being the 50th Anniversary of Amateur Radio in Space there is some added activity.

ARISS, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, has planned events to celebrate that milestone. In early August 2019, the ISS sent signals down to earth as it crisscrosses space. The signals included Photos of  astronaut, scientist and ham radio pioneer Owen Garriot. These photos are sent via a mode called Slow Scan TV, SSTV, and can be decoded with an app on a phone, a computer program and the use of a small hand held radio and antenna.

Numerous operators in Hawaii successfully decoded the signals and posted their photos to the ARISS website. ARISS SSTV Images

SSTV Image Received by KH6OWL

The image above was received using an Kenwood TH-F6 Radio with a Diamond SRH320A Antenna. For the decode program I used a application for my iPhone called SSTV, made by Black Cat Systems.

Kenwood FM TH-F6 Radio
Radio with Antenna

Local Hawaii Hams often post their photos at the facebook group, hamradiohawaii.

Listen to the Space Station crew use Ham Radio to call Earth.

You can practice by putting your app up to your computer speaker and playing youtube SSTV signals.

Listen to SSTV Signals from the ISS.