While the astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station conduct experiments nearly 250 miles above earth, John Brier, KG4AKV, is on a mission of his own closer to home. The Raleigh, North Carolina ham hopes to fulfill a personal goal: have a voice QSO with a member of the ISS crew.
Brier hasn’t always been active since becoming licensed at age 15, but his interest was renewed two years ago after listening to a school radio contact through the ARISS program. Later, he successfully received a satellite image from the space station and began making contacts through SO-50, an easy-to-work voice satellite. He developed a keen interest in satellite communications, especially with the ISS.
“I listen to them talking to schools almost every month and I really like receiving the slow-scan TV images they send out a few times a year,” he says.
Brier has an active YouTube channel where he features videos of his satellite work. He also started a blog about communicating with the ISS, including hints for receiving slow-scan TV signals from space.
Even if he isn’t ultimately successful in making a two-way contact, he won’t be too disappointed. “I enjoy just receiving them, too,” Brier says.