Have you wondered where there’s an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station? Yes, there’s an Amateur Radio on the ISS and astronauts use them to speak with earth – bound Amateur radio enthusiasts. Most astronauts are licensed HAM operators.
The ISS contains 2 working Amateur radios Kenwood-D710E and a Kenwood-D710GA.
The Kenwood TM-D710GA radio is located within the ISS Columbus Module, supports 2-meter (144-146 MHz) and 70 cm (435-438 MHz) operation. This radio provides a better output power capability (restricted to a maximum of 25 Watts in ISS operation) supporting FM and packet operations. The Kenwood TM-D710E radio is found within the ISS Service Module (Zvezda), supports 2-meter (144-146 MHz) and 70 cm (435-438 MHz) operation. A typical ground station for contacting the ISS station includes a 2-meter FM transceiver capable of both transmitting and receiving radio waves near the 145-megahertz frequency.
As the ISS is orbiting the Earth within the Thermosphere at a high speed, so there’s only a 10-minute communication window. To facilitate this communication between ISS and Amateur radio operators the Amateur Radio on the International space station (ARISS) was formed. ARISS inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International space station (ISS) on-orbit crew.