Introducing the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program to Amateur Radio

The Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program is conducted by the University of South Australia in partnership with the International Space University (ISU).

The program provides a multidisciplinary understanding of the key activities and areas of knowledge required by today’s space professions, including

  • space science and exploration
  • space applications and services
  • human spaceflight and life sciences
  • space systems engineering and technologies
  • space policy and economics
  • space business and project management and
  • space law and regulatory issues

The program is open to Australian and international participants from all disciplines

Who is this Program For?

The Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Professionals seeking more knowledge of and contacts in the international space sector
  • Graduate researchers in all fields seeking a broader knowledge of international space activities and the disciplines involved
  • Undergraduate students in the final two years of their studies seeking exposure to the various aspects of space studies to complement their undergraduate studies

Project Space Balloon

On Sunday 22nd January, 45 students from 11 nations will come together as part of the International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program to perform an exciting stratospheric balloon launch experiment. Two simultaneous balloon launches will occur at McLaren Vale and Mt Barker, carrying satellite payloads designed and built by the program participants to an altitude of 35km. The payloads will capture and downlink images of the surrounding area to be watched live from the McLaren Vale launch site. In addition, a packet of Serafino grape seeds will be carried on each balloon for the flight. These “Space Seeds” are then to be planted at the Serafino winery. Also, over the next 5 days a competition to name the payloads will be run, with the winner receiving a mission patch flown into space on the balloon.

Amateur Radio Supporting STEM Education through SHSSP

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group, comprising members of the general public who have interests in radio communications technologies and techniques, is a major supporter of the SHSSP program at UniSA. Members of AREG come from all walks of life, from plumbers to senior telecommunications and manufacturing engineers, electronics technicians to lawyers, couriers to fitters and turners. All are bound by their love of radio and what you can do with it, which has driven them to undertake the self training and education required to be licensed to operate transmitters within the international Amateur Radio Service.

Amateur Radio is a key activity within the Australian community where educational opportunities exist to enhance knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Bringing Amateur Radio to the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program and showing how it can form an integral part of such a significant activity clearly demonstrates the relationship between the Amateur Radio service and education. It reinforces the importance of the Amateur Radio service to the country.

AREG and the Amateur Service’s Contribution to Project Space Balloon

For this launch campaign, over 20+ members of AREG will be acting in support roles providing tracking and recovery teams, data collection teams, payload & communications systems design and launch services. The balloon payloads themselves will be connected to the ground via radio links provided via spectrum assigned to the Amateur Radio Service. Further,  as many as 50 more radio amateurs located across SE Australia will be engaged with telemetry collection in support of the flight, including some from as far away as Melbourne, Victoria (800+ km away).

AREG’s history in High Altitude Ballooning is also a long one. Members of the group have been active in High Altitude Ballooning since 2009, and with over 40 launches to their credit, significant expertise in the area has been developed. It has been one of the most active groups in this field in the last decade in Australia. All of this has been happening within the context of a self funded group of experimenters and explorers.

It is with that background that we are able to support this program. We are very pleased to be able to bring that experience back to the community and to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile venture.

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