Images from the ISS Nov 2012

My fascination with ham radio and the International Space Station stepped up a notch today, as I was able to receive and decode my first image from the ISS.

Occasionally, the astronauts aboard the ISS turn on the SSTV (Slow Scan TV) equipment on their amateur radio station and beam signals from their vantage point back down to us amateurs on the ground.

After being tipped off via the ISS Fan Club website that SSTV was active, I calculated a suitable overhead path and connected the audio output of my 2 metre rig to the soundcard on my PC, and tuned in. The frequency in use for the downlink was 145.800MHz, and I set up a digital recorder to capture the received audio.

Without too much fiddling about, the image was received pretty well, with only a tiny bit of noise, and a fairly minor image attribute on the left. Here’s the received image:

Image from the ISS
SSTV Image from the ISS captured on 09 Nov 2012


The image was in the Martin M1 SSTV format, 320×256 pixels.

Video Showing ISS SSTV:

Here;s a short video showing how the image is received, using the free PC application MMSSTV


It was also possible to decode the image by holding an iPhone up to the rig’s speaker, using the SSTV app, as shown here:

ISS SSTV on iPhone SSTV app
ISS SSTV being received on iPhone SSTV app

For more on SSTV, see our article SSTV – The Basics

One Comment

  1. kevin 11 November 2012 Reply

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