March 24, 2015: Charlie Sufana AJ9N: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
Charlie will present the latest status of ARISS, including how many schools have had a contact, explaining the application process, discussing the equipment needed, showing a satellite tracking program, and having a video of an actual school contact. This will be followed by a Q&A session.
Charlie has been a ham radio operator since high school when he received his Novice license (WN9CLT), with General and Advanced following in 1969. In 1978, he attained Extra class and became AJ9N.
He first got started with the space and ham radio program SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, now Space Amateur Radio Experiment) in 1993, as control operator for a SAREX school contact from Elliott School in Munster, Indiana, which his daughter attended, when the school contacted the shuttle STS-58 Columbia. In 1997, he was the customer support representative (CSR) for AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.) at Johnson Space Center for the STS-94 SAREX contact.
In 1994, he became a SAREX mentor and in 2000 a mentor for ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. To date he has mentored 66 ARISS schools, and was the control operator for ARISS contact #1, from Burbank, IL. To date, there have been over 950 ARISS contacts. He maintains the private ARISS mentor webpage.
Professionally, Charlie has a BSEE and MSEE from Purdue University and is retired from Commonwealth Edison, the electric utility serving Chicago. He currently works from home as a consultant on electric utility power system protection. He is a registered professional engineer in 6 states. He is a very active member of the IEEE Power System Relaying Committee.
In 2012 Charlie and his wife moved from Munster, Indiana, to Huntington Beach, to be near their children and grandchildren.