Amateur Radio on the International Space Station-Europe (ARISS-EU) Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, will retire from that post this fall after serving since 2000, when the ARISS Working Group was formed. Among other initiatives, Bertels was involved in the project to have Amateur Radio equipment and antennas installed on the ISS Columbus module and with the installation and commissioning of the Ham TV DATV system on the ISS. He has also personally assisted in many ARISS contacts involving schools and groups on the Continent.
“[I’m] now 88 and slowing down a bit,” Bertels told ARRL in announcing the election of his successor as ARISS-EU Chairman, Emanuele D’Andria, I0ELE.
In 2014, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 awarded the Roy Stevens, G2BVN, Memorial Trophy to Bertels, in recognition of his service to Amateur Radio in space, first as chairman of the Eurocom Working Group and then of the Amateur Radio Space Exploration Working Group.
As Bertels explained, a slate of four ARISS-EU Board candidates was presented to the ARISS-EU member societies. All ran unopposed for 2-year terms. In addition to D’Andria, other Board members include Oliver Amend, DG6BCE, technical director; Bertus Hüsken, PE1KEH, counselor, and Jean Pierre Courjaud, F6DZP, counselor. The new ARISS-EU Board takes office on October 1.
The ARISS membership includes the AMSAT organizations in Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, and the UK, and the IARU member societies in Italy, Germany, Poland, France, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the UK. IARU member societies in Malta and Lebanon are associate members.
“Congratulations to the elected Board, and best wishes for a very successful term of office,” Bertels said in announcing the new board.