Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation

Advance scientific research and understanding through amateur radio activities.
Encourage the development of new technologies to support this research.
Provide educational opportunities for the amateur community and the general public.

Quick Links

Editor's note: This toolkit can be used to record SDR data to a standard format for scientific use.

MIT Haystack Observatory is pleased to announce the formal open source release of Digital RF version 2.5 under a BSD license. The software implements a data recording format for scientific radio frequency (RF) instrumentation using the HDF5 scientific data format. The implementation is designed for the management of highly time-dependent data from a large number of radio sensors. Applications include radio science (e.g., radio astronomy, geospace radar) and any project requiring the capture and use of RF data as raw digital samples.

By G. W. Perry, N. A. Frissell, E. S. Miller, and J. D. Katz

The Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) onboard the Canadian CAScade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite will once again be supporting ham radio citizen science by participating in the 2017 American Radio Relay League Field Day, on June 24 and 25, 2017. On an annual basis, the ham radio community participates in the ARRL Field Day to exercise and hone their skills in the field.  In essence, it is an emergency preparedness exercise – one of the largest anywhere – with several thousand hams taking part across the world.  From a radio science perspective, Field Day is an ideal time for e-POP to study the structure of the Earth’s ionosphere using Field Day participants’ transmissions.


The HamSCI team completed a successful weekend presenting at the 2017 Dayton Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio. From May 19-21, the HamSCI team ran a booth in the ARRL Expo area where they discussed the HamSCI mission, upcoming experiments, and ways ham radio operators could participate in HamSCI activities. The HamSCI team included members from the New Jersey Institute of TechnologyVirginia Tech, the MIT Haystack Observatory, and Citizen Scientists from the general amateur radio community. This includes the upcoming Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), participation in the EclipseMob Project, and a live demonstration of both Red Pitaya and Rabbit S-9C based Reverse Beacon Network receive nodes. On Saturday morning, HamSCI presented an ARRL-sponsored forum where members gave oral presentations about HamSCI research and activities. Photos, videos of the presentations, and PDFs of presentation slides are included in this post.