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.

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The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized the need to join the amateur radio and professional science communities through a recent grant award to support the upcoming HamSCI Workshop from March 22-23, 2019 in Cleveland, OH. The conference is hosted by the Case Western Reserve University Amateur Radio Club and organized and administered by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The NSF conference grant from the Geosciences Directorate will provide important facilitation for conference activities and associated logistics.

A new study, High‐Frequency Communications Response to Solar Activity in September 2017 as Observed by Amateur Radio Networks, by HamSCI researchers has been published in the American Geophysical Union journal Space Weather. The article is available for free from the journal website.

Plain Language Summary: Radio communications using the high‐frequency (HF) bands (3–30 MHz) is important for emergency communications because it is the only form of electronic communications that can travel over the horizon without relying on man‐made infrastructure such as the Internet, satellite systems, or phone networks. This is possible because HF rays can be bent back to Earth by the ionosphere, an electrically charged layer of the upper atmosphere. Space weather events such as X‐ray flares from the Sun and geomagnetic storms can alter the ionosphere to disrupt these communications. During September 2017, a significant number of solar flares and geomagnetic activity occurred. Simultaneously, major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose, caused situations in the Caribbean region requiring the use of emergency HF communications, often provided by ham (amateur) radio operators. This paper shows the impacts of these space weather disturbances on HF communications as observed by multiple ham radio monitoring systems.

Registration is now open for the 2019 HamSCI Workshop to be held at Case Western Reserve University, W8EDU, in Cleveland, OH from March 22- 23, 2019. This year’s theme will be “Ionospheric Effects and Sensing,” which includes the use of amateur radio techniques for the characterization and study of ionospheric phenomena such as traveling ionospheric disturbances, sporadic E, response to solar flares, geomagnetic storms, the 2024 total solar eclipse other space weather events. In order to facilitate this science, continued development of the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station and discussion of integration of amateur radio into the collegiate curriculum will also take place. Featured speakers include well-known amateur radio author Ward Silver, N0AX, propagation specialist Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, and MIT Haystack Observatory Research Scientist Dr. Larisa Goncharenko. Participants are invited to submit abstracts and present. Please visit http://hamsci.org/hamsci2019 for registration and abstract submission. This workshop is hosted by Case Western Reserve University in collaboration with New Jersey Institute of Technology.