2017 Total Solar Eclipse News

This week, many HamSCI members are presenting their research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. The AGU Fall meeting is one of the largest geoscience meetings in the world, and consists of about 24,000 attendees. The scientific program includes sessions pertaining to all areas of geophysics, including space weather, the solar wind, auroral activity, the ionosphere, and the neutral atmosphere. Below is a list of selected presentations and sessions being given by HamSCI members, or of general interest to ham radio operators. The complete scientific program is available here.

In his recent QEX article, “Ionospheric Disturbances at Dawn, Dusk, and During the 2017 Eclipse,” Steve Cerwin, WA5FRF published his analysis of observations of WWV (5 MHz) and WWVB (60 kHz) transmitters in Ft. Collins, CO as received at his home in San Antonio, TX.  Cerwin reports that during the August 21, 2017 eclipse, a definite and measurable enhancement of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) signals from his station. In addition to eclipse observations, Cerwin also examined the dawn and dusk transitions on both frequencies. Notable findings include a propagation null on WWVB that is correlated in time with dusk and dawn, and is consistent with destructive interference from a combination of ionospheric skip and ground-wave multipath propagation. Cerwin also reports on increased frequency jitter at 5 MHz during these times, as well a radical positive frequency swing at dawn and a negative swing at dusk.

Full text of Steve Cerwin’s article is available here. This is from the September/October 2018 QEX, copyright ARRL. HamSCI thanks the ARRL for permission to reprint this article.

 

CQ Amateur Radio Magazine published an article by Rich Moseson, W2VU, about the 2018 HamSCI meeting in the May 2018 issue entitled, "A Virtuous Cycle: Hams and Scientists Helping Each Other". The 2018 HamSCI Workshop was held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) February 23-24, 2018 and brought together hams and space scientists from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Over 60 people in attended, and presentations included results from the 2017 Great American Eclipse, ideas for a personal space weather station, and other amateur radio-space science experiments and projects. PDFs of most presentations from the workshop are available here. Full text of the CQ Article is available here (Copyright CQ Communications, Inc., Posted by permission).

The question, “Will anybody participate in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP)?” Was answered loud and clear on eclipse day, August 21st. The HF bands were busy from the first minute of the SEQP at 1400 UTC to the closing bell at 2200 UTC. Logs were received from 566 stations. Some operated on all bands, others concentrated on one or two. In total, the SEQP generated over 618,000 RBN spots, 630,000 WSPRNet spots, 1.2 million PSKReporter spots, and 29,000 logged QSOs. The Sun may have taken a lunar nap but the bands were full of life!

The first science results from the 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse QSO Party have been published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research LettersIn the paper, "Modeling Amateur Radio Soundings of the Ionospheric Response to the 2017 Great American Eclipse," Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, and team present Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) observations of the SEQP and compare them with raytracings through an eclipsed version of the physics-based ionospheric model SAMI3. On  14 MHz (20 m), eclipse effects were observed as a drop-off in communications for an hour before and after eclipse maximum. On 7 MHz (40 m), typical path lengths extended from about 500 km to 1000 km for 45 minutes before and after eclipse maximum. On 1.8 MHz (160 m) and 3.5 MHz (80 m), eclipse effects were observed as band openings 20 to 45 minutes around eclipse maximum.

UPDATE: Booth talk scheduled update 8 May 2018.

HamSCI will again be at the Dayton Hamvention, this year as part of the new Ham Radio 2.0: Innovation and Discovery area sponsored by the Yasme Foundation. Come visit the HamSCI Booth and Forum to learn about projects on the cutting of ham radio science and engineering research, including initial science results of the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), the status of the Arecibo Observatory, the latest in understanding the causes of 6 meter sporadic E propagation, and how an inexpensive software defined radar for ionospheric studies works. Hamvention will be held May 18-20, 2018 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.

The 2018 HamSCI Workshop held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) February 23-24, 2018 brought together hams and space scientists from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. With over 60 people in attendance, presentations included results from the 2017 Great American Eclipse, ideas for a personal space weather station, and other amateur radio-space science experiments and projects.

Registration for the 2018 HamSCI Workshop is now open! The workshop will be held February 23-24, 2018 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ and seeks to bring together the amateur radio community and professional scientists. Anyone interested in this workshop is invited to join. This year, the workshop will focus on results of the 2017 Great American Eclipse ham radio ionospheric experiments (including SEQP results) and the development of a Personal Space Weather station.

HamSCI Workshop 2018

 

The Yasme Foundation announced this past week that Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF and Magda Moses, KM4EGE are winners of the 2017 Excellence Award for their role in starting HamSCI and organizing and promoting the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. From Yasme's Website, "The Yasme Excellence Awards are presented to individuals who through their own service, creativity, effort and dedication have made a significant contribution to amateur radio. The contribution may be in recognition of technical, operating or organizational achievement as all three are necessary for amateur radio to grow and prosper. These awards shall be given from time to time as the board feels appropriate."

We are inviting all hams and scientists interested in ham radio science to come to the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ for a HamSCI workshop on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24, 2018. This aim of this workshop is to foster collaborations between the ham radio and the space science and space weather research communities through presentations, discussions, and demonstatrations. This year's meeting will focus on solar eclipse analysis, ham radio data sources and databases, and the development of a "personal space weather station". This meeting is open to all interested persons. If you are interested in attending, please fill out the HamSCI Workshop Interest Survey. Final registration details will be posted by December 2017.