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HamSCI will again be at the Dayton Hamvention 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 edge of ham radio science and engineering research, including new directions in Sporadic E research, causes of F region ionospheric variability, how propagation works on the new 630 and 2200 m bands, the Personal Space Weather Station, and more. Hamvention will be held May 17-19, 2019 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.

By Aidan Montare, KB3UMD

Congratulations to the Case Amateur Radio Club for their second place score (out of 114 entries nation-wide) in the ARRL’s Frequency Measurement Test! The hosts of this year’s HamSCI workshop, W8EDU was able to measure the frequency of one 80 meter and one 40 meter transmission from K5CM to 0.03 and 0.02 Hertz, respectively. First place station W4VU in North Carolina won by only a slight margin of 0.01 Hz on 80 meters (a difference of one part per billion in the measurement).

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.

Cover of January/February 2019 National Contest Journal

The Solar Eclipse QSO Party Wrap-Up is published as the feature article in ARRL's National Contest Journal this month. The article recaps the August 21, 2017 SEQP event, science results, and recognizes the top-scoring participants and RBN nodes. A free copy of the article is available through the NCJ web site.

Solar Eclipse QSO Party Logo

SEQP logs and data submitted to hamsci.org are now available for download from the Zenodo Data Repository HamSCI Community. This archive contains the locations, logs, and station descriptions submitted by operators to hamsci.org following the SEQP, as well as an aggregated, geolocated archive in CSV format of all Reverse Beacon Network (RBN), WSPRNet, PSKReporter, DXCluster, and SEQP log QSOs. The final rules of the SEQP have also been archived here. More information about the SEQP can be found at http://hamsci.org/seqp, and a published analysis of RBN observations over the United States by Frissell et al. (2018) may be found at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077324.

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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.

 

The results of the 2015 CASSIOPE ePOP - Field Day experiments have been published in the peer-reviewed American Geophysical Union journal Radio Science as "Citizen radio science: an analysis of Amateur Radio transmissions with e‐POP RRI" by Dr. Gareth Perry et al. From the plain language summary:

We report the results of an experiment in which we used a satellite‐based radio receiver to eavesdrop on Ham radio communications as the satellite passed over the United States. We identified 14 Ham radio users by their call signs, and used this information to determine their location during the experiment. We were able to identify unique signatures in the Hams' signals that are directly related to the nature of the how the Hams' radio waves traveled through the Earth's ionosphere up to the satellite. Furthermore, we used our knowledge of the position of the spacecraft, and the location of the Hams and their broadcast frequencies to deduce the structure of the Earth's ionosphere over the United States during the experiment. This experiment and its results show that Ham radio transmissions and Hams (amateur radio operators) can be valuable assets in determining the structure of the ionosphere over large geographic regions.

The version of record is available from https://doi.org/10.1029/2017RS006496. A free pre-print is available from http://hamsci.org/sites/default/files/publications/Perryetal_HamRadio_20....