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.
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 Canadian CAScade, Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) spacecraft once again eavesdropped in on the 2018 ARRL Field Day. Onboard CASSIOPE is the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP), a suite of eight science instruments studying spaceweather. The Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI), one of e-POP’s eight instruments, was tuned to 7.005 MHz (40 m), during 6 passes over the North American continent during the Field Day activities. “We’re really happy with our results this year” remarked Dr.
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!
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.
Microwave Update (MUD) is an international conference dedicated to microwave equipment design, construction, and operation. It is focused on, but not limited to, amateur radio on the microwave bands. The Midwest VHF/UHF Society is pleased to host this year's event. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn, 2800 Presidential Drive, Fairborn, Ohio 45324 from October 11 - 14, 2018.