A meeting bringing together both radio amateurs and radio scientists was held in the UK on the 13 October 2017, before the Radio Society Great Britain annual convention. This 'HamSCI' event, the first such meeting outside of the USA, was organized by Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG, (University of Bath) in association with her Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Knowledge Exchange fellowship.
Members of HamSCI presented at the 36th Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference September 15-17, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. The TAPR/ARRL DCC is an annual conference that attracts technically-minded amateur radio operators who specialize in building and designing hardware and software to support digital communications and radio. In a presentation entitled HamSCI and the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse HamSCI members Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF, Bill Engelke AB4EJ, Josh Katz KD2JAO, Spencer Gunning K2AEM, and Josh Vega WB2JSV showed initial results of the Solar Eclipse QSO Party and other HamSCI eclipse experiements.
We've been contacted by several individuals regarding submission of observations of effects during the eclipse to HamSCI recently. Any such material - logs, reception reports, and records of other observations - is welcomed by HamSCI. We encourage you to email these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larger data sets - raw I/Q data recordings or large audio files, for instance - can be submitted to the HamSCI community on Zenodo if they are too large to email. Create an account there to do this, or log in with your GitHub or ORCID account to do so. Zenodo has a 50GB limit per data set, so those of you who recorded multiple bands may need to submit each band as a separate data set. Thank you to everyone who took part in this and submitted observations of any kind!
After eight short hours, the Solar Eclipse QSO Party has come to a close. Particpation was quite good. Although the final numbers are not yet in, preliminary reports show that over 670,000 spots were detected by the RBN, and over 542,000 spots were reported to PSKReporter during the SEQP. These numbers will increase as data is processed. SEQP participants are requested to submit their logs and RBN data (spots.txt) to hamsci.org/seqp. A PDF Certificate of Participation will be provided on log submission.
With only 5 days remaining before the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), over 600 stations have already indicated that they are planning on participating. We have posted both a list and map showing the locations of all pre-registered stations. Stations are still encouraged to pre-register. Many stations have e-mailed asking for guidance as to what is the best band, mode, or antenna to use is. We recommend simply following the SEQP rules and enjoying this as you would any other operating event. We will be getting data from many, many different sources and need signals on all bands and modes. A link for log submission will be posted to hamsci.org/seqp by the end of the SEQP. See you on the air and good luck in the SEQP!
During the Solar Eclipse QSO Party, we'll be collecting data from the Reverse Beacon Network, a system which uses wideband SDR-based receivers called "skimmers" to decode CW and RTTY signals in large parts of the amateur HF spectrum and send decoded callsigns to a central server.
The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) is just a few short weeks away! The SEQP is a special operating event organized by the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) to study ionospheric effects caused by the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. During the SEQP, hams are asked to operate on the HF bands in a manner similar to contests or QSO parties. Systems such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN, www.reversebeacon.net), PSKReporter (pskreporter.info), WSPRNet (wsprnet.org), and participant logs will provide the QSO and spot data that will be used by researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech to study eclipse-induced ionospheric effects. Full event rules and operating procedures are available at hamsci.org/seqp. Let us know where you plan to be and what modes you plan to operate. To do this, visit the SEQP Pre-Registration page at hamsci.org/seqp-prereg. We look forward to hearing you on the air!
By Dr. Chris Fallen, KL3WX
Geophysical Institute - University of Alaska, Fairbanks
The next HAARP open house will occur on 19 August 2017 and include round-trip bus transportation from Fairbanks for $45 which will help bring costs down for individuals, particularly for those from out of town. Throughout the day there will be talks by Geophysical Institute researchers on-site about the HAARP facility and research, and other research topics pursued at the UAF Geophysical Institute. As in the previous year, tours of the main transmitter array, control center, and power generation plant will be offered throughout the day. Hams and radio enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their equipment for photo opportunities or even to make contacts from the site.
By Dr. Chris Fallen, KL3WX
Geophysical Institute - Uniervsity of Alaska, Fairbanks
The Arecibo ionospheric HF heating facility will be operational for a research campaign from 24 to 31 July 2017. Because the facility transmits on the HF frequencies 5.125 and 8.175 MHz, it is possible that its signals can be heard world-wide. QSL cards are available for interested SWLThe new Arecibo ionosphere HF heater nominally transmits 600 kilowatts net power (100 to 200 megawatts effective radiated power) and has a unique Cassegrain dual-array antenna design that increases the gain of three crossed dipoles for each band using the signature 1000 ft spherical dish reflector.