ePOP

A major component of the enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) mission is to utilize artificially generated radio emissions to study High Frequency (HF) radio wave propagation in the ionosphere. In the North American and European sectors, communications between amateur radio operators are a persistent and abundant source source of HF transmissions. We present the results of HF radio wave propagation experiments using amateur radio transmissions as an HF source for e-POP RRI. We detail how a distributed and autonomously operated amateur radio network can be leveraged to study HF radio wave propagation as well as the structuring and dynamics of the ionosphere over a large geographic region. In one case, the sudden disappearance of nearly two-dozen amateur radio HF sources located in the midwestern United States was used to detect a enhancement in foF2 in that same region. We compare our results to those from other more conventional radio instruments and models of the ionosphere to demonstrate the scientific merit of incorporating amateur radio networks for radio science at HF.

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....

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.

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.