Get Involved!

Below are several projects and events in which amateur radio operators can help to study the ionospheric effects of the total solar eclipse. Over time, the information on this page will be updated and developed. Please join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on current developments. Not a ham radio operator yet? Learn more about it from the American Radio Relay League.

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Solar Eclipse QSO Party

During the Eclipse on August 21, 2017, the American Radio Relay League will sponsor an Eclipse QSO Party. This is a contest-like event designed to generate numerous QSOs across the HF bands for the purpose of studying propagation changes during the eclipse. The data from this event will consist of particpant logs, Reverse Beacon Network Observations, and QSO party recordings. This is similar to the 2015 Solar Eclipse QSO  Party organized by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). More details regarding this event will be posted here and in QST.

 

Reverse Beacon Network

The Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) is a network of Software Defined Radio (SDR) receivers which automatically decodes and reports spots of CW and digital signals. These spots are archived and available for analysis on the RBN website. To make the RBN data more valuable for scientific studies, more RBN receivers are needed. Amateur radio operators are encouraged to setup their own RBN receivers to contribute data.

 

HF Frequency Measurement Experiment

Rapid changes in ionospheric electron density caused by the motion of the shadow of an eclipse is known to cause Doppler shifts on HF ray paths propagating through the eclipse region. For example, see Figure 7 in Boitman et al., 1997. We request that all amateur radio stations capable of making high-quality HF frequency measurements participate in this experiment and publish their data to the HamSCI community on the open-data sharing site zenodo.org.

 

HF Wideband Recording Experiment

Total solar eclipses are known to cause changes to the ionosphere and high frequency propagation. During the 2017 American Total Solar Eclipse, numerous HF radio sources will be on the air to help study these effects. We request that amateur radio stations capable of making wideband digital HF recordings participate in this experiment and publish their data to the HamSCI community on the open-data sharing site zenodo.org.

 

EclipseMob VLF/LF Experiment

EclipseMob will leverage citizen science to create the first large, geographically distributed set of low-frequency (LF, 30-300 kHz) skywave propagation observations during the eclipse of August 21, 2017, which will be analyzed to provide new information about the location and geometry dependence of ionization and recombination behavior in the D and E layers of the ionosphere, while also stimulating public interest in science and engineering. EclipseMob is an NSF-sponsored collaboration between UMB and GMU with cooperation from SPAWAR and GA Tech. Contact Bill Liles, NQ6Z, at info@eclipsemob.org.

 

S&T AM Broadcast Experiment

If you are not a ham radio operator, don't have access to specialized radio equipment, or simply prefer listening, then this eclipse experiment is for you! Contributing author Joe Rao of Sky & Telescope Magazine is asking readers to submit reception reports of AM broadcast stations heard during the upcoming August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The shadow of the moon is expected to cause a depletion in the D region of the ionosphere, thereby reducing ionospheric absorption in the AM broadcast band (540 - 1700 kHz) and allowing for long-distance skywave propagation. This same mechanism allows for long-distance propagation of AM broadcast stations at night. This is an excellent eclipse radio experiment for people who do not have ham radio licenses or access to specialized equipment. For more information, please see Joe's Sky & Telescope article.