HamSCI at the 2017 Dayton Hamvention

HamSCI at the 2017 Dayton Hamvention

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 11:52

Thanks to sponsorship by the American Radio Relay League, HamSCI will be a part of the 2017 Dayton Hamvention from May 19-21, 2017 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. Throughout the entire Hamvention, HamSCI members from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, the MIT Haystack Observatory, and Citizen Scientists from the general amateur radio community will be at the HamSCI booth in the ARRL EXPO area in Building 2 to discuss HamSCI programs, activities, and mission. The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) of August 21, 2017 will be among the most discussed topics at this year’s HamSCI Hamvention Booth. Other topics include using RBN, WSPRNet, and PSKReporter for space weather research and a demonstration of how to operate a Reverse Beacon Network receiver.

In addition to the HamSCI booth in the ARRL EXPO area, there will also be an ARRL-sponsored HamSCI forum on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9:15 A.M. – 10:30 AM in Room 4. During the forum, panelists will share information about professional research programs supported by radio amateurs. Abstracts for this forum are listed at the end of this article.

HamSCi members will be easy to spot during the Hamvention… just look for the distinctive white HamSCI Labcoats!

HamSCI Forum Abstracts

Saturday, 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. – Room 4 (175 cap.)
Moderator: Ward Silver, N0AX

1. “What is HamSCI?”

By Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF (NJIT-CSTR)

A brief overview of HamSCI’s mission, people, and projects are presented.

2. "Introduction to Space Weather and Radio Propagation”

By Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

A broad overview of space weather and the effects on propagation is presented, including a review of general band characteristics, and a discussion of expectations for the bands during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

3. “Upper Level Lows and Six Meter 50 Mhz Sporadic E”

By Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW, presented by Phil Erickson, W1PJE (MIT Haystack Observatory)

Amateur radio is used to explore possible correlations between weather storm systems and sporadic E clouds to see if they are collocated. While some of the main causes of sporadic E propagation are wind shear, meteor strikes and upper atmospheric tides (ultimately coming from solar EUV energy inputs), radio operators have noticed that sporadic E propagation is also changed significantly by hurricanes and storms.  Specific cases where K1YOW used amateur radio to investigate the effects of low pressure weather storms on the formation and/or enhancement of 6 meter sporadic E clouds are presented. DX Maps and earth wide weather model charts combined with operations on 6 meters are used to examine possible correlations between the location of the sporadic E clouds and the low pressure weather storm systems.  Initial findings show a high degree of correlation when magnetic field strength is taken into consideration.  

4. “Ionospheric Impacts of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse”

By Magda Moses, KM4EGE (Space@Virginia Tech)

On August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse over the United States traveling from Oregon to South Carolina. There are significant differences between the conditions during a solar eclipse and the conditions normally experienced at sunset and sunrise, including the east-west motion of the eclipse terminator, the speed of the transition, and the continued visibility of the corona throughout the eclipse interval. Hence, unique ionospheric effects are produced during over the partial and total phases of the eclipse, reflected by changes in radio propagation. These include variations in the density and altitude of the F2 peak leading to changes in the Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) and the path length of HF signals among others. Analysis of eclipse RF propagation data with raytracing algorithms will shed light on the underlying processes governing the ionosphere. 

5. “VLF/LF and the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse”

By Bill Liles, NQ6Z

Previous solar eclipse studies have observed different propagation effects at VLF/LF frequencies (3-300 kHz) compared with those observed at HF (3-30 MHz) frequencies. These differences are primarily due to the much longer wavelengths at lower frequencies in concert with ionospheric D layer interactions. To better understand the unusual eclipse-induced effects at VLF/LF frequencies, we present EclipseMob, a crowdsourced collection effort that will use smart phones as simple VLF/LF software defined radio (SDR) receivers to record changes in propagation from known transmitters during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

6. “The Solar Eclipse QSO Party: Ionospheric Sounding Using Ham Radio QSOs”

By Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF (NJIT-CSTR)

The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is expected to temporarily induce profound changes on ionospheric structure, dynamics, and radio propagation. The ARRL and HamSCI are sponsoring a Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) that will be used to generate to assist in imaging ionospheric changes before, during, and after the eclipse. Data will be collected through participant submitted logs and the use of automated tools such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN), PSKReporter, and WSPRNet. SEQP rules and a prediction of results will be presented.

2017 HamSCI Hamvention Booth Representatives

  1. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, NJIT
  2. Josh Katz, KD2JAO, NJIT
  3. Brendan Keogan, KD2LXD, NJIT
  4. Josh Vega, KD2NKK, NJIT
  5. Chris Harrsch, KD2GYD, NJIT
  6. Nick Zito, KD2MCS, NJIT
  7. Magda Moses, KM4EGE, Virginia Tech
  8. Harry Han, KM4ICI, Virginia Tech
  9. Phil Erickson, W1PJE, MIT Haystack Observatory
  10. Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, ARRL
  11. Ward Silver, N0AX, ARRL
  12. Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y, Citizen Scientist
  13. Bill Liles, NQ6Z, Citizen Scientist