2017 Total Solar Eclipse News

As Solar Cycle 25 begins, amateur radio operators look forward to the return of the exciting propagation conditions associated with solar maximum. The classic paradigm for solar cycle prediction is based on an 11-year sinusoidal pattern of sunspot numbers, with an official NASA-NOAA "consensus" prediction coming from a panel of experts evaluating an ensemble of different types of models. However, the underlying solar cycle mechanism is still not well understood and this consensus prediction can fall short. Scott McIntosh at the U.S. National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and his team have recently published a new method for predicting the time and amplitude of solar maximum, based on changes in the observed magnetic polarity in different regions of the sun. This new method predicts a stronger Solar Cycle 25 than the NASA-NOAA "consensus" prediction. HamSCI member Frank Howell K4FMH teams up with Dr. McIntosh to review this new methodology and its potential impacts on how we think about solar cycle predictions in a two-part article series currently featured on the cover of RSGB's RadCom magazine. More information can also be found at Frank's blog.

In November 2021, Dr. Martin Archer asked the HamSCI and Amateur Radio Community for help in determining the best way to sonify ultra low frequency (ULF) plasma waves measurements. Those results have just been published! From Dr. Archer:

"Our sense of sound can be a powerful tool in exploring and analysing data collected from satellites. But what is the best way to make this data audible? Space science researchers at Imperial College London asked for your input on which methods of making the sounds of near-Earth space audible produce the best results. We’re pleased to announce that the results of this survey have now been published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences. The feedback was invaluable, providing clear recommendations on which methods were best. These are now being used by space scientists around the world to improve their science communication, public engagement, and citizen science. Thank you!"

HamSCI played a major role at the 2022 Dayton Hamvention, which was held in Xenia, Ohio May 20-22, 2022 at the Green County Fairgrounds The Dayton Hamvention is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and is the world's largest ham radio gathering, with over 32,000 attendees at the 2019 Hamvention. The Hamvention is an extremely important event for engaging with the amateur radio community, sharing ideas, developing collaborations, and sharing scientific results. This year, HamSCI hosted a booth, gave presentations in the Ham Radio 2.0 area, and hosted a forum. Support for the 2022 HamSCI Hamvention activities comes from The University of Scranton, the Yasme FoundationTAPR, the National Science FoundationNASA, and volunteers like you. This year, HamSCI will again host a booth in building 5 next TAPR, host booth talks in the Ham Radio 2.0 area, run demos, and the host HamSCI Forum.

A description of the hardware of the Grape Version 1 Personal Space Weather Station by John Gibbons N8OBJ, Kristina Collins KD8OXT, David Kazdan AD8Y, and Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF was published in the journal Hardware-X, entitled Grape Version 1: First prototype of the low-cost personal space weather station receiver. The full paper is available from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ohx.2022.e00289.

A team of HamSCI researchers led by Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF just published a new article, First Observations of Large Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances Using Automated Amateur Radio Receiving Networks, in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters. The article looks at an event from November 3, 2017 to demonstrate how a large-scale disturbance moving through the ionosphere can affect the communications distances on the 14 MHz (20 m) amateur radio band. On this day, a 2.5 hour oscillation could be seen in the minimum distance of 14 MHz contacts recorded by the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN)Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network (WSPRNet), and PSKReporter.

A call for abstracts is now open for the 2022 HamSCI Workshop, which will be hybrid in-person and virtual March 18-19, 2022 at The U.S. Space and Rocket Center Educators Training Facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Abstracts are due February 1, 2022. The primary objective of the HamSCI workshop is to bring together the amateur radio community and professional scientists. This year's theme is The Weather Connection, with invited speakers Dr. Tamitha Skov WX6SWW and Mr. Jim Bacon G3YLA presenting tutorials on the impacts of both space and terrestrial weather on the ionosphere, and a keynote presentation by Dr. Chen-Pang Yeang on Ham Radio and the Discovery of the Ionosphere. We welcome abstract submissions related to development of the Personal Space Weather Station, ionospheric science, atmospheric science, radio science, space weather, radio astronomy, and any science topic that can be related to space science and/or the amateur radio hobby.

In early 2022, there’s an opportunity for on-the-air camaraderie and friendly competition among HamSCI amateur radio operators:  HamSCI team entries in the January 2022 running of the North American QSO Party, SSB, better known by its acronym, NAQP. As the name of the contest implies, the focus is on North America, though DX stations are welcome to call in and make contacts. We propose having HamSCI team names such as HamSCI Grapes, HamSCI Tangerines, HamSCI Eclipse Watchers, and HamSCI SuperDARNs. Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 22, 2022, 1800z - 0600z, for some SSB, on-the-air, work-your-fellow-HamSCI-members kind of fun! Gary Mikitin, AF8A, has volunteered to organize and register the teams.  If you would like to participate, please contact him via <gmikitinaf8a> <at> gmail <dot> com.  Gary can answer any questions you might have about operating in the NAQP.

Our sense of sound can be a powerful tool in exploring and analysing data collected from satellites. But what is the best way to make this data audible? Space science researchers at Imperial College London are asking for input from communities with relevant expertise (including Audio, Citizen Science, Music, Public Engagement, and Science Communication) to help us choose the best method of making Ultra-Low Frequency waves around the Earth audible. Fill out our quick survey telling us which you think sounds best. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Your valuable feedback and recommendations will help space scientists around the world to improve science communication, public engagement, and citizen science.

If you would like further information please contact Dr Martin Archer, Stephen Hawking Fellow in Space Physics at Imperial College London via m.archer10@imperial.ac.uk. Thank you for your help!

The 40th annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) will take place September 17–18, 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s conference will be held online. Registered DCC attendees participating via Zoom will be able to interact with presenters and other attendees via a chat room as well as raise a virtual hand to ask questions. Click here to register (you don’t need a Zoom account to register). Non-registered DCC attendees can watch the live stream for free on YouTube and can chat and ask questions via the moderator monitoring the channel. No registration is required for YouTube access (the YouTube URL will be announced and posted on this webpage preceding the DCC). DCC registration is free for TAPR members and $30 for non-members. Members receive a 100% discount at checkout. Click here to register. Non-members who would like to join TAPR and receive the free DCC pass can simply add TAPR membership and DCC registration to their shopping carts. After checkout, they will receive the free DCC pass when their membership is processed.

Call for Papers and Speakers: Technical papers are being solicited for presentation. Papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings. Authors do not need to participate in the conference to have their papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline is August 15, 2020. Submit papers via email to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, maty@arrl.org. Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will retain all rights.

HamSCI's Kristina Collins KD8OXT, a PhD student a Case Western Reserve University, was interviewed by Steve Ford WB8IMY in the March 11, 2021 epsiode of ARRL's Ecletic Tech podcast. In the podcast, Kristina talks about the upcoming 2021 HamSCI Workshop, the Grape Personal Space Weather Station, and the Festivals of Frequency Measurement. The Festivals of Frequency Measurement are large-scale experiments to observe ionospheric and propagation variablity by measuring small Doppler shifts in signals received from standards stations such as NIST's WWV. Kristina's recently published a feature article on the HamSCI work in the American Geophysical Union's EOS magazine and initial results of the 2019 WWV Centenial Festival of Frequency Measurement in IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. Great job, Kristina!

Click here to listen to the podcast.