As part of the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project, TAPR is charged with developing a Scientific Software Defined Radio that operates from a few kHz up to 30 MHz with a focus on flexibility, high precision stability, and accurate time stamping. TAPR has taken this charge to develop the TangerineSDR, a modular software defined radio that will not only meet HamSCI's PSWS needs, but also many other applications. In the videos below, the chief architect of the TangerineSDR, Scotty Cowling, WA2DFI, shows off a mock-up of the new radio at the 39th Annual ARRL-TAPR Digital Communications Conference that took place in Detroit, MI from September 11-13, 2020. People who would like to participate in PSWS and TangerineSDR development are encouraged to visit tangerinesdr.com, join the TAPR TangerineSDR listserv, and join in the Monday night TeamSpeak telecons.
By Nathaniel A. Frissell (W2NAF), Philip J. Erickson (W1PJE), Ethan S. Miller (K8GU), William Liles (NQ6Z), Kristina Collins (KD8OXT), David Kazdan (AD8Y), and Nathaniel Vishner (KB1QHX)
Photo by Laura Gooch (N8NFE)
The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is an international collective of professional researchers and amateur radio operators working together to simultaneously advance the fields of space science and amateur (ham) radio activities. The 2nd US HamSCI meeting was held March 22-23, 2019, organized by Nathaniel Frissell of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and hosted by the Case Amateur Radio Club (Case ARC) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Ionospheric Effects and Sensing,” which includes the use of amateur radio techniques for the characterization and observational study of ionospheric phenomena such as traveling ionospheric disturbances, sporadic E, response to solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and other space weather events.
This article starts with a brief description of historical observations that have been made concerning the effects of solar eclipses on the strengths of distant medium wave signals. It continues with a description of how medium-wave DXers used software defined radios (SDRs) for the first time during the solar eclipse of August 2017 to record the entire AM broadcast band (535-1705kHz) for later analysis. Although no plan had been made to create a formal experiment, it appears to be possible to use the data collected to analyze the effect of the eclipse on radio propagation. An example is presented, derived from recordings made at four different receiver locations in western North America, describing large variations in the signal strength from Salt Lake City's KSL-1160kHz during the course of the eclipse. The times that peak signal strengths occurred at the four locations are then compared relative to the times of eclipse totality along the signal paths.
HamSCI will again be at the Dayton Hamvention 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 edge of ham radio science and engineering research, including new directions in Sporadic E research, causes of F region ionospheric variability, how propagation works on the new 630 and 2200 m bands, the Personal Space Weather Station, and more. Hamvention will be held May 17-19, 2019 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.
Congratulations to the Case Amateur Radio Club for their second place score (out of 114 entries nation-wide) in the ARRL’s Frequency Measurement Test! The hosts of this year’s HamSCI workshop, W8EDU was able to measure the frequency of one 80 meter and one 40 meter transmission from K5CM to 0.03 and 0.02 Hertz, respectively. First place station W4VU in North Carolina won by only a slight margin of 0.01 Hz on 80 meters (a difference of one part per billion in the measurement).
Plain Language Summary: Radio communications using the high‐frequency (HF) bands (3–30 MHz) is important for emergency communications because it is the only form of electronic communications that can travel over the horizon without relying on man‐made infrastructure such as the Internet, satellite systems, or phone networks. This is possible because HF rays can be bent back to Earth by the ionosphere, an electrically charged layer of the upper atmosphere. Space weather events such as X‐ray flares from the Sun and geomagnetic storms can alter the ionosphere to disrupt these communications. During September 2017, a significant number of solar flares and geomagnetic activity occurred. Simultaneously, major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose, caused situations in the Caribbean region requiring the use of emergency HF communications, often provided by ham (amateur) radio operators. This paper shows the impacts of these space weather disturbances on HF communications as observed by multiple ham radio monitoring systems.