Personal Space Weather Station News

By Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA

If you’ve come to https://k9la.us because of your interest in propagation, the following is a mini-guided tour to help you navigate to the material you’re interested in. The home page gives a basic introduction, and new items and relevant old items are listed here (usually at the beginning of each month). On the left side of the home page are links that contain material specific to certain aspects of propagation in our Amateur Radio hobby. The Monthly Feature link offers articles about a myriad of topics. These topics are often tied to observations of ionospheric propagation and measurements of solar and ionospheric data. Some important topics that have been covered are the new sunspot numbers (the April 2016 document), the ongoing study of gravity waves and travelling ionospheric disturbances (the March 2020 document) and a look at propagation on our 630-meter and 2200-meter bands (the December 2018 document). As a side note, many HamSCI participants are involved in the gravity wave/TIDs studies.

HamSCI is seeking volunteers, especially in the Eastern Hemisphere, to help us collect data during the annular solar eclipse on June 21. There will be two data collection periods: A practice/control period on June 14 for participants to get their stations in order, and the main data collection period from June 20-22 UTC. 

Details of the experiment are found here: https://hamsci.org/june-2020-eclipse-festival-frequency-measurement

The 2020 HamSCI Workhop will go on! We are moving to an all-digital workshop using Zoom Webinar Services. Registration and participation is free and open to all. Exact details on how to register and participate will be posted to hamsci.org/hamsci2020 no later than Wednesday, March 18th. To prepare and make sure you are ready to participate in the 2020 HamSCI Workshop, please visit the Zoom Website and create free account.

As of March 11, 2020, we have continued to monitor the coronavirus situation and find that it is no longer feasible to hold an in-person HamSCI workshop this year. This has been a very difficult decision to make, as a tremendous amount of planning and effort by many people have gone into preparing for the workshop. We will refund all registrations for this event. Please take this time to cancel any travel arrangements you may have made to attend the workshop.

HamSCI 2020 Workshop Logo

By Stan Zygmunt, University of Scranton

Registration is now open for the third annual HamSCI Workshop. The 2020 HamSCI Workshop for amateur radio operators and professional scientists will be held Friday and Saturday, March 20-21, at The University of Scranton. The theme of the workshop is “The Auroral Connection,” and will include addresses by guest speakers, poster presentations and demonstrations of relevant instrumentation and software. All ham radio operators, scientists, and people interested in ionospheric and space physics are welcome to attend.

The TangerineSDR is the TAPR-HamSCI joint project to create a software defined radio that meets the joint needs of the amateur and scientific communities. The TangerineSDR is slated to be at the heart of the high-performance version of the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station. In his January/February 2020 QEX article, TangerineSDR Chief Architect Scotty Cowling WA2DFI explains the requirements and use cases of the TangerineSDR. Full text of the article is availble here. Reprinted with permission; copyright ARRL.

HamSCI has an opening for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate! Please see the advertisement below.

The University of Scranton Department of Physics and Engineering seeks a post-doctoral research associate starting in Spring/Summer 2020 in support of a recently awarded NSF-supported Distributed Array of Small Instruments (DASI) grant to develop a prototype Personal Space Weather Station. The successful post-doctoral researcher will conduct software development, and subsequent scientific studies, for a multi-site geographically distributed high frequency (HF; 3 – 30 MHz) software defined radio (SDR) network using signals of opportunity.  Primary responsibilities will involve the development and implementation of an ionospheric sounding algorithm using the HF observation network for the purpose of studying geospace phenomena: traveling ionospheric disturbances, ionospheric responses to solar flares, geomagnetic storms and substorms, and other space weather effects. The ideal candidate will have expertise in ionospheric remote sensing, geospace physics including the ionosphere and thermosphere, and digital signal processing algorithm development and implementation.

A $1.3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to University of Scranton physics and electrical engineering professor Nathaniel Frissell, Ph.D., seeks to harness the power of a network of licensed amateur radio operators to better understand and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere. The highly-competitive grant awarded by NSF’s Aeronomy Program for the project titled Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments (DASI) will be implemented over a three-year period. As lead principal investigator, Dr. Frissell, a space physicist, will lead a collaborative team that will develop modular, multi-instrument, ground-based space science observation equipment and data collection and analysis software. He will also recruit multiple universities and ham radio users to operate the network of “Personal Space Weather Stations” developed.

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.

HamSCI and the Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU is sponsoring a distributed experiment during the WWV 100th anniversary celebrations.  The Festival of Frequency Measurement invites all interested to record WWV's 5 MHz carrier for the UTC day 1 October 2019--and then to upload the resulting data file.  Amateur radio operators, shortwave listeners, physics laboratories, and anyone else with a radio receiver and computer may part