The article “Ham Radio Forms a Planet-Sized Space Weather Sensor Network,” appeared on February 9 in Eos, Earth & Space Science News — an American Geophysical Union (AGU) publication. It sprang from a project by the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI), founded by Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, of the University of Scranton, one of the paper’s authors. The others are David Kazdan, AD8Y, and Kristina Collins, both of Case Western Reserve University (W8EDU). The article says that with their experience dealing with ionosphere-influenced propagation, amateur radio operators have an empirical knowledge of space weather and offer a ready-made volunteer science community.
The article covers the method and research being used to monitor the effects of solar activity on Earth’s atmosphere, telecommunications, and electrical utilities — and the valuable data being crowdsourced from amateur radio signals.
“To fully understand variability on small spatial scales and short timescales, the scientific community will require vastly larger and denser sensing networks that collect data on continental and global scales,” the article asserts. “With open-source instrumentation cheaper and more plentiful than ever before, the time is ripe for amateur scientists to take distributed measurements of the ionosphere — and the amateur radio community is up for the challenge.”
“The reach of these crowdsourced systems, and the support of the amateur community, offers tremendous opportunities for scientific measurements,” the article notes.
The research acknowledges a handful of HamSCI collaborators — from organizations and universities — and is supported by National Science Foundation grants. HamSCI’s Personal Space Weather Station initiative aims to develop a network of specially equipped amateur stations that will allow amateurs to collect useful data for space science researchers. As the article explains, ham radio operators and researchers, through HamSCI, are designing hardware for a distributed network of personal space weather stations.
November and December 2021 mark the 100th anniversary of the successful ARRL Transatlantic Tests, which took advantage of data gathered via university and individual amateur stations — an early example of citizen scientists leveraging amateur radio.
The 2021 HamSCI virtual workshop will take place March 19 – 20.
Build your own Roll Up Slim Jim Antenna for the 2 Meter Ham Radio Band. Read more
T2X Tailtwister Series II for large medium antenna arrays up to 20 square foot wind load The T-2XD2 includes the DCU-2 Digital Automatic Controller... Read more
The EMCOMM III Portable antenna is a portable High Frequency (HF) antenna specially designed for short to long range portable and man-pack HF comm... Read more
“The Green Egg for Ham is a cute name for a 3D printed cover for your NMO antenna mounts. The Motorola style NMO mount is a popular style mount... Read more
We take a look at one of the most recent HF transceivers to come onto the ham radio market. Could this be the new FT-101E that was one of the best sel... Read more
An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact between youngsters and youth in Moldova and an International Space Station (ISS) c... Read more
The winning article for the February 2021 QST Cover Plaque award is “Create Your Own 1:1 Coax Choke Balun,” by John Portune, W6NBC. The... Read more