Here’s the latest Amateur Radio News compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Accessed on 16 September 2021, 2303 UTC.
Content provided by “The ARRL Letter”, 16 September 2021.
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September 16, 2021
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME
Next SpaceX Commercial Crew to ISS Comprised of Radio Amateurs
Four radio amateurs will head to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a commercial flight, thanks to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). They are Raja Chari, KI5LIU; Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC; Kayla Barron, KI5LAL, and Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH, a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut. The targeted launch date is no sooner than October 31, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will mark the third SpaceX Crew
Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket launch combination as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which provides transportation to and from the ISS. The crew is scheduled for a 6-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what’s expected to be a seven-member crew.
The launch will be the first spaceflight for Chari, Barron, and Maurer, and the third for Marshburn.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 will be the third crew rotation mission to the ISS with astronauts on a US rocket and spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020, the Crew-1 mission in 2020 – 2021, and the ongoing Crew-2 flight as part of the Expedition 65 crew.
Crew-3 astronauts plan to arrive at the station to overlap with NASA Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Megan McArthur; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, and ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, who flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission in April 2021.
Mission teams have a target launch date of no earlier than April 15, 2022, for the launch of the SpaceX Crew-4 mission. “NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with industry through a public-private partnership to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station, which will allow for additional research time and will increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration,” NASA said. “The space station remains the springboard to space exploration, including future missions to the moon and Mars.”
For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit the NASA website.
The 2021 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is Just Ahead
The weekend of October 2 – 3 is designated for holding the annual ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET), although local and Section-level exercises may take place throughout the fall.
The SET is ARRL’s primary national emergency exercise and is designed to assess the skills and preparedness of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers, as well as those affiliated with other organizations involved in emergency and disaster response.
In addition to ARES volunteers, those active in the National Traffic System (NTS
The SET offers volunteers an opportunity to test equipment, modes, and skills under simulated emergency conditions and scenarios. Individuals can use the time to update a go-kit for use during deployments and to ensure their home station’s operational capability in an emergency or disaster.
ARRL Podcasts Schedule
VoIP Weather Net Handles Reports for Hurricane Larry
Amateur radio volunteers on the Voice over Internet Protocol Weather Network (VoIPWX), joined linked systems in Newfoundland, Canada, to collect ground-truth weather data for relay to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Environment Canada, as Hurricane Larry hammered the Canadian province on September 11. The Category 1
Scores of reports, including damage to schools and homes, power outages, and evacuations, were sent by a squad of hams that included Aaron Abbott, VO1IV, and Gareth Rowberry, VE3GJR.
More than 40 personnel hours of operation by Canadian and US radio amateurs were involved in providing the reports received on both systems.
Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net, said, “Through the exemplary efforts of VO1IV…and a number of amateur radio operators across Newfoundland and one amateur operator in Ontario who relayed a report from a non-amateur radio CANWARN Spotter [a volunteer organization of ham radio operators reporting severe weather to Environment Canada] in St. John’s, Newfoundland, reports of damage to trees, power lines, power outages (including roof damage to a school and a home) were relayed from amateurs in the region.”
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) activated on September 10 on 20 and 40 meters.
ARRL Learning Network Webinars
ARRL members may register for upcoming presentations and view previously recorded Learning Network webinars. ARRL-affiliated radio clubs may also use the recordings as presentations for club meetings, mentoring new and current hams, and discussing amateur radio topics.
Working the Pileup, presented by Ron Delpiere-Smith, KD9IPO / Tuesday, October 5, 2021 @ 1:00 pm EDT (1700 UTC)
Ron Delpiere-Smith, KD9IPO, Vice President of the Chicago Suburban Radio Association and an ARRL Assistant Section Manager in Illinois, will offer an enlightening discussion on working a pileup from both sides of the contact. Whether your interest lies in ARRL Field Day, contesting, special events, or rare DX, this is a must-see presentation. Ron will discuss search-and-pounce and running techniques, when to use them, and some tips on working them to your advantage.
The ARRL Learning Network schedule is subject to change.
ARRL Awards Colvin Grant to Latest Bouvet Island DXpedition
ARRL has awarded a Colvin Grant of $5,000 to Amateur Radio DXpeditions (ARD), the Norwegian nonprofit organization that is sponsoring the 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet Island in fall 2022. Co-leaders for the effort are Ken Opskar, LA7GIA; Rune Øye, LA7THA, and Erwann Merrien, LB1QI. A Colvin Grant in the same amount was
The multinational team plans to activate Bouvet in November 2022. A dependency of Norway, Bouvet is a sub-Antarctic island in the South Atlantic and the second-most-wanted DXCC entity, behind North Korea. The last Bouvet activation was 3Y0E, during a scientific expedition over the winter of 2007 – 2008.
Amateur radio DXpeditions would field a team of 12 operators for a 20-day stay on Bouvet, setting up at Cape Fie in the southeastern part of the island, which the DXpedition organizers called “the only feasible part where a DXpedition can safely set up camp on rocky ground.” The DXpedition has set a goal of 120,000 contacts during its stay.
The Colvin Award is funded by an endowment established by the legendary DX couple Lloyd Colvin, W6KG, and Iris Colvin, W6QL, both now deceased. The Colvin Award is intended to support amateur radio projects that promote international goodwill in the field of DX. Grantees must be groups with a favorable DX track record and with experience directly related to the proposed enterprise. The proposed project must have as a goal a significant achievement in the field of DX. Preference is given to multinational groups, all of whom are members of their own national IARU member-societies.
In August, the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) donated $100,000 to the 3Y0J DXpedition, set for late 2022. The NCDXF is now the DXpedition’s lead sponsor.
“We wish to recognize and thank the Northern California DX Foundation as the lead sponsor for our 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet,” the 3Y0J team said. “Without the support of the NCDXF, operations to the world’s rarest entities would be difficult.”
On September 11, the 3Y0J DXpedition announced a donation of €10,000 (approximately $11,815) from the German DX Foundation (GXDF).
The 3Y0J team said that with its overall budget of $650,000, this DXpedition to Bouvet will be the most expensive ever.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
ARRL Seeks New Treasurer
After 10 years of distinguished service to ARRL as its volunteer Treasurer, Frederick “Rick” Niswander, K7GM, has decided to step down when his current term expires in January 2022. ARRL is seeking qualified candidates from among its membership. The Board of Directors elects the Treasurer and other officers at its annual meeting
The Treasurer is a non-voting member of the Board of Directors and must be a licensed radio amateur and a full member of the ARRL for 4 continuous years prior to nomination. The ARRL Bylaws define the role of the Treasurer as follows:
The position is unpaid; however, necessary expenses, including travel to meetings, are reimbursable. For further information, see the full position description.
A search committee has been established to recommend one or more candidates for Treasurer to the Board. Qualified members are invited to submit a statement of interest and qualifications via email to TreasurerSearch@arrl.org. The deadline is November 12, 2021.
AMSAT Shifts to Virtual Format for 2021 Symposium and Annual Meeting
The AMSAT 39th Space Symposium and Annual Meeting, planned as an in-person event, will now be a virtual event on October 30, due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an opportunity for amateur-radio-in-space enthusiasts from around the world to learn more about AMSAT’s Strategic Plan, the GOLF program, the CubeSat Simulator, and other exciting developments in the amateur satellite world.
AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, said AMSAT members had voiced concern over the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the risks associated with long-distance travel, as well as attendance at
“In the interest of everyone’s comfort and safety, we have made the difficult decision to return to a virtual meeting platform,” Bankston said. “[W]e know that last year’s virtual Symposium event was well received and that we have the opportunity to repeat its success this year.”
Those who have already registered for the Symposium will automatically receive refunds. Address questions regarding the Symposium to email@example.com.
AMSAT will host its 2021 AMSAT Virtual Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting via Zoom on Saturday, October 30, 1400 UTC – 2200 UTC. It will be available to the general public on AMSAT’s YouTube channel at no cost. The event will be a combination of pre-recorded video segments along with live question-and-answer sessions.
Final papers for the Symposium Proceedings must be submitted by October 18. Send these to Dan Schultz, N8FGV. Symposium presentations should be limited to 15 minutes of pre-recorded video and be submitted by October 18 to Paul Stoetzer, N8HM. AMSAT asks that presenters be available to take questions via Zoom following their pre-recorded presentations. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service
ARISS Receives Recognition from NASA Mission Directorate
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received recognition from NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) for its accomplishments in promoting science, technology, electronics, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives through amateur radio. The HEOMD provides leadership and management of NASA space operations, such as developing rockets and spacecraft, that will contribute to human exploration in and beyond low-Earth orbit.
“NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) networks enable NASA to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers — even from 350 kilometers above Earth,” said Kathryn Lueders, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, in a LinkedIn post. “In addition to connecting the science community on Earth with the groundbreaking research studies and experiments aboard the International Space Station, SCaN enables the space station to act as a unique platform for global STEM outreach and education efforts. For over 20 years, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, a nonprofit supported by SCaN, has connected classrooms on Earth with astronauts aboard the space station, allowing students to engage directly with astronauts in real time.”
Working with an amateur radio club on the ground, the ham radio stations on board the ISS enable students to ask the crew questions about life in space and what it takes to become an astronaut. In preparation for their ARISS contact, tudents explore a variety of STEM activities through space exploration, radio communication, and wireless technologies.
“With tens of thousands of student participants each year, the ARISS program plays an important role in inspiring the Artemis Generation and encouraging students to pursue STEM careers,” Lueders said.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Sunspot numbers started strong at 124 on this reporting week, September 9 – 15, but ended at 0. Average daily sunspot numbers went from 64.6 to 58.3. Average daily solar flux declined from 92.9 to 87.4.
Geomagnetic indicators remained moderate, with last week’s average daily planetary A index unchanged at 7, and average daily middle
Predicted solar flux is much lower than last week’s report. Solar flux is predicted at 75 on September 16 – 23; 76 on September 24 – 26; 78, 80, and 82 on September 27 – 29; 86 on September 30 – October 10; 82 on October 11 – 12; 80 on October 13; 78 on October 14 – 17, and 76 on October 18 – 23. Solar flux is expected to rise to 89 by the end of October.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on September 16; 15 on September 17 – 18; 8 on September 19 – 20; 5 and 8 on September 21 – 22; 5 on September 23 – October 3; 8 and 12 on October 4 – 5; 5 on October 6 – 17; 8 on October 18, and 5 on October 19 through the end of the month.
Marty, KB0QZ, in Tulsa called CQ on 28.040 at noon on September 12 on an apparently dead band. LU4HK came back, and they exchanged 599 reports both ways over the 5,094-mile path. He continued to tune the band and call CQ through the afternoon with nothing else heard.
There’s a great solar image in this local California newspaper (page down).
Sunspot numbers for September 9 – 15 were 124, 99, 93, 47, 32, 13, and 0, with a mean of 58.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 99.7, 96.3, 91.8, 87.7, 83.3, 78.1, and 75.2, with a mean of 87.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 9, 7, 6, 9, 6, and 6, with a mean of 7. Middle latitude A index was 7, 9, 8, 6, 7, 5, and 6, with a mean of 6.9.
A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…,” and check out the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA
Share your reports and observations.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
For more information, visit the ARRL Contest Calendar.
Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
Some conventions and hamfests may have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the calendar of canceled events on the ARRL website.
Find conventions and hamfests in your area.
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