by AB7RG 2019-11-03IMPERIAL, Calif - The Imperial County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service and the office of Emergency Services put together a large-scale emergency exercise. The Valley is almost entirely below sea level, making it susceptible to extreme rainfall events. The Exercise called "Hurricane Lupe" used a scenario where the dry, rural county was overcome with 18 inches of rain in a short time frame. Participants had figure out how they would deal with communication links that might be overwhelmed in such a scenario.
by AB7RG 2019-11-02SEATTLE -- Students are often told words of encouragement, such as "the sky is the limit." These University of Washington students opted to shoot for the stars instead. “It will be exciting once it’s in orbit,” Paige Northway said in a press statement. “To me, the completion will be when we can get data from the satellite and send instructions back.” Northway is a doctoral student in Earth and Space Sciences program at UW. She is a member of a team, working out of the Husky Satellite Lab, that took five years to develop HuskySat-1, a roughly 7 pound satellite that is smaller than a loaf of bread, according to UW. It's three cube units, each roughly measuring 3 inches per side. “Usually people buy most of the satellite and build one part of it. We built all the parts,” Northway said. “It was a pretty serious undertaking.” The nuts and bolts of the satellite: it features a pulsed plasma thruster which is experimental, using sparks to ignite small amounts of solid sulfur; solar panels; and a high-frequency K-band communication system. It also includes a new type of amateur radio linear transponder -- which is useful to ham radio enthusiasts. Inside is an array of circuits and batteries. There is also a camera which was designed and built by high school students at Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila.
by AB7RG 2019-11-01Still no sunspots, but average daily solar flux rose this week from 65.3 to 68.5. Yet there have been surprising reports of HF stations heard and worked over long distances. However, the second-hand report in last week's bulletin about a local station in my area working Belarus and Lithuania on 10 meters in the middle of the night turned out to be a misunderstanding, and I am sorry I reported it.
by AB7RG 2019-11-01The World Radiocommunication Conference, the international treaty-making Conference governing the global management of scarce radio-frequency spectrum as well as geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits, opened today in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The conference was opened by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt. Egypt has been a Member State of ITU since 1876. UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed WRC-19 by video. WRC-19, held every three to four years, is mandated to review and revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. Dr. Amr Badawi of Egypt was appointed Chairman of the conference. “The World Radiocommunication Conference, which opened today, will address some of the leading edge technological innovations set to play a pivotal role in tomorrow’s digital economy and the future development of services, systems and technologies,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, noting that digital inclusion provides the chance to improve the lives of millions across the world.
by AB7RG 2019-11-03The first nanosatellite being built in the Philippines will soon join the Maya-1 cube satellite (cubesat), which is now in orbit in space. The 10 cm3 nanosatellite is one of 10 new small satellites that are in the laboratory and at different stages of development. Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano Jr., acting director of Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Advanced Science and Technology Institute (Asti), presented the tentatively named Birds-2S cubesat during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the launching of Diwata-2 microsatellite on October 29. Stamina4Space PHL-50 Project Leader Dr. Marc Talampas, used numbers in summarizing the events’ presentations, besides mentioning the 13 satellites in orbit and underdevelopment, he enumerated the following: 46.06 percent, the Philippine land area that Diwata-2 has captured in images; 672, the number of screws that had to be checked after every vibration test during Diwata-2’s development, showing the meticulous engineering needed; three, the “trinity of vision” -- light source, object and detector, the basic principles that Diwata-2’s optical payloads operate; and 101, for Philippines-Oscar 101 (PO-101), which was designated by AMSAT to Diwata-2’s amateur radio unit on April 11 this year. It aids in disaster response management through assessment of damages caused by natural disasters by taking pre- and post disaster images; provide means of communication for emergency responders through amateur radio; and through automatic packet reporting system.
by AB7RG 2019-11-02The appearance of sunspots -- their number, duration, and location -- suggests that the dynamics of the Sun’s outer layer is synchronized with an internal clock. Sunspots -- temporary dark spots that appear on the outer layer of the Sun -- have been observed and recorded by humans for more than two millennia, but exactly what causes them and what determines the cycles of their appearance is still being explored by scientists. A recent article in Reviews of Geophysics presented a synthesis of what we know about cycles of sunspot activity and their drivers. Here, the authors give an overview of scientific understanding to date and suggest where additional research is needed.
by AB7RG 2019-11-01Students at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak with an orbiting astronaut today thanks to some local ham radio operators. Students filled the school’s auditorium -- and others watched a live video feed at Discovery and Cedar Lane elementary schools and Broad Run High School -- as members of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group used an array of highly directional Yagi antennas placed on the school’s roof to connect with astronaut Dr. Drew Morgan on the International Space Station. While the program took months of planning, the window for the communication was limited to about 10 minutes, as the space station raced from horizon to horizon at more than 17,000 miles per hour. LARG members Stephen Greene, a half-century ham radio veteran, and JohnDykstra, a Loudoun Valley High School student, operated the radio station while students lined up to ask Morgan as many questions as possible in the narrow communications window.
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