Thursday, March 1, 2018

HamSci Workshop Brings Together Amateurs, Scientists

HamSci Coordinator Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, opens
the 2-day workshop held at the New Jersey Institute of
Technology. (W2VU photo)
Radio amateurs and scientists from across the United States and beyond met to compare notes in late February at a workshop sponsored by HamSci, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Initiative. Held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where HamSci coordinator Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, works as a research professor, the workshop brought together some 60 hams and ionospheric scientists for two days of presentations. 

 Last summer's solar eclipse was the focus of the first day, with members of both groups (which sometimes overlapped) shared their findings about propagation changes resulting from the temporary lack of solar energy in the ionosphere. Most of the findings were consistent with each other and with predictions. However, one unexpected – and as yet unexplained – observation was that propagation seemed to recover after the eclipse much more quickly than it had declined as the moon's shadow began to obscure the sun. 
The second day focused on building personal space weather stations to help provide ionospheric scientists with many more points of observation from which to collect and analyze data. CQ attended the conference and will report on it in more detail in an upcoming issue.