Monday, June 14, 2021

ARDC is Busy With Major Grants

Amateur Radio Digital Communications, or ARDC, administers the AMPRNet (44) internet domain and recently came into lots of money as a result of selling off a portion of that domain that it determined it was unlikely ever to be used by hams. In 2019, it began making grants for various projects and programs involving amateur radio and/or digital communications. It recently made its largest grant ever as well as its first international grant.

The organization donated $1.6 million in May to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help save its iconic radome and large dish antenna it protects from removal as part of roof renovations on the building where it sits. The dish is used by the MIT Radio Society, W1MX, for moonbounce and other microwave communications, as well as radioastronomy. Plans are being developed for additional uses by the university and the club.

A separate ARDC grant to the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC, Germany's national ham radio organization), will help in "boosting and securing European HAMNET expansion by providing sponsored hardware for radio links to make use of the AMPRNet IP space in Europe," according to ARDC. It is the group's first grant to an organization outside the United States. HAMNET is a high-speed digital network using amateur radio microwave bands.