|Engaging the Amateur Radio Community with the Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science
|Year of Conference
|HamSCI Workshop 2023
HamSCI’s launching of the Solar Eclipse QSO Party in 2017 was, by any measure, a resounding success. Millions of data points were generated by amateur (ham) radio operators and they contributed greatly to research on ionospheric variability. The challenge before the HamSCI organization prior to the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses appearing in North America: How to build on that success, engaging more participants, further assisting the geophysics community to answer the science questions to be raised by The Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science (FoEIS)? The first step was reviewing what worked well in 2017, then building upon that success. Much like 2017, a QSO party, aptly named the Solar Eclipse QSO Party 2.0, was defined. For that event, amateurs will use their existing stations to contact one another in a friendly, competitive manner, using a mix of voice, Morse code and digital methods. Step two was the creation of a new event, the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge, which primarily makes use of digital communication techniques. It should attract those amateurs (and non-licensed short wave hobbyists) with a demonstrated interest in radio wave propagation. Having created an umbrella event, the FoEIS, plus two distinct competitions will allow HamSCI to promote the Festival to the general amateur radio community as before but also to more targeted audiences. Additional events will likely be added to the Festival, and they can be promoted to the ham community in a similar fashion. It is hoped the collective effort will lead to increased participation during the FoEIS as well as growth in the number of citizen scientists participating in HamSCI for the long term.