VK0EK Log Analysis

Contacts by day and hour (UTC), colored by band.  Can you spot the geomagnetic storm?

Contacts by day and hour (UTC), colored by band. Can you spot the geomagnetic storm?

As an avid user of the statistical software R, Bill (AE0EE) did some analysis of the VK0EK log database. The Log Analysis (88 kB PDF) contains many tables and a few figures, which give glimpses into the statistical side of the VK0EK operation.

In the data, it is clear that the there was a strong diurnal cycle to propagation, and a sharp decline in the maximum usable frequency in the late afternoon local (around 1300 UTC). Additionally, the effects of the geomagnetic storm can be seen in the hour-by-hour time series shown above, where on April 3rd and 4th, the high rates typical of other afternoons did not materialize.

Cape Town to Heard Island: Video from Bill, AE0EE

Bill, AE0EE, has created a video which encompasses the voyage of the Braveheart from Cape Town through the landing on Heard Island. In it, not only is there the rolling of the sea, but the deployment of two types of scientific buoys. First up is an ARGO diving buoy, followed by a NOAA drift buoy. The birds seen as the ship arrives at Atlas Cove are the endemic Heard Island cormorants. Upon reaching the island, our team was greeted by king penguins.

Ruan, BA6QH, Reports Hans-Peter, HB9BXE, Featured in Chinese CQ Magazine

Communications Today cover

You might remember Ruan was featured during the DX-pedition as making a QRP QSO using his portable station. He sent the full article that features Hans-Peter HB9BXE, featuring both Hans-Peters many DX-peditions and his excellent operating skill as well as details regarding the 30M Four Square that Hans – Peter and a friend he worked with regarding its technical design.

HB9BXE 2.4

Here we have Hans – Peter on Heard Island and other DX-peditions . . .

30m 4-SQ VK0EK 3.2

Here are some of the 30M Four Square technical details, and finally . . .

BA6QH work

BA6QH at his DX Post.

Thanks very much Ruan – we really appreciate it!

73,

Rich

KY6R

Inmarsat Government Announces Expedition Support

Heard Island team member Bill MItchell tends the satellite link to the internet, enabled by Inmarsat BGAN 710 terminals, seen at his left. One terminal was dedicated to the radio operations, providing real-time online updates of the radio log. The other terminals were used for administration and personal communications. The terminal speed was sufficient to enable several first-time innovations, including Skype calls and remote radio operation.

Heard Island team member Bill MItchell tends the satellite link to the internet, enabled by Inmarsat BGAN 710 terminals, seen at his left. One terminal was dedicated to the radio operations, providing real-time online updates of the radio log. The other terminals were used for administration and personal communications. The terminal speed was sufficient to enable several first-time innovations, including Skype calls and remote radio operation.

 

June 3, 2016. Inmarsat Government today released the following announcement:

Inmarsat Government Connects Antarctic Heard Island Expedition

Inmarsat’s BGAN Satellite Services Play Critical Role in Success of Expedition by Delivering Highly Reliable Communications Support in Extreme Remote Polar Region

Inmarsat Government, a leading provider of secure, global, mission-critical telecommunications to the U.S. government, today announced that it has successfully supported the 2016 Heard Island Project, a multidisciplinary expedition to a remote island in the Southern Ocean.

The purpose of this three-week expedition, undertaken by Cordell Expeditions, a nonprofit research organization based in northern California, is to provide new information about Heard Island’s harsh volcanic environment and to validate satellite communications in severe, and extremely isolated, environments in the Antarctic.

The Heard Island Project’s goal is to bring technology to challenges of worldwide need and interest. The results from this expedition will help scientists better understand the effects of climate change in polar regions and the ability of models to predict the consequences of actions or inactions in facing this challenge.

Other areas of focus included: searching for unknown species that may have been revealed by recent major glacial retreat; confirming the group’s recent discovery of subterranean rivers carrying glacial meltwater; documenting plastic debris from sources worldwide; and collecting samples of the environment that are expected to contain cryptobiota – organisms that have the ability to suspend metabolism for years or decades in the face of extreme conditions of cold, heat, desiccation or toxic chemicals.

Inmarsat Government provided satellite communication services used to enable radio propagation analysis, TV broadcasts, video secondary school classroom education, video communication and blogging. During the expedition, Inmarsat’s reliable and easy-to-use Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service kept worldwide followers updated promptly of expedition activities. Inmarsat Government provided terminals and managed communication services to support the base station and remote scientific teams collecting samples and important documentation of the environment including its unique flora and fauna.

Inmarsat’s BGAN service played a key role in the expedition’s radio science (medium frequency (MF) and higher frequency (HF) propagation experiments) as they contacted over 75,000 other stations during unusual solar geomagnetic conditions. It also enabled reliable communications with the science teams when they travelled to a number of areas remote from the base camp to gather samples (that will go to universities for analysis of lava content, biota, glacier stream chemical composition and more) and conduct high resolution (“Gigapan”) photography of the many unusual features here. “Inmarsat Government’s support helped advance the use of satellite communications from this extreme, isolated, environment in the sub-Antarctic region. The availability and reliability of Inmarsat’s satellite communication services enabled a qualitatively better capability for the expedition to communicate its activities to the general public, ensure safety, and provide for real-time interactive scientific collaboration,” said Kenneth Karr, Heard Island Expedition. “In particular, it helped facilitate conferencing for scientific collaboration and emergency response, and the ability to upload archival images and data in the most challenging weather conditions that included high winds, driving snow, sleet and volcanic grit that blows with the wind – at times reaching 80 mph.”

The group carried out a major amateur radio operation using the call sign VKØEK. Unlike any other similar amateur radio operation, the Cordell Expeditions group developed a unique technology that enables near real-time internet display of the radio operations. The system, called DXA, uploads the radio log data through Inmarsat satellites to an internet server once per minute, providing viewers with an almost real-time graphical interface to the expedition. DXA was first deployed on an expedition to Kure Atoll in the Pacific in 2005 and then on a second expedition to Clipperton Island in 2013, On both of those expeditions, the DXA website received 40 million hits, attesting to its popularity and the value of real-time data from the expedition. The latest version (DXA3) was deployed on Heard Island; it can be seen on line now at http://dxa.vk0ek.org.

“Supporting this expedition further demonstrates that Inmarsat’s services are best-in-class when it comes to delivering dependable ‘on-the-move’ communications – in any location or weather condition,” said Gabe Venturi, Chief Commercial Officer, Inmarsat Government. “No matter where they are on the map, users seek highly available connectivity for reliable access to the information and services essential for mission success. It has been a privilege to support the Heard Island Expedition and do our part in further advancing scientific exploration.”

For more information about the Heard Island Expedition please contact the expedition Organizer/Leader Dr. Robert Schmieder, at schmieder@cordell.org.

For further information

Inmarsat Government Inmarsat, Inc
Britt Lewis Alena Koci
Sr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing Vice President, Marketing
Britt.Lewis@inmarsatgov.com alena.koci@inmarsat.com

About Inmarsat Government

Inmarsat Government is a leading provider of secure, reliable and affordable mission-critical telecommunications to U.S. military, intelligence and civilian organizations. Equipped with the industry’s leading satellite and terrestrial infrastructure, it delivers custom, end-to-end networks and solutions that can sustain communications anytime, anywhere. Inmarsat Government, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc, and an authorized Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Inmarsat Global Xpress, is responsible for Inmarsat’s retail U.S. government business. It is headquartered in Reston, VA, with network assets and operations around the globe.

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centers of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com. The Inmarsat press release newsfeed and corporate updates are on Twitter @InmarsatGlobal.
“No matter where they are on the map, users seek highly available connectivity for reliable access to the information and services essential for mission success. It has been a privilege to support the Heard Island Expedition and do our part in further advancing scientific exploration.”

 

VK0EK Recap on W5KUB Tonight!

HEARD LIVE with text

From the W5KUB Website:

Our live Amateur Radio Roundtable show Tuesday May 31 will feature Dr. Robert Schmieder, KK6EK, the leader of the Heard Island DXpedition. Tune in to hear everything from the travel, terrible wx with winds up to 70 MPH, propagation, contacts, the team, scientific experiments, and much much more. Phone lines will be open as well as the chat room. Watch onW5KUB.COM at 8:00 PMCT or (o200 UTC Wed) This show is also simulcast on international shortwave radio station WBCQ on 5130 Khz.

Watch Amateur Radio Roundtable on W5KUB.com.every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM Central. (0200 UTC Wed)  This show is also simulcast on shortwave radio station WBCQ on 5130 Khz.