VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

Co-organizer Rich Holoch KY6R checks out the BGAN terminals, together with the WiFi and computer network destined to be deployed on Heard Island. This test used the actual BGAN terminals to be deployed, and it proved that the system will work as designed.
Nov. 7, 2015. We have completed another milestone in implementing the IT system for the Heard Island expedition. Co-organizer Rich Holoch KY6R (shown above) assembled the complete computer network for the two locations (Atlas Cove and Spit Bay), together with the BGAN satellite terminals, and successfully tested the ability of the system to send messages and media from all four terminals simultaneously. A short video explaining the test is provided by Rich KY6R.

The BGANs generate a WiFi hotspot that enables all computers to network together and to link directly through the satellite to the internet. The primary application of this system will be to operate DXA to enable DXers to get confirmaiton of their contacts within 1 minute. However, with four open satellite channels, we will be able to upload a huge (effectively unlimited) amount of data, images, and probably videos.

In addition to the BGAN terminals, we will have several satphones, providing emergency communications and reports from the field teams away from the main camps. The system was engineered to reduce the complexity, and therefore the setup time, on the island. In fact, all the team has to do is turn on the computers and terminals, and they automatically connect to form the complete network. No cabling, configuring, or adjusting is necessary–it’s completely plug-and-play.

The system was engineered by various team members, principally Rich KY6R, Pete W6OP, Mike KJ4Z, Daniel WB4RFQ, with the principal driver being DXA, originally developed by Bob KK6EK, and connections for the satellite terminals by Ken NG2H.We believe this is the first time a DXpedition will have full unrestricted satellite communications. With this capability, a large number of important functions are possible, and we are in the process of implementing some of these.

 

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