VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

Jan. 14, 2016. Team member Kenneth Karr was recently profiled as a member of the VKØEK team, bound for Heard Island. The Fluvanna Review, the county newspaper in Ken’s home area (Palmyra, Virginia), did a feature article on Ken and his central role in preparing for the expedition. Karr is not, he said, concerned about traversing the vast expanse of ocean that surrounds Heard Island. “I spent 25 years underwater in the world’s oceans,” Karr said with a smile, referring to his career in the submarine sevice of the Navy–including time as commander of two nuclear attack submarines. “I am looking forward to getting back on the water,” he said. “It has been a while!”

Ken was accepted as a member of the group partially because of his experience with managing projects and partially for his ability to operate radios on amateur frequencies. Ken’s radio callsign is NG2H. The radio operation will be a major effort wihile the group is on the island, together with the scientific program related to biodiversity and climate change. The article included a salute to the local (Fluvanna) support group, including Dave Scott (KN4ZQ), James Kirkham (K4JK), Manny Rodriguez (K4MSR), Glenn Schumacher (W4XR), and Lee Moyer (K4ISW).


Jan. 14, 2016. The Heard Island field team is pleased to confirm that they will have a SwellPRO Splash drone on Heard Island.  There’s only so much ground we cover and we are hopeful that the weather conditions will allow us to launch the SwellPRO splash drone to extend the coverage that we can achieve in our 3 week stay on Heard Island.

The SwellPRO splash drone is a waterproof drone that can land in, and take off from water allowing the team to be confident using it along the shore line and in the glacial lagoons.  And with a high incidence of “wet weather” days extra fly time that this will provide us is a welcome bonus.

SwellPRO Image #1.jpgThe team from fpvfactory, manufacturer of the SwellPRO Splash Drone, have provided us an Auto model along with spare parts  (props, batteries and motors) to maximize our on-island use of the drone.  The SwellPRO drone comes with some intelligent flight control smarts that will really assist our expedition  “pilots”-

  • return to base on low battery
  • return to launch point if signal is lost
  • follow me capability
  • flight path planning

The Heard Island expedition team has received the drone in Sydney, and will be doing some pilot training before leaving for Cape Town in March.

Swellprologo #1.jpg

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