Since the beginning of the United States amateur radio service in 1912, amateur radio operators have made significant contributions to radio technology and the understanding of radio science. This work must be continued today, as Part 97 of the FCC rules states that a primary purpose of the amateur radio service is the “Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.” Recent advances in the fields of computing, software defined radio, and signal processing provide unprecedented opportunities to meet this mandate, specifically in the field of radio science. These opportunities are already beginning to be realized with the advent of systems such as the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN), the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting Network (WSPRNet), and PSKReporter. In addition, enabling amateurs to make and contribute legitimate scientific observations will expose amateur radio to a wider community of people interested in science around the world.
What is HamSCI?
HamSCI, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, is a platform for the publicity and promotion of projects that are consistent with the following objectives:
- Advance scientific research and understanding through amateur radio activities.
- Encourage the development of new technologies to support this research.
- Provide educational opportunities for the amateur community and the general public.
HamSCI serves as a means for fostering collaborations between professional researchers and amateur radio operators. It assists in developing and maintaining standards and agreements between all people and organizations involved. HamSCI is not an operations or funding program, nor is it a supervisory organization. HamSCI does not perform research on its own. Rather, it supports other research programs, such as those funded by organizations like the United States National Science Foundation.
What is HamSCI's scientific focus?
HamSCI was started by ham-scientists who study upper atmospheric and space physics. These scientists recognized that projects such as the Reverse Beacon Network, WSPRNet, PSKReporter, DX Cluster, ClubLog, and more are generating big data sets that could provide useful observations of the Earth's ionosphere and related systems. Because of this, HamSCI's initial focus is on these fields of research. In the future, other researchers may join HamSCI and broaden its scope.