Personal Space Weather Station

 

The Personal Space Weather Station project ultimately aims to create a small, multi-instrument system that can make ground-based measurements of the space environment.  The observations from this project will not only be useful to the owner of the system, but also aggregated into a central database for space science and space weather research purporses. Initial work focuses on the development of a scientific-grade high frequency (HF) radio receiver, as well as the necessary software and network infrastructure. This project is led by the The University of Scranton, in collaboration with the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio, Inc. (TAPR)Case Western Reserve University / Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU, the University of Alabama, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Solar Terrestrial Research (NJIT-CSTR), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory.

PSWS Components

The Personal Space Weather Station is a modular system, with each module being developed by a different team. Visit the links below to learn about the different parts of the PSWS.

Research Questions

The PSWS project is motivated by questions both from the amateur radio and science communities.

Science Questions

  • How does the ionosphere respond to inputs from space and from the neutral atmosphere?
  • How does the ionosphere couple with the neutral atmosphere and with space?
  • What are the sources of medium and large scale traveling ionospheric disturbances?
  • What are the causes of Sporadic E?

Amateur Radio Questions

  • How do disturbances such as solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and traveling ionospheric disturbances affect radio wave propagation?
  • How does ionospheric science help amateur radio operators improve communications?
  • How can I make measurements in my own backyard that will help improve my amateur radio operations?

Get Involved

We are always looking for new people to get involved! Projects include system design and testing, data acquistion, and data analysis. Visit our Get Involved page to learn how to join the HamSCI Community.

PSWS Resource Links

Please visit the Space Weather Station Working Page for a variety of links and resources related to the HamSCI PSWS Project.

Acknowledgments

We gratefully thank the many volunteers who make this project run, as well as the support of National Science Foundation Grants AGS-2002278, AGS-1932997, and AGS-1932972.

 

Congratulations to Dr. Kristina Collins, Ph.D., KD8OXT, who successfully passed her thesis defense on Friday, November 18, 2022, to earn her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University! Dr. Collins’ thesis is entitled Development Of A Low-Cost Meta-Instrument For Distributed Observations Of Ionospheric Variability and focuses on the development of the HamSCI Grape Personal Space Weather Station Network. For the past three years, Dr. Collins has been the funded Ph.D. student on the National Science Foundation Distributed Array of Small Instruments Personal Space Weather Station Project and been an important and influential leader in the HamSCI community. She currently serves on the HamSCI advisory board, leads the HamSCI Eclipse and Frequency Measurement Festivals project and WWV/H Scientific Modulation team, and served as chair of the local organizing committee for the 2019 HamSCI Workshop held at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Collins has been interviewed on the ARRL's Eclectic Tech Podcast, has peer-reviewed papers published in the American Geophysical Union's EOS magazine and IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, and has papers under review at Atmospheric Measurement Techniques and EGUSphere. Dr. Collins is excited to be joining the Space Science Institute in Spring 2023 as a postdoctoral research fellow through the NSF Office of Polar Programs. In her upcoming project at SSI, she will be developing sonification and mixed reality tools to explore magnetometer data. In addition to her radio and space science, she enjoys sailing, scuba diving, and film projection. She is also a member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.

The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) will be conducting a research campaign from Oct. 19 to Oct. 28, with transmissions taking place between 1400-0600 UTC (see table below for details). Actual transmit days and times are highly variable based on real-time ionospheric conditions. All information is subject to change. This campaign will be the most scientifically diverse ever conducted at HAARP; some particularly notable experiments include a first-of-its-kind attempt to bounce a signal off of Jupiter, investigation into possible causes of the airglow phenomenon known as STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement), and testing the feasibility of using radio transmissions to measure the interiors of near-Earth asteroids. Experiments benefiting from amateur radio support or having citizen science applications are described in the HAARP Letter to the Amateur Radio Community, along with known frequency information. An official HAARP press release is available from the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED EXPERIMENT INFORMATION

Members of the HamSCI team are in Charlotte, North Carolina this Friday through Sunday to present at the ARRL-TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC). The ARRL-TAPR DCC is an annual conference that presents leading ideas related to amateur radio electrical engineering and related fields. This year, members of HamSCI will be presenting on topics related to the upcoming 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses, the development of the Personal Space Weather Station, including the Grape HF Doppler Receiver, VLF receiver, and TangerineSDR wideband receiver. Additional presentations include advances in analysis of Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances observed both with large-scale amateur radio reporting systems (RBN/WSPRNet/PSKReporter) and the Grape Personal Space Weather Station, as well as the initial public release of pyLap, the new open-source Python-based interface to the PHaRLAP HF ray tracing toolkit. The entire DCC is being live streamed via the TAPR Digital YouTube Channel. You can download the conference agenda here.