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.

 

HamSCI played a major role at the 2022 Dayton Hamvention, which was held in Xenia, Ohio May 20-22, 2022 at the Green County Fairgrounds The Dayton Hamvention is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and is the world's largest ham radio gathering, with over 32,000 attendees at the 2019 Hamvention. The Hamvention is an extremely important event for engaging with the amateur radio community, sharing ideas, developing collaborations, and sharing scientific results. This year, HamSCI hosted a booth, gave presentations in the Ham Radio 2.0 area, and hosted a forum. Support for the 2022 HamSCI Hamvention activities comes from The University of Scranton, the Yasme FoundationTAPR, the National Science FoundationNASA, and volunteers like you. This year, HamSCI will again host a booth in building 5 next TAPR, host booth talks in the Ham Radio 2.0 area, run demos, and the host HamSCI Forum.

A description of the hardware of the Grape Version 1 Personal Space Weather Station by John Gibbons N8OBJ, Kristina Collins KD8OXT, David Kazdan AD8Y, and Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF was published in the journal Hardware-X, entitled Grape Version 1: First prototype of the low-cost personal space weather station receiver. The full paper is available from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ohx.2022.e00289.

A team of HamSCI researchers led by Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF just published a new article, First Observations of Large Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances Using Automated Amateur Radio Receiving Networks, in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters. The article looks at an event from November 3, 2017 to demonstrate how a large-scale disturbance moving through the ionosphere can affect the communications distances on the 14 MHz (20 m) amateur radio band. On this day, a 2.5 hour oscillation could be seen in the minimum distance of 14 MHz contacts recorded by the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN)Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network (WSPRNet), and PSKReporter.